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Technical Rust repair reality check please.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by albertaboy, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. albertaboy
    Joined: Jul 19, 2013
    Posts: 131


    IMG_6191.JPG I've a 40 Ford pickup cab that is rusted in all four corners, likely the lower rear edge, rockers and floor. I've not blasted it yet so I don't know the extent of the damage. The truck is all complete so I don't know what's lurking under the seat or in the cowl behind the front fender, but I suspect it's bad. The rear cab corner rust and both lower doors is typical of the rust you see in the photo I attached.

    I have been encouraged to learn how to weld and do rust repair myself. I am tempted and I have self taught myself many things and seen many projects to completion. I see that many patch panels are available for this truck's cab.

    I like to hear encouragement or discouraging comments if I can pull this off. I don't plan a show truck but I don't want to end up with a rat job either. I can read as many tutorials as I can find, take a mig course, practice on scrap but am I about to get over my head??? What surprises might I expect?? I wont settle for a half assed job, even from myself.

    I keep my eyes open for a better cab but I've found nothing local. Anything in Alberta, where I'm from is just as rusty.

    I can't appreciate how many hours it would take to do this but if it's 50 and a pro is $100 or more at shop rate, that's $5000. I either come up with cash for a proper job or move on.

    Let me know what you think- you wont hurt my feelings.


    View attachment 2970964 View attachment 2970964
  2. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,795


    Buy the patch panels, and practice welding on scrap sheet metal. Even if you trim the rust and just fit the patches you will be way ahead. Good luck, Gary
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,902


    Just make sure you keep the doors on the cab, so you can make everything fit properly before you weld it all together. It's just work...yeah, it takes some effort to learn how to do the work, but it's worth it.

    Practice on scrap metal, till you feel confident in your abilities. If you have access to a community college welding course, that might be worth least for me, if I'm paying for the privilege of practicing, that makes it so much easier to put in the time that's required to develop the skill.
    albertaboy and klleetrucking like this.
  4. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,513


    Those are the typical rust out points on a 40-46 cab. Panels are readily available and relatively inexpensive. Blasting everything first is your best course of action . It will show any hidden surprises. If that's the worst of your cab, it's in pretty good shape!. Give us a few more pics to see what you're up against.

  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,878


    It will take you a lot more than 50 hours. And it would probably take a pro longer too. Buy the best patch panels you can find (ask around the HAMB). You will be way ahead in time for the extra money they cost.
    Beau, brad2v and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  6. I've said this before, it's worth repeating. Check the local schools. Do they offer vocational classes? If you can get into an auto body class you'll have access to all the tools, a paint booth, (usually) a discount at the local parts stores AND a teacher who is usually a pretty fair body man.
    brad2v and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  7. 37 fiat
    Joined: Jun 10, 2009
    Posts: 4

    37 fiat
    from SD

    You should look at metal shaping sites like, or there are many helpful people there and if you post and ask question I'm sure you will get guidance.
  8. oldrelics
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,728

    from Calgary

    My '41 required approx half the floor to be changed and I had many times the 50 hours.....

    IMG_2824.JPG IMG_2797.JPG IMG_2799.JPG
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    brad2v, charleyw, kiwijeff and 4 others like this.
  9. 66gmc
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 567


    As was mentioned already there is way more than 50 hours labor there.
    Learn to do it yourself and fix the cab you've got.
    There is a lot of good information on this site for patching rust. It seems like the magazines do articles every couple months on the subject as well, although they seem to give a lot of bad advice.
  10. gas & guns
    Joined: Feb 6, 2014
    Posts: 370

    gas & guns

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  11. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,277

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    This '49 Chevy is what I learned on. 110 volt Daytona Mig and just about every patch panel available. I kept it about 19 years and it held up very well. rust.jpg
  12. All good advice, I would opt to have the sheet metal stripped in a dip tank though. might cost a little more but clean sheet metal is a joy to work with.
  13. You can doo et!
    kiwijeff, el Scotto and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  14. Sound advice.

    If you intend to enjoy the hobby of building cars,be it hot rods,customs or muscle cars you will run into rust and will need to learn how to cut it out and replace it with new metal.

    it's not rocket science and it just takes time and practice. HRP
    Texas57 and seadog like this.
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,678


    Go for it. You won't make it any worse.
    Texas57, Beau, kiwijeff and 2 others like this.
  16. rickl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2012
    Posts: 102


    Plus don't be afraid to take your practice welds into someone that may know more. I've welded up some similar gauge metal with different heat/wire speed settings and asked which is the best one? I've found it best to get that dialed in before starting on the actual work.

