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Old 05-10-2014, 01:33 PM
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Fabricating Rear Wheel Wells

Hello everyone,
I am working on a 1970 Buick Lesabre and the rear wheel wells on both sides are horrible. The previous owner riveted more metal on top of it, which that rusted as well. I have basic tools for fabricating sheet metal, which means I don't have an English wheel that would make this job a lot easier.

The issue is that the wheel well is curved unlike these box-type wheel tubs I have seen online. I am not sure how I can curve it smoothly.

Some extra notes, I have looked online and I cannot seem to find anything that remotely resembles the current wheel well I have, so buying the piece seems to be out of the picture.

Also, I have considered making a box-type template like wheel-tubs have, but I am not sure if it would work out. One of the braces from the body that attaches to the wheel well is curved so that it wraps around the wheel well.

Does anyone know of a way in which I can do this? Any pictures and methods would be much appreciated.

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Old 05-10-2014, 02:03 PM
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I'm not sure if the Skylark would be the same as your LeSabre but I found this on YearOne.

https://www.yearone.com/Catalog/1964...d-patch-panels
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:20 PM
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Maybe this will help?
:
C.T.C. Auto Ranch Parts Cars Buick LeSabre / Wildcat / Centurion
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:39 PM
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The bottom line is you can bend sheet metal but it takes tools and know how to form it into a compound curve.

Most likely, the best plan of attack for you will be to buy a set of wheel houses from a salvadge yard if you can not find a good doner car.

Best of luck,
John
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64SS327 View Post
I'm not sure if the Skylark would be the same as your LeSabre but I found this on YearOne.

https://www.yearone.com/Catalog/1964...d-patch-panels
I am going to call them and see if I can get some more information on the item. From the picture it is hard to tell if it is the same stuff. It's not a horrible price though.

What do you guys think of having an HVAC shop fabricate the peices for me? I am not sure how I can explain to them how I want it, but it would be worth a try.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AddisonElliott View Post
I am going to call them and see if I can get some more information on the item. From the picture it is hard to tell if it is the same stuff. It's not a horrible price though.

What do you guys think of having an HVAC shop fabricate the peices for me? I am not sure how I can explain to them how I want it, but it would be worth a try.
Skylark pieces won't be the same. 1970 Chevy Impala might come close enough for you to rework, if there is anything aftermarket for the 1970 Impala/Caprice

HVAC shops typically work only with sheetmetal 1/2 the thickness of what you need done.

Your best bet is to get what you need cut from a Western United States area recycling yard, from a near rust free desert car, like the C.T.C. Auto Ranch mentioned above, or Desert Valley Auto Parts Our Inventory | Desert Valley Auto Parts

Last edited by ericnova72; 05-10-2014 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:33 AM
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How about posting some pictures so we can see exactly what you are talking about. Sometimes the photos can help a lot.

Brian
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:20 AM
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X2 on the pics.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:38 AM
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Sure thing, here are some pictures.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:00 AM
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I'd be looking to some place like the Desert Valley I mentioned or similar, have them cut the entire whole rear quarter sections off a rust free body....outer quarter panel, inner and outer wheelhouses, trunk drop-off, and part of the trunk floor and tail panel...so you can just replace all of that mess you have.

You'll be farther ahead in the ends, and have a much nicer piece.

If that's how bad the rear of the car is, what kind of shape are the floors, rockers, door bottoms and front fenders in??....looks like you have a LOOOONG row to hoe in front of you on this one.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:01 AM
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From what I see, your body is toast.
You can't even see where to start making the shape of those wheel tubs.

Better get John Long on the job.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:11 PM
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WOW!

I am with Pugsy, listen, unless you plan on learning how to fabricate all these parts you are in for heartache. And what you see is only the beginning, the cowl is going to be just as bad.

If you are willing to learn and become a master fabricator as John Long is with a similar project https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/53-b...ir-233635.html you had better look for something better.

Can it be done, sure, but this is a HUGE project.

Brian
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:24 PM
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you'd be looking at thousands of dollars in tools just to be able to fabricate all that stuff. I'd look for another car and use that car for a donor car, if anything is left. It looks toast.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:44 PM
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Your not going to be able to make compound curves without the right tools...
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy View Post
From what I see, your body is toast.
You can't even see where to start making the shape of those wheel tubs.

Better get John Long on the job.
You know, I would be the last one to belittle someone's project or say something cruel or derogatory but I will be honest here.

In order to repair this issue in a way that will give you service, you must have a point to build back to that gives you a solid and long lasting repair. Looking at the pictures, I don't see that point. Unless this car has so much sentimental value that you want to fix it at all costs walk away from it. Maybe you can salvage the engine, trans, rear end. gauges etc and make this a parts car if you can find another one with a good body. If you do decide to proceed I would suggest you absolutely have to find another solid body.

The guys here kid me because I like to fix rusty cars no one else will fool with but it has to be a car that can be repaired properly and will be worth what I have spent when I am done. I don't see either one being possible here.

Best of luck,

John
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