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Old 01-30-2006, 04:06 PM
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Default '40 Willys Coupe Restoration Project - by Randy Ferguson

Librarians Note: I am compiling this documentary, putting together the pertenant posts from a thread that Randy Ferguson submitted to document the restoration of a 1940 Willys Coupe that he was doing for a customer. I have included quotes and dialog that improves the flow of the documentary. You can see the complete thread here:

I have made a few editorial changes for the sake of continuity and clarity, and would appreciate any feedback on the content that might be out of whack.

Rick Tucker
MetalMeet Librarian

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Old 01-30-2006, 04:26 PM
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Default '40 Willys Coupe Restoration Project - by Randy Ferguson

Original content provided by Randy Ferguson - AKA Randy Ferguson

Hey guys,

Those of you who attended MetalMeet '04, or have been to my shop probably remember the old crapped out pile of scrap sitting in the far south end of the shop. I'm nearing completion of the metalwork and thought I might update y'all
on the progress. I'll try to put more of a story together later.

Originally Posted by Wray Schelin
Hi Randy,

You should let everyone know that the rear fenders are brand new as are the three sections of the rear tail and the left half of the roof. Any other panels totally new ?

I think everyone should also know at the first group get together in George King's shop in Huntsville five years ago, Randy walked up to me and asked me to teach him how to shape sheetmetal . I think I owe Randy a PHD certificate now. <grin>

I think it is obvious that Randy has become one of the finest sheetmetal shapers practicing today. If the pictures don't convince you the Willys should be available for inspection at MM05.

Everyone should also know that Randy doesn't have a Yoder or a Pullmax, just a beater bag a few tucking tools and two e-wheels. Randy's 12 year old son Ryan banged out most of the rear fenders shape and did the initial wheeling. Randy finished them to perfection.

Randy's Willys job points out the fact you don't need an endless list of tools to do some of the finest sheetmetal shaping possible. All you need are good eyes, a good sense of feel, and knowledge of the few rules of shaping sheetmetal. Most important you also must be patient, sheetmetal shaping is not pushing a button and expecting results .
Well Wray, Don't get too far ahead of me!!!

In the Beginning

This ragged out old junker was delivered to my shop Oct 2, '04. These pictures do nothing for telling just how bad this car was. It's by far the worst body I've messed with in the nearly 20 years I've been doing body work. I'll do my best to explain the process as I go along. Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you have them. It helps us all to learn!

This is how it was delivered to the shop. The doors were tack welded shut just to hold the thing together somewhat. The rear fenders were absolutely shot! The right fender doesn't look that bad in the picture, but it's badly rusted, dented and fatigue cracked. It's literally held in place with baling wire!
The bolt flange was almost totally rusted away!! The original rear fenders were discarded and a new set built. As Wray has already mentioned, my 13 year old son, Ryan, did the majority of the work on the new rear fenders. We'll get to those in time!

The rear tail panel, as you can see by the picture is destroyed, as well as the lower rear quarter extensions. This was all replaced with new panels as well.

Here it is installed. Notice just above the decklid opening that the trunk pan is rotted away. That's it for tonight. Next time we'll get to those rear fenders.

Originally Posted by Tisdelski
hi randy, there wasn`t enough of that tailpan left to get a good form off of. could you explain how you make templates off a car that far gone ? thanks gary
Hi Gary,

In this case, the owner had bought the tail pan from another source several weeks before he had contacted me to do the work. Those panels were so far off, that I used them to get close, then re-shaped them to get where we needed to be. The quarter extension pieces had WAY too much crown and the flanges were crooked, whereas the tail pan was too flat and had to have the lower flange shrunk to increase the crown in it. Having another car to look at was a big help. I did the metalwork on a '38 Willys Coupe back in Feb-April, and having both cars in the shop allowed us to gain lots of info.

Otherwise, I would have had to find another car to make patterns from, make a true surface template using body filler over the existing panel, or possibly even having to make a wireform buck and true surfacing it to gain all the information possible to make the part.

Attaining all the info possible always makes the job easier. By having the '38 in the shop, even though the tail pan on it needed repaced as well, it was in good enough shape to gather that needed info to make this one correct.

Moving on to the Rear Fenders

As promised in the last installment, I'll cover the build of the rear fenders. This phase of the project actually took place near the end of the build, but since we started with the tail pan and it was already mentioned that the rear fenders are new, we'll go ahead and cover this now.

