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55 Chevy Wagon Tailgate rust repair

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MP&C, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,375

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    Amazing to see just what is possible if you have mad skills. Makes me want to attempt some work that I might otherwise just farm out. NO MAD SKILLS HERE....yet but you gotta get started if you wanna learn. right?
     
  2. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Tommy, I'd suggest to do as I did here to get your feet wet......Start with someone else's car! :D


    Had the day off today and picked up some fresh sandblasting media so I could finally finish the inside of the gate. One thing I noticed, even though the weld dots were planished as we went, you could see where the metal had shrunk from welding around the lower perimeter of the bead detail. As the inside (bottom) of the bead did not shrink, this caused the metal to deform in the shape of an arc, or concave bow.

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    To help to remedy this situation, and since we had already stretched the welds a bit, I thought I'd try my hand at shrinking the bottom area of the bead detail.. I put the heat tip in the trusty dent puller....

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    .......And working alongside the lower edges of the bead.....

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    ....was able to get most of the deformation out.

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    Some of the other shrinks outside our repair area were to help flatten out where the "loading side" of the tailgate has been used and abused over the years.

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    Test fitting some of the internal components:

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    Why is it I always miss something.....one more piece to bend up.......

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  3. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

    Wow I cant believe the quality of your work on this tailgate....but I gotta ask how many hours do you have in it??
     
  4. wingman9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 804

    wingman9
    Member
    from left coast

    Would you mind terribly if I sent you my Olds wagon tailgate? Mm, I wonder how much it would cost to send a tailgate from California to Maryland and back. :eek:
    Great work. It will be my inspiration when I get to that point. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. 3onthetree
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 161

    3onthetree
    Member

    A heated dent puller????

    I've done a bit of metal work here and there, but have never heard of one, tell us more.

    You are a true craftsman.
     
  6. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    It would have been cheaper to find another tailgate. But then, who knows what you get, may have ended up doing the same work... Most have the same rust on the inside tailgate and repops aren't produced. So find the rust now and fix it while its cheap....ie: before paint goes on. But considering the new skin, the inner gate repair, and all the paint prep before reassembly, you're looking right around 1K easy.


    That's why it's posted, to show guys like yourself how to take the bull by the horns. As suggested above, it does get pricey, but if you're doing it yourself, the labor is a wash, right?



    The dent puller shown above uses the three pointed "throwing star" shaped consumable for pulling dents. It fuses to the panel, pull the dent, and about a quarter turn will break it free, ready for the next spot. A bit quicker than using the stud gun style puller, but they have their advantages also. So you remove the throwing star, and the heating tip is inserted in its place. It makes the small heat marks shown above, and makes nice, small, controlled shrinks. It's not out of the ordinary to have 1000 or better shrinks in a resto job using this tool. But I believe some of the stud gun welders also may have a heating tip optional accessory. An option to check for before you buy one.....whichever style you choose.
     
  7. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Today's progress, we'll start by showing more shrinks and the results in straightening the bead details.....

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    Checking the angle to form up the second stiffener brace.....

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    In the booth for a good coat of epoxy primer before all the parts get welded together......

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  8. rockguy92
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,141

    rockguy92
    Member

    Amazing work! You are a fine craftsman. Thanks for spending the time to post all of the pics of your work.
     
  9. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,664

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    That was a great read, better than watching SNL, thanks.
     
  10. 1K to repair a nomad tailgate really sounds fair to me. i have observed a friend that does metal work while he was rebuilding the lower half of a 55' nomad tailgate and i do believe the bill was over $1500! he does use ZERO-RUST in all the "can't get at area's" after he has corrected them. folks have to realize even parts in dry climate need fixing after so many years. this thread rocks!
     
  11. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Thanks for the comments fellas. Now that the 36 GMC has left the building, back to some unfinished business....


    A bit more progress on the tailgate, locating all the plug weld holes:

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    Welding in the support braces:

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    welding in the hinge mounting brackets:

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    All primed:

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    I'll let this cure for about a week and mount it back to the body before fitting up the new skin...
     
