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Username Post: patch panel welding        (Topic#354620)
Posts: 528
Loc: Ohio
Reg: 12-17-06
12-29-18 05:06 PM - Post#2755945    

hello, Ive been putting patch panel pieces on my project. some pieces 3"-12" in length and need advise on how to eliminate the metal from sinking or raising. I use spot type tacks but am usually left with areas not filled after I take a scotch loc to it then fill those areas and more grinding.
then its sometimes a slippery slope of metal malformation the more its addressed. Any advise would be great.
thanks jim


65' Impala SS, 65' Belair, 89' Silverado Z71, 95' Silverado Z71, 12' Silverado, 15' Silverado LTZ, 16' Tahoe LTZ


Super Senior Member
Posts: 14403
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
12-30-18 08:58 PM - Post#2756060    
    In response to 995jim

The best advice is to only do a couple of tacks and let the area cool off before introducing any more heat in that area. So skip around a lot. When you get closer to finishing, you won’t have as many areas to skip to, so you’ll just have to wait for it to cool down. Also limit the amount of heat you put into the panel while grinding. Welding causes shrinking, so you’ll always have a little warpage. The idea is to limit it.

You may need to metal finish some areas. Which technique to use depends on the damage. If you have a low spot you can get to from the back, you can do some on dolly hammering to stretch the metal a bit where it shrank. If you have low and high spots adjacent to each other, you can do some off dolly hammering to raise the lows and lower the highs.

Also, patches with square corners will shrink more at the corners. Patches with rounded corners will shrink less.

Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon
1957 Cameo Carrier

Ray P W 
Posts: 482

Reg: 09-30-15
12-31-18 09:27 AM - Post#2756096    
    In response to wagonman100

Good morning Jim.

The "professionals" just mig weld the patch panels in quick and dirty then cover the whole mess up with bondo.

To avoid that I did my own body work without any bondo when I restored my '36 Chevy PU in the early 1970s. There are probably many ways to weld in patch panels but here's what worked for me.
1. Made patch panels sized for butt welding.
2. Surrounded repair area with wet towels to absorb heat.
3. Tacked panels at approximately 1" intervals with Victor oxy-acetylene torch with #000 tip installed.
4. Welded sections approximately 1" long then cooled area with towels before welding the next section.
5. Hammered the welds to lower their profiles.
6. With hammer, dolly, pick hammer, adjustable Vixen file and "slapping" file worked the area to blend highs and lows for correct contour. With a thin rag under your palm you can actually feel irregularities that you can't see.
7. Shrank the "oil can" areas that inevitably result from the welding.

Metal shrinking is another whole topic that you may already have mastered.

I'm a geologist, not any kind of automotive professional. So I figure if I can do it, anyone can. Like anything, it just takes time.

The results were good enough for my restored '36 PU to win its class (T-2, 1929-36 trucks) at the 1976 VCCA National Meet in Colorado Springs competing against the mega dollar trailer queens. I throw that statement in to make it undeniable that a motivated amateur can do body repair and painting as well or better than the "professionals".

You can do it! Good luck.

Ray W

Edited by Ray P W on 12-31-18 09:29 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


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