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Patch panels (71RestoRod)

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by JTB, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. JTB

    JTB 1/2 ton status

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    I remember some great pictures of floor pan and other patch panel repair. I ran a search and I believe 71RestoRod posted them but the link is not working anymore. I am going to replace my floors and inner/outer rocker panels, cab supports, and much more. I have the panels but before I start cutting I would like to see those pictures again or hear some words of advice. If you have done this before, tell me what I have gotten myself into. Thanks
    Jeff
     
  2. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    Jeff,

    I do have some pics of the floors, rockers, cab supports, etc. but I'll warn you that the picture quality is really poor. I started out taking video of the restoration primarily for reference purposes. All of these pictures were snapped from that video. Didn't spring for a digital camera until just recently.

    Here are the WebShots links that I have up today... they don't include the floor repair pictures yet. I'll put those up for you after work today and update this post.

    I could offer many words of advice... but you are already following the first ones; think it through completely before you get started!

    <a target="_blank" href=http://cards.webshots.com/cp-14464606-BEUN-album/20166966dHeoYctFbT>Rear bed repair</a>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://cards.webshots.com/cp-14464606-BEUN-album/23423163lzSFnIswaJ>Rocker Boxes</a>
     
  3. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I've said it before.....and I'll say it again. Doug is a STUD!!!! [​IMG]

    Those pics show an amazing committment to perfection in your metalworking repairs, and I hope to achieve that same level of success on my own K5.....someday!

    Absolutely awesome!

    I start my Welding class next Tuesday....and I am REALLY psyched about it. Maybe I should put a few of my "first welds" into my CK5 gallery for everyone to see....!! HAHAHA.....maybe not. [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  4. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    Jeff,

    Here's a link to the old floor repair photos. Feel free to shoot me any questions before you get started. These pictures don't really tell the tale. There's always more than one way to get the job done, and I probably would do a few things different if I were to do it again.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://cards.webshots.com/cp-14543224-enEz-album/29997006ECHJBapQcC>Floor and Panel Replacement</a>

    Greg,

    Thanks for the complement. As long as I have both you and the wife fooled, I'll be in great shape! Learn me something about carbs when you get that 850 fixed!

    Doug
     
  5. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Doug,

    All I know so far about carbs is that it's really hard to find a "quality" one. It seems like most of the stuff out there is total junk.....that's a combination of what I've learned "frist-hand" and what a LOT of people have told me on this list over the last few days.

    I mistakenly thought that if I bought a "brand name" and was willing to spend a lot of money, that I'd at least get a high-quality carb....even if I was broke afterwards! Now I'm not so sure...

    I'm hoping to install carb #3 today with the help of my neighbor, and finally resolve this thing. [​IMG]

    BTW -&gt; I took a peek at those other photos you posted....is the secret really to make the fender patches DIRECTLY on a fender lip, or trim line? I think you said that it's easier to prevent warping, or to blend it in with the original metal.....or something like that...?



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  6. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Greg,

    Not not right on the trim line, but close enough to it that the shape of the trim offers some lateral support... it's more rigid there (like a piece of angle iron wont bend compared to bar stock). The idea is to stay far enough away from the trim line to finish it out w/o a lot of filler... something like 3/8" to 1/2" from the line. Nothing will help if you weld too fast or grind to hard, but it does offer a little extra insurance. Every repair is different and I wouldn't replace the whole panel unless you really think you have to.

    On the rear quarters I had to go way above the trim line because of all the rust and damage. For the amout of repair I did, I should have just replaced the bed sides, but I couldn't find replacements at the time.
     
  7. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Doug,

    The reason I'm asking is because I had a cool idea for my K5... I'm planning on going to 38" tires, and I'm going to widen the rear track by 3" to match the front axle width, once I swap in the 14-Bolt. That's going to create PLENTY of rubbing on the outer fenderlip!

    The idea I had is to "graft" the front fender arches onto the rear of the truck. If you look down the side of the truck you can easily see that the front fender lip is significantly wider than the rear....because of it's wider stance up front. Since the rear track will now be just as wide as the rear, it might make sense to use the same fender lip there too!!!!

    I haven't cut out a scrap fender to see how close the match actually is....but if I was willing to do enough work, I'm sure I could get it to integrate correctly. I think that could be a really "subtle" but VERY COOL modification to do. [​IMG]

    Anyway, that was my idea.....and since I don't know much about welding or bodywork.....it all SEEMS to be possible!!! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  8. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    Greg,

    That's a great idea. I can't believe I've never thought or heard of that one before. I'm sure it would match up... albeit with a lot of effort. You might have to fashon new wheel tubs, or purchase the kits from Summit... and reshape the skirt from the inner bed wall. It's like I tell my kid, anythings possible if you put your mind to it!

    I'm going with a matched width D60 for my rear and still obsess over what's the "lowest" lift I can get away with in the rear w/ 33"s. The extra 3" in width will no doubt contact sooner if I twist it up. I'm hoping 4" will do it, otherwise I'll have to air down to park in the garage.. (no sympathy from this board!)
     