Keep in mind that my 13 year old son, Ryan, did the majority of the work on these fenders. I only did the final fit and finesse.

The rear fenders that was delivered with this car was too far gone to use as a pattern of any kind. We were able to get a pair of fenders from another car to take flexible shape patterns from, and to make a good set of wireform/bondo bucks.

Here's a picture of the wireform, before adding the bondo to complete the buck. Later you will see the completed buck as the panels are fit to it.

The next several pictures show Ryan pounding away on the beater bag.
The flexible shape patterns are a little tough to read for a first timer, working on a high crown panel. It would have been easy for Ryan to have gotten discouraged early on, but I kept reassuring him that this is not a fast, easy process and that I could only do it faster because I swing the hammer harder. He asked about 3 or 4 times what to look for when fitting the panel to the shape pattern, but this was before it was really close enough to get a decent read on it. Once he had gotten enough shape in the panel that the shape pattern began to fit, he fully understood what we were trying to accomplish and just did it!! I had to help him along the way with some tuck shrinking, but he got the initial shape in the fender and actually got the panel fitting the shape pattern very well. I was actually surprised at how quickly he learned the process.

After a little wheeling and fine tuning to the shape pattern. Here are the results.

Would you believe he didn't get his fingers in the wheel once!!!! Even Jesse hasn't figured out how to avoid that!!!

After just a bit of finesse and re-arrangement of the panel, it fits nice on the buck.

To accomodate the big rear tires and to fit in with the '60's gasser look, we didn't have to make it full size. This is evidenced by the lack of material to cover the entire buck. If we were making original fenders, this material would not have been cut away.

I didn't get a picture of the welding process, but here are the results.

Next we'll tackle the roof.

Randy & Ryan

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Old 01-30-2006, 06:09 PM
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Default The Roof

Taking on the Roof

OK, let's go ahead and get started on this roof, but first, we must remove the rust.

This is an easy, but somewhat time consuming task with naval jelly, 000 steel wool, and some good ol' elbow grease.

Let's start with a materials list. You will need a DA sander (any type will actually work, or you can sand by hand if you wish)
80-180 grit sandpaper, steel wool (any grade will work), Naval Jelly, a squirt bottle w/warm soapy water and a roll of paper towels.

The first step is to sand the entire surface rusted area with a DA sander fitted with 80-180 grit paper. We're not trying to sand off the rust entirely, just get the majority of the heavy rust and make the panel somewhat smooth.

Working in an area about 12"-16" square, apply a fair amount of naval jelly and start scrubbing with the steel wool. It's wise to wear rubber gloves, as the phosphoric acid in the naval jelly may affect your skin!!
It is important to keep the area wet at all times. Do not allow the naval jelly to dry. A few shots of water from the squirt bottle will help to activate the acid and may aid in quicker results. Depending on the severity of the rust, you should start seeing shiny metal within a few minutes. You may have to rinse the area and re-apply the naval jelly several times to get it all, but it WILL remove the rust eventually. When you're finished working an area or you need a break, wipe off the excess naval jelly with a paper towel, squirt a health dose of the warm soapy water on the work area and immediately dry it thoroughly. This will neutralize the acid and leave a bluish colored film on the metal.

I did this 16"x16" area in about 15 minutes. More extreme rust would have taken longer, but the end result would have been the same.

Repeating this process over and over in workable size areas will yield a rust free panel that is ready for a good coat of epoxy primer that will last years, with just a few hours of good old hard work!!!

This '40 Willys roof panel has more than 90% of the rust removed. One more application will get it. I have a little under three hours in it to this point.

The last picture was taken just after wiping the panel with a wax and grease remover. I did this to clean it up and also to help highlight the dents. If you look closely, you will notice several half moon shaped creases in the roof. This all gets repaired in the next step.

