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Old 09-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #101
gmachinz
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

wow...I commend you for such an audacious approach! Most people-including myself would just drag home a rust free cab....lol. If I can offer a little bit of help-it appears to me after reading all your threads and albeit a little late in the game now for this....but I think you're putting too much heat into each spot weld-which is burning through it-trying to weld to crappy thin semi-rusty metal will also give you a "popcorning" sound as you attempt to weld it as well. Are you mig-welding the repairs? If so, turn down the voltage a hair and increase your wire speed a touch. And, try to place your tacks about an inch apart and give them time to cool before going back in-between them again. I admire your attempt at salvaging OEM panel sand resisting the urge to buy aftermarket! All in all, very good work, sir!
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:09 PM   #102
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks for the welding tips gmachinz. I try to follow that advise, but sometimes easier to say than do I guess. I don't do too badly when I'm welding right in front of my face. Speaking of which, I been making slow progress the last couple weekends. Got the passenger side cab corner in and started on the firewall. Good bit of rust around where the ac/heater stuff and hoses go through the firewall, and even more when I started cutting away some of the metal. Felt like good progress this weekend though. I'll clean the welds up a bit more, but wound up ordering the wrong abrasives for my die-grinder
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:44 PM   #103
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Well, I have kept at it in the month since I last posted. Just not a lot in any given week. Finished up the firewall and moved onto the windshield pillars/frame (not sure what they are called). Had to shape the patches using bench vise, pliers, a little hammer and dolly. Not sure what tool would have helped on these smaller pieces, but the curves are tough. I've just rough ground the welds with my cutting disk. Still waiting on my course sanding disks for the die grinder to finish up. All things considered, I think these turned out ok.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:13 PM   #104
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Nice build, everything looks great so far! I hope mine will turn out like that! I am just starting on my 79 project, and I had the same question as gmachinz. Are you mig welding or flux core? I need to do a lot of floor and hump patches like you did, but i only have a flux core steup right now. I figure it will burn some bad holes too. Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:28 PM   #105
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Hi Stampy - thanks for checking in. I do mig weld my patches, although I've seen threads where the guys used flux core for sheet metal patches. I've seen a LOT more though who say mig is the only way to go.

I have finished the patches for the cab finally, and I'm working on removing all the surface rust. This cab has been bare in Houston humidity for too long! There are so many edges on the bottom of the cab that they keep tearing the edges off sanding disks. These things below work pretty well. They get tore up also, but last longer - just wear a full face mask because there are a lot of flying hard plastic pieces flying off them! I'm still looking for a better solution short of re-blasting.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:39 PM   #106
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Your builds going nice man. Do you think you could give me some pointers on patch panel repairs. I need to replace the rears of both front fenders.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:11 PM   #107
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks 19silverado77. Sure I can give you tips, but fair warning, this project has been my first experience welding sheet metal as well.

First tip is the google search box at the top of the screen is your friend. Type in "welding patch panels" and select the "67-72chevytrucks.com" dot and you'll get links to a ton of threads specifically on this. Here's an example of a thread I posted asking for this same kind of advise myself.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=576708

I can also give you a few tips that may not be spelled out clearly elsewhere. When you buy your patch panel, it will likely be much larger than the rusted area you need to patch. You don't need to use the whole patch and probably don't want to for these reasons:
1) Smaller patch means less weld which means less opportunity for warping (but you'll probably get some anyway).
2) The leftover patch material is good for those places where you have to make your own patch. I have more of these spots on my cab than the spots I was able to get a patch panel for.
3) Most important, by cutting the patch down to just what you need, if you screw up you can cut the patch and a little more original metal back out and a new patch will still fit for a re-do.

I probably spend twice as long getting a patch to fit as actually welding it in. If you leave gaps that are too wide, they are tough to weld and generally in my case make the job of grinding, fixing burn holes, etc. bigger than it should have been. If your best effort at fitting the patch still leave some slightly too big gaps, use a copper backer behind what you are welding to help you bridge the gap. Weld won't stick to it, and it absorbs heat helping you not to have burn outs. I use a piece of copper tubing I smashed flat with a hammer.

When welding in the patch, everyone will tell you to take it slow. Make a few tacks to hold the patch in place and then fill in the gaps a little at a time, letting the metal cool before you go back to the same area of your patch. One piece of advise I got was rather than putting tacks in the middle of other tacks, start each tack on the edge of another to help prevent burnout. I'll only put 2 or 3 tacks in a row slightly overlapping the last one and then move to another area. Some may say even that is too much in one spot.

Grinding is where I probably have made the most mistakes. In my own experience, when I do a butt-weld for a patch panel, the metal shrinks in a way that leaves the weld in a slight valley. Not a problem if you have access to the back of the weld because after grinding the weld close to flush you can use a hammer and dolly to flatten the area before finish grinding. The mistake I made was attempting to grind the weld flush when I couldn't hammer it back out and didn't really realize what was going on. I was taking off too much metal on either side of the weld. Then, when filling pin holes I'd end up burning a hole in too-thin metal. I've actually had to cut some of these areas out and patch my patch The technique I've adopted lately is to take the weld down near to flush using the edge of a cutoff wheel, just moving back and forth on the weld. I have better control than using a grinding disc because for me it is tough to see just what is being ground (likely metal beside the weld) using the grinder. When you get it close to flush, I've had pretty good success using either a flap disk or a 36 or 50 grit roloc disc on a die grinder to finish taking it down.

For all that, I still don't get patches that look as good as many examples you'll see on this forum. I will be using some "kitty hair" filler over my butt welds. It is supposed to resist cracking better than regular plastic filler. It is also waterproof so it will hide the ugliness and fill whatever gaps I left in my weld.

