Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

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Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by jseabolt » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:09 pm

Years ago (maybe 15+) I was reading an article in a magazine about a model Ferrari was introducing. I can't remember the model but remember the body was made of aluminum and the chassis was steel. Instead of bolting the body to the chassis as one might think (since you can't weld aluminum to steel) , they used a two part epoxy adhesive. Or at least that is what the author of the article said. This may not have been something new.

At the time I was thinking, Wonder how that's going to pan out 20 years down the road.... Are the bodies going to come off their chassis once the adhesive degrades and cracks? Since Italian car makers are always trying out new stuff like with the infamous Alfa Sud where they injected "Great stuff" into the body cavities to reduce road noise only to have this expandable foam not only absorb road noise but also moisture causing the cars to rot from the inside out.

This practice of using adhesive instead of welding may still be something Ferrari still does. Does anybody know anything about this? How is it working out for them?

So what does this have to do with Ford? Well seems as if Ford is using the same method of assembling their aluminum truck beds together on their pickup trucks. Or so I have heard. Maybe they waited to see how well this worked out for Ferrari before trying it themselves.

I understand allot of body shops are using this adhesive instead of welding because it's quicker and easier. I've heard this stuff is incredible strong and it much stronger that welding.

I was considering using this stuff called Lord Fusor when I replace the "gutters" on my Trabant. These gutters go underneath the doors and provide strength to the body. If you have ever seen rotted out tunnels on VW Type 1's. I think some people call these "heat runners" because they also carry hot air from the engine to the cabin (just VWs not Trabants).

So instead of drilling out all the spot welds to remove these sills or as I call them "gutters" because they look like actual rain gutters, I was going to cut the old gutters off with a reciprocating saw, grind off any burrs and use this adhesive. Some welding here and there will still be required, just not as much.

In the video below, Lord Fusor is showing using their adhesive on a door pillar but then they go back and spot weld it. So I'm wondering why would you need to go back and spot weld the panel?

I did send the company and email and told them I was thinking about buying their product and if this stuff would be good for my application and they said yes.

I just wondered if any of you guys have had any experience with this two part adhesive.

I have used 3M's structural adhesive (the kind in two tubes you mix) to glue stuff together and so far haven't had any issues. Like this radio plate I made for my Subaru 7 years ago.
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Last edited by jseabolt on Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by bartigue » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:16 pm

Probably worth trying on the spider 2000 hoods, which almost always separate between the skin and structure towards the nose.
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by friedman » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:02 am

I have watched a bunch of the "How it's made" programs dealing with modern car construction and adhesives appear to be rather common now and used on a lot of high end performance cars. I have no idea if there is a performance degradation over time but I suspect the corporate lawyers made sure the stuff will hold over normal lifespan....whatever that is. On our Fiats, the welds lasted longer than the sheet metal around them1
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by rridge » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:27 pm

Aluminum has always been a challenge to fasten. Fokker introduced adhesive fastening in aluminum aircraft structures for its F27 in the 1950's. Fairchild built F27's in the U.S. under license but was nervous about the adhesive life expectancy and re-engineered the airframe to use rivets. The Dutch originals outlasted the U.S. planes in service.

I believe adhesives crept into auto use first as bonding agents for structural reinforcements for hood and door panels. That was probably 30 or 40 years ago. Twenty years ago adhesives were being used in auto body shops as an alternative to welding light gage repair panels into damaged sheet metal. Jaguar went with an epoxy bonded aluminum structure for its full sized XJ sedans in 2004. I think that was the first volume use for major automotive structures.

Of course the most common use of adhesives in cars today is fastener thread locking. Henkel, the German company that owns Locktite is also a major maker of structural adhesives for aerospace and automotive uses.
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by Bedilion » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:47 pm

3M 8115 structure adhesive is the way to go. Far superior to welding at joint overlap situations.
All the body shops use it, it is the correct method of repair.
I replaced the pans and toe boards in my 71 spider 15 years ago, and used it.
The ease of repair, versus welding, is so civilized. Lifetime guarantee on bonds.
Spend the money and get the "mixing gun", if you have a larger project. SB.
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by SimcaBertone66 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:37 pm

I used a bit to make some repairs to the under body areas and regret not using it more when building up the124 race car.
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by bobplyler » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:50 am

The American Aviation/Grumman singles (AA-5, AA-5A, AA-5B) didn't
use rivets. Their skins were bonded/glued to the spars/frameworks.

I used to own one. Before I got married.

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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by vandor » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:48 pm

I saw a TV program where a body shop was sued because they used epoxy to put a roof panel on a car where the factory procedure was to weld it, and then the car got in a head-on collision and the roof partially peeled off, weakening the overall structure.
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Re: Adhesive versus welding (Ferrari and Ford content)

Post by Dan_B » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:17 am

Using adhesives instead of welding causes low testosterone.
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