Repairing the Roof Panel

Hi Folks,

I hope to write several tutorials on the rebuild of this '40 Willys coupe.
I was contacted by the owner to build this one, after another gentleman had started on it, deciding it was more than he was willing or able to handle.
In speaking with him, he convinced me that there is a need for '37-'42 Willys replacement panels, so he has agreed to give me extra time for the build to allow me the needed time to build patterns, bucks and forms for offering a complete line of replacement panels for these coupes.
In this tutorial, we'll be dealing with the issues of replacing obsolete sheetmetal in an area with lots of detail.
The original roof sustained a hard hit sometime in it's past and was previously 'repaired' with about a 3/4" thickness of lead.
This area is impossible to get to from the backside, so repairing it is a near impossibility.
The heat of all the previous work and tons of hammering from the inside of the roof panel with a pick hammer had eliminated any chance of saving this one. The metal was ground so thin that it literally had holes ground through it in several spots where the pick hammer had been used. If you look closely in the photo, you can see a couple of the holes and also notice the thickness of the lead. I melted a section of it out so it would be apparent how thick it is. There is supposed to be a reverse curve in this area, but due to the severity of the damage, it was just filled completely with lead.

The damage runs from about two inches below the top of the windshield, across the entire top of the door and down to the beltline, including most of the sail panel, which is where the holes are left from heavy grinding.

In order to make a new panel for this section, I had to rely on the information from the right side of the roof to provide usable patterns for the damaged left side. In order to gather this information, a flexible shape pattern was made, comprised of sign makers transfer tape and reinforced strapping/shipping tape.

This is the best method available for copying existing shapes, as all pertinent information is captured, and it can be used as a road map to guide in the shaping of the new panel.
In addition to the shape pattern, I also indexed it, and made corresponding contour gages to make sure the final arrangement is correct. These will not be used until the flexible shape pattern fits tightly to the new panel, insuring that the proper amount of stretch and shrink has been introduced properly. If the shape patterns has areas that fit either tight or loose, this tells us that there are areas that still need to be stretched or shrunk. Properly indexing the shape pattern will insure that it's placed on the panel in the exact same location each time it's checked for fit. Areas in the shape pattern that are fitting loose, tells us that the metal needs to be stretched to fill this void, whereas areas that are tight, is an indication that there is to much material present in that particular area and it either needs to be shrunk, or the area around it is needing stretched. It's always best to slowly bring up the low spots (loose areas in the pattern) rather than resorting to shrinking high spots. This a slow, meticulous process, but the results are amazing!
Once the flexible shape pattern is fitting the panel, the contour gages are used to make sure it is in the proper arrangement (form)
Without a buck to clamp the panel to, this is all we have to go by to get the final arrangement correct. It will take some manipulation by hand to get this final arrangement, but the panel will want to go, simply because the proper amounts of stretch and shrink has been placed in the proper areas.
This part of sheet metal shaping take some experience to understand, but once it's learned, it makes duplicating panels much easier than any other method, short of building a buck.
I'll add photos of the contour gages later, as I failed to get a picture of them.

I made the decision to make this panel in two pieces. I split it in an area that requires the least amount of shaping. This not only makes it easier and faster to shape, but also maintains maximum thickness of the material, which in this case is 19ga. cold rolled steel.

Here, the panels are shaped and ready to be welded.

And here is a shot after welding and planishing the weld seam.

It's obvious that the edges need trimmed and the flanges tipped, but the initial shape is there and now we can focus on tipping the edges to form the flanges for the door jamb and windshield opening.
Creating the joggle to conform to the top edge of the door is a painstaking process, but one that has to be done, so you just have to be very patient and get it right in order to look good.

Here a few shots of the new roof section ready to be welded in.

The inner structure was shoved in about 3/4"-1" along the top of the door opening. Getting that straight was also a challenge!! Jerry Kennedy and Doug Hawkins both got to help with that!! Once that measured out correctly, thanks to measurements given to me by another Willys owner (oldwillysgasser), we were ready to start replacing sheet metal.

To aid in getting the panel in the right spot. The centerline of the roof was marked and careful measurements taken from the center line to the edge of the shape pattern. The shape pattern was then flipped and the measurements duplicated on the opposite side.

Here's a couple shots of the section cut out, just prior to trimming for final fit.

I installed this panel with a combination of MIG and TIG welding, but was in too much of a hurry to get it done to take pics of the process. It's completely butt welded and metalfinished, but that's all been covered before anyway, so here are the pictures of the finished panel.

YIKES! I'm glad I didn't have to re-write all that!!!
Perhaps we'll work on the doors next time.

