Hot Rod Forum banner

1 - 20 of 73 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Let me start off by saying that this is my first time doing some body work. I am getting close to the point of cutting into the ol' camino now. I'm just now sure how to best start this process.

That black sharpie line going across the bed is the edge of the patch panel. There are two ways I can go about this (that I know of). Let it be known that this will be my first time doing any kind of body work.

1) Just do the whole patch panel down to that line. I'm just a little worried about the weld seam going across the bed right there.

2) Just patch that area where the window sits and in turn just spot fill the rest of the small holes.

Any other hints or tricks I should know about before taking a cutting wheel to it?

Thank you.
 

Attachments

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Since using the whole patch panel places the seam down inside the bed box, I think thats your best bet. You could overlap that seam to make the job simpler so plan first and cut accordingly. If a big long butt welded seam is too intimidating, bonding the lower seam is an option but the adhesive is costly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
I've seen worse panels just sandblasted up to clean the rust out, and then some welding for the holes etc. It's not an area that needs perfect metal...just cleaned and refinished...I'm not sure I'd go inviting the trouble that panel replacement brings unless I really had to.
 

·
RedLine Stage 4 ZL1 650rwhp
1971 BB Chevelle
Joined
·
548 Posts
Ya man I'm kinda with him, it really doesnt look that bad. I would think a good rust converter would take care of that. Eastwood sells it

I just sold my ZZ572 67 Elky, it was an amazing vehicle restored to quite the impressive condition. There's a lot going on around that window and many levels of trim so if you use a rust converter I don't see a reason to cut it out (unless there's something we can't see) ???

She's in Germany now..... :(


 

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Our hero already bought the part because he was past the point of deciding if it should be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Part of it needs to be replaced. I don't believe I'm past the point of no return at all. The patch panel was only $40. This is also why I haven't taken a cutting disk to the car yet, trying to make sure I have a good plan in place before I do that. The area has been leaking water for awhile now, but it hasn't rusted the floor yet. There is also at least 26 more holes that will need to be filled in. At one point in time there was a snap on bed cover in place, but that is long gone now.
 

Attachments

·
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
Joined
·
16,312 Posts
I actually repaired many that were like that, sandblasted then welded and filled. But that does't mean it was the best way to go, it really depends on how bad the rust is, if that was the worse of it, that may be an option.

But the big difference, the real BIG difference is how good is that patch panel? If the patch panel doesn't have a good shape, if the corner where the moulding meets isn't crisp (often they are way to soft a bend) then that would enter into the decision. The patch panel could be cut up and using small pieces of it instead. Is it perfectly the same distance between the top bend at the edge of the moulding and the bottom bend as it falls into the bed?

That all being said, if the patch panel is nice, to replace the whole area and the seam down there at the bottom is a great way to go. If it has access from the rear (I forget) that weld could be butt welded pretty easy, it's near that fold so it would be easy to control. But if there is little access for a hammer and dolly and all that, a flange lap weld would be just fine too.





Brian
 

·
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
Joined
·
16,312 Posts
OP, here are some tips on removing that panel. The hard part is you can't see the spot welds with it so rusted. But if you pull up on the metal a little by sticking the spiltter tool in between the layers of metal you can find the spot weld among the rust. You can then tap it back flat and use one of the methods in the "Basics." The die grinder would most likely be the way to go.

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/basics-basics-spot-welds-removing-welded-panels-222549.html

Brian
 

·
Collector of "someday" cars
Joined
·
2,286 Posts
The pic of prostreet Rob's former car shows most of the entire window surround covered with trim. If yours is the same and it extends down to near the box, I would place the seam under the trim.

BUT, as Brian said, does the repop panel match the original close ? It usually takes some "tweaking" with a body hammer and/or dollies to convince replacement panels to conform to the original shape.

Your last pic makes a weld and go situation not really viable, especially for a beginner welder. You may have noticed the ends of the panel are brazed, not welded and that has to be completely removed to weld back to metal.

