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Patch pannels

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Scrap Iron, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Has anyone else had problems with patch pannels not fitting correctly?
  2. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    I would think you got Coupe panels rather than Tudor panels. Or your source is elling the longer ones for all applications, you make fit.
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    95% of all patch panels sold today are crap. virtually NONE are going to line up and fit as though you had cut the part off a cherry stocker.

    the people who make these parts obviously don't give a fuck, and once you mess with it in an attemt to get it to fit, the part is not returnable for a refund.
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    oh that's funny... look at the body line.. I doubt the problem is with the length. the body line is waaaaay off.

  5. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,452

    abe lugo

    the raised lip on the new panel has a different shape or radius than the original panel. the orginal looks a bit flatter, good luck.
  6. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo

    Some enterprising soul on the HAMB could augment their cash and pay for their bead roller and brake by making Honest to God Patch Panels. Make some panels, place them against the real thing, take pictures, and they would probably sell themselves.
  7. if someone would make them i would be down for a set
  8. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,825


    Scrap Iron - Care to mention the offending company to save some others the same heartache? And the flipsde of that coin - 49ratfink, could you compile the short list of the 5% of reputable patch panel companies?
  9. Brad S.
    Joined: Feb 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,317

    Brad S.

    Please do because I'm about to buy some...
  10. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,931


    Well worded question.:rolleyes:
  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,695


    Actually, that one looks pretty good compared to a lot I've seen. My brothers and I recently installed patch panels all the way around a '31 coupe and I bet that is the exact same panel we used. After you are done welding it in, you will have lots more bumping and tapping to do than just that bead. I wouldn't worry about that one too much. No hill for a climber.
  12. I´ve never used any of their panels,but it seems they might do them right
  13. Whats the intended application, and Name the supplier.
  14. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    I bought some lower rear quarter patch panels from
    a well known east coast supplier.They turned out to
    be only useful for scrap filler material.They had
    edges that were straight 90 deg. breaks where they
    would mate to a compound curve on my 40 Ford.
    I bought a 2nd set of panels from Bob Drake,for
    about twice the price,and they fit perfectly!
    Get what you pay for again.
  15. AllSteel34
    Joined: May 8, 2006
    Posts: 220


    I've had the same experience. Drake's panels are nice. So are the ones from Steve's Auto Restoration in Oregon. I only buy panels from these two sources now.

  16. Flop
    Joined: Jun 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,885


    i just put a tailpan in my 50 pontiac that i got from ems and wow was it a beautiful piece . not one damn thing wrong with it . it is such a joy to work with a nice panel.
  17. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C

    It seems like all the posts I have made lately make me out to be an ass but here I go again. I own about 95% of all the dies (either bead roller or Nadia) it takes to make patch panels for Model A's because that is my livelihood --and because I was facing the same thing as what you found here.

    Now here is where what someone is going to find when they repro a panel like the one in the picture. To duplicate that panel where it looks authentic and fits very closely will cause someone to have 4 to 6 hours in it (AFTER they spend the time for making their tooling!). If someone wants to make $10-$15 an hour, then you can see the $$ you can make --but if you charge $40-$50 an hour, then all you get is complaints. People are too cheap to pay what it's worth. This has been proven time and time again by restorers and rodders alike. That is why I don't retail stuff like that unless the customer wants to bring to bring the body and let us install the new panel.

    To prove my point above about people being too cheap, Antique Auto Sheetmetal makes a deck lid skin, that on a scale of 1 - 10 is about an 8.5 to 9. If you put it in the English Wheel and get a little more crown and do a few details on the edge, then it is very nice. The company that is listed above is also making a deck lid skin however the contours and shapes are all wrong HOWEVER it is over $100 cheaper. The reason they are selling a bunch of them for $110 is because cheaper price over quality is considered a better value by the consumer . Sure sends a signal out to the manufacturers that the hobbyist speaks with his wallet!


    Attached Files:

  18. DE SOTO
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,857



  19. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,695


    We let our wallet speak when we sent the Howell's ( decklid skin back and bought the more expensive Antique Auto Sheetmetal (Brookville) skin. Night and day difference, especially to a guy without an english wheel to fix the problems in the Howell's.
  20. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,632


    Part of the problem is that you can't really tell the quality/fit from a catalog photo or description.