Removing the remaining Dents from the Roof

I'm a bit lazy tonight, so I'm mostly copying posts I've written previously. The next one is quite lengthy, but is full of great information. Much of it is copied from what our own Wray Schelin has posted on the Jaguar forum several years ago.

The '40 Willys I'm currently working on has about 90 percent of the roof covered with dents. Not small dents, like hail damage, etc., but big ol' nasty lookin' things. I'm going to use the text that Wray Schelin wrote a few years ago on the jaglovers list and add a few pictures to it. Wray covered the subject very well, so no reason to re-write it.

Tools for Removing Dents
By Wray E. Schelin

How smooth are your stripped body panels? That is the question you need to know before you advance to the primer stage. If they're not smooth you can fill them with bondo and heavy primer- but if you do so you run a high risk of a early paint failure and all your work will be in vain- or you can smooth them by accurately working the panel back to a smooth condition. If you rub your hand over the metal and feel low spots or high spots, you can be sure that they will show . Before you get your spray gun out you should be able to rub a panel in any direction and feel nothing but smoothness.

If you choose smoothing instead of filling, I'll share with you the technique that I use and some of the tools needed.

First the tools:

All body tools should have smooth working surfaces; hammers, slappers, and dollys are like printing presses, they will transfer the imperfections on their working faces to the metal over an over. Its best to take the time and smooth your tools first , because any imperfection transferred to the panel can make itself known later in the topcoats,as a paint shrinkage depression.

The higher quality body tools are made of heat treatable steel. You should have at least one hard hammer and one hard dolly- for hammering welds. The reason for this is the welds are harder than the surrounding metal and if you flatten them with a non hard hammer you will mark the hammer and then you will have to keep smoothing it. The working faces of hammers and slappers should have a very slight crown to them and the edges should be radiused. With the edges smooth and the center crowned slightly, you will not mark the panel if you inadvertently strike with the edge of the tool.

The slapper is the most important smoothing tool. You can make a slapper out of a old rear leaf spring. Car springs are harder than welds, so they will not mark up. My slapper has a working face of 2.250" by 5". The thickness is .250" and the unbent starting length is 14". You can also get a single spring leaf new from your local truck spring rebuilder. You can cut it to shape with a cutoff wheel or a torch, but cool it quick so you don't anneal it. I bent mine with an offset of 1.625" . The offset allows you to affix a wood handle and provides the clearance for your fingers. Heat with a torch to bend the offset and then narrow the handle end to a width of 1.375". The narrowed part is 5" long.

This slapper will smooth all body panels except for concave areas. For concave areas you will need to make a special slapper or use hammers. Once you start to use a slapper you will retire your hammer.

You will also need a few dollys. I found most of my dollies at flea markets for a few dollars each. Three or four dollies will be more than adequite to deal with all the different shapes and contours that you encounter . Each dolly usually has several different contours and crowns. As long as you have a straight edge , a low crown, medium crown, and a high crown you will be able to smooth any panel. Don't hesitate to alter the dolly to fit a need ,grind them with a body grinder, to rough shape then use a DA sander- with finer and finer sand papers- in rotary mode to achieve a fine polished finish.

Next you will need a body file and holder. The holders have a turn-buckle on them to allow you to flex the file to a concave, flat, or convex shape. The file that I use I was able to order from my local welding supplier. They are a dealer for a German company called Pferd. I got a Pferd catalog, an found that they offer a 12 tooth per inch body file , which is considered a fine cut body file. Most of the files that I had seen previously were 8 or 9 teeth per inch which are coarse body files. I like the fine file because I can use it on aluminum , steel, or body solder. When I use it on aluminum I load the teeth with a candle wax, this allows you to skate over the aluminum without digging in and making gouges. This type of file is 14 inches long and has cutting surfaces on each of its sides. On one side I grind the edges smooth in effect killing them so they do not dig in as you skate the file sideways. Pferd also sells the holders and a multitude of different style files and abrasives, all are of the highest quality available anywhere. Pferd has distribution centers all over the world.

In the USA:
Pferd Inc
30 Jytek Dr.
Leominster, MA 01453
Phone 508 840-6420

In Australia:
Pferd Australia (Pty) Ltd.
Moorabbin, Vic.
3189 8 Capella Cresent
(03) 5531946+5531933

You can also try your local welding supply house and they might have a catalog.

