TAC Tech => Exterior => Topic started by: formula jg on November 16, 2016, 07:05:21 PM

Title: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 16, 2016, 07:05:21 PM
...and I need all the help I can get from you guys.
 
Gas tank is out, really good shape so I'm cleaning and painting it. I ordered a new 2-line sending unit from Rockauto which their catalog had as fitting my '79 but ended up returning it because the supply line was towards passenger side which is actually for a Chevy engine optioned Firebird. My original was the 3-line sending unit put haven't used the return line since my mech. fuel pump doesn't have the return feature.

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/image_zps0qr36kpa.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/image_zps0qr36kpa.jpeg.html)
 
Tail lights, wiring harness and bumper are off revealing the ugly truth about the lower section of inner and outer panel. Upper section is in great condition but based on my zero auto body and welding skills it may be less difficult to replace it all in lieu of trying to section the lower half (I could be wrong).

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20007_zps3mmdufcw.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20007_zps3mmdufcw.jpg.html)
 
[imghttp://http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20010_zps5g1qfzv7.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20010_zps5g1qfzv7.jpg.html)

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20011_zpsjyuoyt2n.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20011_zpsjyuoyt2n.jpg.html)

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20012_zps4cmc8bid.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20012_zps4cmc8bid.jpg.html)

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20009_zpslvagvuem.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20009_zpslvagvuem.jpg.html)

After removing the wire harness and examining the original panel vs new panel I noticed the upper part of these panels are welded together along the trunk seal channel. That area of my original panel is in primo condition and painted to match the car's exterior see attached pics.

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20002_zpsugne53go.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20002_zpsugne53go.jpg.html)

http://(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20001_zpscooljmme.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20001_zpscooljmme.jpg.html)
Do you think its more difficult and more work to separate both new and original trunk seal channels from their respective main tail panels and attach the new main panel (less the trunk seal channel) to the original trunk seal channel or remove and replace the entire original panel?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20004_zpsxyusiyhj.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20004_zpsxyusiyhj.jpg.html)
(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20005_zpsnesbtn7u.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Tail%20Panel%20Replacement%20005_zpsnesbtn7u.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Grand73Am on November 17, 2016, 11:38:34 AM
Now's a good time to learn some body and welding skills  :) . You're going to need them.

It would be much easier to only repair the rusted areas and leave the upper part of the panel alone. Removing the entire panel and hoping you get it all lined back up squarely with the quarters and trunklid would be more difficult and require more body skills than just patching up those few rusted areas, plus you still have to weld it anyway.

From what I see, you only have 3 areas that need patching. So, you don't even have to replace the entire lower part of the panel. I'd just cut out those rusted places, and use the cutout metal as templates to use as guides for cutting out patch panels from your new panel. Cut the new metal patches larger than the cut out holes so you can trim them to fit as perfectly as possible before welding.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 18, 2016, 06:12:57 AM
The entire inner panel is rusted and has to be replaced so if I decide to section this area the minimum to be cut out is about 1/2 the panel (just below the gas filler neck opening.

Anyone try acetone to remove seam sealer?
If not, what do you recommend besides grinding and creating a lot of dust and debris?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on November 18, 2016, 06:51:15 AM
I used a wire brush on my angle grinder to remove the seam sealer. worked great, but yea a lot of dust was created. I agree with Grand that you are far better off only replacing the areas where the rust is a problem, and not having to mess with lining up with everything up top. In theory you could maybe try this instead of welding.
http://www.eastwood.com/ew-no-weld-panel-repair-kit.html (http://www.eastwood.com/ew-no-weld-panel-repair-kit.html)

I have never tried it, and have no first hand knowledge, but it looks like it gets some good reviews... Perhaps someone will come along shortly and speak to if that is an option for the specific area you are working on...

If you decide to weld in the repair:
I can tell you that with zero welding skills the first patch will be rough, but by the time you get to the second and 3rd you will feel like a pro. Also remember that when welding the grinder can resolve most mistakes, and a copper backer will help prevent blow-through. I knew nothing about welding a few months ago. I am now just about finished replacing my passenger side floor pan, and have no worries about doing the drivers side and trunk floor. I am no expert, but I can attest to the fact that anybody can learn it. Add to that the fact that your problem areas (like mine) will be hidden when the car if finished, so you don't have to be a welding guru to get a quality repair done.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 18, 2016, 07:36:14 AM
Thanks for the link, I would like to hear from anyone that's actually used because it would be a great alternative for me.

When it comes time to welding this thing I'm hoping I can convince a friend of my with lots of experience to help me out (but not guarantee as he is a single dad with 6 six kids so needless to say very little spare time). 

You guys both mentioned the same thing about the challenges of lining things up and I know this area of the car is an intersection of a lot of panels ie. trunk, trunk drop-off, frame rails, quarter panel, etc... However none of those areas are being replaced so I presumed that when it comes time to fitting the new panels I wouldn't need to mess with all new reference points, or maybe I'm missing something?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Grand73Am on November 18, 2016, 07:57:21 AM
To remove the old seam sealer, I suggest a propane torch to soften it while scraping it off. Comes off easily that way. Of course be sure that all flammables are removed from the area. The remaining residue should clean off with some acetone and coarse steel wool. Other solvents work too. I use lacquer thinner, since I always have some of that around for paint cleanup. The wire brush on the angle grinder or sander machine would further clean up the areas.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 18, 2016, 08:17:35 AM
Propane torch, great suggestion, thank you.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Black Sheep on November 18, 2016, 02:28:53 PM
Section just the bottom half.  Easier for a person with "limited" skills.  Your repair will be hidden by the taillights and bumper.  If you go to replace the whole panel, you will have to make the repair look factory, as it will be seen everytime you open the trunk.  Plus, it will have to be painted the color of the car.  Also, reproduction body panels are never an absolute correct, drop in and everything lines up deal.  Hell, I've had NOS factory parts that had to be modified to even fit the car.

Until you get more skill, just repair the bottom half.  Weld it, dress the welds, rattle can some black on it and be done.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 20, 2016, 11:54:05 AM
I just removed my tail panel yesterday. IMO, this is one of the easier panels to remove. The spot welds can be seen/found fairly easy. Just a guesstimate, but there was maybe 60 spot welds. Use a good quality 1/8" drill bit (Dewalt, Milwakee, Vermont American) to drill out the centers and a cheap Harbor Freight spot weld cutter along with cutting oil. I had the panel out in 2 hours. Probably could have had it out in 1 hour if it not for the beer breaks. Hey, it was Saturday night!

My observations so far:
-use a heat gun and scraper to remove old seam sealer. Just soften it up, maybe 5 seconds of heat is all that's needed to make it scrape off real easy.
-the AMD replacement that I received is 1/32" shorter in width and all light mounting holes appear to be in the proper places. Some of the angle brackets for the light harness are off by 1/4", some are dead on but I don't think it matters.
-I'm pretty sure if the outer panel is sorta bad than the inner panel is probably completely gone, like mine.
-There are at least 2 spot welds holding the quarter gutter to the tail panel gutter on each side. There were 4 spot welds on one side and 5 on the other where the quarter, tailpanel, and quarter extensions overlap in the truck area.

Here's some pics:
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_145909870_HDR_zpsnfa2lqy4.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_145909870_HDR_zpsnfa2lqy4.jpg.html)
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_214851788_HDR_zpshhzmhedh.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_214851788_HDR_zpshhzmhedh.jpg.html)
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_214859921_zpsogtlh34t.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_214859921_zpsogtlh34t.jpg.html)

I was planning on cutting and replacing bad sections like other suggested but as you have noticed, you need to cut out such a large portion to replace that inner pan that you might as well just replace the whole thing. So far, the AMD panel seems like a very accurate reproduction, let's hope!

My question is, does anyone know what that red stuff is? Is that a special seam sealer for overlapped welds? Do I need to use it? Where do I get it and what is it called?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 20, 2016, 05:47:35 PM
I really hope you continue to post here with pics, tips and progress updates it's very helpful not to mention encouraging for me.

This weekend I decided to prep and paint the tank and bumper brackets to give me time to put together a plan of attack on the panel.  Now that's done and next weekend I'll hit the seam sealer and possibly start on the spot weld removal. 

Any idea what could have caused this bumper washer to crack like this:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_0144_zpskqa6fqmu.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_0144_zpskqa6fqmu.jpg.html)

Do you have any feedback on the following:

"Do you think its more difficult and more work to separate both new and original trunk seal channels from their respective main tail panels and attach the new main panel (less the trunk seal channel) to the original trunk seal channel or remove and replace the entire original panel?"

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 20, 2016, 06:09:10 PM

"Do you think its more difficult and more work to separate both new and original trunk seal channels from their respective main tail panels and attach the new main panel (less the trunk seal channel) to the original trunk seal channel or remove and replace the entire original panel?"

I think it's all a matter of opinion. To me, it could be difficult to remove the channel from the new tail panel only because of the odd angle you would be working. In the end, in seems like popping welds is just as much work as lining up the panel. Of course, if you bought a bad repro then you need to do whatever to make it fit.

That washer may have cracked from age, rot, collision or too much torque.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 24, 2016, 05:15:53 PM
I'm C-Clamp shopping but there are so many different sizes and seeing it's gonna take quite a few of these to hold the panel in place the cost could really add up.
If someone can narrow down the sizes I might need it would help keep some funds in my pocket.

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/locking-c-clamp
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 24, 2016, 06:11:21 PM
You really only need a few clamps. If you were a professional welder, then you would need several clamps of each size. IMO, go to Harbor Freight and buy 1 medium size c clamp, one spot welding clamp, and a few spring clamps. That'll get you started for the most part. This way you try out what works best for you and either buy more HF clamps or a better quality set. One or two of the really large c-clamps may come in handy for the tail panel, but I'm really not sure. Don't forget, self drilling sheet metal screws can be very helpful in this scenario.

These are the clamps I have:
http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/clamps/6-inch-swivel-pad-lock-grip-pliers-39534.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/clamps/6-inch-swivel-pad-lock-grip-pliers-39534.html)     (1)
http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/clamps/2-inch-capacity-steel-spring-clamp-39529.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/clamps/2-inch-capacity-steel-spring-clamp-39529.html)    (2)
http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/clamps/1-34-in-nylon-spring-clamp-69291.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/clamps/1-34-in-nylon-spring-clamp-69291.html)               (2)
http://www.power-tec.co.uk/product/91360 (http://www.power-tec.co.uk/product/91360)                                                                                        (1)

Have you decided if you're going to remove the entire panel or just patch the bottom yet? So far, I've mocked up my new AMD panel and the fit seems pretty darn good. There'll most likely be some metal that needs to be moved around I'm thinking. In my situation, parts of the trunk pan, frame rail, and bumper tabs need to be replaced and both tail panels are in the way. Put that all together and complete removal makes sense. If you don't have as much rot as I do it may make more sense for to only cut out the rotted sections like others have suggested.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 24, 2016, 07:48:22 PM
That last link with the Power Clamp is sweet.
No HF here in Canada, a C-Clamp locking plier is $20-25 CND. It doesn't look like HF offers international shipping I have to shop around online might find a Black Friday deal.

