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DIY bodywork after accident

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Old 19 Feb 2017, 06:14 pm
rob302's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Darien, IL | Forest Park, IL
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Default Re: DIY bodywork after accident

I would stop and wait for bustedpt to chime in. In my experience spray paint gets matte where the edge fades. Buffing what you scuffed might be better..

Not a car paint expert though, so take this comment lightly
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 19 Feb 2017, 08:39 pm
ptprice's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
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Default Re: DIY bodywork after accident

Include a rocker panel skin section in your junk yard forays as PTGT03 suggests. You can cut the hole and the donor metal to fit and be assured the donor metal is the proper shape.You can probably do a lot of pushing out of the rocker panel dent through that hole. Cut to fit, you can do a butt weld with careful spot welds or preferably pick up a crimp tool to edge shape an overlap of the joints. What you don't have in experience can be made up for with your time ( no rush), patience, care and thinking the steps through. I actually went to a Corvair yard with 150 feet of extension cord. I cut out a section over the Greenbriar van passenger door that was rusted internally on my project 'cause of a bee hive living in there blocking water flow. I cut the metal with an electric wood saw with a sacrificial old round blade installed backwards. Necessity is the mother of invention. Here's a photo of that side after the work was all done. You can't tell where the work was done. It was the complete section over the passenger door.

I've never seen that covering up with Bondo or fiberglass makes a good permanent repair.

When we did SOOO BIG's badly dented rocker it was a careful slide hammer pull out of welded pull rods. This included getting all the original undersides back to the stepped configuration. Having restored my share of old sheet metal it was fun to get that metal back to original shape. In your case the best bet is replacing what's not there or too badly damaged.

I guess you'll have the two bozo to help you. Make it a bonding, learning experience.

Pick up an appropriate cheepo welder. I think the one I used was a Forney/Clark or Miller made in Italy. It was a gas wire feed. Well under $200 and it did good job for light weight body work. I've put whole replacement rear quarters on with one. You can find one at HF for the doing your own welding. My brother and I both got 'em and he still has his. Mine had the gas feature, my brother's didn't. I always got a nice clean spot or bead. The gas prevents the build up of corrosion on the weld from oxidation. Just carefully space your spots to prevent warping.

Get one of those electric spray guns. If you keep 'em clean they're great for priming and spotting. I think Wagner and Black and Decker are currently making them. My brother painted his model A fenders black with one. Just as bright and smooth as if Henry himself had painted them. If you can handle a rattle can you should be good to go with one of these. With the money you save when you've got all the body work straightened and bolted on you might put that low cost paint sprayer with in affordable reach. Maybe a local Macco Shop will run a special on just the final painting. If they allow you to do all the prep, priming and taping you'll get a much better paint job than rattle cans.

All the paint doesn't have to be removed from that fender, just a good scuff down, prime and block for true.

Good luck with the fix 'em up project. Keep us posted.

Happy PTin', ptprice
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Last edited by ptprice; 20 Feb 2017 at 09:01 am. Reason: addition
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