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Projects Welding in patch panels question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by baspinall, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Ok so I feel like I'm at the stage where I can start to repair one of my rear quarter panels. This will be my first go at this and I really don't want to make things any worse than they are. The lower portion and the wheel well backing panel. My questions.
    1. On the lower panel I can't seem to get the old metal completely clean. In the picture you can see fine pitting and discoloration in the metal. Am I ok to butt welt to this on a fresh cut?
    2. On the wheel well. I don't know whether to cut out the whole thing and try and replace it all. Welding in the top inner seam. Its pretty rough at the very top edge and that scares me. I thing I will blow through that trying to weld to it. Or should I treat that some how and just replace the bottom 4 inches or so?
    3. On both of these panels - Do the bottom edges just fold over the sub rail and get tack welded to the sub rail?
    Thanks for any help or tips .......
     

    Attached Files:

    Vic Walter and kidcampbell71 like this.
  2. I like to sandblast the rust metal and get it clean before I do any welding, I would also cut all the metal out that is rusty, I assume the wheel well patches a full size correct? HRP
     
  3. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Yeah full size patch for wheel well
     
  4. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,813

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Question 3, that is correct, the bottom folds up and is tacked. The patch panels usually have a 90 degree bend on it, but they should wrap up against the backside.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

  5. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    So should I not try this unless I get these sandblasted in your guys opinion? I have a hobby siphon blaster i could try to shoot them a little at a time so not to warp anything. $$$ is tight of I'd have them dome professionally.
     
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,301

    squirrel
    Member

    a hobby siphon blaster isn't likely to warp anything...

    Maybe take some pics of the patch panels placed in front of the car, so we can see how much metal you have to work with. It's good to use as much solid original metal as possible, the key word being "solid".
     
  7. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,638

    raven
    Member

    Yes, clean the metal as much as possible. It will give you a clear idea as what all needs attention and a good ground welds better.
    When welding, go slow and work in different places as to not heat the metal too much in one area.
    r


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  8. do it yourself with the siphon blaster. Get it as clean as possible and go for it. As for the upper area with the heavy pitting, that stuff will literally vaporize when you try to weld to it. You will blow holes through it in a heart beat. I Like to trim the metal away to about an inch away from the heavy pits like that. By moving that far away fro the pits, you are more likely to get to good metal to work. The problem with doing it that way in your specific spot is that it makes the patch piece real complicated real fast, with the 90 degree turn and the fender curve as well. I would sand blast that area real well and see how much metal you have left. Then evaluate the patch situation. for Patches like that, that start to get real complicated, I like to get a piece of Styrofoam, and sand it to the shape I need, then take that and carry my cordless sawzall out to the pick a part and start looking at other cars to find something that looks like it would work for the shape I need. Then cut it out of what ever car it may be. I don't have all the fancy metal shaping tools so this is just how I have overcome spots like this.
     
  9. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,799

    6sally6
    Member

    Old metal looked clean enough (to me) to weld new stuff to...no problem.
    What are you using??....MIG...stick...TIG? Be sure and use a big enough "drop cord"..if you need one. I found out the hard way you loose voltage/heat with a long/too small cord. Welds really crappy...even if you're a pretty good welder. Just a FYI.
    I'm sure you know the tricks about using copper/brass plate as a backing strip when filling holes.
    Another plus is....the old stuff you are welding to is way thicker than the new sheet metal of modern cars.
    Remember "throw your heat"(angle the torch ) toward the thicker metal to prevent blow outs.
    Since body welding is NOT a structural weld don't worry about getting "full" penetration. Just stick it together and you'll be fine.
    It ain't like you will be leaving it outside....exposed to the wet weather, right?!
    Shucks.............I rarely wash mine with water, I just use lemon pledge on it!(but that's a different post)
    6sally6
     
    46international likes this.
  10. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,467

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I sure hope you are going to weld that B pillar to the subrail before the patch goes on.