I'll have a better idea once I start grinding down some spot welds and cleaning up the original panel a bit to see what I find. As it sits now it appears the trunk pan, trunk drop offs, frame rails all look good.

Since the inner panel is badly rusted I would half to cut at least the lower half off.  If I go this route does the new panel overlay just above the point that I cut off or would I need to cut the new outer panel to butt up to the original along the cut line (that seems like a lot of tweaking to get it to butt just right for a stitch weld)?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 24, 2016, 08:39:35 PM
Butt weld vs lap weld is an argument for the ages. LOL!

A lap weld could work, but you should use a flanging tool so the panels sit flush. My preference is for butt welding only because it eliminates a factor that causes rust. In our scenario, I would use a butt weld because I think it would be easier than trying to flange the odd shape of the tail panel.

I think I heard someone say Princess Tools is Canada's version of Harbor Freight. For something like a clamp, I'd buy cheapo stuff all day long. For a tool that I'm going to use on a daily basis I'd buy a quality brand name. The clamp from the last link is sometimes called a spot weld clamp and I got my set from Harbor Freight but couldn't find it listed on their website. They work great for spot welds.

It sounds like I'm back tracking a bit, but if you can get away with just cutting the lower section and butt welding your life will be a lot easier. I would have gone that route if I didn't need the space to stuff my fat behind in the trunk! :lol:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 26, 2016, 06:24:12 PM
After spending the afternoon removing the seam sealer and grinding the original panel along the quarters up to the trunk I now have a new found respect for you guys that make it seem easy.

I'm leaning towards replacing the entire panel except for the trunk gasket rail but this may change as the project progresses. My only concern is possible warpage of this narrow strip of metal when it comes time to weld the new panel to it.

The drilling can't start till I get the Blair spot weld drill bits that were ordered a few days ago, but plenty of work that needs to get done before then.

There's a couple of areas I'm stractching my head over how they're attached to the panel. It's where the frame rails meet the back side of the outer panel? I think the tabs at the end of these frame rails have a bead of weld on the backside and if so what's a good method to separate the panel from them?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 27, 2016, 09:18:03 PM
i'm not certain, but I think some of the welds go through all three panels. So, you may get all the welds holding on the outer panel but may need to go deeper to get the inner panel.  The gas tank brackets are welded to the inner tail panel. The vast majority of my inner panel no longer exists so I will just be grinding the remainder from the brackets. Often, it's easier to cut most of the panel away and then go after the  spot welds.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 28, 2016, 09:03:16 AM
As I scrap away the seam sealer I'm really starting to see some of the hind details and slight variations between original and new panel. I see your new panel has details mine doesn't like the half circle relief cut approx. 6" down from the top corners, my panel is from FB Central (made in Taiwan):

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/New%20Panel%203_zpsjrakhewo.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/New%20Panel%203_zpsjrakhewo.jpeg.html)

I found C-clamps at a reasonable price online and noticed they come with or without swivel ends, what do you recommend for this job?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Greenbird76 on November 28, 2016, 09:45:54 AM
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=54404.msg492540#msg492540

I'm sorry I have not been able to respond to your latest email.  Try this link above.  It discusses my tail swap.  I posted many times in the past regarding the swap.  I used vice grip clamps and cheap clamps from harborfreight and tried to get the ones with the stiffest springs I could find.  As someone posted previously, the vice grip ones are so expensive.  I still use the cheap spring loaded ones for all my welding projects.  As I stated to you earlier, I found it easier to separate everything and want to be 100% positive all rust was gone eliminated and would not return.  I spent countless hours researching and practicing my welding before even touching the car.  Glad I did it then because I would not have the time right now!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 28, 2016, 10:21:55 AM
Hey Ron, like I said earlier, total respect for you guys that do this kinda of work.

Did you use C-clamps with or without the swivel ends?

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 28, 2016, 12:17:22 PM
5 of 5, would you mind taking a couple of close up pics at the trunk corner, right where the panel comes up to start forming the trunk seal. A pic of the corner which remains attached to the car and another pic of the original panel at that same corner.

thx.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 28, 2016, 03:55:10 PM
I'll try to get some pics up for you later tonight. I think the panel you bought is a Goodmark product. I bought the AMD panel last year, stored it and forgot about it. Then I bought the same panel you did a few months ago. It has a CHL label one side and another label on the other side that says GDK on it; I'm not 100% sure that its a Goodmark though. So, I have both panels and the AMD fits a lot better than the Goodmark. The Goodmark panel, on my car, would need a little adjustment to fit were as the AMD panel just sits in nicely. It's not a big deal, just food for thought when buying panels.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 28, 2016, 05:42:02 PM
Tried searching Goodmarks website but couldn't find tail panels for '79 Firebird (just to compare it to mine).

My panels came with a black paint does it have to be removed entirely or just the areas that will be spot welded?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Greenbird76 on November 30, 2016, 09:17:15 AM
Did some online digging and came up with this book.  Really detailed and they actually have most of the common rear body panel replacements posted in this article outlined for our cars.  I wish I knew about this when I did mine. 
http://www.cartechbooks.com/techtips/pontiac-trans-am-firebird-body-panels-guide-70-81/
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 30, 2016, 11:20:44 AM
I printed that online book about a year ago and have read through it several times. It inspired me to do this job but now that I'm actually doing it, I look to you guys for guidance and inspiration cause there's an intimidation factor that comes with this repair that no book can really walk you through it live. Thanks for posting the link, I didn't think to do it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: NOT A TA on November 30, 2016, 12:13:22 PM
Once you get started, just keep plugging away at it. Don't try to rush things because that's how you burn up drill bits or get hurt. Make sure you have appropriate safety equipment on  for particular tasks. Face shield, breathing mask, gloves, hearing protection. Panel replacement is more time consuming than a lot of people think and I use a lot more tools than you'd think. Currently doing full trunk pan, frame rails, inner splash pan, trunk drop offs, and torque boxes on 67 Camaro.

(http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff292/NOTATA/67%20Camaro%20RS%20SS%20Conv/20161126_144905_zpsqysdv4z8.jpg) (http://s240.photobucket.com/user/NOTATA/media/67%20Camaro%20RS%20SS%20Conv/20161126_144905_zpsqysdv4z8.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on November 30, 2016, 12:50:13 PM
RESPECT!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on November 30, 2016, 03:50:24 PM
JG, I been trying upload photos but PhotoBucket has been giving me log-in problems for the last few days. For what I think you're asking, the quarter gutters have about a 1" piece that sits in the tail panel gutter and gets 2 spot welds. The tail panel itself, sits underneath the tail light extension, sort of like a sandwich with the quarter on top, tail light extension in the middle and the tail panel on the bottom.

This stuff only looks hard because you haven't done it before. You want to see some awesome work, look up members Jack and Doright. Jack's got an uncle that can do some cool work with a gas torch and Doright, he's so stubborn that the metal bends to whatever shape it needs to be all on its own. LOL! These guys are just 2 examples of people doing amazing stuff with a hammer and torch, there's many here on TAC.

Also, remember that the guys that put your car together weren't engineers or carriage makers. You're going to find a panel here and there that dosnt look just right. It may have been adjusted with a hammer. They worked on a line, which means total time crunch, just get the part attached and move to the next one. Speed was the order of the day. Whoever did the seam sealing on my '79 apparently had stock in the sealer company, I'm finding blobs of it all over the place and in some seams it sits close to an 1" high. It certainly wasnt the previous owner because it looks like he used aluminum gutter seal as a seam sealer, it doesn't work by the way,lol. The factory sealer in my '72 was done in a much neater fashion and not dripped all over the place.

In my situation, I'm going to tack my tail panel in and then put in my tail lights and probably rear rear bumper back on to make final adjustments. Look at the bumper holes before you pull your panel. They probably arnt lined up "perfectly". Not a problem, just use a file when it comes time to install the bumper.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 02, 2016, 12:34:19 PM
You can forward pics to my email. The Blair spot weld cutter came in and tomorrow got a little sealer left to remove and start on the spot welds.

As I mentioned earlier I'm leaning towards replacing entire panel up to the trunk gutter seal. I would leave the original gutter in place and weld the repop panel to it (remove the gutter from the new panel first of course). But before I get to removing the spot welds along the gutter I need to know which side to drill out the spot welds from on both the new and original panel, any suggestions??
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 02, 2016, 01:43:32 PM
Hmm, I wish I thought of just removing the gutter, that was the only part not rusted! LOL I don't have the panel in front of me so I don't know which panel would be best to drill out. Generally, I try to remove the spot weld on the thinner piece of metal so I can put my new welds into the thicker piece. It's one of those things were pre-planning can save you a bunch of time and pain. I try not to use the holes left by drilling out the spot welds when I can; it may be just me but I tend to have better luck with making nice looking 3/16 or 1/4" spot welds and get a lot of burn through when trying to fill 5/16". I do use the holes left by the weld cutter, as is necessary at times. I tried to include enough pics so you can get an idea of where the welds are.

(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_214859921_zpswctrawax.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_214859921_zpswctrawax.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_214907559_zpscdjlh3mt.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_214907559_zpscdjlh3mt.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_214912651_zpsdzz9nh1b.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_214912651_zpsdzz9nh1b.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161119_214918298_zpspq6z0lcx.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161119_214918298_zpspq6z0lcx.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161125_231507890_zpsk4w1ywet.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161125_231507890_zpsk4w1ywet.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181651732_zps2trzfa4z.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181651732_zps2trzfa4z.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181658720_zpszkeykdlv.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181658720_zpszkeykdlv.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181658720_zpszkeykdlv.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181658720_zpszkeykdlv.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181706887%201_zpsrqzvp7bt.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181706887%201_zpsrqzvp7bt.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181724881_HDR_zpszpbsbare.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181724881_HDR_zpszpbsbare.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181734971_zpsocwtxwyh.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181734971_zpsocwtxwyh.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161128_181734971_zpsocwtxwyh.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161128_181734971_zpsocwtxwyh.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 02, 2016, 02:12:59 PM
This is awesome with you doing the same job at the same time, the pics really take some of the edge off any potential surprises.

I gotta ask about that area where the trunk pan looks like it was sandwiched between trunk bracket (inside trunk) and outer panel, does the inner panel also slide in between there?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 02, 2016, 02:26:51 PM
The trunk pan is sandwiched between the upper bumper bracket and outer tail panel. The inner tail panel is sandwiched between the lower bumper bracket/frame-rail and outer panel.

Some of the spot-welds got really crazy in the upper and lower bumper brackets. You'd expect maybe 2 or 4 per bolt hole. One of them had 6 lined up in a row and I think 2 of them only had one weld. Of course, some of those welds could have rotted away! lol
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 03, 2016, 08:16:49 PM
That helps cause I couldn't determine how it was layered through all the rust in that area.

Couple of questions:

a.  How does the trunk lock rod and spring get assembled (it came apart as I was removing the seam sealer today).

