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Old 11-17-2018, 10:48 PM   #1
feller
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New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Looking for advice and suggestions, attempting to restore an old truck. I just spent $1200 on patch panels and don't want it to be a waste, cab supports, cab corners, inner rockers, inner and outer roof. I can weld and I figured it can't be that hard. I've read a lot about this subject, here and other places just looking for the "speaking from experience voice "
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:19 AM   #2
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

From experience...it can be that hard.....if you've never welded thin metal don't practice on your good parts...get some old junk fenders and do a lot of practicing...if you have access to the backside you can use copper for a backer...it'll help keep it from blowing thru..
There's a couple of ways to join the old to new metal...I've used panel clamps but you'll have a narrow gap to weld up...this is where the copper is nice to have..some people only do butt welds....this'll require very fine fitment to pull this off....don't overlap your patches and then weldem up...you'll also need to know how to properly grind your welds and do hammer and dolley work
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

I'd add only this;

If you have a real mig (gas bottle, not flux core) get some .023 Esab EzGrind wire for the outer panel welds (you can use the flux core .030 on floor pans if you want to do lots of cussing and grinding)

If you are changing over from flux core to gas remember to CHANGE your POLARITY!

You can do it, but you'll hate me for telling you this! Good luck, Rg
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

A few more things to add to Greg's already helpful post.
Take your time - make sure you have the best fitment you can get out of the patches and weld it in slow to let the welds cool to help the warping stay at a minimum.
You also want to keep as much of the original metal as you can.
A lot of people use a scratch awl to mark the patch after you cut out the rust to make it easier to know where to cut.
Use this site's search function to find pictures and how to's. You can also look through people's build threads to see how others are doing it. You could even YouTube. I've also heard a lot of people talking about "ebfabman's" videos. I've never seen them, but I heard they are very good. Use this site's search function and you should find it and find out how to purchase them if you want.
One more thing - if you have questions as you go just post them up on this site (pics always help) and there are a lot of people that will help!
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Thanks guys, honestly the cutting is what makes me the most nervous, its always been a weak area for me. Not too concerned about the welding cause a 7 inch grinder taught me how to be a good welder (grinding crap welds will take it out of you, and I'm lazy) Haha! And I know that good clean metal can make or break the weld. Take my time and measure everything.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:02 PM   #6
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Be sure you x brace the cab before you start cutting...make sure the doors open,close, and latch...
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:48 PM   #7
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Yes, cross bracing seems like the thing to do, thank you again. As far as order I'm thinking outer floors/inner rocker, cab braces, then outer rockers and cab corners. Sounds like a good idea?
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

There is a thread over on the garagejournal by McCarthy Paint and Customs (MP&C) that has some tutorials on metal working.

He has a pretty extensive description on welding patch panels

Here's a link to the thread

https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/...d.php?t=182565
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:19 PM   #9
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Here you go www.ebfabman.com



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Old 11-19-2018, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Thanks guys, will definitely look at these
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:31 PM   #11
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

hey, just finished up on mine, outer floors , rockers, cab corners, all 4 cab supports, , im pretty happy with most of it, but a couple things i learned from side to side, dont take a sawzall (lol) to anything before making some templates out of cardboard, my passenger side is quite alot better than my drivers side, use the whole cab supports instead of splicing in, more work in the beginning but nicer in the end, take your time, measure more than once, brace the cab
and as mentioned ebfabman has great videos that will help

saw you tube mentioned, gibson63 has some great information, was very helpful for me

use the forum, alot of great people on here that are more than willing to help where they can

side note, nice ride to Madison for the unlimited hydroplane races this year

good luck
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:54 PM   #12
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Thanks, honestly I haven't been to the boat races in a long time, always busy doing other stuff, but when I was a teenager I spent the whole week there almost, checking out the babes and trying to find trouble. Funny how those two go together lol. Always had a blast, good friend live music, I need to go back.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:29 AM   #13
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

I just finished up inner/outer rockers, pillars, cab corners, door skins, lower fenders, kick panels and some other random spots that were rotten.

