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Old 11-01-2020, 02:46 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 119
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: MBE 906 Mercedes Benz Diesel
Metal patch/hole fill, repair materials and techniques

My newbie build progresses!

So, I'm finally at a place where I'm preparing the exterior for it's first of many coats of paint. I'm cleaning all the sticky tape, and priming any rust spots, and doing my first light sanding. I have several spots, like the one in the attached photo, where things have either been removed, or, in some cases, where I've made holes in the process of mounting things, which I then moved. My question is, what process/materials should I use to prepare these areas for painting? For a 2 - 3 inch hole, I assume some bonding material is inadequate. Should I get some sheet metal and cut a patch, like pair of jeans? If so, how should I attach it?

As always, all suggestions appreciated.
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File Type: jpg Patch needed.jpg (136.5 KB, 5 views)

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Old 11-01-2020, 04:46 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,058
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I just used the spot where the stop sign was to add a filler hole for the water tank.

You could patch it from the inside using a piece of like-material, if you have a steel bus use steel. Use some body panel sealant to attach it. Then from the outside fill the hole with a metal plug the same thickness as the buses skin and fill the remaining space around the plug with body filler.
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Old 11-01-2020, 04:49 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I used spot putty for the small holes. If you go this route, get the two part type. It’s best to go to an auto body supply rather than an auto parts store or hardware store.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:41 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,378
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I used Bondo to cover these particular holes on my bus. The hole in the middle is much too large for just Bondo, of course, but you can cover it with a piece of this mesh and then Bondo away: https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...-932/7101309-p
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:51 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,233
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I cut some 18 ga into a square and rivet that down over all the holes. With a couple beads of seam sealer under the patch panel so it never leaks again.
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Old 11-04-2020, 09:38 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 399
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
I used fiberglass cloth and two part epoxy for these areas, it's a lot easier than you'd think (https://theargobus.blogspot.com/2019...lie-floor.html)
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