View Full Version : How do you fix this panel?
03-20-2004, 09:28 AM
Time to get started banging some metal on my truck project.
I think this fender will be a good place to start.
Obviously I need to remove it but I thought that taking the pictures while its on the truck would help.
The top right corner has the biggest share of the problems. I poked around with an awl to find how far the rot went and it seems pretty localized to what can be seen. I'm sure that will change a bit when it is stripped but it doesn't really seem to have spread to far. I'm not sure how the damage was done but the top line of the fender is pulled down from the hood and the edge that meets the door has pulled forward.
The top right corner has also pulled outward away from the cowl.http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3269/40MVC-008F-med.JPG
It appears to me that there is a lot going on in this area with regard to shape. There is an outward curve to both the verticle line in front of the door and the horizontal line where it meets the hood. Also, very close to this area is where the bulge starts that is the actual part that covers the tire.
So never having done this, whats the best way to proceed?
I'm thinking that a trip to a place like Redi Strip would be a good idea to be sure all the rust is gone. Then I guess its time to start straightening and making a patch.
Any help/guidance will be appreciated.
03-20-2004, 10:07 AM
Just Curious.....DO you have a picture of the whole truck? Looks like a cool project.
03-20-2004, 10:13 AM
You did the right thing by taking photos of the damage before you removed the fender or started the job. This gives everyone a good view of what the problem is and more important how it was caused.
All of the damage looks repairable without having to replace any metal. The first step will be to remove the fender and then send it off to Redistrip. If you document the whole process in pictures this will make a very good series.
Tools that you'll need are a shrinking disc, a post dolly ( preferable) , dollys, a slapper, and a body hammer.
You might need a torch to heat up the bolts to remove the fender.
It looks like the truck had a light hit on the left front that telescoped back to the rear corner causing the kink.
03-20-2004, 10:15 AM
Looking at the amount of rot a patch panel is needed.
How is the fender on the other side? If it is flat you should make a flexible pattern of the corner on the good fender, flip it inside out and make a new corner patch panel. If the other side is as bad, straighten out the fender with a slapper etc, bondo up the corner then make a flexible shape pattern to make your patch panel.
Don't sand blast this panel for cleaning, you are better off using some 80 grit or go with a paint remover.
03-20-2004, 10:17 AM
All of the damage looks repairable without having to replace any metal.
Wray, what about the rot? Isn't a patch panel neded for there? How is the rot fixed without new metal?
03-20-2004, 01:59 PM
I have a couple of questions about some of the buckles (mainly in front of the cowl) on the fender. Are they part of some old damage or is there damage that hasn't been fixed?
If it is old damage, it looks like the the fender was just pulled around to try to line up the hood. You might try to relieve some of the buckles on the truck before taking it apart.
If it is new damage, align everything before taking the fender off. It will make putting it back together a lot easier.
03-20-2004, 02:32 PM
Thanks to all who responded.
I will try to answer them in order.
Rik: If you go my gallery there is a picture of the whole truck.
Wray: In the pictures of the truck I saw before I bought it I believe the dent in the front corner of the fender was much deeper. I think someone tried to do me a favor and pound it out a bit. The trouble is I think they may have stretched the metal even more by beating on it. Guess I will have to get some tools. I don't have any of the ones you mentioned. I'm curious (as is Paul) about not having to replace any metal. I will be more than happy to document the process and post it all here.
Paul: I will be able to make a flexible shape pattern if it is required.
If you look in my gallery there is a picture of my 2 1/2 ton Stude (the mud brown one). The cabs are identical as are the fenders where they meet the cab. The only difference is the larger wheel opening for the big tires.
Don't worry, no sand blasting will be done on the sheetmetal. I know that it can be done but I have seen what damage can be done by someone who doesn't know what he is doing.
Larry: What you see is what was there when I bought the truck. I have no history on how the damage was done. I suspect that what Wray said about it being it being hit in the front corner is true but I don't know. The problem is that nothing really lines up. The hood rubs on the fenders on both sides and sits well below the top of the fender on the front left. The hood also rubs the cowl a bit right in the back. The doors also don't open and shut properly. I don't believe that this is all due to damage as much as old age. The hood hinges are worn as are the pins in the door hinges which lets everything sag and shift. I suspect that this is going to be a project that will have to be put together and taken apart many times to get it to fit right. Thats really not a problem because its coming down to a bare frame anyway.