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_0151_zpsdqxjdic0.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_0151_zpsdqxjdic0.jpg.html)

b.  I rec'd these tail light retainer gaskets and not sure if or where the white ones are installed, my originals only used the black rubber ones.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/image_zps8b4qnxju.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/image_zps8b4qnxju.jpeg.html)

Started drilling 5 down and ??? to go:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_0152_zpswbk8vhbr.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_0152_zpswbk8vhbr.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 03, 2016, 08:25:17 PM
I think the black rubber ones go outside. Mine had all black ones outside and I only found one white one on the interior. I don't know if it was factory, but mine were smothered in some kind of sealer, looks different than seam sealer.

I was looking at the gutter today and it doesn't look like it can removed and reinstalled without a lot of work. I just finished replacing my driver side frame rail and inner tail panel. I'm gonna try to finish up the outer tail panel tomorrow and get it back on the rotisserie so I can get the floor painted up.

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 03, 2016, 09:50:34 PM
Correction, I just had a closer look the black rubber on the inside and white on the outside my bad.

The gutter news is a little discouraging. To me it looks like once the welds along the gutter are removed the old panel will separate leaving half the original gutter in place. The new panel would slide up to it on the inside without disturbing the corners of the gutter.

Do you think there is more envolved with this proceedure
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 04, 2016, 03:42:06 AM
If you try separating the gutter, just take a few minutes to think about it first. It seems like more work than necessary. But what I'm concerned about is if you're gonna being to just slide it in. I really don't know. I had to bend a portion of the tail light extensions in order to manipulate the panel at an odd angle. The lock-cage gets hung up on the trunk hump; taking that out would have made things marginally easier but then I would need to weld it back on. Now, all I need to do is tap those bent extensions back, much easier. It seems to me that it would be easier to section out just the area below the lights and butt weld it back together.

Here's some pics of the lock and my panel mocked up for welding.
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161204_012749262_zpsridkbijw.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161204_012749262_zpsridkbijw.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161204_012807007_HDR_zps95x7fgxi.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161204_012807007_HDR_zps95x7fgxi.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161204_012833262_zps2a8ssqrt.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161204_012833262_zps2a8ssqrt.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161204_012854955_zpshgtsfjii.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161204_012854955_zpshgtsfjii.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/IMG_20161204_020408994_HDR_zps4ombkxiw.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/IMG_20161204_020408994_HDR_zps4ombkxiw.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 04, 2016, 07:09:15 PM
Awesome close up pics of the lock, I had no problem after seeing those (never would of figured it out).
Your just motoring along there good thing this isn't a race cause your kicking my ass.

Did your new panel come with the lock-cage on it?

Mine did not so I have to re&re the original lock-cage. I have to rethink sectioning the panel in lieu of replacing it.

Got a few questions about sectioning:

a.  How do I determine my cut line?
b.  How do you transpose the the cut line to the new panel?
c.  What happens at the area around the tank filler neck, does the cut line go through the center of that opening or do you cut below the bottom of the opening(can't see the latter happening because the inner panel comes right up to the bottom of the filler neck opening, right?)?
d.  How accurate does the grafting have to be (in my minds eye it seems like a lot of work to cut and past the lower section but what do I know I've never done it)?

Got all but a few spot welds removed on the lower half so its time to decide.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/image_zpsogkrbhio.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/image_zpsogkrbhio.jpeg.html)


Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 05, 2016, 02:51:19 AM
Win the race! I already finished and stripped the paint off the inner trunk, replaced an inner panel and a frame rail to boot. :lol: :lol: In all honesty, this stuff is easier than you think. You'll pick up speed after a few panels. A friend of mine once told me Math isn't hard, the people around you are just telling that it's hard and you're believing them. That was in 7th grade and he was so right.

Yes, my panel came with the lock cage already attached. When buying panels, you really need to look at part numbers and descriptions. For instance, there are at least 3 full floor pans for these cars. They come in varying degrees of "completeness". I'd imagine these cages rarely fail, so no biggie. Also, it's a little easier to fit the panel without it, although I just banged metal out of the way and then banged it back when I was done. Both ways work!

A. I'd literally free-hand it, only with a Sharpy first. Use your left hand on the inside of the panel and place your right hand on the outside of the panel. You should be able to get a feel for where your fingers are on either side. Once you have an idea of where your fingers are you can use them as a frame of reference for drawing a line. Another way would be to drill a series of hole, above the trunk pan and at any changes in direction. Then, use those holes to draw a line. Another way to do it would be to cut off small sections at a time until you're clear of rust. It all depends on how far you want to go.

B. Cut the new panel longer/wider than it needs to be by about an inch. You want to sorta craw up on the final cut. Also, your going to need a second attachment point to help you place the panel in the correct position. In my mind, that would be the bottom inner panel, where it connects to the out panel. Place the new-cut panel in position on top of whats left of the old panel and draw a line. You can either recut the older panel or the new one. It's a good idea to cut a little oversized and then grind to final fit. Again, you wanna crawl up on the final cut.

C. You are correct about the inner panel. I would try to make the cut above the trunk pan by about half an inch and cut through the almost center of the filler neck. If you cut through the trunk pan, just weld it back up.

D. If you don't replace the section that holds the tail lights then you can almost put this in sideways! :shock: If the bumper bolt openings are off, then grind them bigger after the panel is in place.

Going by your pictures and what I just did to my car I would replace the entire panel, but that's me. Problem is, this isn't the best panel for a person to learn about panel placement. I had to grind away the corners of the new panel's outer gutter to get it sit where I wanted. In reality, as long as the gutter is placed correctly, all your holes can off by a little and you can just just adjust them with a file. All of the cuts you're going to make into adjacent panels will be hidden by the trunk lid, tail lights and bumper, for the most part.

I'm too tired to write any more. Here's some pics, first one is what I'd do if I was gonna replace just the lower half. The second is just an alternate way of doing it. The second way is probably easier and plus, you already drilled the spot welds
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/Formula%20JG%20new_zpsmejkkrpl.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/Formula%20JG%20new_zpsmejkkrpl.jpg.html)(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/Formula%20JG%20Alt_zpsujcaksqo.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/Formula%20JG%20Alt_zpsujcaksqo.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 05, 2016, 09:59:33 AM
Thanks for taking all the time with my many questions, the last thing I want is to have a shop to fix or finish what I started.  Believe me I'm no stranger to having to do things 2 or 3 times to get it right but this really isn't one that I want to have that happen.

In your mock pic I don't see any clamps (except maybe behind the filler door).  How do you mock it up so that you can test fit the tail lights and also be able to shift things slightly if you need to realign the lights or brackets or whatever else?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 05, 2016, 11:11:33 AM
I used a c clamp in the filler neck area and then 2 locking clamps along the bottom edge where it meets the inner panel. Held it all in fine. If you do a total panel removal, tack weld a few supports to hold the right and left gutter in place; do this even if you leave the tail-panel gutter in place, just in case. Whenever you're in doubt, use a brace. They will float a little, may 3/8" up and down.

Don't sweat this, it isn't that bad. Mine is off by a 1/16" here and there. There is a bit of adjustment in the tail-light and bumper holes and again a file can be used to get you that little bit extra adjustment.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 05, 2016, 01:11:46 PM
I'll ask a lot of questions but its always the ones I don't ask that come around to bite me in the arse. :?:

Do you use a weld thru type primer for the plug weld areas?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 05, 2016, 01:53:15 PM
Ask away, questions are how we learn and you're the only one left that will talk to me! :sad: :lol:

I use weldable primer in any location that I can't prep after welding. Otherwise, I don't use it because it's usually too expensive to use as a regular primer. Some of the weldable primers are very expensive and still splatter and burn away. I'm using Summit brand SP1105. It's a self etching primer that's weldable, splatter and burn away is minimal. I'm very happy with it especially because it's only $8 US a can.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 06, 2016, 07:13:50 PM
I'm thinking the easier way would be to prime along the flanges that will be hidden after weld, then clamp the panel(s) and remove the primer that is exposed through the plug weld holes prior to welding.  Only thing is I'm not sure what to use that is small enough to get into those plug holes yet efficient enough to do a lot of them in a timely manner.

Other than the areas to be welded does the black coating on the entire panel need to be removed or can I prime over it and finish coat paint?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 07, 2016, 02:58:09 AM
I've done what you're talking about. There is a small 1/4" wire cup brush that attaches to a drill or die grinder. It definitely works, but you should remove more primer/paint than just the plug area to avoid contaminating the weld. I usually go through the trouble of finding all my plug welds to strip back primer/paint about 3/4"-1". Sometimes we need to be flexible about blind welds.

As far as paint, you need to test the panel. Use a solvent like acetone. Soak a rag with the solvent and lay it on the panel for a few seconds. Try scrubbing it with the rag, if any comes off you may want to remove the primer as it's probably just a shipping primer. Usually, the description of the product will say e-coated, epoxy/weldable primed, or bare.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 07, 2016, 06:57:05 PM
OK, so I was watching a few videos on mig welding plug holes and came across a few videos where they mig welded without plug holes and the penetration was right through both panels.
Which has less margin of error?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on December 07, 2016, 08:24:41 PM
I have a panel hole punch tool and have always plug welded through holes.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 08, 2016, 01:36:50 PM
The problem with welding in the manner you speak of is the massive amount of heat you need to pump into the panel. For example, when butt welding 20 gauge I set my welder to 1 for heat and 5 for wire speed. Plug welding 20, I use 1 for heat and 8 for speed. To make that weld, I would need to take my welder up to 3 or 4 and max out the speed. It's doable but takes practice, even then there's still a big risk of warping a panel or getting burn through. The panel goes in and comes out fairly easy so marking, punching and cleaning the holes isn't a big deal and should go fairly quick.

At FormTA, do you have the combo holepunch and flanger? How deep does yours set the hole from the edge of the panel? I bought the Harbor Freight cheapy and it has a 3/16" punch but it can only go in a little under a 1/2". This only leaves about an 1/16" of metal at the edge of the panel and I usually end up burning it away. I'd like to get one with a deeper throat, maybe like 5/8".
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on December 08, 2016, 08:41:33 PM
Yes it is a combo tool. I'll have to see what the setback is. I've had it for 20+ years. Sun something was the name but it has wore off... I guess it may take some practice but I rarely burn through the outer part. I start fighting the middle then swirl to the outer and finnish on the opposite side.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on December 09, 2016, 08:46:13 PM
On my floor pan I used a drill rather than a punch (maybe because I don't have a punch haha). The nice thing about using the drill is you can set the holes back further, but the real benefit for me was I used a smaller hole. and put them more often than the original spot welds. Smaller hole is easier to fill, and less likely to burn through. My thought is that more spots should make up for the smaller holes, but others might think differently.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: scarebird on December 10, 2016, 01:15:15 AM
OK, so I was watching a few videos on mig welding plug holes and came across a few videos where they mig welded without plug holes and the penetration was right through both panels.
Which has less margin of error?

It is easier to weld with the holes, but if you are skilled (welder, metalworker, etc) you can do without the holes.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 11, 2016, 02:00:41 AM
What's great about a punch is that you can easily shoot of 5 or 6 holes in the time it takes to drill one, on outer edges only.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on December 11, 2016, 05:30:40 AM
Ya, I really like mine. Not a tool that gets a ton of use but good to have if your doing a restoration that will need a bunch of sheet metal replaced.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 11, 2016, 01:45:44 PM
You know where the punch really shines? I replaced my entire floor, in sections. There's approximately 6' of flange and lap joints per side that the punch bangs holes through in a matter of minutes.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 11, 2016, 05:09:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback in your thread, link here:

http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=73156.0

I'm out with the flue so no work got done this weekend, good thing is it bought me another week to make my decision.