    That and the fact that many suppliers sell patch panels that come from the same source.

    So if you see two patch panels at different prices, you don't know if they are both the same part and one is just more expensive, or if one is much better quality and justifies the extra price.

  21. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,407

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    we just got a large amount of e.m.s. steel in. it reeeeally nice.

    Damn impressed.

  22. Those are nice looking patch panels you're making in those pics! Nice dies with the correct curves.

    Yeah, I used a bunch of fairly cheap patch panels in my '32 Ford pickup project -- door skins, door bottoms, lower cab corners. The door skins had the correct crown, but they were made of thinner sheet metal. The door bottoms were about 1/4" too wide in one part so I had to slice them lengthwise and trim them and weld them back together again then entire length. They make them about 2" too long, which is okay, since you can trim them to fit. The cab corners had all kinds of problems. But I figured for what I paid for them, I can't complain too much. With a lot of work, I made them work to do the job -- cutting, pie slicing, hammering, welding, shrinking, stretching. It was better than having to make them myself from scratch.

    I think unless you're willing to pay big bucks for top quality patch panels, you should just plan on having to put a lot of your own time into fixing up the cheap ones to make them fit. Consider them as a step in the right direction, but they're not going to fit like a glove. They're hand-made usually, and not stamped in a press like the replacement panels you get for something like a '69 Camaro, so you can't expect miracles. The cheap panels I bought were hand-made right here in the USA by a guy who needs to make a living and feed his family. If they were expensive, I might have been upset about how they fit, but they were cheap, so I figure I can't really complain.

    So I guess if you want panels that fit well, you gotta pay big bucks for them. And even if you pay big bucks for them, they're still hand-made and might not fit perfectly anyway unless the guy making them can fit them to the car personally like Brent in 10-uh-C does.
  23. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,892


    I think Brent is right. The time and effort it would take to make a properly fitting patch panel would price the pieces sky high. So cheap, easy to make panels get sold by the truckload and end up taking lots of manhours to fix.

    We just went through this on my '70 Cutlass conv. The new rear quarter panels that came from Year One are really beautiful pieces, fitting great on the car although a little tricky to get the inner fenders to fit right (aren't they all?)

    I got some lower front fender patch panels from them also and they're a joke. By the time we're done messing with them, we may as well have just made some from scratch.

    I guess if Forrest Gump were a body man he'd say that patchpanels are like a box of chocolates...
  24. ironhunter
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 406


    I knew there was a reason I started makin my own panels years ago...I just forgot why. :)
  25. well I have an e-mail in to the guy that i bought them from and guess what no answer. I am going to give him the benifit of making the problem right since the other pannels I got from him are ok.
  26. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,935

    leon renaud
    from N.E. Ct.

    Most of the early cars we buy or make patch panels for were hand assembled 1 at a time. Even though they were punched out on presses HOW those panels were assembled into the finished car can make a huge difference in how the replacement panels fit!just look at the panel fitment on any car not assembled as a specialty vechile like a hotrod or antique restoration 1the body gaps are all over the place.And there's a reason that body shims exist now i'm not saying that junk panels don't exist but I am saying that a perfect panel may fit 1 car exactly and not fit 3 others I have seen this personally with a 31 model a hand formed panel it fit the car it was made for and not 2 others in the shop at the same time.This was done to show the customer why the craftsman made the panel for that car and didn't use the J.C.Whitney specials the customer bought for the job
  27. T-Time
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,627

    from USA

    Compounding this issue is that many auto manufacturer's made few, if any, of their own bodies, and may have had multiple contractors for those bodies. Ford is one of these. I have five 26/27 Model T touring bodies, and only two are (more or less) alike. Some are constructed completely uniquely, particularly in the internal support structure and the in the sill plate areas. I have one body that the doors from the other four tourings won't fit on it! They are too wide for the opening.
  28. RatBone
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 660


    Exactly, my A's rear panel below the deck lid is 1/2 inch wider on one end than the other. They even made the deck lid fit it. All from the factory! We've measured friends cars and they all are off a little on the same models.
  29. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    you are not another one of those EMS employees that pop up here to say how good thier crap is are you?
  30. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    49ratfink, could you compile the short list of the 5% of reputable patch panel companies?

    not 5% of the companies, 5% of the parts made by all companies combined. which means many companies don't make anything good.

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