03-20-2004, 03:06 PM
I don't see any rotted holes just surface rust. It looks to be OK to me.
The proof will be when Neal gets it back from Redistrip. It might be Swiss cheese then. :D
Neal: A front view picture would help. A couple would better. :D
When taking pictures always try to show a overall view and a localized view from several angles.
03-20-2004, 03:09 PM
Opps, I took a closer look, yep it looks like the Tin Worm ( my silent business partner)won the battle on the rear edge damage. I didn't see it at first. :oops: :oops:
Neal, it looks like you better plan on some welded in patches.
03-20-2004, 08:04 PM
Just curious by why do you recommend not sandblasting? I have done and have seen many panels blasted before with no distortion, especially on these old trucks. I bet the metals at least 18 gauge.
03-20-2004, 08:30 PM
A lot of areas can be sandblasted with no problems,any flat or low crown areas can warp.Sandblasting also leaves a rough surface and I usually sand these areas with about 100 grit paper on a DA sander before priming.For heavily rusted spots,I think sandblasting is still one of the best and fastest ways to get rid of rust.Just my thoughts,Greg
03-20-2004, 09:51 PM
I agree with Greg sandblasting is OK in this situation ( the fender must be off the truck). If there is a chance for sand to get trapped, then forget it dipping is better.
Dipping with a akaline solution like Redi Strip uses is the best .
The panels come back super clean and will stay rust free for years with no coating on them.
Sandblasting will bite you if sand gets trapped and if the pressure is too high on low crown areas it will wave the metal.
I have seen cars that had no body damage ruined by thoughtless sandblasting. If rust is not present, use a heavy body paint remover to remove the paint. Small rust spots can be removed by naval jelly.
BRENT in 10-uh-C
03-20-2004, 11:13 PM
Wray has it right, BUT I wonder if he even has a Redi-strip facility near him? For me, it is getting a little out of hand. I have a 1930 Coupe body going to Carolina Chem Strip next week. It will cost $1K for just the body shell, and then $100 for each additional panel (2 doors, a gas tank, a deck lid, a hood, and 4 fenders. At about $1900 plus freighting it 150 miles to Greensboro area, then 150 miles back home --then 150 miles back to get it a week later. Sure does make sandblasting seem more of a solution than a problem.
Personally, I think I would also use some heavy-duty paint remover on both sides and try to strip the paint first. I use a really fine sand with fairly low tip pressure (around 45-50 lbs). This keeps heat build-up down but it does clean it to "white" metal. Fine sand will be a bit slower cutting that what a heavier, more course sand would be, but again you want to protect what you have. I use a watered down diluted mixture of Phosphoric acid to do the final killing of the rust deep down in the pores.
03-20-2004, 11:20 PM
What I would do is align all of the front end sheet metal before pulling it apart. While the fenders are still on the truck, they will be easy to rough out.
The first thing that you would want to do is align the hood to the cowl. Make sure that there is an even gap along the back edge of the hood and the cowl. There should be bolts holding the radiator support to the frame on each side (also going through a rubber pads/mounts). Remove these bolts, which will allow the front end to be moved. Based on the picture, it looks like the front end is pulled to the right side of the truck. I would put a jack against the frame and push the front end to the left, then you would be able to work out the buckle in the fender.
After aligning the front end, and you can't put the bolts back in the radiator support holes. There might be other things going on, the frame could be diamonded and/or the cab could have slipped on its mounts. These things should be evident after the truck is completely dismantled, then you can check the frame for being square.
If you have any other questions or are looking for ideas, contact me off list and we can exchange phone numbers. Body and frame work is difficult via email. :D
03-21-2004, 06:33 AM
Good morning to all.
I posted some additional pictures in my gallery. I thought that adding them to the forum would make it to long but if people would rather see them here I can put them in.
