The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, May 12, 2019.
That is one of the more solid pieces on my car. All my rust and rot was low on the car.
So ur the guy using coffee cans for patch panels...
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I'll be getting my first taste of serious metal work this fall and winter on the '50 Fleetline I just got. It's not horrible but I'll be replacing the toe boards, front floors, passenger rocker panel, tail pan, and trunk end piece... so far. As well as some patch work where the grille attaches to the front fenders. I'm sure it will be a learning experience; I have a MIG welder and a oxy/acetylene rig but not a lot of experience with them.
Gotta learn sometime!
I had enough of rust with the north east cars I grew up with. When this '59 Ford came up, the body was supposed to be rust free, so I gambled $2500 on it, sight unseen. I went over the car, end to end, top to bottom, had it apart to the point where the only rust I found was a 3" x 5" piece by the gas pedal that was 'glassed, but done well enough. It was hard to detect. One other place was the front of the hood at the bottom. That I acid dipped, cut out the remaining bad metal with a cutoff wheel and reconstructed it in fiberglass. It looks real nice.
I learned through necessity. Some parts are not re-popped, or hard to find. This ‘60 Caddy floor brace is an example. All the braces are excellent but this one. Would have been much easier with a bead roller, but I’m not getting one at this point. Various hammers and a few hard maple formes, a little torch welding, and I have a brace.
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I learned out of necessity too not necessarily related to fixing rust, but the need to put a quarter panel on a daily driver I had... I had done paint and body work for several years, but never had a welder or knew how to weld. I had a lady try to take the quarter panel off of an OT daily driver and I started checking around with buddies on how much they might charge me to weld another on. I decided that I could buy a cheap mig welder and learn for way less money than paying someone else. So, I figured it out, then had a tool that I could start welding in patch panels on cars for other people to add to what I could do as far as paint and body. By the way, the quarter panel that I learned on is still holding on. I welded it on in 1995 and a guy that I work with now has the car and drives it to work regularly. I guess I did it right.
I'm no Pro. Still learning....probably always will be, and that's a good thing. I've always worked in varied facets of industrial automation. Now in sales, but a Technician for the majority of my career. I remember when I nervously first started repairing ungodly expensive machinery, my best friend who had been in the field professionally for a few years before me said "Don't worry, you wont break it. It's already broke. That's why we're here." .....that sticks with me to this day and I repeat it to myself often.
In high school a buddy welded 2 fenders together to make 1 good one. Another buddy had a guy who went to auto body school make and weld on patch panels on his gf’s car, I saw him do that and the fire was started. Now after 40 some years I am pretty fair at it, and still learning
Something I did a few years back after they called from the glass shop with news after they removed my windshield. Luckily, I had a donor vehicle which I used to replace the rusted out stuff. It was actually a little complicated as it involved three pcs all coming together. In the end the repair was practically invisible which for me was a major accomplishment as I'm not a body guy by any stretch.
A couple more. Donor parts.
Tacking it together...
I do a fair amount of MIG and oxyacetylene welding at work on thicker stuff. Not enough to be pretty, but enough to know how to get things clean, square, and structurally sound. I'm still educatting myself with autobody welding, and I have a LOT ahead of me with both of my cars. I'm on the brink of getting into the body of my 54' chevy. I've done a little mig work on loose pieces and have had a 50/50 sucess rate between getting a good weld and chasing blow-outs. I did a little oxy acetylene with steel rod on a door a little while back with the same success, but grabbed the wrong rod while my goggles were on and now theres a brass streak along the bottom.
(Quick question about that) I've read mostly to avoid brass brazing on autobody stuff because the paint peals, but those of you that have had success, was it because you ground/blasted the flux off afterwards? Can I save my weld job or will I have to cut it out?
I'm planning on buying a little 110v MIG welder so I can tote it about the car easier. Our main welding gear is a big set-up and the 220v connection isn't near the door. So unless I run a big extension cord, I can't do the main body with our rig. A little welder would help with that. We do have a small 220v TIG set-up that I need to learn to use though. The better results would be worth dealing with the extension cord....
I'd say better than 3/4 of the problem areas on my body I can fix with off-the-shelf patch panels. The rest will be a mix of custom pieces, and filling in small holes. My first goal is to sandblast everything inside and out and put a protective coat of primer on it so I can see the REAL extent of the rust and stop it from progressing. If I left it in bare metal in our area it would rust overnight. The other challenge is that I don't have a roof over the car right now, so I'm trying to figure out a lean-to or something to keep the rain off while things get sealed up.