Were there spot welds right in the the 1/4 panel gutter corners as well as that flat area at the same 2 corners?

I'm not sure of the area you refer to as "the tail-light extensions will need to be bent out of the way".

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 11, 2016, 06:08:39 PM
Hmm, IIRC there will only be one spot weld on each side attached directly to the outer tail panel. The gutter is also welded to the taillight extension and the rear quarter. The taillight extension is the piece that connects the upper sides of the outer panel with the very end of the upper rear quarter. It's the piece that holds the outer/top bolt of your tailight.


I was looking through your pics. That's a nice Formula, I kinda prefer the clean look of 'em to the gaudiness of the TA. LOL

Do ladies usually hug polar bears in Canada or is that a dire wolf!?  :lol: What kind of dog is that? It's huge.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 11, 2016, 07:22:53 PM
So there are 3 layers of panels that come together at the gutter corners?

It's an Alaskan Malamute, was the neighbours dog that was left alone outside all day and night. The wife use to spend time with her walking, grooming, etc... The neighbour never understood why the dog would not listen to them and at the same time didn't get the concept of bonding. They moved a couple yrs back and which created a void for wifie so she filled it with these guys:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/Dogs%20003_zpsxezdosf5.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/Dogs%20003_zpsxezdosf5.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 14, 2016, 02:19:54 PM
The debate to replace entire panel or section it rages on. However I read this and think I can live with the thought of sectioning this new panel (that I paid a lot of Canadian $$$$$ for) as they did here:

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/mopp-0507-panel-rust-removal-2/

Click on "View all 25 photos"

If I proceed with this method I'm open for suggestions such as how much to overlap new and old panels? Where to start the plunge cuts? etc..
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 14, 2016, 03:19:52 PM
I've seen that done in how to videos and tv shows a lot. Never done it to a car, though. I have done it for drywall repairs and something similar when laying out peel n stick vinyl tiles.

I'm pretty sure you could use this method with a tail panel. Just cut off the unwanted portion of the new panel (most of the top) and then cut off any of the bottom from the origional panel that would prevent your patch from sitting flat. Don't try to cut away ALL the bottom of the old panel, mostly the area where the outer panel meets the inner panel. Use a few clamps to hold the piece along the bottom, figure out where you plan to cut and then use sheet metal screws to hold the 2 pieces together, unless you got clecos. Put the screws through your cut line like they did with the clecos. The idea is, your cutting wheel's thickness is the same as the diameter of your wire, I think .025.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on December 14, 2016, 04:06:37 PM
That is exactly how I do all of my patch and major panel replacements. I do floor pans the same way too. You get really good at heat control while tack welding...
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 14, 2016, 04:12:27 PM
I would try for something like the pics in reply #37. That gets you above the trunk line and from the pics past the rust and into flat, easy to weld profiles. Wherever you make the cut just keep in mind that you need to be able to get some paint on the weld. In the video they used lead. That was neat. Many people use water proof stranded filler or just seam sealer. I'll be using seam sealer over all my butt welds. They did pass the flashlight test, but just in case they're gonna get sealed. It's the best to preeserve the important holes. Plus, you gain access to the inner panel for some paint or any repairs

Growing up, my Dad always had Doberman Pinschers. When he hit his 60's he got into Miniature Pinschers. I would always ask when does the rest of the dog get here. It's weird when you're use to large dogs and then switch to little ones. LOL
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 14, 2016, 07:46:48 PM
1st.   Are the sheet metal screws right on the cut line or just above it so they're holes will need to be filled?

2nd.  If I only cut the area below a line where the outer meets inner panel isn't the trunk up-turn going to prevent me from painting the backside of the new section along that cut line (for corrosion protection)?

3rd.  How would I make the cut noted above without cutting the trunk up-turn panel?

4th.  How do you remove the original panel section thats between the butt weld cut line and the line that was used to cut off the bottom old panel that your suggesting?

The car is kept at the cottage so I hope to visually get my head around this on the weekend but would it make sense to have the butt weld cut line follow along say 1/4" above the top of trunk up-turn until you come to the lock cage area where the cut would be somewhere below the bottom of cage but above the top of inner panel?  I'm thinking this would leave me access to the back side of the butt weld for prime, paint and seam sealer, could be missing something here though.


Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 14, 2016, 09:38:49 PM
This is kinda an important quote from that link:  "No two cars were assembled exactly the same. In fact, the same car is not the same from one side to the other. Everything wasn’t intended to be perfect, it just had to be within an acceptable tolerance. Now if you add thirty or so years of usage and maybe even a bump or two, you can see why no car is going to be perfectly “square.”  Learn it, live it, love it or else you'll be tearing out your hair LOL!

1. In the link, their holes were above, below and in the cut line. As long as the hole isn't full of jagged metal it will weld up just fine.

2. You may need to apply paint with either a spray wand extension (long hose) or an artists brush taped to a stick. A shortened brush taped to  a pipe cleaner will get you the articulation you need.

3. Once you get the hang of using a cutting wheel it's easy to adjust the depth of your plunge cut. Don't worry if you cut though the trunk pan, just weld it back up.

4. Parts of it should end up in the trunk and some between the inner and out panel. You may need to make some preliminary cuts to make things a little easier.

On the last thing, I would try to avoid the lock cage area all together. Just cut across the filler tube opening. See why SOMETIMES it's easier to change out the whole panel? :lol: This only looks difficult.

Think on this while you are sick, but don't do it until you are well. Last spring I got pneumonia, the Docs blamed my younger sister who had strep throat. I think all the welding fumes and grinding I was doing at the time mixed with me having the flu and the little one giving me strep caused my pneumonia. Better safe than sorry!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 17, 2016, 01:36:23 PM
Yes I am starting to see why it may be less work (and skill) required to change out the entire panel. I'm taking your advise and gonna wait till I feel better to get back at it.

Which sheet metal screws do I use to temporarily secure the panel, self-tapping or regular and what size?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 17, 2016, 02:27:27 PM
Yes I am starting to see why it may be less work (and skill) required to change out the entire panel.
  HEY!  :mad: :x: :lol: :lol: :lol:


A # 8 sheetmetal screw should do you fine, less than 3/4" long. I'd predrill the holes and don't gorilla-crank them into place, just snug. The cool part about the clecos they use in that link is that they don't distort the metal. I'll buy a set one of these days. Screws will distort the metal of the hole just a small bit but it comes right back into shape with a light hammer tap. The distortion is slight and caused by the inclined plane of the screw. You could just weld em up and grind the distortion away but be careful, you run the risk of thinning the metal. The important part is that you are careful about welding any jagged metal, this is different from the distortion. Don't get freaked by anything I'm saying, these are just heads up kinda tips. There's a bunch of physical properties of steel and heat that should go here in the discussion but I'm three beers into my 10 car driveway with only one shovel. :oops:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 27, 2016, 05:46:28 PM
Hope everyone had a good, safe Christmas. I started back on the tail panel removal today but finding some of the factory spot welds below the filler neck opening is taking up a lot of time because they were sanded down so smooth they're hard to see or feel, I'll get those suckers.
I want to order the gas filler door seal, its the strip that is approx. 6" long and slides onto a tab that is formed along the trunk gutter. I'm having trouble finding it online maybe I'm not using the correct name, does anyone know what its called?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 29, 2016, 04:39:10 AM
The factory used a spot welder. They leave much less evidence than our migs.

I'm pretty sure the 6" long strip is called "that thing by the gas cap". I think it's there for gas pump handles to rest on, but not sure. I feel like it's either called a bumper or filler. I'd try some of the people on this site for such a part like Pete at Fbodywarhouse or Kentucky Yeti. Post over in the looking for parts section. If you wanna go McGyver on it, use some 5/8" fuel line, but no duct tape!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 29, 2016, 04:42:38 AM
Just did a quick search for that thing by the gas cap:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9OI1uRR4ZY
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Aus78Formula on December 29, 2016, 04:53:45 AM
The white compress, the black don't. And they don't supply enough for what's needed. These were used on the rear bumper as well. Cut any extras needed.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 29, 2016, 10:18:45 AM
I decided to remove the entire tail panel but am at a stand still cause I can't find these bloody factory spot welds. This is where the lack of experience rears its ugly head.

Here are the 2 areas giving me grief:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/image_zpsczgohrjk.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/image_zpsczgohrjk.jpeg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/image_zpsofca6pnh.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/image_zpsofca6pnh.jpeg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/image_zpsklhkhosx.jpeg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/image_zpsklhkhosx.jpeg.html)

I know all these cars built back then were welded slightly different so I'm not expecting someone to pin-point each one just some tips to finding them without making a mess of things here.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on December 29, 2016, 05:06:59 PM
Were you using a grinder or a flap wheel? In my experience, the flap wheel will not tell you were the weld is. They remove too much material too fast. A grinder should turn them blueish. I try to use bright light and my fingers to find spot welds, works most of the time.

You might have ground off the hints of the spotwelds. IMO, the low spots in your pics are where you will find the welds. Try using a small screwdriver to pry up the quarter, just slightly.

here's mine, there were 3 spot weld in the same area on mine. Approx. 1/2" away from the hole in your pic at about 7 o'clock.

(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/1979%20Firebird/IMG_20161203_175535383_zpsyvp2w0wq.jpg) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/1979%20Firebird/IMG_20161203_175535383_zpsyvp2w0wq.jpg.html)


Keep this in mind, if you're not getting aggravated by chasing down spot welds then you're not doing it right! :lol: :lol: :lol: Worst case scenario, cut out large sections of the origional panel close to where the welds are suppose to be and then start peeling back the steel left on the car till you find a weld.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 29, 2016, 08:13:54 PM
The area was cleaned up using a die grinder with disc, I think 60 grit. I had started prying the 1/4 panel from the tail panel by bending the tail panel down so as not to disform the 1/4 and gutter but I stopped and walked away because I allowed it to intimidate me. Gonna take another stab at it after New Years.

How about the area below the gas filler opening?

I'm dead set on trying to remove the entire outer panel as one piece and don't want to start cutting it up and I understand it's more work to do it this way but who knows maybe it'll become wall art some day.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on December 29, 2016, 09:40:25 PM
Looking good, keep at it!