Another item I use is a large magic marker or felt marker. The ones that I use are called magnums and they mark a swath about 1/2" wide with a tenacious ink that dries very quickly. I like red ink the best.

A heavy duty 9" body grinder is the most expensive item needed. You can use a lighter duty 7" grinder but it won't work as well as the 9" in all cases.

Also a 9" 120 grit grinding disc. Grinding discs when they are new are very sharp when you run your finger over them , after grinding a heavy piece of steel for a few minutes you will dull the disc. This is how I prepare my discs, purposely dulling them to make them suitable for use.

Lastly you will need the Amazing Shrinking Disc. I mentioned this tool before in another post, it is a 9" disc of .050" stainless steel with some ruffles pressed into the outer working surface. This tool is most effective when used with the heavy duty 9" body grinder. I can't say enough about how good this simple tool works.
Wray now sells shrinking discs of his own design, such as the one pictured below. Call for more information.

In my next section I will explain the process that I use in conjunction with the earlier mentioned tools. For many years I haphazardly removed dents with a method which always left the panel in a improved state, but not perfect. I frankly didn't believe you could restore the damaged metal to a state were no filler other than primer would be necessary. Like most things once you master them they are quite simple, all you need is the determination and the correct method.


Wray E. Schelin
Removing Dents
by Wray Schelin

In the last post I described the tools necessary to completely remove
dents, waves, and dings in your body panels. In this post I will share with
you how I use the tools to achieve a panel smoothness that will require
very little or no bondo filler. It is best to keep your bondo use down for
two reasons. One,bondo use is not craftsmanship, its just a cheap
substitute. If your trying to achieve a high standard restoration- in my
opinion it is best to have the craftsmanship on more than just what you
see. The value of these cars is more than just the dollar amount. The
second reason is, if you keep your substrates (bondo fillers and primers)
to a very minimum and apply just enough topcoats you will have an ideal
thickness of paint coatings. With an ideal thickness your paint system will
be able to expand and contract with the steel and aluminum surfaces of your
cars body as it heats and cools. This correct thickness insures you against
an early paint failure. Coatings can fail for many other reasons, but too
much paint and filler I believe is the most common culprit.

The most surprizing thing about high quality metal finishing, is that is
not that difficult to do; but it does take patience, good eyesight, a fine
sense of touch, and the tools that I previously mentioned.

First what's fixable and what's not. If you have, say, a 120 front fender
that was severely damaged in a accident many years ago on its leading
surfaces, an was quickly repaired by sewing up tears with brazing rod,
crudely hammered out, ground very thin, and then filled with bondo, forget
it; in that case you are probably better served by replacing that heavily
damaged section. Another impossibility is an area that has been incorrectly
torch shrunk; what had started out as an earnest limited attempt,
inadvertently expanded to large area, leaving heat damage with heavy
intractable waves.

Fixable dents and damage, listed in a descending order of severity:

Bodged past repairs that are still fixable, because the metal has not been
ground too thin,

Collision damage with stretching and tearing,

Sandblasting with excessive pressure causing a wave effect,

Smoothing out the seam of a butt welded patch panel,

Small dents with little or no stretching,

I 'll share with you how I remove a small dent . An easy example will work
best, so lets say, its the rear fender of a XK120. The dent is in the
middle of the rear section of the fender, and its is about the size of your
fist, sunken in about 3/4" in the center. All paint and undercoating should
be removed first. I would first select a dolly that has a crown that is
close to the fender; in this case that would be a medium crown. Using a
glove to protect my fingers I would palm the dolly and lightly tap it
against the bump on the inside of the fender; carefully watching the
progress of the rising depression. I would use this process until I got the
dent up to within 1/8" of the surface. This will happen within minutes-
this is called roughing out the dent. Next I would hold the dolly tightly
against the center of the damage , on the backside, while I use the slapper
on the front, tapping the circumference of the dent. This is a dolly off
action, the slapper and dolly are not clashing with each other, they are
beside one another. I would keep tapping away with the slapper, moving the
dolly tightly with some force, against the lowest area of the dent. Slowly
the dent will rise to very close to the surface level. The slapper does
this operation very effectively because it has such a large surface area,
compared to a hammer. With a hammer you're hitting a smaller area and you
might dent the area you're hammering against because it will yield easier
than the center of the dent.

