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Old 03-04-2004, 07:41 PM
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Pictures of Fender Patch Panel DILEMNA!

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Once again, here's the problem. If you look at the panel, it doesn't look like it's fitting correctly! It looks to be a couple of inches off. It MAY be that the original fender is knocked the wrong way. It MAY be that when I cut the brace on the fender, it took shape out of the fender (I did my best to clamp it back together and get the panel on for the pictures).

What is the best approach to tacking this installation?

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Old 03-05-2004, 01:23 AM
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I would fit everything up while you have it setting on the truck. Most patch panels never fit like the original and most take some massaging to get into shape. Don't weld anything until you are 100% sure then double check again. When you weld it, go back and forth, one side to the other until completely welded. That way it will minimize warpage. Welding in a continous line will guarantee a big mess. Good Luck.

Kevin
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Old 03-05-2004, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin45
I would fit everything up while you have it setting on the truck.
That's the absolute best way to do it.

Centerline
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:11 AM
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I have put on several of those patch panels. They never fit perfectly, they are made with quite a bit of 'artistic license'. From what I see in your photos, your existing fender is in pretty good shape except for a few very small rotten spots. The way I use them is to just use the very minimum of the new panel to replace only the bad spots. That way you can make them fit very well 'cause you aren't trying to match such a big area. Plus the work involved is lessened a bunch. From what I see, you should be able to get away with using only a couple of inches of the patch panel.

And I third the recomendation to do the fitting with the fender mounted on the truck.
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:31 AM
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ok well I actually wasn't planning on using the entire panel. But on the other two I did on my door, that is how I fitted them. Put the panel over the existing metal and cut what I didn't want.

So, if I mount my fender...how would I go about setting this patch panel up to cut it? I'm guessing I should line the bottom of the patch panel up with the rocker panel, but how do I transpose this to the fender itself to make the cuts?

know what I'm saying? I don't know what my reference lines should be. I know I must sound stupid, but I'd rather sound stupid and have a decent looking job when I'm done, than hide my stupidity and show it later when the fender is all screwed up.


Now what I'm having trouble with is, assuming the patch panel fit correctly OVER the fender, I could cut through IT and the FENDER at the same time and stuff would match. But it doesn't.

I don't understand where I should measure from on the panels...even after it's aligned with the rocker. Because the patch panel only goes up a portion of the height of the fender. The fender has curvature...this is really screwing with my head.
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:00 AM
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Mount the fender on the truck and straighten it out fairly well so you see how much needs replacing. Draw a straight cut line on the fender (looks like a diagonal corner cut would do the job in your case). Now transfer that cut line with a little spare onto the patch panel and cut it. Finally, hold the final patch panel to the fender and draw the final cut line on the fender and make that cut. Then do the arm waiving necessary to get that perfect fit. Not brain surgery, just takes a little anatomy scratching and a couple of cold ones to get it right.
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:52 AM
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JJ - You know me with this stuff...I'm about as inept as Corky from Life Goes On.


I understand:
-mount the fender
-Draw a line on the fender

I don't understand:
-Transfer the line onto the patch panel. (I understand the concept, just accomplishing it is where the issue is)


Like I said, I've been doing both of my cuts at once by clamping the patch panel to the original and cutting both layers. This puts both of the panels as EQUAL.

I didn't figure this as being a "just eyeball it" type thing. I figured I would need to establish an EQUAL point on both panels where we can reference for the line.

One more jibber jabber from my mouth...5 inches from the bottom of the path is NOT equal to 5 inches from the bottom of the fender. It may be 7 or 8 inches on the fender...that's the point I'm trying to make.

I'm pretty confident the rocker on the cab is some type of anchor in this entire problem.






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Old 03-05-2004, 10:03 AM
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Unfortunately, it is an 'eyeball' solution. These patch panels just don't replicate the original well enough to do a perfect point-to-point replacement. Once the cut is made on the patch panel (a little larger than necessary), that cut is transferred to the fender. Make the fender cut a little generous (1/8" or so) then carefully dress the cut with a grinder until you get a perfect butt joint. Even then you will likely need to do some metal hammering to get an acceptable final fit.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:10 AM
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what ive done for alignment before is ill install the panels ... align them to the vehical the best i can ... decide where i want the ut and make the palens overlap 1/2 inch ... and then drill 3 or 4 very small (1/16th) holes through both panels in the overlap section ...

this way you can take the panels back off, cut them, mock them back up w/ the holes and recheck alignment before you weld ..

if you need to readjust, you have a 1/2 inch of play still ...

its worked for me for a bunch of things, hope it works for you
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:14 AM
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ok sounds good gentlemen, I'll keep you posted.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:35 AM
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sage advice above. i dont see much problem with the fender mounted and just laying the panel (as small a peice as possible as per 36), lining up the rocker panal-yes that is a critical line, drawing on the fender (that's the transfering part), cutting it and welding it. heed the advice to make several "spot" type welds or you'll warp it. you will end up needing some bodo anyway however. i sent mine to the body shop. i think it was $200, that's how much you can save doin it yerself
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:56 AM
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If it's nice out this weekend maybe I'll give it a go.

If I fail...I just noticed UP22 is selling fiberglass fenders for about $200 a pop...which is reasonable and a viable alternative...although I like the idea of steel much more.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:02 PM
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I fixed a rust hole once
http://www.a2zautoforums.com/showthread.php?t=700
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:09 PM
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You won't fail, guaranteed. You already did the hard repair on that relatively flat door panel. More than one poor soul has bent their pick trying that repair and severely warping the metal. The fender patch will be a snap in comparison with its many stable compound curves and very low warp potential.
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Old 03-05-2004, 02:49 PM
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Construction Paper

I keep a lot of construction paper in the garage just for doing body work. When you ID the bad area, just trim a piece of paper to fit the area. Use it to transfer to the replacement panel. Paper can bend and be taped to the old part before trimming to get an exact transfer. It sure cuts down on the guess work. If the new panel is off I can beat it in to shape first. Almost fun.

hr41pearl
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