Something I came across for fixing holes you don't want because they were drilled in the wrong place, blow thru.. whatever...  Get yourself a copper bar, does not need to be huge.  put it behind the hole you need to fill, and just weld over it.  the weld will not stick to the copper, and it acts as a backer to hold the material in place.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on December 30, 2016, 08:11:03 AM
ditto with what MZ Formula said. I actually bought a piece of 3/4 copper pipe and pounded it flat on the concrete. Then I cut it into 2-4 inch pieces. They work fantastic. If you have a strong magnet it will hold the the copper backer in place so you don't need to have 3 hands to work it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on December 30, 2016, 09:19:20 AM
Thanks guys, I will need to close a few holes that were over-drilled on some spot welds so gonna definitely use this copper tip.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 14, 2017, 06:38:47 PM
I went to war with the gutter coners today and almost lost the battle, man the triple panel layers in this area were mind boggling. The panel is in one piece and literally dangling from the lock cage, is there a technique to remove the panel with the cage still on?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 15, 2017, 06:53:41 PM
Hit the first milestone for this project:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1920_zpskksvhjlj.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1920_zpskksvhjlj.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1932_zpsoyitw0g2.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1932_zpsoyitw0g2.jpg.html)

Next is the inner panel and I had a close look at the area where it comes across the lower frame rail flange. The flange is solid but the panel seems like it melted (rusted) itself onto the flange not sure how to get it off and clean up the flange ends.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1924_zpsdz3jafzm.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1924_zpsdz3jafzm.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on January 15, 2017, 08:13:03 PM
OMG, what did you!  :lol: :lol:

Yup, you're gonna need an inner panel. I think there are a few more spot welds that went threw both panels and into the frame rails
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 16, 2017, 05:12:01 AM
I have a new inner panel ready to go. Did you ever find out what the red sealer is?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on January 16, 2017, 08:53:28 AM
Yes, it's just seam sealer. I don't know if it's special or high heat. The write-ups I found about it mentioned that spot-welders use very high heat for a fraction of a second. The burn time is so short that the sealer doesn't catch fire. I welded mine in place and sealed the inside. I was going to sealer the outside too but didn't because I was worried that water might get trapped in there.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 16, 2017, 09:17:13 AM
Since we are on the topic of seam sealer can you recommend one because there are quite a few different types.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on January 16, 2017, 03:40:31 PM
I would go with whichever product you can purchase locally. For me, that's Dynotron; IIRC, it's a Bondo brand product. I bought it at O'Reily's. My local Autozone and Advanced Auto doesn't carry seam sealer. All 3 of those stores are discount auto part chains on the US. I may be remembering incorrectly, you are Canadian? I never tried, but auto-paint stores should stock seam sealer in a few different varieties. The Dynotron took forever to dry, I only used it on the interior cabin. It also broke down the rattle can primers I used under it. It's an OK product.

Every place else I used SEM seam sealer. It's my preferred product but needs to be ordered. I got mine at Summit for about 16 USD a tube. It only has a 5 min working window but can be painted immediately. After 48 hours you will need to scuff it for paint. It's also a direct to metal product. Some sealers need to be applied to primed and/or painted surface. If you use the SEM over a covering you will need to scuff the covering.

I believe you will only need 1 tube. I've been through about 5 or 6 tubes and still need at least one more. I've been using the seam sealer over all my welds just in case I got a pinhole. I basically slopped the stuff on in the same fashion as the old factory stuff. Other folks do a real nice and neat job. My major concern was sealing out exhaust as that's why I went through most of this trouble. :???:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 18, 2017, 10:02:19 AM
I knew there was more to this seam sealer stuff than just buying a tub of anything kind and squeezing it on, thanks for the info brother.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ryoko on January 18, 2017, 11:01:33 AM
My experience with seam sealer is it's best to use a caulking gun and get some acid brushes to smooth it. That stuff is really nasty to work with from a can.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 18, 2017, 11:20:45 AM
What is an 'acid brush'?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ryoko on January 18, 2017, 12:12:45 PM
An acid brush is a cheap disposable paint brush.

example: https://www.amazon.com/Harbor-Freight-Tools-Horsehair-Bristle/dp/B006ZBD95Q
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 18, 2017, 12:37:54 PM
Oh, ok weird term for a disposable brush but who am I to question, thanks for the tip.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on January 19, 2017, 06:53:49 AM
My dad was a plumber by trade and he used those to brush on acid core flux to pipes before soldering. Not sure if that's where the name comes from, but I wouldn't be surprised.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Greenbird76 on January 19, 2017, 10:19:39 AM
My dad was a plumber by trade and he used those to brush on acid core flux to pipes before soldering. Not sure if that's where the name comes from, but I wouldn't be surprised.
79merlin, ironically, my father was a plumber steamfitter and that is how I learned of those brushes too. 
I used the same method to apply my seam sealer- caulking gun to lay it and an acid brush to smooth it out.  It came out pretty good.  This pic shows the passenger side trunk drop off and frame rail section I replaced.  You can see the caulk on the clean out cover. 
(http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z340/greenbird76/P1010028.jpg) (http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/greenbird76/media/P1010028.jpg.html)
Here is pic of the trunk floor after welding, primer, seam sealer,  Eastwoods aqua/ charcoal spatter trunk paint and a satin lacquer finish.  This was 7 years ago and it still looks as good. 
(http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z340/greenbird76/p1010009-1.jpg) (http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/greenbird76/media/p1010009-1.jpg.html)
In this pic, right turnk extension w/ donor inner tail panel installed- getting ready to weld in driver trunk extension. 
(http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z340/greenbird76/p1010012-1.jpg) (http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/greenbird76/media/p1010012-1.jpg.html)
(http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z340/greenbird76/trunkafterweldleft.jpg) (http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/greenbird76/media/trunkafterweldleft.jpg.html)
Final tail panel adjustments before plug welding.  Another good pic of trunk floor after caulk and paint. 
I've got tons of pics of the build if you need to see anything specific. 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: NOT A TA on January 19, 2017, 10:31:07 AM
Using some wax & grease remover on your acid brush will smooth the seam sealer nicely. Just put a little of the remover in a small cap or something then dip brush and swipe the seam sealer. Can create a nice factory look that way.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on January 19, 2017, 03:31:58 PM
Anyplace that I wanted to smooth out the seamsealer I used a trimmed down piece of a filler spreader. Again, I wasn't trying for nice and neat but most of my seams are difficult to see, at least on the outside.

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 23, 2017, 08:49:04 AM
I ran into a panel fitment issue and need some guidance. Here is a mock up of the inner panel:

Driver Side

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1948_zpsu4cu5xqx.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1948_zpsu4cu5xqx.jpg.html)
(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1944_zps0nyhcuzo.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1944_zps0nyhcuzo.jpg.html)

Pass Side

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1946_zpsw7cfigfc.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1946_zpsw7cfigfc.jpg.html)
(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_1943_zpssnfhz53z.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_1943_zpssnfhz53z.jpg.html)

At first I thought the inner panel was bent or warped but I put a straight edge on the bottom of it and both sides of it are equal in height, flat and pretty much level. Can't use the original to compare it because its completed deteriorated at both ends. Any suggestions on what I need to do next?

Also, should the inner panel be flush with the trunk bracket face?


Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on January 23, 2017, 02:05:16 PM
I ran into the same issue just nowhere as bad. I used a file on an angle grinder to open up the holes on the new panel, but I only needed to remove about an 1/8". I would put the outer panel panel in place to see how the holes look. Worst case scenario is that the holes need some adjustment on the new panels. Only adjust the new panels not the origional frame rail or trunk brackets.

I wouldn't worry to much about it just as long as nothing moved which I don't think happened. Take a quick measurement of the bolts on your bumper and compare it to the holes in frame rail. Then check the holes in the new panels. You should notice that they are all close but not exact. Even my originals weren't perfectly lined up. I do not believe that brackets end up perfectly flush, I think the bottom brackets are just a fraction of an inch shallower.

Just to put you at ease, this isn't anything to worry about. You're going to run into variations like this with panels. What's important is that the holes are close. You're outer panel should have 2 holes that are smaller than the rest, that messed me up for a little while.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 24, 2017, 08:03:48 AM
Not sure if this matters but prior to starting work on the panel I debated whether to support the rear on the frame or axle and went with the axle option, does it make any difference for tail panel removal/install?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on January 29, 2017, 02:32:41 PM
Mocked up the outer tail panel and result took the wind out of my sail:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2019_zpsagvc01fc.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2019_zpsagvc01fc.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2022_zpsunld2u0g.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2022_zpsunld2u0g.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2021_zpssdlk0e66.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2021_zpssdlk0e66.jpg.html)

The holes are a little more than 1/2" off. Both the inner and outer panel holes line up perfect with the bumper bolts and I think I can work the the inner panel metal to get the pass. side down enough to align the holes but the outer panel is a mystery to me.

If you look at the 2nd pic there are 3 layers of panels that form the gutter corner but I don't recall the order their in, is the outer panel the bottom layer?

Any suggestions on what to do to get the outer panel higher?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 13, 2017, 12:45:51 PM
Been working on both inner and outer panels to get them to fit, I'm finding it fascinating how the metal can be shaped but a lot of trial and error. The inner fits great now and should be ready to weld in couple of weeks, do I need shielding gas? If yes, what type?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on February 13, 2017, 04:13:46 PM
Yes, I have been getting mine at Tractor Supply as most of the welding shop are too far away or close before I get out of work. I use a tri-mix. Argon, CO2, something... You also need solid wire. Most welders come with a flux core wire, you can't use with MIG welding.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 19, 2017, 09:35:07 PM
The new inner and outer panels I have are a horrible fit, I've had to bang up almost every square inch to get them to fit good enough but still far from perfect. I'm not sure if there's bigger issues to deal with as follows:
a.    When I mock up the outer panel and close the trunk (with no weather strip) the middle spoiler lines up flush on one side and sits lower on the other side. FYI-The rear spoiler lined up perfectly before I started this project.
b.    After installing the new Supersoft weather stripping (with no adhesive) and closing the deck lid the mid spoiler sits much higher than the side spoilers. It's a new seal and does not compress well and when compared to the old seal the profile is different (how difficult is it to get the freaking profile correct, it's just rubber!). Gonna order a Metro or Steele seal, any preferences?

What I'd like to know is when the trunk lid is closed and no weather strip installed should the lid be flush with the quarters or slightly lower so that when the seal is in place it brings the lid back up to be level and flush with the quarters?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2032_zpsbthnmmlg.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2032_zpsbthnmmlg.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2034_zps0odo6utj.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2034_zps0odo6utj.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2035_zpsxbf2vehl.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2035_zpsxbf2vehl.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 20, 2017, 07:41:43 PM
With the rear tail panel removed and trunk lid lowered so it's flush with quarters I can see there is space for the weather strip to crush and form a seal so I'm gonna try a different seal.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2045_zpsdfvoa7li.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2045_zpsdfvoa7li.jpg.html)

I also just noticed the panel gap changed on one side:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2036_zpsmft007mx.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2036_zpsmft007mx.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2038_zpsayanuywj.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2038_zpsayanuywj.jpg.html)

So I tried this:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2040_zps4j5gjlhb.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2040_zps4j5gjlhb.jpg.html)

Gap on either side is much better and some how it also brought the center spoiler more in line with the quarter spoiler pieces, not sure how that happened but I'll take it (sorry forgot to take a pic of the gaps before I left).




 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on February 20, 2017, 09:44:27 PM
Can you raise the trunk latch a bit (which lowers the trunk lid) so the lid matches the quarters better?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 21, 2017, 06:14:19 AM
Not at this time because the latch isn't installed yet.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on February 21, 2017, 06:59:14 AM
Without the latch in how are you determining how high the lid sits when closed/latched?.

