It's always good practice to do the worst, most difficult parts first, so that's why we decided to do the right of the two front fenders first. Wow this poor piece of sheet metal has had it rough over the last 50 years! These first 6 photos show the before, documenting how bad it was.
At some point this fender took a pretty good whack to the front corner. Someone did a pretty decent job of working that area out.
But areas like this that were bent and cracked in that collision were neglected. This will be straightened and welded to be as good as new.
Close up of the old smash up that was repaired, who knows how many years ago.
The "running board" is pretty rough. Someone ran over something and creased it down the full length. Also there is considerable thru rust in the middle. This will have to be removed and new metal welded in.
Here you can really see the damage to the "running board" and how heaved up it is.
And finally, about mid way down, someone clipped something, doing damage to the center portion.
A full Saturday of sand blasting and priming was done. Then an afternoon of welding and piecing in new sections to repair damaged metal on the underside lip.
Here you can see where the hit was. Still have lots to work out on this.
You can see the extent of the rust on the running board area. Will have to cut some out and weld in new metal.
A little work with the cutoff wheel and the pitted, rusted thru metal is out.
The patch has been formed and tacked in place.
The tack welds are ground flush and then hammered slightly with a small peen to relieve the compressive stresses from welding.
A quick check on the bottom shows the weld is making good penetration. Welds are ground flush on this side too. The welds are completed for 100% weld and ground flush.
Body filler used to smooth the grinding marks and then primer surfacer sprayed on. A few block sanding sessions and it's all done and ready for top coat.
A view of the finished fender from the back side.
The inner fender has been sanded once and is ready for a final coat of primer. It too will be painted in the dark green metallic color. Not too many vehicles have the inner and outer fenders welded together!
We'll hold off spraying the green paint on the right fender, and focus on repairing the driver's fender next. It experienced the same damage to the running board as the right side, but that was the extent of the damage. Other than welding in a few rusty places it will be an easier repair. Over the July 4th holiday we removed the fender, lightly sandblasted and primed with etching primer. Then we made the repairs to the lower section. On the third day we re-blasted the work areas and applied a thin layer of body filler on the running board area to fill in the weld/grind marks. Once that was sanded the fender was ready for paint too.
But there was one catch to an otherwise relatively easy part. The lower section of the inner fender looked like Swiss cheese where battery acid had dripped on it thru the years. Whereas the exterior body panels are all made of 18ga metal, the inner fenders are made of painfully thin 22 ga sheet metal, making welding a real challenge.
This is the before photo showing the extent of damage the battery acid had done.
A triangular shaped piece of 22 ga metal was cut to begin forming the patch. Galvanized was all I could find, so that's what we are using....
This crude little forming tool was made to help form the ribs.
Using two different sized peens, the ribs were roughed out.
The upper ribs are almost shaped correctly. The lower ones still need to be formed.
The lower ribs have now been formed, and it is being clamped in place readying it for welding.
The welding is done and grinding of the welds is almost done.
And finally after blasting and a couple of coats of primer surfacer the inner fender repair is done.
Another body panel ready for green paint!
July 21st, 2008