On the plus side. I did some measuring last night and I'll have room in my garage at home to assemble the car when the time comes (simple pleasures)! It'll be a little tight, but it'll be doable. With my HOA however, I don't think I can get away with welding and painting in the driveway. That'll have to happen down the road at work.
Lucky, yes, but we did not go looking for a rust bucket or something that would take years to do correctly, in a ground-up build. We wanted something that was going to be a streel legal car with some work to be done. It was not going to be a “rusty bucket, barn find” with missing parts, for our first hot rod build.
When we went looking for our first build for a hot rod, it was in our Westside neighborhood. The whole area had somewhat large, deep yards, some had small garages with huge yards and others a double car garage with smaller yards. These were post war built homes in a fairly inexpensive area. It might be that the neighborhood bordered on the industrial businesses to the South and West, with the LB Freeway and LA River on the East.
The homeowners were fairly middle age and most had two cars. But, some had a third car sitting in the yard, overgrown with weeds or covered with a canvas tarp. In the time period between 1957 and 1961, a 1929 Model A, two 40 Willys Coupes were found within several blocks of each other. The Model A was in the worst condition, but only had very, mild rust. The two 40 Willys coupes were pretty nice and only needed sanding for the base primer coat. The chrome was very good, too.
The Model A, was our first experience with a used, dusty, somewhat rusty (surface paint) and rusty bumpers/brackets. It might have been because the weeds and scrub brushes were touching the surfaces and the canvas was not draped over the whole car. The bumpers were exposed when we first saw it. That is how we knew it was an old Model A coupe.
The lady with the Willys had taken better care with the whole car enveloped with a huge canvas covering, but around the coupe were mid-door high weeds. The Model A needed a lot of sanding and with a few dents in the rounded fenders, body work was going to be needed. We started to do some sanding to get the black paint off and get it ready for dent repair. It certainly looked like a rough road ahead.
We had seen those wandering, roving, neighborhood guys drive by asking people (out in front of their houses) if they needed body or fender work. The guys usually had a rounded tool, a couple of different hammers, and a block that looked like a palm size smooth rock. I did watch them repair a softball size dent in a door panel of a neighbor’s Chevy sedan. It did not damage the paint and looked new when finished. (All done with simple tools.)
That got my brother wondering if they could do the whole Model A’s dents and scratches. The guys estimated that they could do the Model A, but the cost was way above our savings, so we declined. Another lower offer was made and again, lack of extra money was the key to the refusal.
So, as they drove away, we got back to the basic sanding, before deciding what was going to be the next step. By the end of the first day, my brother was finished with the sanding and said that he will save up money for those guys to fix the bigger dents. It was something we both did not like doing. It was dusty, made us cough and was very tiring.
The Model A met its fate within days as my brother sold his 1951 Olds Sedan to a friend and needed a new car for daily usage. The running Ford Model A got sold quickly and he used the sale of both to purchase a new 1958 348 Chevy Impala.
The Willys coupe body and fenders were in excellent shape to begin with, being protected from the elements. No dents, scratches or ill-fitting doors/trunk/hood. But, we did have to get the original faded paint sanded for the coat(s) of primer coming up next.
That was about the most body work we did on the Willys coupe. A year later, the pristine body and fenders were left inside of a scrap yard after our dragstrip encounter with a high revving, exploding clutch. I am sure it was much to the dismay of hot rod purists everywhere. What??? Got rid of pristine body, fenders, doors, hood, and a trunk lid?
Our friend, building his version of a 1940 Willys B/Gas Coupe said that despite the pristine nature of our Willys body, fenders, hood, etc. that Willys had bad “JUJU” after the accident and it should go to Willys heaven. Actually, it was probably the most famous local scrap yard, Cook’s Auto Wrecking in Wilmington.
Like most here, and being a Wisconsinite started out in 60's patching up 50's car because they were rust buckets already but I immediately figured it out to spend a little more for a better car, I do not like rust repair, mechanical work I enjoyed, rust repair not my cup of tea I never developed the skills that many here have and respect the time effort involved to bring a rusted POS back from the dead/junkyard. I have had several Trucks/Suvs through the years that I sold or traded off because of rust, still good vehicles, just rusting. I remember the 70's/80's GM products came pre rusted IMO as they turned to shit in 5 years or so. You can have a nice survivor car here as I have an 89 OT ragtop we purchased new it's Never been on road in winter, stored properly, Nice survivor car, joked about creating my own classic when purchased and am very surprised how fast that 30 years went buy.
I have brazed several patches to avoid excessive heat. Ground to brass afterward, treated with acid, primed then sealed... no paint bubbling or peeling. All about prep.
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