Hope this helps you some. Main thing is read as many of these helpful threads as you can first, and then practice on something else before you jump right into your fender.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:57 PM   #108
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks man and ill look into it and let you know how it turns out.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:09 PM   #109
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Ok, too cool even here in Texas to spray epoxy primer on the cab, so I've moved to the bed. For the most part, its in pretty good shape except for a couple spots behind the wheel wells, and the bed floor itself is rusted pretty thin. After removing the trim and rails, I started tackling a rusted spot in the bed side. In an attempt to reach a "last page" on my build rather than having each page listed, I'm going to post a step by step of this rust repair.

I'd bought a patch from LMC that actually would replace the entire lower rear bedside, but cut out just a small portion of it that I needed to deal with the rusted area. I used electric shears to cut out the patch. Then I held the patch up to the bedside and used a sharpie to outline the patch, and a cutoff wheel to cut out the bad part of the bed side.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #110
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Then I use a "surface preparation" pad on a die grinder to remove paint and expose the spot welds. For the type of spot weld bit I have, I first use a small bit to drill a pilot hole, then the spot weld bit to cut through the upper layer of metal. You can usually tell when you've cut through by feeling a little more give, and rust and dust start coming out of the hole while you are drilling. Then a screwdriver to pry the cut out portion loose, and voila, the bad part is off. BUT WAIT!!! Behind that is another chunk of metal that looks just as bad as what I cut off (story of my life on this build )
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:26 PM   #111
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

This is where having all the left over patch panel helps. Using a few basic tools you make your own patch. In this case, a couple pieces of angle iron in a bench vice, plus brute strength and a hammer works as an acceptable sheet metal brake. Not shown, but I used the cut out piece as a pattern to cut out and find the right spots to bend in some angles. I use this purple scotch pad kind of "surface prep" disc on the die grinder to clean the rust off the edges of the hole to be patched, as well as to clean up the edges of the patch itself to get clean bare metal.

Then a few spot welds to hold the patch in place and moving around fill in the gaps between the initial welds.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:38 PM   #112
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Finally, I used this flap disk on an electric grinder to clean the weld up somewhat. This one is going to be covered, so I'm basically just wanting to make sure no weld is sticking up high enough to interfere with the outer patch. Once it is ground down good enough, I cleaned the whole area with mineral spirits and then sprayed on some self-etch weld-through primer. Final picture is the original patch over the original hole. It is really close to fitting but need just a little more grinding. But, its dinner time and I've had about 1 too many beers to tackle any more on this patch that's going to show so I'll finish it up one night soon Hope this helps someone that is just looking for a clue as to what is involved, and the tools used.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:22 PM   #113
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Made it to a milestone. Rust repair done At least I think so. Finished up both spots behind the wheel wells on the bed. Other side had a surprise once I cut out the bad spot, so I had to cut even more so I could fix the area behind. I hadn't bought a patch panel for this side so I ended up welding the original metal back in with the smaller patch in it. I think both sides are now ready for a little filler. In fact, that's what is up next. Lots and lots of bodywork.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #114
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Last pic.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:50 AM   #115
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Got caught back up. Whewww, You've been busy.
Congrats on getting to the body work stage.
Looking good Man, Lookin' Good
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #116
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks Bomp. I wasn't sure I'd EVER get to this point. The rust just went on and on. I been following your custom chassis work and its looking really good. Not sure I'll ever be brave enough to take on that much customization - basic restores are challenging my talents as it is
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #117
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Happy New Year! I've spent part of my holiday/work shutdown time figuring out how to mount nurf bar steps on my truck so my wife can get in. Ok, so my heavy old self is likely to appreciate them as well

I bought the bars from Dee Zee. They were universal but supposed to fit my application with some fabrication required - understatement of the year!! Between the step up in the frame starting under the cab, and my saddle tanks, the mounting bracket for the rear didn't even touch the frame and the front brackets only had the top set of holes on the frame. Fabricating a new set of mounting brackets for this severely stretched my limited talents in this area I think I'll be happy with them though after I do some touch-ups.

I'd posted a "need some help" thread on the main 4x4 forum, but got no responses. I'm posting the details of what I came up with in that thread. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...=1#post6445798
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:42 PM   #118
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Boy do those look nice great job.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:59 PM   #119
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

One of my favorite builds is BACK!
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:37 PM   #120
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks guys! Project never stopped, just moving slowly. Here are a couple of the step mounting brackets done. I had been trying to figure out a good way to handle getting my bed on & off and found an add for a device that was a couple hundred dollars. I figured I could build one that worked as well, and it did. Stuck the bed back on the truck to test it out and so I can dial in my tailpipes and get them welded. Felt so good just to see it kind of looking like a truck again that I spent about an hour just looking at it and taking a bunch of pics.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:41 PM   #121
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Couple more. One shows my other project waiting in the wings. Now the bed has to come back off so I can blast it inside and bottom.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:38 PM   #122
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Such a great feeling of accomplishment when you can build your own jigs to move things around. Plus, save all that Cold Hard Ca$h!
Truck is coming along great.
Future project looks promising.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:23 PM   #123
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks Bomp! Lots of feel good going on, and building confidence making stuff from scratch. I'm really looking forward to starting (actually restarting - but that is another story) on the '59. Sure be nice to have a 1st gen Camaro hanging from my rafters though!
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:00 AM   #124
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Nice work! Just read through the entire thread. Looks like you are an expert at sheet metal work after working on this truck!
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:11 PM   #125
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks for checking it out Greenlee! Not sure about expert, but at least I'm not totally embarrassed about the last patches I've done. Think I'm even going to go back and redo some of the early fender patches, but first I'm in the middle of covering all my cab patches in kittyhair.
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