The overlap, scribe and cut to fit method works pretty good. but I also had good luck overlapping the panels a couple inches and then screwing them together with self tapping metal screws. Then you cut through both at the same time with a thin cuttoff disc and the panel fits perfect with a nice weld gap. And helped with test fitting. Test fitting is crucial. If youíre going to do cross bracing( highly recommended) weld the braces in a location so that you can still hang the doors and test all your gaps before welding in the rockers and floors.

You have a lot more welding experience than I did when I started so as long as you take your time and do lots of test fitting you wonít have any problems.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:13 PM   #14
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Good advice to spot weld only and go slow to allow panel to cool or it will warp like crazy. Also if you going to make any of your own patch panels it would be a good place to start so you don’t ruin expensive bought ones. Also just checking you know you don’t need to fit the entire bought patch panel (cut your new patch panel) only replace the rusted out area. If seen some people welding in huge panels and cutting huge holes in the body unnecessarily. Good luck and have fun
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:09 PM   #15
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Draco, I never thought of that, great idea.
Sparky Dave, I did know that, but in some cases I think I will use most of them, easier reference points to line them up, but I am going to try to stay in the low spots as much as I can to help hide welds. Also the PO sprayed rubber undercoat on the back of the cab I'm hoping I can cut all of it out and not have to grind it all off
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:16 AM   #16
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Youíve been given great advice already so I donít have much else to add but I will say I had zero welding experience when I replaced inner/outer rockers and pillars on my blazer last winter. Over all I am happy with the results. Made a few mistakes along the way but I really enjoyed the experience. I will say it is time consuming, at least it was for me. Now on to body work!

Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:29 PM   #17
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Thanks guys, I filled in a few drilled holes yesterday, going to have to mess with welder settings, but overall I think it's right where it needs to be, I'm going to have to piece together a part that I cut off before I looked at replacement one, but I think I can fix it, it will be good practice, and if it's a flop I'll just use my "spare cab" instead lol
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:13 AM   #18
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Are you using MIG, TIG, or gas?
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:02 PM   #19
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Mig, with gas (not flux core) although I've heard flux core with gas might not be the worst thing out there. Wish I could convince the wife that I need a tig welder lol
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:22 PM   #20
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

MIG with 75/25 gas is plenty fine for bodywork. I'd like a TIG too, but sometimes you make do with what you have.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:44 PM   #21
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Any weld on sheet metal is going to shrink, so first and foremost, look for access from the inside/rear side to be able to use a hammer and dolly to add some stretch back in the weld and HAZ. On parts like the rocker, don't worry about cutting a part of it, use the entire part. Panels like the rocker that don't have access for planishing, you are better off using the entire part and using plug welds to attach, which won't have the shrinking issues that a weld seam will. So worry less about using the least amount of new metal as possible, and more concern with planishing access, or methods that provide less shrink.

If you do need to add a seam, make it near a higher crown area or a crease, as these areas will help to minimize the warping effect. If your patch panel has a stepped edge for lapping under, cut it off and do a butt weld. Lapped seams are prone to ghost lines in your finished paint.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #22
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Lots of good advice here, even though I'm new, this all makes sense! Thanks again guys. When bracing the cab, what are you guys doing? I was going to get some thin wall square tubing, I feel like angle iron is a bit overkill and something closer to the sheet metal thickness would be better? Not sure if I'm barking up the right tree or not. Also I think clean up will be easier
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:10 PM   #23
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

If you use tubing, get some 3/4 or 1in square tube in something like 14ga...you want to triangulate your bracing...that's the strongest way..
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1981 C30 LQ9 NV4500..http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=753598
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Columbus..the 1957 IH 4x4...http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...63#post8082563
2013 GMC Z71..daily driver
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:18 PM   #24
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Here's a vid of what your looking for....and a pic.i would prefer a x in the door opening as opposed to one angle....https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j6NkE7xHaHc
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1981 C30 LQ9 NV4500..http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=753598
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Columbus..the 1957 IH 4x4...http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...63#post8082563
2013 GMC Z71..daily driver
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:59 PM   #25
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Re: New to bodywork, suggestions, and advice

Awesome Thanks, exactly what I was thinking about with the tubing
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