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Old 05-15-2017, 05:57 PM
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Patching Rail Panel

Hello everyone,

I am the proud owner of a 1979 Formula Firebird that I am transforming into a 1of1 Firebird hotrod.

Now,I have a couple spots to patch up before getting to the fun stuff,like engine and paint. Nothing to serious,and most pretty simple with a quick 20 dollar bill+wire welder. But the biggest one (which still isn't a massive undertaking compared to some) is about a 6 inch oval rust hole in my lower,center tail panel.

I'm wondering which of the 3 options (that I could come up with) that you all would recommend.

1. Cut out,and replace with 1/4" sheet metal. Drawback, I'm new to body work (shaping and all that)

2. Firebird Central sells Tail panels whole. I buy one,cut out the matching section in the new one,and use that piece on my old one. (Seems like that easier/preferable,albiet, more costly route).

3. Buy said tail panel,but instead of using it to patch the old one,I remove the entire old panel,and install the entire new panel. Drawback,seems to be a little over the top,and difficult.

#2 seems to be my preferred option,but just wanted to hear opinions incase I'm forgetting any problems I could run into,and or save money,as that's never a bad thing.

I'll try to upload a picture tomorrow when I get off work.


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Old 05-15-2017, 05:59 PM
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And.... autocorrect changes *TAIL* to rail... fail...
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:10 PM
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This is a '76 but is it just that part down at the bottom, in the middle?

If it is, you could do option #1 fairly easy but with 18 gauge sheetmetal or some metal off another car. Something of a similar thickness. I wouldn't get a new part to cut up just for a 6" hole. If it has some funny contours, post a pic. Something under the car like that would not have to be just perfect.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:19 PM
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Yup,pretty my the size and location of mine. I was thinking a simple sheet metal patch might do,since it won't really be seen by eyes. Just didn't know how much support that area gives. If that's the case though,would save some time and $.

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