    I think a grinder could clean the 1/4" of metal right next to your weld to make it clean enough. Especially for MIG (Not flux core, right? That stuff makes horrible welds). Make sure the body is all bolted together and ABSOLUTELY ALIGNED STRAIGHT. Even a couple small patch panels way down there will throw the rest of the body off if you weld them in crooked. Best to get the doors hung and gapped nicely before you weld the quarter patch on.
     
    tb33anda3rd and 66gmc like this.
  11. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,780

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    All good advise. I would get a bunch of scrap metal the same gauge as your patch panels and parent metal ( 19 gauge ) and practice until I was confident to proceed on my car.
     
    46international and Hombre like this.
  12. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Ok well reading some of these responses gives me pause. Here's the deal. I am truing to build this body on a piece of crap table. I leveled the subframe on the table. I then worked from the rear forward. The panel below the deck lid then quarters then B pillars temporarily sheet metal screwed to sub rail. I measured the width of the doors at the hinges and then tack welded bar stock to the A pillars. The doors will close but are not fitting perfect by any means.
    Why I went this route - I wanted to build it on the car frame originally. Kinda a catch 22 at that point. I can not lay the sub rails on the frame I have unless I remove about a 1 foot long section to span the axle and spring. So I changed plans and decided to build it on the table, get it braced and "then" chop out the areas of the sub frame and fab up "drawn picture" something along these lines.

    Squirrel - I added some picture of what I have patch wise.

    alchemy - I really wasn't going to weld the B pillars in yet? I'm sure when the body is on the car I will need to move things around a tiny bit for final alignment. I am using solid MIG .23.

    6sally6 - MIG .23 wire

    Nailhead - Yeah I think I will shoot it with the siphon blaster I have. If nothing else I will clean where any welding is to be done at least for now to see whats going on better. What you describe is exactly what I was afraid of. Starting to cut back to far and then having to start to fabricate pieces I am unable o do, basically getting in over my head. Exspecially the flat strip above that bad wheel well rusted area. Metal tools I have are very basic. Shrinker stretcher and a bead roller for the vise and a small Eastwood brake.
     

    Attached Files:

    Vic Walter likes this.
  13. You have about what I have metal working tool wise. dont be scared of it. If you want to try your had at fabbing a patch, try this. Instead of just cutting out what is rotted thru, make a template of what needs to be replaced. Then try making a patch that fits the template area. Dont cut anything out until you are happy with the patch you made or what ever you come up with to fill what needs to be cut out.
    Years ago I used to fix the pinholes that looked a lot like that in the window openings of 60s muscle cars with coat hangers and a torch, just brazing in the coat hanger material. Not saying it was the right way to do it, but it worked and I know some are still holding strong 20 years later. You can do it, skill sets for doing this stuff come from practice. Give it a go, you might surprise yourself.
     
  14. You are going about how to do the body right. This stuff is so old and abused, we have to restore it before we can cut it up to make a hot rod out of it and make it look good. I have built several model A bodies this way. Make sure you get everything level and square and most importantly that the doors fit and shut right. Trying to fix that after the fact is an enormous pain.
     
    ydopen, lothiandon1940 and Dino 64 like this.
  15. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 2,141

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    I agree with others regarding straightening body first and getting it blasted. If you can bolt it to the original frame, you’ll have a shot at getting the doors to align. I had to completely replace my wheel wells on my A coupe but I did the quarter panel first and the body was bolted to the chassis. That gave me a guide to get the wheel well panel to line up to. That pic of the quarter panel is not happy. Get a repo quarter panel and line it up the B pillar. That’s a start. No offense but just welding things on without working things out will be more work later. It’s surprising just how flexible those old bodies are.
     
    oj and lothiandon1940 like this.
  16. You can never get the metal too clean for the welding, also use as little of the patch panel that you need to use. The cleaner the metal the better the job will hold up in time. Patch panels usually are close but not quite, use as much original sheet metal as possible to ease the pain of re-shaping the patch panels. Always tack things in place and double check fitment and measurements before final welding. Much easier to cut a couple tacks if things aren't right. Go slow and good luck.
     
  17. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Dino64- " If you can bolt it to the original frame, you’ll have a shot at getting the doors to align." I can't bolt this to my frame until I modify the Sub rails to go over my axle. This is my whole catch 22. I know I should build this on the frame but I can't modify the sub rails correctly in my eyes until I get some structure mounted on the sub rails so when I cut out what I need to it the rear portion won't just fall off.
    They do not make repo rear quarters for these 29's.
     