  12. rebelrat
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 448

    rebelrat
    Member

  13. Holy crap! :eek: Impressive, my friend!:D
     
  14. oldman2
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 2,373

    oldman2
    Member

    Glad to see you back, miss the great work and updates....Jim
     
  15. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Well, between a couple trips overseas for the day job and just life in general, I really have put this off long enough. My Nephew Chris came over today and gave me a hand fitting up the tailgate.
    The re-pin job on the hinges was finished just before Christmas, so we got those installed and fitted up the bare inner tailgate to see how it fit the hole...

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    ..and then set the new skin in the hole to see how it looked...

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    Prior to putting these two pieces together, the areas inside that will face each other were scuffed. After assembly some fresh epoxy primer will be flowed around the perimeter so this will hopefully last another 55 years.

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    Major tools we'll be using today, a door skin hammer and a small shot bag for a dolly.

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    With both pieces in place, bolted to the car, the lower corners were folded to help hold things in place, then worked the sides.

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    As the sides were folded we checked the gaps as we went...

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    Before folding the top edge, we installed the upper gate to have as a reference...

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    Working the top edge....

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    The lower edge is folded partially, but was awkward to finish that close to the body, so it will come off and be completed on a door stand. The upper gate gaps aren't quite as nice as the lower, so this will be another area that we fine tune the gaps....

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  16. oldman2
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 2,373

    oldman2
    Member

    Really missed you not posting on the site, sure have missed the great work that you do. Everything looks good on the rear door:cool:. Hope you had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year.....Jim
     
  17. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey Mac,

    This build just keeps gettin' better! What's the old trade saying? "beat to fit & paint to suit''- doesn't apply to this build, however. I hope the cowl, rockers & floor are in better shape than the roof & arse end were.

    " Meanwhyle, back aboard The Tainted Pork "
     
  18. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Ha! Yeah, the painter catches all the hell, right? The cowl, rockers, and floor have been done also ;)

    Thanks for the comments guys..
     
  19. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,223

    sololobo
    Member

    great tech post bro, nice work indeed! These are so valuable to show others some projects are approachable! Cool! ~sololobo~
     
  20. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

  21. m.kozlowski
    Joined: Nov 2, 2011
    Posts: 140

    m.kozlowski
    Member

    Excellent work. Very inspiring, but You made it look so easy. I went to my garage, tried some, and it isn't :) I am dissapointed now :)
     
  22. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Thanks for the comments guys...

    Mocked up the tailpan today so the bottom gap could be set..

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    The tailpan didn't appear to be seated down snug, so I'm going to weld it in place before finishing the bottom fold on the tailgate skin. As the panel below the tailpan was rather pitted, it needed some cleanup before any epoxy can be applied.

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    Until the next update..
     
  23. oldman2
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 2,373

    oldman2
    Member

    Sweeeet...Jim
     
  24. MP&C
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,368

    MP&C
    Member

    Well, doing some final touches to the tailgate. One thing I didn't care for was how the corners folded when putting on the skin.

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    So I unfolded the corners and thought I'd make a tool that would give me a nice "anvil" for forming a small radius. As the inner was rather close on the bottom corners my tool would need a relief so it would rest against the inside of the skin. Here's what I came up with, drilled a hole in the end of the punch, slightly offset from center, and cleaned away two sides for a nice corner tool...

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    In use, and the result...

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    Also had issue folding the top seam with the "standard" door skin hammer..

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    So as I had a spare, the hammer was refaced a steeper angle and dressed to a mirror finish..

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    For a better fit...

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    Comparing the angle between the two..

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    All the corners were then finished off with a file, for a nice radiused corner.

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  25. 3onthetree
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 161

    3onthetree
    Member

    Your work and ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. Let me know when you get the car finished and take it to a local car show, I'd like to check it out.
     
  26. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,171

    No_Respect
    Member
    from So-Cal

    Wow Beautiful! I have been putting this off on my comet wagon for to long too... I hope mine is as bitchin in the end
     
  27. c57heaven
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 540

    c57heaven
    Member

    great work as always. :cool:
     
  28. oldman2
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 2,373

    oldman2
    Member

    Super nice, both the work and the tool building....Jim
     
  29. irondoctor
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 558

    irondoctor
    Member
    from Newton, KS

    Outstanding work!
     
  30. BobMcD
    Joined: Jan 25, 2013
    Posts: 322

    BobMcD
    Member

    Beautiful Job! Great post!!
     

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