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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of our members know, 'pot metal' on older cars can be a problem. Various parts of the car, not just the mirrors or ornaments or trim, can be made from pot metal. This can make restoring an older vehicle very difficult. Case in point, my '67 Impala convertible. The rear quarter trim is made out of pot metal. I've never understood why after market manufacturers couldn't simply replicate this part.


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After getting ridiculous explanations for years about what pot metal is and what it isn't and why can't you fix it, etc, etc, I finally searched and found an answer.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

"Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. A small amount of iron usually made it into the castings, but too much iron raised the melting point, so it was minimized. "

"There is no metallurgical standard for pot metal"

"Depending on the exact metals "thrown into the pot," pot metal can become unstable over time, as it has a tendency to bend, distort, crack, shatter, and pit with age. The low boiling point of zinc and fast cooling of newly cast parts often trap air bubbles within the cast part, weakening it. Many components common in pot metal are susceptible to corrosion from airborne acids and other contaminants, and internal corrosion of the metal often causes decorative plating to flake off. Pot metal is not easily glued, soldered, or welded. "


Then I started searching for Youtube videos to see if anyone has actually fixed pot metal items. They have, but not in the manner that you would think. There's also a number of other videos out there also addressing this issue so be sure to look at those too.
And if YOU have any knowledge of this subject, please contribute below in the comments.

(I still can't figure out why someone hasn't created a 3d printer template to make the part but that's a different issue at this time.)
 

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As some of our members know, 'pot metal' on older cars can be a problem. Various parts of the car, not just the mirrors or ornaments or trim, can be made from pot metal. This can make restoring an older vehicle very difficult. Case in point, my '67 Impala convertible. The rear quarter trim is made out of pot metal. I've never understood why after market manufacturers couldn't simply replicate this part.


View attachment 139354


After getting ridiculous explanations for years about what pot metal is and what it isn't and why can't you fix it, etc, etc, I finally searched and found an answer.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

"Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. A small amount of iron usually made it into the castings, but too much iron raised the melting point, so it was minimized. "

"There is no metallurgical standard for pot metal"

"Depending on the exact metals "thrown into the pot," pot metal can become unstable over time, as it has a tendency to bend, distort, crack, shatter, and pit with age. The low boiling point of zinc and fast cooling of newly cast parts often trap air bubbles within the cast part, weakening it. Many components common in pot metal are susceptible to corrosion from airborne acids and other contaminants, and internal corrosion of the metal often causes decorative plating to flake off. Pot metal is not easily glued, soldered, or welded. "


Then I started searching for Youtube videos to see if anyone has actually fixed pot metal items. They have, but not in the manner that you would think. There's also a number of other videos out there also addressing this issue so be sure to look at those too.
And if YOU have any knowledge of this subject, please contribute below in the comments.

(I still can't figure out why someone hasn't created a 3d printer template to make the part but that's a different issue at this time.)
Never really thought about what exactly pot metal is but that's a super interesting explanation.
As to your last point, 3D printed materials in general aren't particularly well suited to high temperature and UV environments, such as the exterior of a car. Plus they usually require a good amount of post processing if you want them to look smooth like an injection molded or cast part. I actually have used quite a few 3D printed parts in several of my cars, though none of them were highly aesthetic. I actually know of quite a few 3rd gen Camaro owners who use a 3D printed part to add cupholders to their center console.
 

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The headlight trim bezels on my 70 EC are made out of something that must be pot metal. I wanted to re-use the bezels because they are original, I'm cheap and didn't want to buy repro parts that might not fit. But they were definitely pitted from corrosion in a few places which was especially noticeable after they got media blasted.

So, I filled the pits with Bondo Glazing Putty and then sanded the putty flat after it cured. Then they got painted with some "Spaz Stiks" imitation chrome paint plus a catalyzed clear top coat and I've been happy with them ever since.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've seen some of the plastic 3d parts. You'd think that even a rough casting using a 3d as a mold or template would be ok because you could always Bondo the surface. As noted, some parts you just can't get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The headlight trim bezels on my 70 EC are made out of something that must be pot metal. I wanted to re-use the bezels because they are original, I'm cheap and didn't want to buy repro parts that might not fit. But they were definitely pitted from corrosion in a few places which was especially noticeable after they got media blasted.

So, I filled the pits with Bondo Glazing Putty and then sanded the putty flat after it cured. Then they got painted with some "Spaz Stiks" imitation chrome paint plus a catalyzed clear top coat and I've been happy with them ever since.

Rick
on my '67 Impala, all the grills, trim bezels, and coves are stamped aluminum as far as I can recall, with that blackout paint for contrast in the valleys.
 

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Never heard of that so I looked it up. Pretty cool. Says you can do anything, even chocolate. For demonstrative purposes only of course.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
interesting concept but he doesn't show the before and after, only the 'in-process'
 

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As some of our members know, 'pot metal' on older cars can be a problem. Various parts of the car, not just the mirrors or ornaments or trim, can be made from pot metal. This can make restoring an older vehicle very difficult. Case in point, my '67 Impala convertible. The rear quarter trim is made out of pot metal. I've never understood why after market manufacturers couldn't simply replicate this part.


