Classic car restoration is a labor of love. It’s definitely not easy, particularly when you’re dealing with the challenging characteristics of pot metal. However, Repair processes can be easily be performed with the help of specific tools.
Whether it’s the 1962 Ford Thunderbird or the 1970 Oldsmobile 442, classic cars look their best when kept in top condition. However, time deals harshly with these vintage treasures—paint fades, the engine breaks down, and pot metal parts deteriorate.
Pot metal is a slang term for various metal alloys that may consist of zinc, copper, and tin. It’s also called white metal, pewter, or zinc die cast. Pot metal can be found in or used as hood ornaments, grilles, door handles, steering wheel centers, and a variety of dash and trim pieces.
Unlike the steel used on the car’s body, pewter is cheap and easy to cast. Over time, however, it becomes soft and porous, and often leaves behind a pitted surface. The low melting point of the alloy complicates its repair. Using a torch can melt it after several seconds, leaving nothing for you to restore. Thankfully, pot metal repair rods exist, which allows for easy and convenient restoration.
Restoring zinc die cast involves several steps.
- Removal of existing plating. To ensure quality, the car part must be stripped down to its base metal using chemicals. Rust must also be removed by sandblasting or through the use of chemicals.
- Repair. Repair rods are used to solder flawed areas or join prefabricated parts with the remaining parts.
- Polish. Abrasives are used to create a smooth mirror-like finish.
- Plating. This step protects the newly restored metal and allows it to shine.
Without a special filler rod, pot metal repair is almost impossible. Most white metals melt around 700°F, the same temperature as many filler rods, so it’s important to choose one with a lower melting point. Muggy Weld’s Super Alloy 1 has a melting point of 350°F, and it can bond all kinds of pot metals and join them with metals like bronze, steel, and brass.
Muggy Weld has created a series of instructional videos featuring Super Alloy 1 pot metal repair techniques and tips, viewable at http://youtube.com/muggyweld
To learn more about Muggy Weld’s Super Alloy 1, and other products used for welding pot metal, visit http://amazon.com/shops/muggyweld or call 866-684-4993.