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  #41  
Old 12-04-2009, 06:42 AM
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tdoty tdoty is offline
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Had it been something for me, I probably would have made some new panels rather than welding some rather questionable sheetmetal back together. When it's a paying gig, though, you do what the customer asks.

It came out nice and the only real filler needed was to cover the factory joins at the roof corners. The areas that were the worst to weld were some really bad cuts around the rear window frame - I think the guy switched from a sawzall to a can opener for those areas.

We both decided it would be cheaper and easier to just buy the pieces for $75 than to go repro or shape new stuff. 108 lbs. of sheetmetal, shipped, for $75 ain't bad....especially when it's useable stuff. I probably couldn't even have shipped the boxes for $75!

I wish I'd taken pics.....

Tim D.
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  #42  
Old 12-04-2009, 08:48 AM
CARS CARS is offline
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Does metal burn off? I can't wrap my mind around the statement that fusion welds are just as strong as welds with filler added. And if it doesn't burn off slightly, you must have your two panels absolutly perfect. Not one single wave that will need to be filed down. If you don't the metal is thin.

Maybe that is because I am still figuring out how to achive perfectly matched panels

And maybe it's just because we were taught to have penetration on the backside and other "myths" that only adding filler can achieve
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  #43  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:26 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Originally Posted by CARS View Post
Does metal burn off? I can't wrap my mind around the statement that fusion welds are just as strong as welds with filler added. And if it doesn't burn off slightly, you must have your two panels absolutly perfect. Not one single wave that will need to be filed down. If you don't the metal is thin.

Maybe that is because I am still figuring out how to achive perfectly matched panels

And maybe it's just because we were taught to have penetration on the backside and other "myths" that only adding filler can achieve
Chris, if you clamp or screw your patch panel on top of whatís being repaired, then scribe the lower panel using the edge of the patch as a guide and then trim carefully to that scribe line you should have a near perfect fit that can easily be fine tuned by a touch here or there with a 3Ē pneumatic grinder. Where are you having problems with this ? Itís a pretty straight forward process, maybe some of us can offer helpful suggestions. ~ John Buchtenkirch
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  #44  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:45 AM
CARS CARS is offline
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John, it isn't on outer skins and items like that. It's wheel housings and other complex curved fitted parts.

When I make a outer wheelhouse lip for a car I get it close enough for MIGing, but I don't think I could TIG it. I always seem to have to move it a little bit after I fit the quarter panel. Never off enough to matter with MIG though.
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  #45  
Old 12-04-2009, 12:32 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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John, it isn't on outer skins and items like that. It's wheel housings and other complex curved fitted parts.

When I make a outer wheelhouse lip for a car I get it close enough for MIGing, but I don't think I could TIG it. I always seem to have to move it a little bit after I fit the quarter panel. Never off enough to matter with MIG though.
Chris, you are right, outer wheel-houses are very tuff because their fit is so critical to the quarter panel having good panel gaps. What I usually do is lay the quarter on a blanket and focus on making the outer wheel house fit the quarter while trying to keep it swinging in towards the inner wheel-house. Then I clamp the new outer wheel-house to the quarter lip and put the 2 on the car as a unit with drill tap screws positioning the quarter with good gaps. After several on & off fittings (and sometimes many more) I have a fit up good enough to scribe and tie the 2 halves of the outer wheel house together with drill tap screws for location. Then I usually trim my overlap to only a 1/8Ē and just mig it. Sometimes on fussy jobs I have spent the extra time to further fit and butt weld them but the wheel-house should really be well under-coated (it gets constantly sand blasted by the tire) so having a perfectly shaped & butt welded wheel-house is pretty much a moot point, in my mind water tight fit is much more important. Of course if the customer has a historic factory light weight car (sans undercoating) and wants a perfect restoration we can accommodate him, it just takes a bunch more $$$. I say save the highest quality work for the outer skins where it maters when re-finishing a car. Itís very hard to get paid for your time to make outer wheel-houses and hat section floor stiffeners let alone make them to absolute perfection. Scott Knight said "when you first start shaping metal one of the hardest things is to learn is when to stop, youíll tend to think a few more minutes work and it will be absolutely perfect" but believe me his work was very nice. I say itís just knowing where to spend your time. Time to go make some doughnuts . ~ John Buchtenkirch
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  #46  
Old 12-05-2009, 08:48 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Back when I did only heavy collision work I installed an awful lot of quarter panels, over roughly 14 years I installed well over 500 quarters. Many of the jobs were both quarters, both outer wheel houses and both trunk floor skirts for muscle car restorations. The most common mistake I would see less experienced body men do is line up the new outer wheel-house to markings from the original one and weld it on and then have to fight with the quarter to get decent gaps .


What I used to do was punch all my holes so I was ready for plug welds but then mount the outer wheel-house with 2 or 3 drill tap screws & washers in oversize holes so the wheel-house could float around a bit. Then I would temporally mount the quarter with vise-grips and drill tape screws to establish my panel gaps. Once I was happy with my gaps I would go into the wheel-house and tack the 2 halves together in 4 or 5 places which would lock it in position, then I removed the quarter and fully plug weld the outer wheel-house on. That is how I always got excellent quarter panel gaps .

When your a auto body painter you get judged by how close you match the paint in color & texture, when your a heavy man you get judged by your panel fit or gaps so that’s where my focus was. All this talk about wheel-houses got me thinking about my old technique which I think some people in the group could well use for their benefit. Actually a lot of my work I used to prepare to weld but only assembled it with clamps, screws or a few tacks so I had the option to move things a bit if needed latter in the job. I’m sorry to have evolved so far off the invisible weld thread but threads sometimes develop their own wings so to speak. ~ John Buchtenkirch

Last edited by John Buchtenkirch; 12-05-2009 at 08:50 AM.
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