View attachment 139354


After getting ridiculous explanations for years about what pot metal is and what it isn't and why can't you fix it, etc, etc, I finally searched and found an answer.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

"Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. A small amount of iron usually made it into the castings, but too much iron raised the melting point, so it was minimized. "

"There is no metallurgical standard for pot metal"

"Depending on the exact metals "thrown into the pot," pot metal can become unstable over time, as it has a tendency to bend, distort, crack, shatter, and pit with age. The low boiling point of zinc and fast cooling of newly cast parts often trap air bubbles within the cast part, weakening it. Many components common in pot metal are susceptible to corrosion from airborne acids and other contaminants, and internal corrosion of the metal often causes decorative plating to flake off. Pot metal is not easily glued, soldered, or welded. "


Then I started searching for Youtube videos to see if anyone has actually fixed pot metal items. They have, but not in the manner that you would think. There's also a number of other videos out there also addressing this issue so be sure to look at those too.
And if YOU have any knowledge of this subject, please contribute below in the comments.

(I still can't figure out why someone hasn't created a 3d printer template to make the part but that's a different issue at this time.)
Hey guys! I'm so please to that someone has so graciously posted about my pot metal repair abilities. It's truly a divine gift through one of you!!
That said, I couldn't help, but to give thanks and appreciation to this member 123pigsy for doing so. It's immensely appreciated!!
Also, I thank all of you for welcoming his note about me. You all are just fabulous brothers and I appreciate everyone of you!!
Again, Thank you very much!!
On that note, thought I'd give you'll a little info pertaining to this post....
Pot Metal is made up of Zinc, Aluminum, Copper, and Magnesium. It's main component is Zinc and on average it's roughly 90 - 97% and the other components make up the rest. That's why one casting and it's contaminates differ from casting to casting which in almost every instance is a new situation when it comes to repair.
In most cases if the metal isn't totally rotten There's is hope for a successful repair.

by far the most difficult parts to repair are engine parts. simply because they are exposed to petroleum based moisture. And since pot metal is like a metallic sponge, it absorbs any and all forms of moisture and some, such as gas, oil, antifreeze and the like are super villains when it comes to repairing this stuff. However there is always a "super hero" to kick the butt's of evil villains. Sorry guys. I just had to say it.. :)
bottom line is, about 90% of all old pot metal parts can be welded, modified for fitment, ratrod-ish stuff or the like and or fabricated. The great news is, This makes pot metal one of many metals that now can be completely repaired and painted or plated.
So Guys. the days of throwing out broken original pot metal parts are over!!!
Here are a couple photos of recent repairs:
This is a set of 56 Cadillac Quarter glass frames that were done for ProToyz Inc. in Florida. A the time they were a non replaceable set, broken and eaten up by moisture. All the creators were welded, grinded and reshaped, the broken vertical portion was welded back on and reshaped. I wish I had photos of them after plating but I guess it was too much to ask from their manager...
Anyhow, I hope I've given you some worthy information and look forward to talking with you all!

Thanks again!!
James Ruther
 

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Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. A small amount of iron usually made it into the castings, but too much iron raised the melting point, so it was minimized.
In stained glass, "pot metal" or pot metal glass refers to glass coloured with metal oxides while it is molten (in a pot), as opposed to other methods of colouring glass in sheet form.[1]
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. A small amount of iron usually made it into the castings, but too much iron raised the melting point, so it was minimized.
In stained glass, "pot metal" or pot metal glass refers to glass coloured with metal oxides while it is molten (in a pot), as opposed to other methods of colouring glass in sheet form.[1]
interesting, that looks exactly like the same verbage, word for word, where I got my information. (y)
 

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As some of our members know, 'pot metal' on older cars can be a problem. Various parts of the car, not just the mirrors or ornaments or trim, can be made from pot metal. This can make restoring an older vehicle very difficult. Case in point, my '67 Impala convertible. The rear quarter trim is made out of pot metal. I've never understood why after market manufacturers couldn't simply replicate this part.


View attachment 139354


After getting ridiculous explanations for years about what pot metal is and what it isn't and why can't you fix it, etc, etc, I finally searched and found an answer.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

"Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. A small amount of iron usually made it into the castings, but too much iron raised the melting point, so it was minimized. "

"There is no metallurgical standard for pot metal"

"Depending on the exact metals "thrown into the pot," pot metal can become unstable over time, as it has a tendency to bend, distort, crack, shatter, and pit with age. The low boiling point of zinc and fast cooling of newly cast parts often trap air bubbles within the cast part, weakening it. Many components common in pot metal are susceptible to corrosion from airborne acids and other contaminants, and internal corrosion of the metal often causes decorative plating to flake off. Pot metal is not easily glued, soldered, or welded. "


Then I started searching for Youtube videos to see if anyone has actually fixed pot metal items. They have, but not in the manner that you would think. There's also a number of other videos out there also addressing this issue so be sure to look at those too.
And if YOU have any knowledge of this subject, please contribute below in the comments.

(I still can't figure out why someone hasn't created a 3d printer template to make the part but that's a different issue at this time.)
Back in the early 70's I purchased a late model BSA motorcycle. It had a center stand you pushed the bike up on. I came out one day and the bike was laying on its side. The center stand broke. I took it off and took it to a welder who said he couldn't fix it. When I inquired why he said it was "white" metal. I learned later that white metal was pot metal. I have avoided anything made out of pot metal ever since. Cheap crap you can't weld.
 

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Back in the early 70's I purchased a late model BSA motorcycle. It had a center stand you pushed the bike up on. I came out one day and the bike was laying on its side. The center stand broke. I took it off and took it to a welder who said he couldn't fix it. When I inquired why he said it was "white" metal. I learned later that white metal was pot metal. I have avoided anything made out of pot metal ever since. Cheap crap you can't weld.
Yes. This used to be the case, but not anymore. I've developed a process that allows welding of pot metal with nearly a 100% success rate. Have a look at the photos I've posted above...
 
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