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Old 04-16-2004, 08:28 AM
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Cutting/Welding Panels

I have to cut off a piece of my badly mangled door. I am a little worried, do I cut off the trash completly, or leave a little lip and weld over the top of that lip with my new panel?

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Old 04-16-2004, 08:33 AM
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Best way is to cut to a straight, clean edge of good metal, carefully trim patch panel for a tight butt joint and weld it in place with small overlapped spot welds that don't show any blue affected zone. Lap welds work but are inferior for several reasons including leaving a fairly large bondo patch and giving a place for water to collect and corrode anew.

Check out the great work in the link in the last post on this thread. The only change I would make to Randy's method is that I wouldn't do the spot welds in 1" series. As you can see, that leaves a pretty wide blue affected zone which results in panel warp. I am not the artist that Randy is so I avoid warps at all cost. My approach is to do the 1" spots like he did then infill with 1/" spaced spots then 1/" and so on until the joint is solid with weld. This results in virtually no blue heat affected zone and zero warpage to hammer out.

Last edited by willys36@aol.com; 04-16-2004 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:33 PM
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Butt Weld

I agree with Willy on the butt weld concept. Just not sure how he overlaps spot welds with a butt joint. If this is a first time for you I would take a large piece of card board and trim it to cover the area that you want to replace. Keep it as square as possible. Draw an outline of the cardboard on the door and cut the area out. Now use the card board to trace the area on a piece of new metal and cut .500 outside of the line. Use a step tool and step the metal on the door. Most steps are about .500. Now drop the new panel in to the step. Spot weld the the .500 area all the way around. Now finish with a mig weld at the edge of the panel. Not continuously, but one inch this side and one inch that side. Continue until you get it done. Grind weld flat. Requires very little bondo. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-16-2004, 12:50 PM
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the panels are already cut and shaped. They are all pre-fab patch pieces so that is taken care of!
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:00 PM
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The spots are easy to overlap. Just keep infilling until they all merge. If some spots are too tall and the subsequent spot may not penetrate, I just hit the peaks with a grinder. I don't recommend this for a pro who isn't challenged by a little heat warpage - it takes longer to do. However for the novice like me, it is a life saver and time spent avoiding warpage is time well spent. As I mentioned, this does a great job of totally eliminating heat affected zone.
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:27 PM
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70Chevy

OK Take the new panel and lay it on the bad door. Mark it with a marking pen. Cut .500 inside of the line MAX. .375 would be perfect. Use the stepping tool to step the door all the way around. The panel should just drop in. By the way the stepping tool can be rented or you can buy one at http://www.eastwoodco.com/shopping/p...&keyword=31090

As you can see, it is called FLANGING. Not stepping. Sorry. They also sell a nibbler for cutting the old metal. Two great tools.


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Old 04-16-2004, 02:17 PM
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grinding

what is the best method for grinding after the weld is coplete. are the flap wheels the best to use or is there a better disc that will reduce worpage?
thanks Jesse
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:30 PM
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A 4 1/2" angle grinder or a thin bladed cutoff tool are best. MIG welds are very hard and you need to focus the grinding directly on the weld. A flapper or such will also work on the surrounding metal which is much softer and will be taken off in preference to the weld metal so that isn't a good option.
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Old 04-16-2004, 05:28 PM
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i agree with most everything posted here.

I did one of my doors so far, came out fair...can do better next time.

If your prefabbed panel fits perfectly OVER the existing metal...put it on, clamp it down tight and cut through the panel AND the existing metal at once. THen you'll end up with a perfectly matched line on the door, and the fabbed panel, with a gap about the width of your cut-off tool.

Now from what I've learned over the past several weeks from working with Wray Schelin a metal master is....put a little bit of a bevel on both pieces of the metal so you got a "V", clamp the panel in place, tack in the middle. This is going to cause some shrinkage, smack it with the hammer and dolly a little bit to stretch it back out. Keep tacking and smacking. Don't go crazy with the slapping though, don't want too much stretching (although you can take it out with a shrinking disk.

If you took your time and were patient, you might have a job that will need no filler...this is what I'm shooting for on this next door.

Definitely check out metalmeet for more tips on this stuff. There's a crapload of knowledgeable people over there...could fabricate you a new door out of sheetmetal.
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Old 04-16-2004, 09:05 PM
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Willys36
You have to be the only guy I've ever heard of that can weld sheetmetal with no HAZ and zero warpage!!!! WOW! Now I'm impressed. You're light years ahead of the rest of us.

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Old 04-16-2004, 11:21 PM
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Hold the praise, just send money!!

I think you would agree that I had more than my fair share of potential for warped sheet metal in this project. Not saying I had no HAZ but by quick wide spaced spots, HAZ was so small that I had virtually zero warpage anywhere in the entire cab. As I said above, with my meager metal working skills, I would rather end up with a little more ragged welds and a little bondo than have to straighten warped panels for perfect welds and zero bondo.

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Old 04-17-2004, 12:54 AM
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Willy,
Your truck looks cool! Should have more room now, eh!
My main concern is that I have full penetration. I've learned through experience that cold welds aren't altogether sound welds. I would rather stretch along the heat affected zone to release the warpage, and know my welds were strong, rather than worry that they may fail. Also, by crushing the weld, you are cold forging it, marrying it to the parent metal, and producing a very stong and stable weld seam.
Bondo??? what's that???

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Old 04-17-2004, 01:11 AM
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I try to think of a different way every time. Keeps it fun

http://www.a2zautoforums.com/showthread.php?t=700
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:43 AM
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ok so here is my new biggest concern, how can i check to see if my welded seam is road worthy? I am EXTREMLY worried that i will go spend over a grand to get the sucker painted and in a year have all my welds start cracking and ruining my paint job. I had a friend where he and his dad had the same truck and the old gas tank filler hole started cracking out, i had nighmares last night thinking about that. So is there a sure way to check that they wont crap out on me?
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:51 AM
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willys pretty nice truck project u got goin there did u add the back(past doors) or is it something else pretty neat which ever way
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