Thanks for the suggestions Larry. I will email you. I didn't see the misalignment you saw (guess thats why I'm a beginner) so I will have to go study it a bit. I have a spare frame that I will be using to build the truck on. Its another 49 Studebaker but its a late 49 and they made a change that makes putting the V8 in much easier. Also the frame that is in the truck now has been hacked up by a previous owner. My plan is to clean up the spare frame and get it ready and then transfer the truck piece by piece to the new frame. The new frame will be boxed and will have to have work on the crossmembers to accomidate the GM 700R4 behind the Studebaker 289 engine. It will also get a Ford nine inch rear.
On this whole topic of sandblasting vs chemical stripping. I don't know of anyone in my area who has experience with sand blasting body panels. I do know of a guy who had a hood, trunk and two doors ruined by trusting someone locallly who said "no problem". On the hood you can see the outline of the braces from the top side. There are two redi strip places around here. both about a little over an hour away. Randy has used the one in Evansville and seems happy with their work. For now I think I will stick with them. If I manage to find someone who has a lot of experience with this type of sandblasting I would give them a try also.
I have been reading with great interest the discussion on MIG welding sheetmetal since I know I'm going to get my chance.
03-21-2004, 07:54 AM
Maybe this is not the right place for this topic,seems to have changed from fixing panel to stripping panel,but does anyone know what chemicals places like redi-strip use? Up here in the great white north I have no stripping place close to me (paint stripping that is :) .I have often thought about setting up a small tank to at least do parts.Anyone know what is involved or costs of chemicals?Greg
03-21-2004, 10:08 AM
I had a friend once tell me to try vinegar, and soak my parts in it. When I first tried it, I started out with a gallon can with some vinegar in it. Everyone that I've told, has generally laughed. But it does work. I have had a plastic foot locker (it is about 18"x33"x 24" deep, with a lid) that I picked up at Target. I have used method for about ten years it my shop. Soak that parts for a few days, up to a week (depending how badly rusted they are), and pull them out and hose them off. Thats are there is to do. After this you could use your favorite treatment for bare metal.
If you are going to try it, start with some small parts in a small container. Go to a larger container it you like the results.
I have also heard that molasses will work, but I haven't tried it.
Remember, your mileage may vary.
While this topic seems to have drifted to stripping panels/paint - I have a vat (empty 25/30 gal grease/lube barrel) which contains a 1:2 ratio of commercial oven cleaner and water respectively.
Since the water evaporates you may have to add water occasionally to maintain the fluid level but it gets stronger with age(evaporation.).
It works great at removing grease and if the parts are left to soak, most paints rinse off or require very little encouragement to brush off.
HOWEVER, aluminum parts or panels will dissolve, if left in the solution too long (YMMV) - AND, don't ever put this solution in a parts washer/cleaner if it has a submerged pump with an aluminum housing or impeller.. :oops: :wink:
03-21-2004, 08:19 PM
Here's a paint stripping recipe I found on the net. I haven't tryed it yet but it may be something to consider.
In about 5 quarts of water add and stir in about one cup of corn starch. This is the ingredient that makes it stick to the surface of what you are stripping. Add to this mixture stirring as you add one full can of RED DEVIL LYE. The lye can be found in the laundry or drain cleaner section of your local grocery store and cost about 3 dollars for a can.
It works like magic. Just paint it on with a small mop or a big paint brush and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and then rinse off with water under pressure. Either from the hydrant or a pressure washer. Both will work.
It may take a few applications according to how many coats of paint you are trying to get off but you can take it to the metal and not have to sand anything. You can paint directly on the bare metal. It will adhere better than if you prime it with Lacquer.
11-25-2004, 09:43 PM
The type of damage and alinement of the fender and hood and cowl can be caused by the front cab mounts rusting out and sagging. The front of the cab drops down but the front of the fender is still supported up buy the rad support and the give point is in the area where your damage is on the back of the fender. Just a possible of the many things that can be.
11-26-2004, 01:49 PM
Find something new every day! If Hugh had not posted I might not have seen this thread. Thanks Hugh.
Neil, I would like to see how you are coming along with your project, I have a 56 pickup project that I have not gotten around to yet. I would love to see what you do to yours.
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