Unless the lid is hitting something solid you should be able to set the latch height so the lid sits where you want it or a bit lower then install the trunk seal latch the lid and let it compress the seal to shape.

Ohers, please chime in if I'm way off here.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 21, 2017, 08:09:28 AM
That makes sense however even without the latch installed yet (need to weld the cage back in after the new panels are welded in) I can't get the lid down enough to get close to the future latching area. I honestly think it's the Supersoft seal, look at the difference in profiles from the pic in my previous post where the old one has a gentle curve on the inside that follow the gutter shape perfectly the new seal has a sharp V shape that doesn't sit in the gutter well it naturally wants to spring up.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on February 21, 2017, 10:51:29 AM
IIRC, the trunk lid should be set properly without the weatherstripping in place. Once proper alignment is achieved then the seal is put into place. I have to look back at my tail, but I removed some material at the upper corners. You may need to adjust the corners a bit.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 21, 2017, 11:23:33 AM
You removed weather strip material?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on February 23, 2017, 07:10:26 AM
The PO put in a new weatherstrip/trunk seal, let's say 5-10 years old. I cut out about half of it when removing old panel.

In the 3rd pic from post #93, I had to cut off that tab and hammer/tap the corner of the tail panel into a shape that would fit nicely into the taillight extension.

Did you pry up the corners of the taillight extensions? I did and I needed to tap them back into place for my trunk to sit right. My trunk lid, on the driver's side, lower corner, was just a little under a 1/16" high before I started. It's was still that high when I put in the new panel.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on February 23, 2017, 08:01:20 AM
The layers you asked about, top to bottom: quarter panel, tail light extension and then the outer tail panel.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 23, 2017, 09:35:45 AM
Thank you for clarifying the panel stacking order at the gutter corners.

I did hammer down the corners as far as they can go on the new panel but didn't think it was ok to cut them off or maybe trim the relieve (spelling?) cut so I can bend it down some more will have to see if that helps. The taillight ext. corners were pried up when removing old panel and I have tapped them back down but not sure how far down to tap them because there is no real reference point of where to stop.

Purchased my first shielding gas tank, I felt like a real man walking out with this little thing:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2049_zpsjd9jtgsg.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2049_zpsjd9jtgsg.jpg.html)

Either way it's an indication of progress (albeit slow).
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 25, 2017, 10:24:41 PM
I'm done hammering away on these new panels and ready to paint before I start welding. All holes have been drilled and surrounding area sanded to bare metal. I masked all holes and correspondoning flat surfaces that will be welded together before I paint. Can someone tell me if it's ok to have paint on the back side of the welded surfaces or should it be bare metal?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on February 26, 2017, 08:19:07 AM
If you are talking about the opposite side of the piece you are welding, it won't matter as it will burn off from the heat.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 26, 2017, 04:01:17 PM
Thanks, I figured it would burn off but wasn't sure it it would 'hurt' the weld.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on February 26, 2017, 07:34:37 PM
where did you buy the tail panels? also how many hours do you roughly have in swapping the panels around?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 26, 2017, 07:54:17 PM
Firebird Central, stay away from their panels.
Guessing 150 hrs including restoring gas tank and bumper frame.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on February 26, 2017, 08:11:30 PM
is there a place that sells better panels ?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 27, 2017, 05:13:35 AM
I hear good things about AMD panels.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on February 27, 2017, 10:10:51 AM
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=75848.0


here's a short review on panels.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 27, 2017, 10:49:46 AM
Look at the hammering marks on just the inner panel, so much time was spent on reshaping these new panels.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2063_zpsk4bcsnba.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2063_zpsk4bcsnba.jpg.html)


Also, note my outer panel did NOT come with the lock cage.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on February 27, 2017, 02:46:07 PM
i called amd today because I couldn't find a tail panel on their website. They confirmed that they don't yet make one. I did see a piece that looks like it goes behind the tail panel on their website.

Year one and classic industries both sell a tail panel on their websites.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 27, 2017, 03:51:10 PM
Switching current topic for a moment. I picked some small pieces of sheet metal (no charge  :smile:)  to do a bunch of pratice welds and a small trunk floor patch.  Unfortunately I forgot to ask if they are galvenized. How do I check if galvenized or not and if it is can I still use it?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on February 27, 2017, 05:30:46 PM
The only sure-fire way to tell is to weld on it. Galvy will leave a white powder and sometimes yellow liquid. Use a fan to suck the fumes away from you, they are toxic. Generally, if the color of the steel sheet is inconsistent and dull gray then it's likely galvy.

@Andrew, Goodmark is the only vendor I've seen for the rear tail panel.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on February 27, 2017, 06:07:09 PM
I sorted out the pcs and think I see the inconsistencies your talking about. Also checked on the web and it looks like the same gauge is actually a little thicker by a few 1000's for the galvy.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on February 28, 2017, 04:56:31 PM
@ Andrew, I buy all my panels from Summit Racing, Rock Auto and Tamraz Auto Parts; occasionally I'll buy from Ebay. I always try to buy from TAC sponsors and members if they carry the parts I'm looking to purchase. These 3, I think only Rock Auto is a sponsor, usually have the best prices and decent shipping. AMD and Goodmark are both regarded as good product.

Stay away from any panels that are marked as "economy" panels. They are lesser quality pressings. They will get the job done but require a lot more work to make them fit. Economy panels will usually be bare and not be E-coated. They get a coat of oil to prevent rust during shipping. I see these mostly with cars from the 50's and Mustangs.

I used economy panels on my '79 for the floors. In the end, it cost me more time and money to go this route because I bought the panels as I needed them. I should've inspected my floor more closely and completely. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you determine exactly what you need and buy the proper panels. For instance, I bought r&l spring braces, r&l toe panels, r&l floor boards, and a complete rear seat panel. I took a big hit on shipping. I could've bought a single, complete floor with toe panels and spring braces for about the same money I spent and it would've been completely assembled.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on March 01, 2017, 03:21:17 PM
rock auto still has the rear panels in stock for 200.  http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=7082920&cc=1250873&jsn=459&jsn=459 that looks like the correct part,correct?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 02, 2017, 08:50:04 AM
I can confirm that Rockauto panel is not the same as mine, wish I would have checked there first before purchasing.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 02, 2017, 03:53:17 PM
JG, do you know the manufacturer and part number on the panel you bought? Mine is a Goodmark purchased from Rockauto and has the part number GMK432185079. It came with the lock cage.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 02, 2017, 06:02:23 PM
See my post #17.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 02, 2017, 08:18:39 PM
I recognize the CHL label from post #17. In my reply post, #21, I mentioned that my inner tail panel had a CHL and a Goodmark label on it. I bought it off of Ebay from CarID. My outer tailpanel, bought from Rockauto, only had a Goodmark label. Do you know the manufacturer of your outer tail panel? I'm always trying to get a grip on what works and what doesn't on these panels.

I've read many posts about the factories making these parts and the companies selling them. It's a crazy situation that's supposedly getting better, albeit slowly. From all my research, it appears that AMD makes the best stuff followed by Goodmark and then Dynacorn. IIRC, Sherman isn't that great. Regardless, there's almost always some adjustments necessary; you'll mostly hear that about reproduced parts but IMO it relates to NOS stuff too.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 02, 2017, 08:47:11 PM
Unfortunately there was no labels on the outer panel just a made in Tiawan sticker, i just know both panels were purchased from Firebird/Camaro Central.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on March 03, 2017, 02:43:57 PM
is the right part for the inner piece? I ordered a good mark piece for the rear piece. This one says amd on it. Can I use two different companies parts?

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/amd-870-3574/overview/year/1981/make/pontiac/model/firebird
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 03, 2017, 03:08:32 PM
@Andrew, yes that is the correct part and, IMO, the preferred manufacturer, AMD. Mixing manufacturers isn't an issue. I used Goodmark for the outer and AMD for the inner and they fit together very well. Ironically, the AMD inner panel fit the Goodmark outer panel better than the Goodmark inner panel. :shock: Go figure!

@JG, is it too late/impractical/expensive to send that outer tail panel back? I know Canada has a special hell of all its own when it comes to shipping. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It's really a good idea to ask the vendor of your choice who manufactured the part. That's one thing that I really liked about Tamraz, Rockauto and Summit, they usually list the manufacturer. This is were things get sticky. Even though these Chinese companies are competing against each other, they also cooperate with each other. That means you could buy a part from a preferred company but it still comes from one of the poor quality control companies. The better vendors (expensive) will usually work with you when it comes to returns for poorly pressed panels.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 04, 2017, 05:45:46 AM
Yes, to late at this point because the panels are reshaped, drilled for plug holes and painted. At this stage my money and time has already been spent on purchase and preparation of these panels so I have to take it as a leason learned.

As an update I should be ready to weld up the panels within next 2 wks. This is a real elimentory question but have to ask it. By the time I start welding everything will have been painted including trunk floor and quarter panel flanges so would I need to clean off a painted area to bare metal to attach the welder clamp to?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 04, 2017, 06:41:04 AM
Yes, the clamp needs a clean bare metal spot to make contact.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 04, 2017, 10:36:21 AM
x2 with FormTA. Clean metal makes the welding process go a lot smoother. Just grind away the paint in an area that's real easy to access with the paint of you choice. You're gonna need to prep & paint the new welds anyhow. With plug welds, usually an inch diameter around the weld is more than sufficient. If you're using a good quality paint that's had time to harden up a bit, 3/4" diameter is good.

As far as panels, I'd rather have a poorly fitting, reworked-to-look-right panel than a rotted panel. Just as long as the panel is close, you're good to go. Yes, it's a lot of work. And yes, it's frustrating at times but the end product is worth the trouble. The rot on my '72 was so bad that things were literally falling off the car, on the highway. I pushed the rear windshield out with my hand! On the front windshield, parts of the flanges were stuck to the glass, not the car. :shock:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 04, 2017, 02:55:38 PM
Now this is a step that I like to when plug welding (some call it spot welding but that is a different topic). I grind clean the panel that is behind the panel with the holes, the one that you actually start the weld on. I then prime it with weld through primer. This is a bit expensive but it hopefully will help with rust resistants between the panels. There are many brands but I usually use the 3M brand. It is usually silver or copper in color and conducts electricity. Good luck!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 10, 2017, 10:47:34 AM
After drilling the panels I marked each hole location on the back-up panel then placed sticky dots (the ones they sale at office supplies stores) on the marks, painted and removed sticky dots to reveal bare metal at all future weld points (hopefully didn't miss any).  Forgot to mention I also used sticky dots on the new panels prior to painting them. The dots are slightly larger than the drilled holes so is a little extra bare metal around each hole. Theoretically I should have less trouble welding onto bare metal as I've read many that have had issues welding when using the weld-thru primers, I'm gonna need all the help I can get cause I've never welded before.

On the subject of welding how do you strike an arc with a mig welder?

I know it's an elementary question and with practice may figure it out but I'm anxious and excited to start attaching these panels so any details and tips that get me there sooner are greatly appreciated. Oh and don't worry if you have to explain it like I'm 5 years old I won't be offended.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 10, 2017, 12:56:20 PM
MIG welding is rather simple to do with ice the machine is set up correctly. But here are a few tips. Take them or leave them, right or wrong, this is how I do it.

