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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I started early on my winter repairs and wanted some advice while working on my '64 vert. The pics show what I have to deal with. I want it done right so while I'm confident in my skills, I'm nervous about making things worse. My welding experience is minimal (I can make multiple pieces into one and are solid but don't look pretty) I don't want to have to do any panel replacement if I don't have to. My plan is to weld in filler for everything in the pics. One area is the passenger side tail panel seam and the other is the passenger lower fender/firewall mount. I know that usually the rust is hidden further than what shows at first, so am I in the right frame of mind? Tips tricks, material, welder settings, etc. Oh I'll be using a Lincoln TIG with argon and will be on a really low setting. My intent will be to stay low amps so that I don't blow through and small sections at a time to keep from warping. I think that because it's in a crease with bends that warping should be minimal. Again, I'll appreciate anything you have to input. -George



 

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On that tail section, my dad was a body man and would use something like liquid aluminum. It was a powder you would mix in a hardener and then apply and grind or sand after it set up and then prime and paint. Almost like bondo but it's metal. Might be able to tape the area underneath and then apply on top?
 

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You will never be able to fill all that up with weld...you will blow through and have a much bigger hole. Like noted above ...metal to metal is an alum. type of body filler ..that can fill those holes for yah. That's your only option...other than replacing the panel
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. Would one be considered more professional than the other? I just don't want to "fix it" and regret it later.
 

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Not familiar with a "passenger tail panel seam" so excuse my ignorance. But looking at it, the metal is too porous to attempt to fill it in with additional metal via the TIG. The professional way would be to cut out the rotted metal and replace it with new metal.

Anything else you do to "fix" the rot may not be long lasting. Rust has a way of continuing and trying to cover it up to look good may only hide it for the short term.

If I were to do a quick fix, I would give the area a good sandblast with some of that walnut media which is said not to warp metal (have never used it myself, so no confirmation on this).

Then use a rust neutralizer over the area to saturate any rust still in the metal.

Then use a fiberglass cloth/resin to lay over the area. It will follow the shape as you simply lay it over the damaged area. Let it set up. Then sand the fiberglass to scuff up the surface to make it rough. Use a product called "Kitty Hair" http://www.evercoat.com/product-detail/base-part/100868/us/ to go over the fiberglass cloth like bondo, and work it as you would body filler to get a smooth even finish. This "fix" should be fairly rugged, be easy to work with, and last long.

Here is a quick basic You Tube video on the stuff. You can use it as the video shows, but I would still use the fiberglass cloth as a backer over the rust holes and then apply the Kitty Hair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an8WcfTtLog
 

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Id like to see some better pictures of whats going on but IMO the only way to properly fix it is with a metal patch butt welded in or replace the panel. Top panel looks like it may have been "repaired" previously? The bottom looks easy to patch, but again I would have to see a "clean" panel with no paint.

Don't rush into this OP. If you have a tig welder, brake and shear you can do anything.....just take your time.
 

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:thumbsup: :agree: The only right way is to cut out all the old rust, weld in new fresh metal. Even if you've never done this before, it's a skill that can be learned. Heck - I did and I'm not that smart :D

The nice thing about this kind of body work is that if you go slow, take your time, and make a mistake --- you can almost always just cut it out and start over.

Bear
 

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:thumbsup: :agree: The only right way is to cut out all the old rust, weld in new fresh metal. Even if you've never done this before, it's a skill that can be learned. Heck - I did and I'm not that smart :D

The nice thing about this kind of body work is that if you go slow, take your time, and make a mistake --- you can almost always just cut it out and start over.

Bear
Yup, rust never sleeps I have tried encapsulators etc. and the bubbles show up under the paint.
The only way to fix it right is to cut it out back to clean metal and start fabricating if you can't get repro panels.
The shop next to ours has an old pre war metal brake so it makes it easy for us, if you don't have one cut it out as complete as you can and find someone who has one that can bend you up a copy.
Beat to fit, paint to match.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It should be simple in that the rot hasn't gotten into the bottom of the trunk/filler panel. I've got it clean on the inside and it stops right at the seam where the tail panel starts to connect inside the trunk. When I get the body back down on the frame, I'm going to tackle this. I have a TIG and access to metal working tools so I'm figuring I'll just make a slim rectangular panel to weld in after I cut all of the rot out, then use some filler to help get the form down right. I don't see the need in replacing the whole tail panel for this `6" section of rust. I appreciate everyone chiming in and keeping me sane.
 

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Perhaps its worth to cut and see whats the other side. I show you mine....

[/IMG]

Mine looked not so bad until i started to grind the bondo and surprise !!! As you see it s cut now, Im going to weld it , but the deep rott is not even possible to acces....

As said Bear it s a skill that can be learned and would say its THE skill that a car guy should learn !

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Perhaps its worth to cut and see whats the other side. I show you mine....

[/IMG]

Mine looked not so bad until i started to grind the bondo and surprise !!! As you see it s cut now, Im going to weld it , but the deep rott is not even possible to acces....

