Field Repair

Developed in a Texas machine shop in the mid-‘60s, J-B WELD is the magic cold-weld epoxy known to every driveway mechanic and desperate do-it-yourselfer in the world. Car guys have been known to fix everything from cracked cylinder heads to leaky gas tanks with the stuff. So read on and do tell: What’s the craziest (or most creative) J-B WELD car repair you’ve ever made? 

“I broke the cooler line boss on my transmission on my racecar. I was getting ready for a race and did not have time to repair it nor the money to replace it. I used J-B Weld and fixed my tranny. We made it to the second round where we ran our fastest speed. More importantly, we did not leak one drop on the racetrack. — John, Nevada

You heard of J-B WELD? Who hasn’t? Like Band-Aids, Post-It notes, and Duck Tape, J-B Weld is brand of product turned household word. Thousands of discussion board testimonials (like the one above), YouTube videos and online product reviews relate stories about how a dab of the stuff has been used to fix everything from a cherished coffee mug to — believe it or not — a broken tooth.

But did you know that Sam Bonham’s “tougher than steel” epoxy started out as an auto-repair product?

In 1968 while running a machine shop in Sulphur Springs, Texas, Bonham discovered a way to create what he called a “tougher than steel” epoxy. Bonham’s wife persuaded him to sell his invention and, together, the two began hitting the highways selling J-B WELD at various automotive shops around their Texas home.

J-B Weld is an adhesive, laminate, plug, filler, sealant, and electrical insulator that bonds to anything and is impervious to water and heat (up to 500-degrees). While there are now many other makers of “cold weld bonding compound” on the market, Bonham’s original product is the only one that can claim a real fan base.

The fuel door on my Camry fell off when the hinge housing cracked off. Within 10 minutes, I patched things together with your product…

My vintage Harley Davidson’s oil engine case was cracked and I was losing oil from the bottom of the old engine block. There was only one thread left in the block. I used J-B Weld to make the repair. That was in 1985 and that plug has been there through two overhauls and still hasn’t leaked a drop…

People relating stories about how J-B Weld saved the day started back in the late ‘90s during commercial slots on Paul Harvey’s then popular radio show. Using the human propensity for story telling one-upmanship has since proved a brilliant and self-perpetuating marketing campaign.

Bonham died in 1989, shortly before the name-recognition of his product really took off. Today, while you can go online and read about people using J-B WELD to fix just about anything, it’s interesting to note that J-B Weld’s key consumer base are car guys who use it for just about any automotive body or emergency engine repair.

If you own a car then you probably also have a couple $5 tubes of J-B Weld stashed in the glove box or somewhere in your garage. You probably also have a great story to tell.

To share your tale of on-the-fly J-B WELD repair, check out the comments section below. Or head on over to the HVA’s Facebook page to share and see what other members are saying.