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Old 09-29-2023, 07:37 AM   #1
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POR-15 Revisited

Some here may recall I'm a huge fan of POR-15 products, used it on a 2003 E-250 EB while re-fitting the bare cargo body into a work van but with a rather significant insulation, lighting, factory-style hot coolant rear heater, etc etc. I had minimal rust in the rear cargo area but somewhat significant front floor rust that I wanted to address. I was satisfied with the results, owned that van from May 2012 until sold March 2020. I didn't have time or honestly the interest to partially dismantle parts of the interior build to assess how the POR-15 had held up by itself and in conjunction with other remedial steps taken to stop rust from reforming.

None the less I'm still a huge fan of the product, still highly recommending it's use to those of us looking to extend the life of our vans. Now I own a 2005 E-350 extended body, formerly a senior citizen wheel chair lift equipped transport for a retirement home. It has some rust issues lower left quarter panel between the rear bumper and front of the wheel well.

During the initial exploration of how much rust was hiding under the factory finish I hatched a plan to hopefully deal with this "permanently" as in never having to re-do anything for the remainder of this van's life under my ownership. I discovered two large areas with significant rust holes that might have been best repaired with new metal patch panels---that might still happen come 2024 if my DIY repair doesn't hold up. Fortunately there are aftermarket panels for this body which is good to know.

I don't have any photos of my still on-going process as I was in too big a hurry to complete things. ( I became frustrated as my haste led to several "mishaps" that could have been completely prevented had I simply slowed down a bit. They were somewhat easily overcome but should have been top of mind from my previous experience with POR-15.

At any rate along the way I've added to my general knowledge base and familiarity with other products from POR-15 that might interest others here. I've used these myself so speak mostly from experience. Onward.....

First recommended product is the Power Mesh repair fabric: https://por15.com/collections/access...cts/power-mesh. Much thinner than traditional fiberglas mat used in tons of bodywork, its applied with POR-15 paint if desired so cuts down on a lot of work. The holes I repaired were about 3-4" diameter which makes these repairs a bit on the questionable side but time will tell how well it does (or does not) work. Good stuff, sometimes "out of stock" but someone somewhere will have it in stock.

Next up is the Patch Filler & Seam Sealer, also often "out of stock" but also available somewhere on the 'net: https://por15.com/collections/filler...products/patch According to POR-15 this is simply their paint thickened and in a tube with the same specs as the paint. It's a from of body filler in that it is sandable and once fully cured compatible with most other automotive body refinishing products. Because its just POR-15 paint its very tenacious gripping metal, mostly easy to use---we'll see how well it holds up in my application over the next 6 months or so.

It is NOT flexible so keep that in mind---might not work too well on rain gutter repair........

Another filler product is JB Weld who now have an extensive line of two-component epoxy-based materials that far exceed their "cold weld" product most of use have used. They are very worthy of investigating today: https://www.jbweld.com/products I'm using their 50165 as a robust filler because in the syringe form its ease of storing and dispensing just when needed is highly convenient.

It too is sandable but will require a bit more work to achieve a smooth surface suitable for painting--I'm yet to discover how to best work the fully cured material into a surface the POR-15 Silver paint will cover adequately for my hoped for finished results.

I did mention one haste induced "mishap"----it involves using the Silver paint and not assuring it was thoroughly mixed while still in the can. This particular "color" is very high in solid content which can and will settle to the bottom of the can, become some what very thick and needs to be dragged off the bottom to mix it completely with the binders and solvent already in the product. I use one of these things: https://www.amazon.com/ALLWAY-HMQ-At...737783409&th=1 They're available most anywhere paint preparation products are sold, the Amazon link only for illustration purposes.

Another word of caution is thoroughly remove ALL POR-15 from the lip of the can where the lid rests when closing up the product for any time at all. This stuff becomes an adhesive and will almost weld the lid to the can!!!

So I hope this is useful or interesting to anyone facing rusty body work and repair. I'll answer any questions I can.

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Old 09-29-2023, 07:55 AM   #2
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I have a fair amount of experience with POR15 and as you said, patience and RTFM are the keys to success. Attempts at shortcuts will likely lead to anger and disappointment.