The flanging tool makes for a good mating surface and easier to hold the panel seam straight while welding. Having a hole punch to make plug weld holes along that seam would help too. Use self tapping drill screws in the plug holes to pull the panels tight and remove them as you go along. The plug welds will prevent the panels from walking while the seam is welded. You still need to weld in short tacks to prevent heat distortion and warping, but the plug welds will help with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
BUT, as Brian said, does the repop panel match the original close ? It usually takes some "tweaking" with a body hammer and/or dollies to convince replacement panels to conform to the original shape.
I'd say it's close. It isn't as wide as the original, can't get the seams to line up on the left and right sides.

You may have noticed the ends of the panel are brazed, not welded and that has to be completely removed to weld back to metal.
I did think that they were brazed, there are also some welded spots too. I got no idea if this has been "repaired" at some point over it's 49 years. I know there's bondo that might be 2 inches think behind the rear wheels and a rivet head under the paint on the other side.


As you can see in the second picture I tried to line up the edges as best as I could. I was also thinking was just cutting off that tab and make the patch a straight line.

-Would it be better to flange the patch panel or or the bed?
-With no access to the back side of this area how much trouble is that going to cause me? Anything I need to watch out for?
 

Attachments

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Chucky I have some advice but its gonna take awhile to type up so bear with me. I noticed you and I are online, the others aren't at this moment, so... just know its on the way. I solve these kind of problems for a living and you have several options. I need to re-read too. Hang in there and yeah don't cut just yet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
(missed the time to edit the post)
The pic of prostreet Rob's former car shows most of the entire window surround covered with trim. If yours is the same and it extends down to near the box, I would place the seam under the trim.
In order to do that I would have to place the seam right at the top where the patch panel makes the 90° turn down to the bed. The trim is only about 1 inch wide.

Chucky I have some advice but its gonna take awhile to type up so bear with me. I noticed you and I are online, the others aren't at this moment, so... just know its on the way. I solve these kind of problems for a living and you have several options. I need to re-read too. Hang in there and yeah don't cut just yet!
Ha! I like it. I'm not cutting yet.
 

·
Collector of "someday" cars
Joined
·
2,286 Posts
With no access to the backside, I would flange the patch and put it behind the bed panel. That way the back seam is facing down and not collecting moisture that will eventually turn to rust, but that's just me and I'll probably catch flack for saying it. With the up seam accessible in the bed, you can slowly, carefully weld it flush so it's all metal and won't allow moisture under it. Then skim coat and paint.

The pic of the end isn't real clear, but if the original panel overlaps on the end, I would leave it on the patch until you get the old cut out. The patch WILL sit differently once it is in place, rather than on the bed.
 

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
TMP, we're thinking along the same lines. :)

I looked at the pics, re-read the text, looked at web pics and my idea is this-

Chop the new panel off about 3/4" below the 2nd bend from the top. This means cutting off part of the tabs, too. Neatly cut the old panel ON the 2nd bend all the way across, and remove the old crap above the cut. Place your new patch behind the old panel at the bottom. Probably be some struggle getting it in there, but make the top sit where the old one did and clamp or screw it in the window bed. If it doesn't flush up exactly, don't worry the screws will probably pull it all tight.

With the overlapped panels screwed tight at the bottom seam, make a row of plug welds there. Once all the welding and grinding is done there and at the window bed, you have the option to weld up the overlapped seam or wipe it with mud or stranded filler.

Since the rest of the car has rivets and such under the paint, I see no sin.

I agree with Mitch, that overlapping and plugging then seam welding is the best bet to avoid catastrophic warpage without lots of practice. I choose to do the seam up by the window instead for a couple reasons-

Going by most pics I see on the web, if I had to chance having a wiggly looking area, I'd much rather it be right up next to the window than on the mirror-flat front bed wall. Since it looks like most only have the window trim and no molding below it. I know you said its full of bed cover snap holes but if you're careful you can zap those shut or choose to wipe them with something instead since we're already across that never gonna be perfect bridge.

No use making the repair area museum worthy when that would be out of place vs the rest of the truck's bodywork. The other reason is if you do go low and put the whole panel on... and it warps down there.... which it will with all the stamping tension surrounding the area, it will be uber-visible. Up by the window, not so much. Its curved, an easier place to decieve the eye. The only downside is it may push the top of the panel out a smidge.

Your bodyfiller can make that look alright, and with a piece of plastic pipe as a block, that will be fairly easy to shape. That metal below where the whole patch would cover... has a great deal of tenson in the metal that could hit Warp 5 before you know it, and you'd be swimming in bondo trying to make it flat again. Up by the edge you kinda have a warpage burn limit.

