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Major Surgery Part 2
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Major Surgery Part 2
Prepping the new panel and the old body for a perfect fit
By Mark Ehlen, Photography by Mark Ehlen
August 23, 2005
When you get to the end of your first slice, pull another Cleco, makeanother cut, and keep adding tack welds about one-per-inch. Once you arethis far, it's OK to keep going in the same direction. Just be sure toquench each weld to avoid heat warping. It's important to know thatthese new panels are higher carbon steel and thinner than the originalbody panel. You have to treat them as dissimilar metals. By weldingevery inch, you are using the previous weld to hold the gap from closingor spreading. You definitely don't want the weld to pull the panelstogether, as that would distort the shape of that upper body line.
When you get to the end of your first slice, pull another Cleco, makeanother cut, and keep
It's important that the panels are flush when you add each tack weld.You'll be grinding the welds flat later, and you'll need the panels tobe even when you do. It's amazing how sensitive your index finger can beto differences in panel height.
It's important that the panels are flush when you add each tack weld.You'll be grinding th
This is what your first round of welds should look like in terms ofspacing and size.
Use some extra caution around the marker light area. This is a flat areathat is more vulnerable to heat warping. Also, don't cut all the wayaround the marker light at the same time. Cut one side, then tack it inplace before you move on to the next side. It's not all that difficultto bend this marker light "ear" out of shape. But once you've got ittacked in place, you can see how the original marker light is now partof the new panel.
Use some extra caution around the marker light area. This is a flat areathat is more vulne
The doorjamb can be another sensitive area. Work with the door closedand watch that you don't distort the gap as you tack weld down the jamb.If you do run into trouble, simply recut the gap and start over. Onceyou have tack welded all the way around, go around again, placinganother spot weld in between each of your previous welds.
The doorjamb can be another sensitive area. Work with the door closedand watch that you do
For round three, do it again. Put another tack in between each oneyou've already done. At this point, your tacks should be about a quarterof an inch apart. Don't get lazy here, and neglect to quench each weldas you go. True, it's less sensitive to heat warping now, but you don'twant any warping.
For round three, do it again. Put another tack in between each oneyou've already done. At
At any point now, feel free to plug-weld the wheelwell opening and thelower lips under the car.
At any point now, feel free to plug-weld the wheelwell opening and thelower lips under the
Before you finish closing the gaps, use a 24-grit disc to take the topsoff the welds you've done so far. You're not trying to grind them flush;you just want to make it easier to see what you are going to do next.
Before you finish closing the gaps, use a 24-grit disc to take the topsoff the welds you'v
At this point, your gaps should be about a quarter of an inch apart.This next part involves closing each gap with three tack welds in quicksuccession.
This is not stitch welding. Do not ever run evena bead. Think of it as tack welding the tack welds together, instead oftack welding the panels together. The welds simply flow out and grab thepanels in the process. Do every other gap first, and then come backaround again to finish your seam.
At this point, your gaps should be about a quarter of an inch apart.This next part involve
This is what your finished seam should look like.
Next, John likes to use a 3M reinforced weld-grinding wheel to grind theweld down almost flush with the panels, leaving only a very slightcrown. It's important not to touch the panels with the grinder, as theycan get too thin real quick. By leaving a slight crown, you are erringon the safe side.
Next, John likes to use a 3M reinforced weld-grinding wheel to grind theweld down almost f
Here's your finished seam. Run a wire wheel around the seam to make surethat any pits that remain are completely clean so the lead work thatfollows will bond securely to the entire seam.
Here's your finished seam. Run a wire wheel around the seam to make surethat any pits that
The next-to-last step in this process is applying a coat of lead (bodysolder) to the entire welded seam. John emphasizes that this is not areplacement for body filler. It is to ensure that any pinholes areplugged to protect from any moisture getting to the backside of the bodyfiller. Just apply a minimum amount of lead per Eastwood's instructions.
The next-to-last step in this process is applying a coat of lead (bodysolder) to the entir
You're almost there. Smooth out and feather the lead with a new 8-inch24-grit disc. Run the disc fairly slow and leave the coarse grit marksit produces; they provide a great bond for the body filler. Here's whatyour finished seam should look like. All that remains is to apply a thinskim coat of body filler using standard techniques, and you're ready forprimer and paint.
You're almost there. Smooth out and feather the lead with a new 8-inch24-grit disc. Run th
These are the grinding/cutting tools that John prefers. From the lowerleft hand corner: 3M Clean and Strip Disc, West Cut 4-inch cutoff wheel,3M Bristle Disc, 3M 3-inch. 36-grit grinding disc, 3M reinforcedgrinding wheel, 3M 8-inch, 24-grit grinding disc, and a 3M dust mask.
These are the grinding/cutting tools that John prefers. From the lowerleft hand corner: 3M
Muscle Car Restorations
PO Box 129
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By Mark Ehlen
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