  18. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Also, this body is from 5 different cars. None of these panels were from the same car originally.
     
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  19. Vic Walter
    Joined: Jan 21, 2018
    Posts: 98

    Vic Walter
    Member

    Fix any all body floor channels front to rear. Using the proper wood blocks, mount the body to a good frame. Adjust the doors and side panels. Then do the patch work.
     
    46international likes this.
  20. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    I can't mount it to the frame I have unless I cut up the sub rails
     
  21. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,694

    treb11
    Member

    aligning the body using the frame is the best route, but if you insist you can't, at least get a sheet of 3/4 or 1" plywood, set it down dead level in every direction and screw the subrails to it. then build the body up from there, using centerlines to stay true. the lack of rear subrails is really a non issue.
     
    IowaMercMan likes this.
  22. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Vic - "Why I went this route - I wanted to build it on the car frame originally. Kinda a catch 22 at that point. I can not lay the sub rails on the frame I have unless I remove about a 1 foot long section to span the axle and spring. So I changed plans and decided to build it on the table, get it braced and "then" chop out the areas of the sub frame and fab up "drawn picture" something along these lines.'
     
    Vic Walter likes this.
  23. use the whole wheel well patch. use the bolt holes for alignment. panel fits under the rear crossmember "ear" that wraps around from the back. any spots too thin to weld to, cut back after the wheel well is in and weld in patches.
    is the car getting rear fenders?
     
  24. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    No fenders tb33anda3rd
     
  25. Vic Walter
    Joined: Jan 21, 2018
    Posts: 98

    Vic Walter
    Member


    I understand where you are coming from. I had to deal with similar rear frame kick up. But you are in a better place as your roof and windshield header are not yet attached. I worked my car front to rear, but do what works for you. If your floor is in good condition and holding the rear of the body in proper position, weld in some temporary bracing and trim the floor away and bolt it to your frame. Check and adjust the door and side panel fit, move the temporary supports around to make it right. Then fab in the custom floor kickup. Slowly remove the temp bracing to make sure the new floor is holding on it's own. Then work on the patches. The floors in these cars is a major factor in them holding properly together.
    See my post on the floor work I had to do....https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/vics-coupe-rebuild.1103406/
     
  26. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,467

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just last week I was reading a thread by a guy who bought a 36 5-window and wondered why his doors didn't fit when he tried to bolt it to the frame. The car had patches, a chop job, and the doors suicided. He said there was no evidence the body was braced when all this work was done.

    If you can't find a regular stock frame to do your alignment and reconstruction, you might be in the same boat. Good luck.
     
  27. baspinall
    Joined: Dec 8, 2009
    Posts: 450

    baspinall
    Member
    from SE PA

    Vic your picture just gave me an idea. I can do what you did and weld a structural piece of flat steel to the "outside edge" of my sub rail then chop out what is needed to get it on the frame, then work from there. I swear I sit and stare at this damn car for hours and seem to get brain lock. I'm a visual person.

    Alchemy - I see and totally understand where your coming from. I am new to this at 56. I will follow my fellow HAMBer's advise and get this on the frame BEFORE I start welding in panels.
    In a perfect world I would love to have some one actually look at this thing that's been there done that but hey who's world is perfect.
     
    Vic Walter likes this.
  28. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 2,141

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    So are you planning on using a 32 frame ? Otherwise you don’t need the kick , do you ?
    Getting things to line up even bolted to a chassis is a challenge.
    Are you try to do this ?....,,[​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  29. Your lucky, that body looks to be in very nice shape. I think your weld areas are clean enough I would not grind on them any more, they will just get thinner and make it harder to weld. Blasting would be ok but I think you are good to go. The BEST thing I read here is the idea to practice practice practice. It sounds like you have not done this before and it is not easy to weld sheet metal but before long you will get the hang of it. When you weld, just hit it with small spot welds cooling the area before moving to the next spot, this will keep the warping down. skip from one side of the patch to the other untill the whole thing is welded in. Take your time and you will be fine just practice some first.
     
  30. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,281

    oj
    Member

    If you're from SE PA you might not be all that far from Dino 64, might be worth the drive.
     

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