Roughing and slapping the dent has reduced the dent by about 90% and
progress was swift. The next stage of metal finishing requires the bag of
tricks and the tools. The problem that you encounter at this final stage
is, you have trouble seeing what you're doing because your actions have to
be small. When you were roughing you could easily see the metal move closer
to the surface; but now you might only have to move the metal forty
thousands of an inch or less to reach the true surface. At this stage a
common practice is to use a pick hammer. In my opinion a pick hammer has
many drawbacks: one- you need room to be able to swing it; and generally
the hammer itself might be 6" or more across the head. Two- it is very easy
to over hit with a pick hammer and cause irrepairable damage. Three- more
likely than not you will not be able to strike the low spot, instead you
will hit the high spot worsening the problem. The safest bet is to retire
your pick hammer. This verdict also applies to the bulls-eye gimmick tools
which use a C shaped frame to guide you to the elusive low spot. If you go
down the bulls-eye road you will find your garage populated with many
expensive sizes and versions absolutely needed to remove all those pesky
dents and dings. You will always be one bulls-eye tool short.

What I do at this stage is coat the damaged area entirely with the 1/2"
wide red magic marker ( thats a US trade name for those who might not be
familiar with them- there is no magic, its just a felt ink marker) Next I
draw the fine body file over the area, just lightly skimming the surface,
this will quickly reveal the high and low spots. The object now is to raise
the low spots. You can do this by placing a dolly with a high crown surface
tightly against the low spot. You will only be guessing at this point
unless you have x-ray vision . You find out where you really are with the
dolly by lightly slapping the surface, with the the slapper a few times,
trying deliberately to strike the dollies crown. If you are successful -
and you probably will be, because of the slappers large working surface-
you will hear the ring of the contact of the metals. Slide the slapper to
the side, but leave the dolly where it is. You should be able to see a 1/8"
diameter ( a 1/8" inch affected area will raise quickly with little force ,
the size of the mark made when you slap it determines the speed of the
metal rise. 1/8" is fast 1/2" is slow) clear spot, or slightly less inked,
in a region of the small low spot that you were raising. If you goofed and
hit a high area instead you should be able to see a difference there too.
Whether you were in the right area or not is not important, what is most
important, is establishing where you are and being able to adjust . Watch
the trail marks left in the inked surface and you can steer the dolly, on
the backside, easily to where it is needed. Slap lightly, slowly raising
the low spot. After a few minutes, refile the area and your progress will
become apparent.

You might have to wash off the marker ink ; re-ink, and refile several
times. Each working of the area will reduce the size of the low spots.
Remember that the filing is meant just to scrape off the ink and not to
reduce the thickness of the metal. The force and stroke of the slapper will
be less as you progress. When you have reduced the low areas to less than
1/2" in diameter, and when you rub your hand over the area you still
slightly feel them, you are ready to use the shrinking disc.

The condition of the metal at this point is stressed and springy as a
result of all the trauma inflicted on it. The original damage has been
raised but in the process the metal has been stretched a little. If you
applied bondo at this stage some of the bondo would surround the damaged
area, feathering in the new surface height.

With the marker ink still on, and a wet rag handy, crank up the body
grinder with the shrinking disc and rub the area. You vary the pressure
according to how much you need to shrink. On the first pass I usually apply
light pressure. The metal will quickly begin to rise and expand from the
heat build-up. Remove the disc and wipe the area with a wet rag. With that
operation you have started to shrink, stress relieve and further fine tune
the outline of the low spots. You can now re-mark with ink, file and
further tap out the low spots with the slapper and dolly. Some dents might
require several cycles, but as you hone your technique you should be able
to remove most dents in fewer cycles . At this stage an obvious high spot
might have developed. You can easily remove it by rubbing the shrinking
disc over it; it will heat to a blue condition in seconds, and then cool
with the wet rag. After I'm satisfied that I can no longer effectively
raise any remaining tiny low spots (depressions only a few thousands of an
inch deep). I then install the very dull 120 grit 9" grinding disc and
proceed to work the area with it. The grinding disc will level the area
leaving a almost polished surface, it will heat the area quickly also, so
cool it with a rag after you done grinding. If you have done everything
correctly you should have a very smooth surface , that is stress free and
in no need of bondo.

If you practice these techniques on some old , damaged, and unimportant
sheetmetal parts you will quickly hone your skill.