1) There is usually a guild on the inside lid of the welder that gets you pretty close when setting up the machine as to heat setting and wire speed. A lot of machines only have A,B,C,D settings and are easier set up. This is a great place to start. My stuff is all variable (which I like to fine tune more).

2) Once set up I purge the line by pulling the trigger for a few seconds to get the argon to the top of the gun. You only need to do this at the beginning. Once you are going you are fine as the argon is there. You then clip the wire that ran out while purging.

3) On plug welds, I start in the middle of the circle and let it get hot (only a few seconds) and then moving in a circle work outwards to the overlaid matal.

4) Move around, from say the middle, then far left then upper right. Just move around to keep heat warp to a minimum. Oh, make sure you have everything clamped. You can never have too many clamps.

I'm sure there are more but that is what came to mind quickly.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 10, 2017, 01:10:39 PM
FormTA, please clarify "moving around" in item #4, do you mean moving around within the plug hole that I'm welding or moving around among plug welds from different areas of the panel?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on March 10, 2017, 04:01:50 PM
 He means moving from plug hole to plug hole. rather than working several immediately next to each other (heat building up along that line) skip around so the hole next to the hole you just welded has time to cool before you start welding on it. this helps avoid warping and burning through.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 10, 2017, 05:11:18 PM
When you heat the metal it will expand and then contract as it cools. If you hear ticking or a bassy pop sound as the weld cools, give it a few whacks with a hammer and dolly. This will flatten out the plug weld and relax the metal. Generally, it's good practice to tap the weld but usually not always necessary.

Do not wear sandals or shorts. I assume a Canadian knows what those are?  :lol: :lol: :lol: Use UV protection, IIRC the arc is hotter than the sun and can give you a sunburn. I'm assuming you know about using a welding helmet. An auto darkening helmet, IMO, is an absolute must. If your welder came with a hand-held mask throw it away! Use welding gloves, not mechanics gloves or plain leather work gloves.

If you hear a hum when you weld, then you got your heat too high.

If your weld is too proud then your heat is too low or you're adding too much weld.

If the wire burns up without depositing weld or sputters then your speed is too low.

Don't burn so long that you burn through the metal. Do use a welding spoon or piece of copper when fixing a burn through.

Check out Youtube, if you haven't already. It's a great a resource for things like this. I took a welding class with my brothers at a community college. The teacher said not to listen to people that say things like your welding should sound like frying bacon, if it sounds like bacon then there's probably some kind of contamination. According to him it should sound like a spark plug firing over and over really fast and be consistent. The class was a good experience, but not really necessary.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 10, 2017, 05:22:59 PM
You guys provided some great info however one has answered my question about striking that initial arc.

I have all the safety clothing and eye protection just can't seem to find my sandals anywhere, may have left them outside in the snow hehehe.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 10, 2017, 05:35:18 PM
The arc will strike as soon as the wire hits bare, grounded metal. You may be thinking of stick welding were you need to scratch the stick across the metal. If you try to stick weld in the same manner as mig you will just weld the stick to the metal.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: roadking77 on March 10, 2017, 08:16:57 PM
What, no sandels?  I was burning steel at work a few years ago and a piece of slag somehow got thru the laces and tongue of my work boot. Burnt like.......well you know what for a couple of minutes. I couldn't get my boot off quick enough. Still have the scar on top of my foot.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 10, 2017, 08:33:26 PM
Ditto, I have a bad scar on top of my foot too...
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on March 10, 2017, 09:20:23 PM
My reproduction panels are covered in a black coating. Should I remove this coating or should I just leave it?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 10, 2017, 09:25:21 PM
Actually I'm not referring to arc welding I kindda know how that works. Let me ask this another way, at the moment you squeaze the trigger whats the distance between the wire tip and the sheet metal?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 10, 2017, 10:59:01 PM
If you mean the tip of the wire, from zero to 1/8". You can touch the wire to the metal and then pull the trigger to start burning. I usually stay back the tiniest bit.

If you mean the tip of the gas nozzle, you want to try to keep the wire extended 1/4" from the gas nozzle as you burn, at all times. You can make this distance greater but then the wire becomes more difficult to control physically. Another issue is if you go too far past 1/4" your weld may not be protected by the shielding gas. You'll know that situation right away because the weld will be ugly and you may get splatter and black soot. Also, IIRC, going too far out can cause a voltage drop in your arc. It would sorta be like running at too low of a heat setting causing a cold weld. I may have that backwards and it causes a voltage spike burning up the wire before it can deposit a weld. It's been so long since I learned the basics that my memory is a little fuzzy.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 11, 2017, 06:51:00 AM
What forf5of5 said. One more tip. You will have to check your welder. Some have the wire got all the time (which I hate) and I end up flashing myself (not the good kind) which is not good for your eyes. Other's are only live when you pull the trigger. This is more of a cautionary warning. If yours is live only when you pull the trigger you can position yourself a before you drop your helmet. Now that said, with today's auto darkening helmets it's not much of a problem but I still use my old flip helmets from years gone by. BTW don't skip the helmet, I used to be the helmetless guy who just closed his eyes. Not a good choice, especially when welding for a period of time. I have sun burned my face one too many times which probably lead to the skin cancer. Just giving you a small warning. All good questions. 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ryoko on March 11, 2017, 09:17:43 AM
Biggest issue I ran into was not wearing gloves and getting sunburned hands/arms -- especially from TIG.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 11, 2017, 10:19:50 AM
LMAO! even though I probably shouldn't. I've had that sun burn too and it looks ridiculous because the area around your eyes are stay light because you're usually squinting. Kinda like a raccoon look.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 11, 2017, 07:31:21 PM
The good news is I didn't burn myself, the bad news is I suck at welding:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2071_zpsac2dorb6.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2071_zpsac2dorb6.jpg.html)

Tried several voltage and wire speed rates but it just kept burning through, I think the nozzle and wire tip was too far from the sheet metal (who am I kidding I have no clue what the issue is).  I noticed the angle I hold the handle has a fairly big impact on how it welds, should I be holding it straight up and down at a 12 o'clock position or rotated sideways like a gangster holds a hand gun?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on March 11, 2017, 09:16:09 PM
You will get there.  I will say first off I am by no means a super welder... but, a couple things to keep an eye on.

most important ... Polarity.  make sure the polarity is set correctly for flux core or sold core with gas.  it makes a huge difference.
and the next few things in really no order.
shielding gas flow rate.  I think I use 19 ... others feel free to chime in.   the idea is you want enough, but not so much you are wasting it.
Feed speed. It should sound like bacon sizzling.
Wire size.  .030 to . 035 is ideal for what you are doing.

Helmet wise, make sure you can see what your doing, that makes a world of difference too.   I am not big on Harbor freight, but ... I will tell you the HF blue flame helmet is awesome for the price.

and lastly, YouTube has some great how to videos on mig welding.   Its actually how I figured out what on earth I was doing.  You will get it.   On the big plus side, that bead in the upper right looks pretty darn good.

Keep at it!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 11, 2017, 09:43:26 PM
Pretty sure I got the polarity right but will recheck it.
Gas was 25-30 will turn it down.
Wire is .023" is that too small?
I am having trouble seeing but mostly because my poor vision in one eye (presciption glasses don't help much).
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 12, 2017, 04:25:19 AM
I guess it's personal opinion but I can only weld sheet metal with .023 wire.  You got one really good weld going in the top right. When I weld sheet metal it is totally different than when I weld 1/8" and up. I basically use what I call stitch welding on sheet metal. Buzz lift, buzz, lift buzz. If I am running a bead I either do little "U"s or little circles. You have to stay in the puddle with both. What this does is move the heat from one plate or part to an other. Depending on how thin and how fast each area is melting determines the speed of said "U"s or circles.

Based on the photo I think heat is right, you just need to move a bit quicker if bead welding. If plug welding buzz, move in a circle stop (3-4 second weld). Like mentioned above. Watch the wire and it melting rate. It should make a constant trying sound. Not popping and plattering. It should melt constantly, not so fast that it is pushing back at the gun and not too slow that it Kent's back to the tip and clogs the gun.

Like I said I have 3 wire welders. One with .035 no gas 220 for thicker stuff. Another? .035 no gas 120 (for mobile Jobs). And my MIG with .023 for body work and small projects. Just throwing this out there as I don't know your machine but for plug welding I would start with the second setting up from the machines lowest setting and adjust your wire speed as needed.

Keep at it you'll get it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 12, 2017, 04:32:29 PM
The welder I'm using is a Lincoln 110 (borrowed it from my brother) and I lowered the gas to 20 (was at 30).

Got more practice time today and noticed how the welder sounded better when I kept a tight distance from tip to sheet metal. Also, the buzz stop buzz technique gave me better control. I had to switch to a regular work glove on the trigger hand cause I just couldn't feel when the trigger was being pressed.

May have to get my own helmet (this to is borrowed) or find out how to clean it because I cannot see the hole or the butt that I'm welding, pretty much guessing where the wire tip is while welding.

What can I do to reduce the molten weld height?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on March 12, 2017, 05:16:05 PM
I use an auto darkening helmet from Northern Tools. I think I paid like 40 or 50 bucks for it. They also sell a magnifier (some call them cheater lenses). You can put that into the welding helmet and not have to wear your glasses. Think of it kind of like building reading glass magnifier into the helmet lens. This really helped me when I got that all setup as I no longer had to fiddle with my glasses under the helm.

I am no expert, but if you are getting too tall of a bead you either have too much wire speed or too low of heat. The heat could be from too low of a setting, but it could also be that your tip is too far away from the metal you are welding.

Some guys really like tilting the gun (to help avoid burn through), but I burned through way worse when I get below say a 45* angle. I find that 45-90* is my sweet spot. I get more angle than that and I burn through.

Here is another tip I would offer. Get some copper and get it behind the place where you are welding. The weld will not stick to copper, but the copper will kind of act like a heat sink. You will never burn through if you have a copper backer on metal you are welding. I took a 3/4 copper pipe i got from Home Depot and pounded it flat with a hammer on my garage floor. I cut it into 2" strips and use as strong of magnets as I can get. They will hold the copper to the steel you are trying to weld.

Hope that helps,
Todd
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 12, 2017, 06:12:56 PM
Helmet with magnifying glass, another great tip from you guys  :smile:

I was also burning through much easier when the gun was tilted and at a lower angle. Correct me if this is wrong, the angle on the gun looks to be approx. 45 degress off the trigger handle, right.  So as a reference if I want to keep at a 45 then the trigger handle should be parrallel to the work piece, or am I not doing the math right?

