I know most of you havent done this, but I had to report on it cause its
pretty cool! On my 50 3100 project I have 2 doors that have serious
rust-thru at the inside bottom of the doors. I found that Chevy Duty had the
repair patch panels for the inside so now it was a matter of doing the work.
This is no small task and for a total novice like me, a real challenge. I
first borrowed a flange tool and flanged the top part of the patch panel so
that it will look very smooth when done. I then measured the correct hole to
cut into the door. This needs to be very precise. To complicate matters, the
door bottom was crimped and if you want to get the new panel under the
crimp, you really need to bend this crimp 90 degrees to get the new panel
under the crimp. But to make matters even worse, the part that is crimped
was badly rusted thru as well!! So, I bent the crimp to a 90 degree angle
and will now proceed to remove the 3/8" or so of metal that is rusted out
and weld in a new strip. I havent done this part yet so I hope it lays down
smoothly once its welded and I bend it back flat again. Good news is, if
there is any surface imperfections, the 90 degrees will allow me to get
under it with the die grinder to smooth.
I very precisely marked and then cut the old panel out with the die grinder.
This gives a very smooth and straight cut. It was then a matter of finishing
the cut close to the bottom of the door with a Dremel Tool. Since the circle
is so much smaller, the Dremel was perfect to finish the cut. Once the panel
was cut, I used a 2x4 to knock the piece out from the crimp. Took some
serious banging, but it came out without damage to the door skin. Next, I
had to size the new patch panel. The top part was already straight and
flanged and the bottom is fine too since it perfectly fits the contour of
the bottom of the door and slides into the crimp without any further work.
The sides were a bit different since they are not straight to begin with,
some measuring and chipping away at the metal was necessary to bump it into
a perfect fit.
I now have a patch panel that is a perfect fit, and a hole to put it in that
is ready for the welding. I am now too nervous to try to weld this today, so
I am going to take a break and work on it some more tomorrow. I have learned
over the years that it really pays to take your time. Sometimes walking away
from the job at certain times prevents you from making some pretty serious
mistakes. Of course I will take a picture of the done deal as soon as its
welded in. I know I should document each process better by taking more pics,
but since I dont have a digital camera and film is so expensive, I have been
picking and choosing the bigger parts of the job.
Thats if for now!
1950 3100 * 1949 3600
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