    And if you screw it up, cut it out and start again. Have fun!
  17. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 994


    With welding its Practice, practice, up is huge. Learn on scrap, and weld new steel to scrap old steel as it is slightly different. Don't be afraid, its only metal. Another thing, if you don't have a MIG welder, try Oxy/Fuel welding. YouTube is your friend.....EAA has some tutorials on different welding...metalshaping on the HAMB all have threads, postings and videos on all avenues of welding.
    brad2v likes this.
  18. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,629


    Fitment is key, if lines / shapes don't line up... Take the time to make them line up , patch pannels are nice to have but usually they are just a close shape to get started

    And if the rust is only 4" up and your patch is 12" don't use the whole patch pannel... Only what you need to fix the rust issue
    brad2v, 49ratfink and 2racer like this.
  19. Give it a shot, you might just surprise yourself !
  20. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,352

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    One of the things I tell most dudes is "Don't put the pussy on a pedestal."

    You'll fuck up, you'll fix your fuck up, you'll move on. This shit ain't hard, remember: assholes were doing it long before the internet existed.

    Now go do it!
  21. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,551


    Someone no doubt has fixed much worse. I agree 100% with those who say practice on scrap metal until you are at the point that you feel confident with your welds. A class no doubt would help as would a few hours spent with one on one instruction by a qualified welder. I worked next door to one of the best welding instructors in the country for a number of years that turned out a lot of guys who turned to welding professionally and he started every one of them out sticking scrap metal pieces together until they reached the point where they could do a decent job of welding. I still have the engine stand one of his students welded up and another welded the subframe on my 51 Merc when I subframed it. practice, practice, make your honey or your mom a plant stand or some other useful piece like a bench for the porch and then buy the patch panels and hit it on the truck.
  22. albertaboy
    Joined: Jul 19, 2013
    Posts: 131


    Great replies everybody. I learned something from each of you. And you told me what I wanted to hear. I'll start shopping for some welding classes and a welder. Keeping this truck all it's own original components is important to me. It may a few months but I will put up photos once it's disassembled and blasted. THANK YOU!!
    Keep it coming.
  23. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

    on those patch panels, the weld is not critical so don't be concern about how "nice" the weld looks because weld beads will be grinded down and a little Bondo, James Bondo, added. I've done it and I'm not a great welder. Want to learn how to swim, throw yourself in the water.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  24. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,445

    from oregon

    Everyone has given great advice , so I'l tell you how I figure it. Tools are a great investment. Pay 1000 for a welder and do what you need, that would have paid for 20 hours of another's time. Your time learning will allow you to then make a bracket , repair your frame or make doo dads. And your welder is still worth 500. Win Win
  25. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,818

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Tools (a welder) are never a bad investment.
    Learning a new skill is always a good thing.
    cretin likes this.
  26. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,617


    the internet search is invaluable. YouTube has loads of info. And the dvd's from "mindover" here on the HAMB as well as others are incredible. Well worth the $60 or so.
  27. rtsidejohnny
    Joined: Sep 29, 2006
    Posts: 246


    You could always drive it the way it is ,too. When I was young I was ALWAYS driving something that had rust! Oh wait...I still do!
  28. First off to ask me what you can do is like asking how long a string is. How would I know what you can do. Look at it this way if kripfink had asked the same question and I had no idea that he was a quadriplegic and said oh hell yea you can do it that would have been the absolute wrong answer.

    All that BS aside this is the best advice in the world find a course in autobody of you can. If you can't buy an old hood or two practice on the hood first then go after repairing the body, the worse thing in the world that could happen it that it will turn out to be a total loss and its already well on its way out anyway.
  29. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,263


    My advice to you echoes the others. You can do whatever you set your mind to do. How well it turns out all depends on your expectations and how you went about doing it. Taking classes is one of the best ways to get started. Learning as much as you can from videos, books and the internet is another, just use common sense. There are a lot of complete hacks on the internet that make themselves out to be experts when YOU actually already know more than they do. The HAMB, in my opinion, has some of the most talented people you will find on the internet. The only problem with this place is that there are so many really talented people here posting pictures of their work, that it is easy to set the bar for your own work higher that you will be able to reach. Your work won't look as nice and perfect as a lot of the stuff on here. That comes from years and years of experience. You might get there one day, but you need to keep your expectations realistic right now. Just take your time to learn and practice, then practice some more. In the beginning, your practice pieces will look like a steaming pile. Keep that and put it away. As you move on, you will start learning things without evening realizing it and it will get easier. When you done with the truck, pull out that steaming pile. You'll be amazed how far you've come.

    Or you can try to rush through it just to get it done and your steaming pile will have wheels!
    Good luck.
    brad2v likes this.
  30. SlamIam
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 408


    You can do it if you have the time and perseverance - I did rust repair on my F1 cab, running boards and fenders - the new skills I gained have brought me pleasure - my Model A Coupe is currently benefiting from everything I learned on the pickup - doing this work is a hobby and therapy for me - I would (could) never do it for money, I'm too slow

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