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Discussion Starter #1
I have uncovered this patch under the paint of my car. Can anyone help me understand what the “repairer” was trying to do here?

I see holes, but they’re too irregular to be plug welds I think. I see some brass coloured metal… is this brazing?

1655274

1655275
 

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78 Alfa Spider
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Looks like a very poor attempt at rust repair.....As for the method? Well, we've all seen crazy things PO's have tried when making repairs.
 

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I see holes, but they’re too irregular to be plug welds I think.
Perhaps where a slide hammer was used to pull out dents. A tool like this, which has something like a sheet metal screw at its tip that you thread into the dented metal:


I see some brass coloured metal… is this brazing?
Yup, brazing.
 

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Looks like spot weld marks from a 1980's repair. The brazing is a give away. This is the way it used to be done, Didn't rust through did it! Modern methods are way better.
Tony
 

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1985 Spider (SSM AutoX)
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Pretty sure are rosette-welded patch panels, not an uncommon patching technique for a hobby-level mechanic/repairer that is cutting and shaping his own patch panels instead of buying pre-formers.

Repairer cut off the rusty metal underneath, flanged it, then placed a patch panel on top of the flange with 1/8" holes about 3/4"-1" apart. The metal patches are attached to the panel flange underneath by rosette-welding inside the holes: Little bit clockwise, little bit counterclockwise for penetration, done.

The repairer left most of the job as-is and just finished by bondo'ing on top, since he would have to bondo regardless to smoothen the panel. Didn't finish the whole thing with stitch welding or brazing and everything that comes with it. You can tell he tried his hand at some brazing, then said "EH, whatever" and slapped the bondo on.

Maybe this was a car he didn't plan on getting rid of, who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies!

Spot welds makes sense to me. They didn’t rust, no, but the paint along the seams began to crack. There is rust between the metal and the Bondo. No primer I guess. What else causes that?
 

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My GTV had repairs like that. Probably a professional shop turning it around quickly when these cars were just weird old cars
Pete
 

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These are typical body shop patch-up fixes back in the day.
 

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That's a lot of small holes for plug welding but I think that's what he was going for. If some of them went clear through the backing flange, they may have been for Cleco fasteners. I still use those things on the rare occasions that I do body work.
 

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On my car they were spot welds. I assume panel beaters had a tool that permitted a one sided spot weld, somehow
Pete
 
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