Unfortunately, some of this is POR15's own fault as the product literature often glosses over the steps and the amount of effort required.

But if done properly, the results can be amazing. My ex- refinished the engine of her classic Volvo using POR15 products while we had it out for a transmission swap. Almost 20 years later and the finish still looks great.
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Old 09-29-2023, 08:56 AM   #3
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Thanks JWA. Long term (25ish years) user of JB Weld products. First used POR-15 about 20 years ago, but haven't in recent years.
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marret View Post
Thanks JWA. Long term (25ish years) user of JB Weld products. First used POR-15 about 20 years ago, but haven't in recent years.
I'm amazed at how many different products they offer these days! My earliest attempts using it didn't do very well, completely my fault, hoping I've learned and retained some of those lessons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanF View Post
I have a fair amount of experience with POR15 and as you said, patience and RTFM are the keys to success. Attempts at shortcuts will likely lead to anger and disappointment.

Unfortunately, some of this is POR15's own fault as the product literature often glosses over the steps and the amount of effort required.

But if done properly, the results can be amazing. My ex- refinished the engine of her classic Volvo using POR15 products while we had it out for a transmission swap. Almost 20 years later and the finish still looks great.
During my first use of POR-15 I followed the directions to the letter, in a way surprising to me even. Sadly I'm one of those who most often has enough knowledge to be dangerous.

The instructions don't and cannot impart the full Monty on time to complete but they do stress its imperative we follow their suggested guidelines. Frankly the stuff is too expensive and often difficult to immediately locate even here in Columbus, OH as we have maybe 10 PBE outlets including NAPA. It took me two days waiting on another pint of the Silver paint--its more commonly stocked in quarts---the results of me being in a hurry.

Anyway glad some agree they're both good products!
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Old 09-29-2023, 02:20 PM   #5
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That's an excellent post JWA. Great addition to this forum's knowledge base... bookmarked for future reference. Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2023, 03:20 PM   #6
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Ditto x100 on the mandatory note to CLEAN THE LIP OF THE CAN with por15. I often spot treat rust as I discover it (aka 1 can can last me a couple of years)... and I can't tell you how many cans I have ruined because I didn't clean the lip enough and had to destroy the in the process of opening them later on.

If the can does get sealed... the best solution I've found is to carefully drill a hole in the lid and pour it out of that. Still a PITA.
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Old 09-29-2023, 04:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nyyankees588 View Post
Ditto x100 on the mandatory note to CLEAN THE LIP OF THE CAN with por15. I often spot treat rust as I discover it (aka 1 can can last me a couple of years)... and I can't tell you how many cans I have ruined because I didn't clean the lip enough and had to destroy the in the process of opening them later on.
I caused my own problems by dipping a 2" brush in and out of the can, almost impossible avoiding getting the product into that lip. Next new can I use like this will have the lid sealing lip coated with dielectric grease each time its time to re-use the factory lid.

Same adhesive action happens with the Patch sealer's plastic cap closure--its extremely difficult removing cap if any gets on the threads of the tip.

Good ideas so far---really glad to be here with y'all!

BTW a special shout out to BisonTheCruiser for offering a Canadian connection when I thought my only source for Power Mesh was from a retailer located up there. That didn't pan out unfortunately but it was very generous of him none the less!
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for the post JWA. I used POR-15 some years ago on a black steel rim which had been beaten up on rocky ground after the tire detached. Very adherent and tough, great material when used according to instruction. Did not know about their mesh material and the products by JB Weld aside from their flagship epoxy. Saving the thread for future reference.
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Old 09-30-2023, 04:33 PM   #9
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The rim of the can draining issue is easily fixed if you use the triangular tip on a painter's to to punch vertical holes in the lower part of the can's lip. The lid will seal fine above the holes. If you don't beat the lid on with a BFH and deform it.
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Old 10-01-2023, 03:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info!

2 years ago, when I started the box truck build, I pulled the floor up and POR-15'd the floor rails. I was under the box truck the other day, and no rust has came through it. I did clean everything up real good and treated the metal before applying it.


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