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unstable 03-02-2004 10:00 AM

I need help with fender patch panels.
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this is a little long, but I could really use your help.

57 Chevy Pickup Truck - 3100 (attached is a picture of the patch panel).

Fender tips are rotted out on both sides, I've got both of the pre-fabbed patches for the fenders. My passenger side also had substantial damage to the brace down near the bottom. I cut it off above the damage and hammered it out...but later decided to purchase a new brace.

I've been using the method described on the Brothers Trucks site to install the patch panels:
-clamp new panel over old panel, ensuring it's perfectly aligned
-cut through both panels.
-Remove clamps and old panel.

This leaves you with a new panel that matches your cut line where you will butt-weld.

-intergrip new panel to existing panel

I've had good success on doing my one door like this. I was scared out of my mind to do the door, but it's turning out ok. I thought the fenders would be a breeze.

Here's the actual problem.
On my drivers side fender, the new patch panel fits perfectly over the top of the original. So I can clamp this down and cut.

BUT on my passenger side, the panel doesn't seem to be fitting on all of the way. I think I've identified why. It seems like since I removed the damaged brace, the fender has flattened out, where it should be curved to lock into the brace at the bottom.

Dilemna. There currently is no brace in place to lock the fender into the correct shape

I COULD install the replacement brace to get the fender locked into place...BUT, I'm going to end up cutting off the bottom of the fender anyhow.

I've PONDERED measuring the replacement panel and also measuring the fender and just manually making the cuts. I'm not really good at measuring or cutting so this scares me. ALSO, I have no idea what to use as a REFERENCE to do my measuring.
The original fender is pretty corroded at the bottom and also whacked out of can I measure from there?

The replacement panel doesn't span the height of the original fender, so where can I reference off of the original fender and apply to the patch panel...

I'm soooo lost. help me please. :(

if you guys want pictures of what I'm trying to convey, I can take some tonight. thanks for any and all input.

poncho62 03-02-2004 10:06 AM

I think that you should replace the brace before you cut out the old sheet metal. That way, you can keep everthing in alignment better.

More pics would help, and we would like to see what you are doing.

unstable 03-02-2004 10:10 AM

the point I'm trying to get across is that the fender actually wraps around the brace and is tacked at the bottom.

this gives the fender a wee bit of arc to it.

Now what is the best approach for putting this brace back in? I mean, I certainly don't want to reinstall it onto the old portion of the fender? know what I'm saying?

I'll try to get soem pictures tonight.

poncho62 03-02-2004 10:14 AM

The thing is, that you want to keep that arc the same shape. Sometimes to keep things the same, you have to do stuff twice.............

I'm just guessing here, as I don't know you exact situation.

Can you show pictures of the inner brace?

unstable 03-02-2004 10:16 AM

yeah you're probably right here. instead of keeping everyone guessing, I'll snap some pictures and that will give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.

I'll be sure to move the gasoline away from my welder so you don't see how unsafe my shop is. :thumbup:

antiquecar 03-28-2005 07:24 PM

If you are worried about welding and then unwelding the brace why not drill a hole and use a small self tapping screw to hold it together. You will be geting rid of that piece of metal later so you can't mess it up

Bee4Me 03-28-2005 08:27 PM

Thats one of SEVERAL reasons we opted to get another door for the 59. Way too much work to rebuild that door.
You could make a curvature template from the opposite fender for referencing using c'board and some 24ga sheetmetal as the final temp.

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