I think thats the path of lesser evil, but the man at the car chooses. Hear everyone's suggestions then form your own solution as always. Some rust encapsulator or POR type stuff could be brushed around inside the cavity while the old panel is chopped open.

Just my free opinion. You know your mean ole el Camino isn't ate up as bad as half of them are right there. Looks like the sides might be OK.

Holler back if I missed something obvious. I've been known to do that.

Another low-warpage option might be to just put the whole thing on, and just overlap (new on top) it and plug weld the bottom seam... then grind the welds flush, seal the seam, and install a stick-on molding there after paint. It would make sense having like a chrome vinyl bodyside molding strip there to protect the bed front wall from load shift. Just a thought.

I'm leaving out bonding options but if you're curious about that, basically you would do the repair the same but glue the bottom seam. It could work.
 

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Because a picture is worth a thousand words- this is what I mean. Oh and Chucky I see your info says you're in LA. I'm in AR but was Natchitoches Central class of 84. Woot! They sure grow some nice looking women down there.;)

 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Because a picture is worth a thousand words- this is what I mean. Oh and Chucky I see your info says you're in LA. I'm in AR but was Natchitoches Central class of 84. Woot! They sure grow some nice looking women down there.
idrivejunk, that was very much the post I was looking for here. Thank you for the time to write that up and the picture too. I was thinking about something like that, just didn't think of the lap weld. Most of the metal back there is good and from seeing some of the youtube videos and pictures I really think I lucked out with the amount of rust I got.

I feel like I got to say that it wasn't me who put a rivet under the paint. I'm almost scared to see what I'll find under the paint when I replace the metal back there. Must have been rear ended at some time, there is bondo on both sides.

I'm around the Lafayette, LA area now but the car and myself are both from California.

I guess the next step is cutting the old out, right?

Thank you guys again for the help.
 

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Yep, if there's no other things to decide right now go for it. If, once you start, you decide to put more of the patch in... you'll still have that option. So wait until the old metal is cut away and everything is clean and looks like a go, then chop your new patch and apply coatings as desired... And make the repair. If something pops up that you wonder about during the process we are here. Show us how you do when it's did!
 

·
Collector of "someday" cars
Joined
·
2,286 Posts
Are you thinking of flanging the panel to go behind the original ? Without a flange, you may end up with the 2 panels binding and wanting to bulge out. Once both parts are cut down, you can test fit and decide. The flange will require less filler and blending too.

What part of Cali was the car from ? I have a '67 Camaro from the San Fran area and it has almost as much salt rust as a Mn car...:(

The lower area behind the rear wheels and around the tail lights may have patch panels from rust repair. Many times they are pop riveted on...:rolleyes:
 

·
Grand Prix user
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Are you thinking of flanging the panel to go behind the original ? Without a flange, you may end up with the 2 panels binding and wanting to bulge out. Once both parts are cut down, you can test fit and decide. The flange will require less filler and blending too.

What part of Cali was the car from ? I have a '67 Camaro from the San Fran area and it has almost as much salt rust as a Mn car...:(

The lower area behind the rear wheels and around the tail lights may have patch panels from rust repair. Many times they are pop riveted on...:rolleyes:
I was suggesting to yeah, just shove the new in there behind the old without a flange. Don't know for sure that it works on these but he could always put a flange and go just a little lower. Or use a backing plate. Our hero may just have needed a little encouragement and I'm sure he will use common sense in the garage and ask more questions here if not comfortable to proceed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I was suggesting to yeah, just shove the new in there behind the old without a flange. Don't know for sure that it works on these but he could always put a flange and go just a little lower. Or use a backing plate. Our hero may just have needed a little encouragement and I'm sure he will use common sense in the garage and ask more questions here if not comfortable to proceed.
It'll take a day or two before I get to cutting it out. I got a flanger and 3 inch cut off tool coming tomorrow via Amazon prime. I'll find out how my stupid air compressor likes the cut off tool. I really hate my oilless compressor.

I was thinking I would see how it would fit before I flanged the patch. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go on.


In the mean time here is the not so good side view of what I got to work with. Picture was taken where I got the window taken out.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 73 Posts
Top