On some areas of the XK Jaguars it is almost impossible to get a
conventional dolly into the area; in those cases you have to be resourceful
and fashion something that will snake into the damaged area, it will be
effective as long as it resists the blows of the slapper causing the metal
to rise.
Here are a few shots of the progression from the severely dented roof, to one that will need no more than two medium coats of hi-build primer to fill any minor flaws.

In this next picture, it looks worse than it really is. In reality, the high spots need only slight shrinking to bring them down to the proper surface level. If I were to bring the entire area up to the point there were no low spots and all the marker were sanded off, it would take a considerable amount of shrinking to get the job done. As it is, the high spots are only a few thousandths of a inch high and lightly running the shrinking disc over the entire roof panel will quickly level it out.

This is the result after a couple passes over the roof with the shrinking disk. It's pretty good at this point, but there are 3 or 4 small areas that need a little work yet.

And here is the final product. If I had sanded it more, it would perhaps have shown better how straight and smooth this roof panel is, but I haven't got the time right now. The dark spots you see is where the shrinking disc run on the surface and discolored it a bit.

All total, I have just under 3 hours repairing the dents, which covered the majority of this roof. Having spent years smearing body filler, I know it can't be 'fixed' any faster going that route. In fact, I can guarantee I would have spent at least twice that long using filler and perhaps much longer!!!

Last edited by MetalMeet Librarian/Advertising; 01-30-2006 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:35 PM
MetalMeet Librarian/Advertising MetalMeet Librarian/Advertising is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 54
Default The Doors and Quarter Panels

Lets tackle the Doors

Well folks, let's go ahead and fix these doors, shall we!

I did an absolute horrible job of taking pictures when we were at this stage, as we were trying to keep up with the '40 and also had a '38 Willys Coupe with similar damage and a roof insert to build and install in a '30 Model A Tudor Sedan.

Much of the same process is applied, as far as removing dents and finishing welds.

When repairing doors, access to the door skin is limited, so you have to make provisions. In this case, we replaced the lower 5" of the door skins, and up to the hinge, about 3" from the edge on the right door.

We had to do some repair to the lower inner door shell too, but I failed to get pictures of this. Jerry Kennedy was helping me at the time and he made the door skin repair panels.

Here's the pictures of what we have. I'll dig deeper to see if I can come up with anything to add later, but I think this is all we have.

I suppose we might repair the quarter panels next.

Now, lets move on to the Quarter Panels

WOW! I can't believe it's taken 4 months to get back to this tutorial!

As promised, we'll get to the quarter panels next.

A weak point on these old Willys coupes is at the lower rear of the sail panel. Very rarely do you see one that hasn't at least bulged at this area, and most have done what this one has.

This was one of my first Tig welds, and I'll be the first to admit, it's pretty ugly! It was a little tedious trying to weld this, as it was impossible to get it all lined up at once. I just had to weld and short distance, realign, and continue the process several times.

After a little grinding and planishing, it starts looking a bit better.

And once it's completely planished and smoothed out, it looks somewhat presentable.

Another problem spot on these was the lower quarter, just ahead of the rear fender. They tend to like to rust in this area and this one is no exception. It's also gotten a little to close to something!

Time to make a patch, eh!?

Those long reach vise grips sure come in handy for panels like this! This panel is made in one piece, with the lower flange and the first operation of the door opening flange turned in the brake. The secondary bend in the door opening and the rear fender mounting flanges were tipped on the tipping wheel, since there was a slight radius to those bends. Of coarse it gets a butt welded seam with the good ol' Tig welder.

Here it is tacked into position.

After welding, planishing, etc.

That covers the right quarter. I'll try to find time over the week-end to get to the left quarter.
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:02 PM
MetalMeet Librarian/Advertising MetalMeet Librarian/Advertising is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 54
Default The next step

Librarians Note: Randy finished the project, and although it was originally going to go back the the customer in September of 2005, Randy was able to hold it over for a month to allow for a much appreciated "appearance" at MetalMeet 2005. The project was a huge hit, and it was the centerpiece for several Seminars hosted by Randy, which ended up with Randy having Bucks or Patterns of the entire body. Please take a look at the sections about the '40 Willys seminars in the MetalMeet 2005 Photo Essay here:

Rick Tucker
MetalMeet Librarian
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