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Old 02-05-2006, 09:02 AM
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Putting patch panels in truck bed, couple questions

I'm going to be putting on patch panels onto my truck's bed. I bought a flanger tool. The questions are: is it better to use the glue to install the panels, or weld them? Also, when i cut out the old part, how much of the old body should I leave (to leave enough to use the flanger?)

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Old 02-05-2006, 11:04 AM
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First off, it is much better to weld it. HOWEVER, what the "bestest" way is for YOU and YOUR truck, I don't know. Bonding a patch panel like that is very acceptable for many jobs.

Grab a piece of sheet metal and do some testing with your flange. In a minute you will see how much you have to leave and get a much better idea of what you are doing.

Brian
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:33 AM
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i've heard mixed reviews about that adhesive i was talking about. its seems to be all that the dealers use anymore. I've seen many welded body panels rust out quickly. that adhesive could eliminate a bunch of work. (welding, grinding) has anyone used both methods? pro's, cons?
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:03 PM
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Most panel bonding adhesives require 1 1/2 inches of overlap, but all of the flanging tools ive seen only give you about 5/8".Fusors got some good info on their web site about bonding.The biggest problem with bonding is that when you take the truck out in the sun and things start to heat up you will see a ghost line where the two panels overlap.To get the proper overlap you dont use a flanging tool,you just let the panels overlap the required amount and float body filler out the thicknes of the top panel.If you grind the top edge at an angle like 10 degrees and then cover the joint with kitty hair its supposed to help with the ghost lines but i still see them.You'll need to sray some kind of primer (epoxy) over the seam before you put any kind of filler over it because the adhesives will react with any kind of polyester product.

I quit using adhesives because I didnt like the ghost lines,but may consider using it if I can hide the line under a molding or a stripe.Most adhesive manufacturers recomend welding verticle seams,I think is to keep the panel from popping if you get hit crumple zone and all that.The advantage of bonding is that you dont warp the panel as much because of heat,so you dont need as much bondo.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:24 PM
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I have never seen anything anywhere about an "inch and a half overlap" being needed. But here is a GM bulletin that should clear up some urban legends.

Brian

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Old 02-05-2006, 12:28 PM
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I think they say 3/4 to 1 1/2 but i did 1 1/2 to be safe.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevyJim
i've heard mixed reviews about that adhesive i was talking about. its seems to be all that the dealers use anymore. I've seen many welded body panels rust out quickly. that adhesive could eliminate a bunch of work. (welding, grinding) has anyone used both methods? pro's, cons?
Because the "dealers" are using it doesn't make it right. Most auto manufacturers have strict rules that are basically, "If it was welded, weld it. If it was bonded, bond it".

However, as seen in this GM bulletin and in one from BMW where they instruct you to glue a frame rail together in their 5 series, there are exceptions.

I think you are absolutely right, the corrosion resistance is super, and it doesn't require any special tools. There is zero structual, crumple zone issues on a bed side skin. I think it is a great alternative to welding.

Brian
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeepman2
I think they say 3/4 to 1 1/2 but i did 1 1/2 to be safe.
I understand you have seen this, maybe I have just overlooked it. I do know I will look on the tech sheets when I get to work in the morning. They do have recommendations to use it in the wheel well area (which is the only place I use it in the late model collision repair I do every day) which is never anywhere near an inch and a half on any car. It is usually only a half to three quarters. And most any other pinch weld is no bigger.

Brian
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:49 PM
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i use it it the wheel well area too,even if I weld the panel on.Much faster and easyer than spot welding.My bigest problem is the ghost line,is there any way to avoid this?
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:42 PM
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does this stuff remain flexible after curing? in the sun? in other words, if you use the flanger first. and the panels are almost flush to eachother, wouldn't you just overcoat everything with filler, then sand it smooth? wouldn't that be enough to cover any ghost lines?
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:03 PM
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Ok here's what I do, and this has helped me much with the ghost lines.. I have talked to many people about this and on the tech lines to figure some things out..

Ok let's say i'm shaving a door handle on a newer vehicle.. The problem I see is that some of the newer vehicles are so thin they are hard to weld without warpage, so i've been using the Fusor and have been having excellent results, but i've been going the extra steps.. but it still seems to save me time over welding.. ok but to get to the point

Ok when I make my patch I try to do it in a fashion that will leave it basically flush to the panel being fused.. I use a straight edge to be sure.. so if I put the piece of steel in and it sits in too deep i'll do whatever I have to do in order to make it flush,, i've even welded in a piece that will go behind the glued piece, i know this sounds counterdicting but I don't have to weld complete, and i'm usually welding it to a flanged lip so it will take a little more heat.
Then i grind all metal bare and apply the patch with fusor, once again getting my straight edge out and checking for flushness. when the glue dries i grind as much as possible out, i even use a cutoff wheel to get it out sometimes.. just have to be careful.. Then I take a grinder and grind the edge of the patch down so it tapers into the seam, this also helps with the ghost line.

The next step I learned from barry,, he said his epoxy primer will stick to the little bit of fusor left in the seam.. it's not much but Glass doesn't like to stick to it. but anyways I put down one wet coat of the epoxy and after it dries i apply glass to the seam.. then body filler..

Once I get it straight I apply Z-chrome filler primer to the exterior,, usually 3 regular coats.. I dont' do this to make it straight, as I get it really close but i do this for durability it tends to hold down that ghost line for some reason..
Then I sand it with 120 then 180, by now it should be as straight as can be, but I then put 3 coats of the 2k turbo prime down, and it's good to go.. wetsand that and paint.. it's been helping me out tremendously to do the repair in this order.. Haven't seen a ghost line yet, and it's sealed from corrosion.

Now what is funny is that I have seen some ghost lines on some of the ones I have did that were welded in.. don't know if it's because where it's welded it won't flex like the rest of the panel will.. I just haven't had a good answer to this.. So ive been using the fusor, and haven't had a problem yet, and if you take time you should be able to do it where barely any filler is needed.
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:37 PM
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Just looked at the fusor site and they say they overlap should be 1" max,but they dont really say what the minimum is.I wonder if any of the fillers with metal in them,evercoats metal 2 metal for example, would help with the ghost line thing.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:05 AM
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ok, now in layman's terms, , what would be the best primer to use that I would be able to get at my local napa or auto parts store. I think I'm going to glue them on, then slightly grind the seam, then use the filler. Also, what is the best way to hold the panel on until the adhesive cures? Should I put in sheetmetal screws every few inches, then remove them, then fill in the screw holes with weld? any good tips? if I was to fill the screw holes with weld, would the heat ruin the adhesive?
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:38 PM
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was also wondering best way to do the corners? should i relief cut the corner with a die grinder, in order for each side to be flanged separatley? could I then weld the little bit that i reief cut? Again, would the welding heat ruin the adheasive?
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Old 02-07-2006, 07:35 PM
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Yes, the welding within an inch or so will ruin the adhesive. This is with a fast, MIG weld. Further still if you can't pull off a fast, hot weld.

On the end of the panel, you are refering to the wheel well I assume. I cut a relief cut up the edge then step on both sides, works real well.

Brian
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