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Old 04-09-2013, 09:01 AM
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best place to buy Good patch panels?

I've been told a lot of the new patch panels are thin and low qual. Is there a good place to get patch panels. I've got two newer ford projects that I'm going to learn patch panel welding with.

Looking forward to it.

One thing that's held me back is I don't know how to protect the inside of the panels that are hard to get inside of (small channels or hidden areas). I've heard of something called Waxoyl that can be sprayed inside of rockers etc. I've also read that it's not too hard to diy make a similar coating.

I wonder if the blackening trick that some guys do with using oil and heat to create a blackened finish would be possible on the insides of panels. I've done it to small pieces for guns etc and it's worked great. Basially spray the piece in oil (almost any type - I used motor oil) then heat it until smoldering and repeat until it's as black as desired. It's a very durable finish and prevents rusting. It's basically carbonized; baked on oil. It's also a similar process to seasoning a cast iron skillet. I'd think with torch heat on the outside of the unpainted panel it could be useful to blacken and protect newly welded in panels (i.e. insides of cab corners etc). Blacksmiths use this all the time. I believe they (blacksmiths) usually use beeswax for their blackening.

Last edited by 777funk; 04-09-2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:19 AM
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A lot depends on what you want as a finished product and it would help out a bit if we all knew exactly what you where working on. When your talking about rust on inside panels or panels that aren't visible when looking at the car, then again, it depends on how much quality you are planning on putting into the repair. If you have rust on inside panels the best way to get rid of the rust is to sand blast the metal, repair any holes from rust with new metal and Epoxy prime that area. All the oil/heat treated repair procedures are, for lack of better terms, old school and that rust will come back over time.

To get you better information for quality repair panels, let us know what your working on and I'm sure you'll get a number of viable suggestion.

When your welding in any type of repair panel, be sure to first trim the panel to fit the repair area, make the panel about 1/16 of an inch smaller than the opening to be repaired. Start off by tacking the repair panel in place, I often start at the corners, then patiently tack the rest of the panel in place, spacing your welds at least an inch apart so that you don't warp the panel from the heat generated by the welder. When and if the metal starts warping, have a hammer and dolly ready and move the metal back in place. After your weld looks like one complete line of weld, grind the welds down with a grinding disc...50 grit works well...and it's good information to keep your grinding disc sharp to minimize heat and potential warping. If there are any spots on your weld that you can see through, weld those areas up and again, grind down your weld. When your happy with the repair, epoxy prime the repaired area allow it to set up as per tech sheets and apply filler. Block sand your filler with 80 grit, moving to 180 grit (I often finish sanding filler with 280 or even 320 grit, many people would think this is over kill but, when you apply primer over filler that's finished that fine, there's a lot less chance of the primer sinking into a deep sand scratch and only takes a little extra time) until the area is straight. Prime the area again with a sandable Epoxy like SPI's Epoxy, finish sand in whatever grit the manufacturer suggest for the paint your using and your ready for paint.

Hope this helps.

Ray
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777funk (04-09-2013)
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:26 AM
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Lot of good info and thank you Ray.

The repairs will be on a 97 Taurus wagon just starting to rust at the front side of the rear wheel well. I'll probably inspect both of them. I'd guess once those go the rockers are getting water in them and are probably next to go. The other is a mid 90's E-series van with the same areas that need repair.

As far as filler... Bondo? Everglas? Something else?

I'm using SPI products for the finish. I've never tried their Epoxy primer but I'd like to.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:48 AM
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i do not think you will find patch panels for a 97 taurus maybe a full 1/4 panel. the van you might. But why would you bother with a 97 wagon. the panels and repairs and paint will out way what it is worth. kind of like throwing money away. just my opinion .
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:56 AM
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i do not think you will find patch panels for a 97 taurus maybe a full 1/4 panel. the van you might. But why would you bother with a 97 wagon. the panels and repairs and paint will out way what it is worth. kind of like throwing money away. just my opinion .
I already have the paint color from another touchup and I always have clear laying around. If I could stretch it out another 5-10 years for $400 why not? If it had bald tires, most people would invest $500 for a fresh set. Same deal with a little body work. Why not throw a little cash at a car that's in good working condition.

I've got a lot of fresh parts (head gaskets, timing cover gasket) and some mechanical time in it here and there and it runs great.

No sense in having a car payment if I don't need one.

EDIT: Just looked a little and I'm not sure of the quality here but the wheel arch is only $45. That's not too much:
http://www.fixmyrust.com/Item/1996-2...ch_Driver_Side

Last edited by 777funk; 04-09-2013 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:02 AM
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Glad to hear that your using SPI and when you try their Epoxy you can virtually eliminate any 2K primer your using (the elimination of any 2K primer would be determined by how well your metal work is finished, 2K primers generally have more fill capabilities compared to Epoxy Primers).

Whenit comes to fillers, everybody has different preferences, I prefer to use Fiberglass Evercoat's Rage Gold. It is a bit pricey as far as fillers go but, after you try Rage Gold, the flexibility it has and the sanding qualities soon make you forget about what you paid for the filler. Fiberglass fillers have their place, many body men use these fillers over top of welds, like the patch panels that your looking at purchasing. The product is water proof and compared to putting regular filler over top of a weld that you may have missed filling a pin hole or two, this product would work. Use the short strand if your going the fiberglass filler route over your welds, much easier to work with compared to the long strand variety and long strand would really be overkill in this scenario.

You are completely correct in saying that once rocker panels are starting to retain moisture, they are the next to go and because they can retain water, they rust from the inside out (most rust on vehicles is from the inside out and "777Funk" nailed it when he said "once those go the rockers are getting water in them"). One way to check to see if the rocker panels are getting weak from rust is, using a small ball peen hammer, gently tap the rocker panel. Listen for a "dead" metal on metal sound. If the metal is week from rust and you gently tap the rocker and if the hammer leaves dents, the panel is starting to rust and you may consider replacing it.

As far as replacement panels go, I don't have any suggestion off the top of my head but I'm many other members will.

Hope this helps
Ray
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:06 PM
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If it's learning how to weld in patch panels, I'd say great, the vehicles your looking at learning on are perfect. If you make a mistake or need to re-weld anything, not a big deal, the vehicles probably don't owe you anything anymore regardless. You mentioned that they where good runners, then just take your time...go slow and learn. I believe in getting good before I get fast and the only way your going to get good is to practice.

The site you posted doesn't ring a bell to me, but, I don't do much in the way of work on 80's and newer vehicles. If nothing else, maybe try going to a wrecking yard with a saws-all and lop off a couple of quarter panels.

I did my practicing of welding in patch panels on two 74 Chevy 4 doors one had about 200K miles on it and the good one had even more. I think I paid $75 for the cars and made one car that the body was fairly respectable looking. I didn't make any money on the cars but I learned a lot and when it came to doing it on a vehicle that meant something, I had the experience.

I'd say go for it. You can't buy experience, you need to earn it and live it.

Ray
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:51 PM
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What about old washing machines/driers? Seems like those are about the right thickness. I know a scrap guy who's got a LOT of those handy. And really they're a dime a dozen anywhere since that's a high replacement rate item.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69 widetrack View Post
Glad to hear that your using SPI and when you try their Epoxy you can virtually eliminate any 2K primer your using (the elimination of any 2K primer would be determined by how well your metal work is finished, 2K primers generally have more fill capabilities compared to Epoxy Primers).
People really need to stop saying this...
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