As said Bear it s a skill that can be learned and would say its THE skill that a car guy should learn !

Good luck.
Man I hope I don't find that it's this bad. I have no problem practicing and learning but my skills with a welder are literally making multiple pieces into one. My fear is that this car is the one for me and I don't want to play or experiment with her. I'm going to do as all of you suggest and just cut it all away. When I see how severe it really is then I'll decide what to do from there. Any ideas on where to get a replacement tail panel just in case?
 

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You may want to cut the piece out as a single piece to keep it and the contour of the metal intact. Then bring it to a local sheet metal/fab shop and they can shape a piece of metal to match. Just have them add a little to it on all sides so you can fit it in and trim as needed.

When you do weld, stitch weld it in to reduce any warping. Do not make a long continuous weld. Tack the replacement piece into position to keep it from moving under heat. Then weld a small weld, maybe 1" on the left side, then one on the right side to allow for cooling. Continue to do this filling in those spaces you leave jumping around making the stitch welds. You do not want to rush it or try to knock it out too quickly and end up with a lot of warping and additional straightening & filler.

They make these neat clamps for butt-welding sheet metal. Take a look at the assorted photos to see how they work. The very bottom of the clamp had a block that slips in and gets clamped down to. When done, you back off the wing nut, slide the block out from underneath, and pull up the center divider. I bought mine locally at Harbor Freight, but have yet to try/use them, but they should do the job and it will hold your piece in place as you weld. 8 Piece Butt Welding Clamps
 

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Discussion Starter #14


Thanks all. PJ, I will definitely take your advice and thanks for the tips. Those are the little things that will help me out. Any advice on how to separate the panels in the section I labeled #2? I don't imagine cutting straight into those "sandwiched" panels is the correct way. Also, unless I find more rust beyond this, I plan on cutting along the outside yellow lines. Again, I know I'm being picky and I appreciate everyone's patience with me as I really don't want to screw this up but I have to start somewhere learning this stuff.
 

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My guess is, you may have to go higher up on the cut for panel #1, you want to get into some solid metal and it appears you are just above the rotted stuff. I might even consider going up to the underside of the "overhang" and splicing there as it may be easier to hide and shape rather than where you have the #1 cut being made.

Is it possible to just make 1 panel by combining your #1 & #2 and forming this as a single curved piece? I would go as long/straight as I could and then you will have to form/weld the corners and then add that bottom flat filler - except I would go right to the edge versus where you have straight cut it short from the edge (#2).

To remove/separate the metal at the bottom, I might simply grind the top/edge from the bottom piece ( not grinding it up) and separate it. Then when you lay your good sheetmetal on top of the ground edge, I would tig the edge of the 2 pieces together.

Not seeing it in person, I am just throwing this out to you, so you have to make the call on this. You don't want to weld any more than you have to, so you want to try and use the largest pieces of metal to minimize all the joints and additional filler.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So a follow up, I'm having the tail panel section made at a local fabricator. So in the mean time, I moved on to round 2 which consists of replacing the passenger's body mount next to the wheel well. As expected, I have questions about this as well. Here is my patch panel and one with it in place.






This shows the gap in between the rolled edge of the patch panel and the wheel well. It's about a 1/4" gap. So here are my questions. Did I do something wrong in fitting my panel? What is the correct way to make this fit correctly? I can't imagine injecting sealer is the answer. I'm thinking of forming the existing wheel well metal to the patch panel but I have reservations about that as well. Last, is it better to trim the patch and keep most of the original metal or trim the trunk panel? One of my main goals is not to cut into the trunk support brace unless absolutely necessary.



 

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Off the top of my head, looks like you made the patch panel to fit, but may have not calculated for the rolled edge. Make the patch panel 1/4" ( or whatever the gap is) longer on the rolled edge before rolling it. Might that do it?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Found this gem while cleaning up my frame. Its on the passenger's side just in front of the rear wheel where the boxed section starts. It has not gone through the welds. (It's a 64 Vert) The bottom part of the inner section is rotted away about 8". I cleaned, scraped, cleaned again, then sprayed Eastwood's encapsulator all over the inside until I get to repairing this. If I wanted to cut it all out and replace it where would one make the correct cuts to put it all back in place? Any idea on where to get frame sections or do I need to start pounding on some 1/8 inch? I also had the idea of replacing the section I cut out and then lap welding some 1/8 inch around this section. Looking for opinions on either plan. Also, this is the only spot on the whole frame with problems. It has been stripped all around and nothing else was found.



 

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Discussion Starter #19
As far as the body mount you all have been helping me out with goes, I've managed to get the fit correct. The gap that I had a concern with turns out to be on the other side because I had to cut so much of the wheel well bottom off. I'm going to attempt hand making a bottom section to keep from buying a replacement and then chopping off such a small piece. Wish me luck on that. BTW, where do you guys get your sheet metal? Local to you or online? Here's the section almost ready for welding.

 
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