  9. JTB

    JTB 1/2 ton status

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    Doug,
    Thanks for posting those pics, they are very helpful. I am replacing the front door pillars, inner &amp; outer rockers, kick panels, frt cab supports, inner door bottoms, outer door skin, and the floors. I am going to be a little busy here. Where should I start? Any tricks that might make this easier for me? And what is a plug weld? I don't think I am familiar with that one. Any words of advice are greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your help.
    Jeff
     
  10. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    71RestoRod...
    Please do explain any tips you have or where to start... what you would have done differently...
    I am planning on doing pretty much the same as you guys.
    Any information would be very helpful!
    Seeing those pictures is very encouraging and inspirational. Makes me want to do the body work sooner!

    [Real Men Don't Care About Gas Mileage Or Rapid Tire Wear!]
    1972 K/5
    Ryan B.
     
  11. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys,

    Sorry about the slow reply... I'm on the road today (slippin in the snow just North of Seattle). There's a lot of stuff I want to through out to you to think about, but I don't have time this morning to work up a good reply.

    One thing worth mentioning is that,as a rule of thumb, you're much better off to swap the part rather than patching it together if you can find a suitable replacement. Inner and outer fenders are one no brainer... but you should also consider complete door shells rather than getting into door skins and door bottoms. I don't know what the quality of the replacement shells is like, but it would be real easy to cut off the window frames and transfer the latch supports. Ask folks on this board if they have any experience with the re-pop doors. I've heard of folks replacing entire bed sides with the re-pop truck sides with good success. Don't discount replacing the entire tub if it's really bad. I found a great replacement tub after I had already put many hours into fixing mine!

    I'll shoot another reply when I have more time. BTW, JTB, a plug weld is really a "poor man's" spot weld. It's used when you lap two sheets of steel. You drill a hole in one sheet, and weld around the edge of the hole to attach it to the other, filling it in the process. It makes a very strong "spot" weld.

    Gotta run...
     
  12. JTB

    JTB 1/2 ton status

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    71RestoRod, I looked at replacing the entire door instead of using lower patch panels but I didn't have the money. My fenders and bed are fine, so i chose to go with the panels. As for the plug welds, how much did you overlap? I was planning on cutting out all rust in the floorboards and using butt welds so the surface will be flush. I guess it doesn't matter too much though because I am going to use a spray-in liner in the tub when I am finished. Thanks for the guidance, and anything you would like to throw at me for me to think about is more than welcome.
    Jeff
     
  13. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    JTB,

    I think you get the best results by butt-welding everything you can. Butt welds are not hard, just be sure that you always trim and fit the new part before you cut out the old stuff. Don’t weld the butt joint in a continuous bead… use small tack welds and space them far apart and proceed very slowly. Let the welds cool down before tacking in between until the welds form a continuous bead.

    Lap joints trap water and can lead to future rust problems. A lot of guys are more comfortable lapping panels together, and it can be done that way with good results and less chance of warping. If you do use a lap joint, be sure to use good primer and joint sealer for added insurance. Having said that, there are still lap-style joint situations all over the place. The outer rockers are basically lapped and attached with spot welds, as are the cab supports, pillars, panel to pillar connections, etc…

    I removed and replaced most of my floors and as you can imagine, without floors or rocker boxes, the firewall was left swinging in the breeze. I replaced one side at a time and always kept the roof attached. I scribed and recorded key measurements all over the body to be sure it lined up again. The doors and fenders went on and off what seemed like hundreds of times to make sure that everything stayed lined up.

    One thing I would do differently next time would be to take the time to build temporary supports in the door openings before even getting started. I was so anxious to get started; I just took it all apart! A better way to get started would have been to align the cab and doors first with the top and front fenders still attached. Then, remove the doors. Bolt some lengths of angle iron at the striker plate and door hinges, and weld in triangulated cross braces to hold the firewall true to the cab. You can purchase adjustable braces for this purpose, but homemade one-offs would work just as well. Then, scribe some reference marks because you will need to remove and reattach the braces during the various stages of the reconstruction. A good trick for lining things up repeatedly is to drill holes just large enough to push the stem of a pop-rivet through… this way you can line it back up in the exact same place and bolt it down tight again. Measure a zillion times, cut a few times, and weld once.

    My advise on the doors would to save that fix until you have practiced as much as you can on other things. The door patches you are describing are tough to pull off without major warping. It would be a good idea to practice on any old junkyard door first… cut it up and weld it back together. You’ll be surprised at the way the metal behaves!

    Have fun! The irony of it is that the more time you take and the harder you work at it, the more it will look like you didn’t do anything to it at all!
     
  14. JTB

    JTB 1/2 ton status

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    RestoRod-
    Thanks for all the advice, Im just about ready to get into that part of the project. I can't wait to have a blazer without any rust! Guys like you make this site as helpful as it is.
    Jeff
     
  15. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

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    Hey JTB,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    BTW, I was talking to a body man yesterday about various things (drooling at his blown '46 Chevy PU), and I mentioned the re-pop door shells for the '67-'72 trucks. He told me that he had purchased one for one of his clients, and was very dissatisfied with the fit. He claimed that the door was 1/4" to 3/8" smaller in dimension around all of the door gaps (as compared to the original)! I'd be curious to know if anyone else has had a similar experience...

    Doug
     

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