I've been using a copper piece for my practice welds, haven't started experimenting with plug welds yet because I know my first welds are mostly butt type or hole repairs from drilling out the panel.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 12, 2017, 06:22:41 PM
@JG, you should be able to drop your gas between 7 and 10. 20-30 is for welding outside, especially when there's a breeze. I keep mine around 15 and I use a box fan to suck the fumes away from me indoors. These numbers are for reference as all machines and bottles act just little different from one another. You'll know just by the sight of your welds if you are using enough or not enough. Definitely want to get yourself an auto darkening helmet, it completely changes the game. You can give it to your brother as a thanks and a down payment for when you want to use the machine again.  :lol: Totally solves the "I can't see" issue. They are fairly reasonable at $30-60 at discount tool places.

x2 with Merlin on the welding angle and copper. After 45*'s you are increasing the surface area of the wire exposed to the weld and thus the heat. I could be making that up but, it sure sounds good! If you make your own welding spoon, don't take sand paper to it to clean it up. I did that and ended up abrading the copper giving it a mechanical anchor for the weld to attach to. The copper will not actually be welded to the steel, it's more of a dovetail joint and will be a PIA to seperate and clean up.

@ Andrew, take a rag soaked in lacquer thinner or acetone and let it sit of the panel for about 5 minutes. Then take a clean paper towel and wipe the area where the rag was sitting, use some pressure. If the paper towel has no black paint on it then you are most likely dealing with E-coat (electroplated primer), it's good stuff. If your paper towel is black, then you're probably dealing with a shipping primer and it should all be removed and primed and prep with a good quality paint of your choice. Where did you buy the panel?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 12, 2017, 06:37:55 PM
First thing I'm doing next weekend is drop the gas to 10 and see how it welds from there.

This is an auto darkening helmet but I think the lens may need replacing. I'm sourcing some helmets right now but gonna keep it for myself (my brother isn't the best caretaker of stuff, besides I bought the tank and gas and told him he can have it when I'm done).

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 12, 2017, 07:03:24 PM
IIRC for most welds, plugs and stich welded butts, you're best off to keep your gun at 90*'s to your work. 45 is for fillet welds but in theory it is still 90 in relation to the bead you're running. When you're gonna lay a long beads you would start your gun at 90 and then tilt it 5-10 degrees away from 90 in the direction of travel.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 12, 2017, 07:18:53 PM
There should be a clear plastic piece protector on top of the lens. They get scratched up over time and need to be replaced. It's also possible that they screen and lens just needs to be cleaned. Grinding creates a lot of dust.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 13, 2017, 05:36:10 AM
What shade is the helmet set at? Who knows, it could be set at 10, which is why you're left in the dark.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on March 13, 2017, 06:04:49 AM
I also find that my auto darkening helm will "activate" from my work light. For a work light you kind of want a directional light and not point it at the helmet, but rather at the area you are welding. If you are having trouble seeing it could be that the light is setting off the auto shade on the helmet. With the helmet on and not welding you should be able to see in a way similar to wearing sunglasses indoors. Its a little darker than ideal, but you should be able to see fairly well. It should be pretty obvious when the darkener kicks in.


Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 13, 2017, 07:29:45 AM
Wasn't sure what the dial on the outside of the helmet was for, it's numbered 9-13 so I just put it in the middle at 11.

When the darkener starts I see the molten glow but don't see the area I'm trying to weld.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 13, 2017, 11:39:49 AM
For thin sheet metal drop it to 9. Some others will say 8 or 7 but as you stated your helmet only drops to 9.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 13, 2017, 03:49:02 PM
I use my helmet at the lowest setting which I think is 9, I think it goes to 13. Just be careful, some have a setting for grinding/off setting.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 17, 2017, 01:00:06 PM
Bought me a Classic Series Miller helmet and hope to get some practice time in this weekend.

@Ford, you may have already noted this in a previous post but I can't seem to find it. Did you lay down any seam sealer on either the inner or outer panels prior to fitting and welding them in, particularly that bead where the original factory red bead was? Or did you apply all seam sealer after you completed the welds to these panels?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 17, 2017, 03:09:58 PM
I seamed only the inside of the trunk and I think that's sufficient. It's my belief that you can't lay the sealer in the same manner as the factory when using MIG, only spot welders. I never found anything that said you could or couldn't 100%. I wanted to seal the exterior underside but was afraid that if I didn't do a perfect job it may open up and hold water. In hind sight, considering how tough the SEM seam sealer is, I wish I did do the outside.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 17, 2017, 03:24:48 PM
My concern would also be how to fit the panel without making a mess of the bead that you would need lay across the outside trunk pan upturn.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 17, 2017, 04:36:25 PM
You're major concern is exhaust fumes. Trust me, driving with blood shot eyes that you can't keep open is no fun! My '79 had a header leak right under a rot hole that the PO patched up with roofing cement. It held for some time before becoming an issue. Be sure to read the product sheet for whichever seam sealer you use. This is one of the "easier" major panels to replace. I think you'll be very impressed with yourself once finished and rightfully so in my opinion.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 17, 2017, 05:07:39 PM
Maybe I'll try to put down a bead of sealer along that rear trunk if I get an extra set of hands to help steady things when slidding the outer panel in place for the last time.

Do you recall where your first welds were for the inner panel (I'm thing the best place to start is at the gas tank flanges)?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 17, 2017, 07:08:53 PM
Do a test burn of the seam sealer on scrap while you practice your welds. You will not be able to strike your arc through the sealer, I think. My understanding is that spot welders are much more powerful than a MIG but they only burn for a fraction of a second so there's not enough time to set the sealer on fire. Also, spot welders don't have a plug to fill. In the end, I don't think it matters how you seal it just as long as it's sealed.

I usually do my first weld in an easily accessible place. This allows me to double check my settings before going to more critical areas. It's also how I get away without buying a bunch of clamps. There's no such thing as too many clamps though. I don't remember where I started on my inner. I would guess that I started in the middle and worked out towards the ends.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 17, 2017, 08:49:20 PM
Although I spent alot of time re-contouring these panels there are still areas that will need pursuading to sit tighter against the base sheet metal. I'll have to analyis this more closely prior to install.

Good tip on testing the sealer before actually applying it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 17, 2017, 09:13:07 PM
I wish I thought to try test welding with sealer when I was doing mine. "DOH" :lol: Hindsight is 20/20!

Sometimes tweaking a panel is easier when sections of it are welded in place. Of course, this depends on what kind and how much tweaking we're talking about.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 18, 2017, 06:14:15 AM
IMO, I would spray weld through primer on the seam areas that may be close to your plug welds, maybe the whole lip area or where two panels meet. The copper color weld through primer works really well. I use it quit a bit. Then clean/strip the whole panel and spray epoxy primer and then add the seam sealer. You can use and acid brush dipped in acetone to smooth out the sealer. Many ways to skin a cat..
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 18, 2017, 02:43:22 PM
@FormTA, that's the way I did mine and probably the way FormJG will do it. The concern is the way the factory originally did it. Usually, a manufacturer only does things with good reason (cost lol!). The factory and fancy repair shops weld right through the seam sealer with a spot welder. Have you ever tried welding through seam sealer with a mig? I never tried it, but I'm thinking it can't be done with MIG without making a huge stinking mess.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 18, 2017, 04:36:56 PM
I didn't use weld through primer because I kept reading conflicting info that a lot of guys had trouble welding with it, I'm new at this so didn't need another variable to deal with.  Instead I marked all the holes, covered them with sticky dots, primed, undercoat and paint, remove the sticky dots and tada bare metal to weld on (if it all lines up).

My practice session today was better with the new helmet but noticed that my line of sight is always blocked by the copper welder tip defuser causing me to stop early and leaving a void somewhere on the spot. When I readjust my head or body position the trigger hand gets into a funky angle and difficult to control.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 18, 2017, 04:42:37 PM
Don't think it can be done. As stated before, when "spot welded" the panels do not have holes. The are two sheets that are heated up with and electrode for a split second which melts/welds the two together at that point. Sorry my description is really bad here. Google spot weld under videos.... The seam sealer would not be the point of contact in this case as it would when plug welding with a MIG welder.

https://youtu.be/ogyBd0CWbS8
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 18, 2017, 06:27:33 PM
You should be able to have the torch high enough to see the wire melting, 1/4" maybe. You look at an angle, torch directly above the work.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 70RAIV455 on March 18, 2017, 06:43:49 PM
I took time to read through the entire thread- project.
Very Kool Project.
Keep practicing MIG Welding.
The more you do it the easier it will be to Lay down a nice Bead & Plug Weld the next day.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 18, 2017, 07:36:16 PM
Thanks for the support @70.

@Form maybe its a setting thing on the welder (and I've tried quite a few different settings) but when I have the wire tip more than an 1/8" from the sheet metal it just makes a mess, burns through and the welder starts pop-pop-pop like an engine hitting a rev limiter.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 70RAIV455 on March 18, 2017, 08:45:18 PM
https://youtu.be/PJDv7Y6dUi0
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 70RAIV455 on March 18, 2017, 09:11:10 PM
https://youtu.be/w4RrDeUKcH4
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on March 18, 2017, 09:15:43 PM
This is a GREAT video... cant tell you how many times I watched that.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 18, 2017, 11:35:41 PM
Sounds like you need to up your speed.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 19, 2017, 05:09:37 PM
The following pic is of a  test piece with some stitch welds (not bad, I think) at the butt joint and some hole filing welds with copper backer that illustrates exactly what I'm experiencing due to poor line of sight and/or poor vision.

For each of those 3 holes on the right I thought they were complete and filled but when I lift the helmet to have a look thats what I find, an incomplete weld.  Since this happens over and over I'm leaning towards my vision being the issue, I'm fairly sure there's a cateract in one eye (everything is cloudy when I close the good eye).

Also, even with copper behind the holes I can't find a technique that works to fill it, however when I plug weld with a sheet metal backer I can manage to finish filling the hole (not perfect but at least not half empty like those 3 holes). Where should the wire have it's first point of contact when starting to fill a hole that has a slight gap between the hole and copper?

One more thing I noticed but not sure if it's normal is with the regulator tank gauge when I set it to 17-18 and pull the trigger it drops to 10-12 then release trigger and returns to 17-18, is this typical?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2079_zps1d7q5omw.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2079_zps1d7q5omw.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 19, 2017, 06:23:05 PM
The welds actually look like the machine is set up right IMO. Those holes are a tough one to weld. You have to start on the outside going around in circles as you move closer to the center. You should clamp a piece of sheet metal behind the holes to simulate what you are about to do. With that you would do the opposite, start a new the center making circles as you work your way out to the top panel.

Looking good though, you just about have it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 19, 2017, 06:52:31 PM
There's a few blank holes that need to be filled prior to installing the panels that's why I'm practicing with the copper backer.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 19, 2017, 07:18:10 PM
Looks like you have a punch tool. Use the buttons that it punches out to fill the holes. It is tough to fill a hole with just weld.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 19, 2017, 07:24:37 PM
Unfortunately it only punches 1/4" holes and there's a couple at least 1/2".
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on March 19, 2017, 07:47:11 PM
Looking pretty good!

Yes, your regulator dial will drop on the flow gauge. This is 100% normal. When you have the trigger down with the gas flowing, that is the real number you are shooting for.  When its closed, the line is pressurized, so it isn't really measuring anything real.

As for filling the bigger holes, start at the edge and work in.  Sometimes when I fill a big hole, I like to do a swipe or two (lack of a better word) and let it cool a bit.  not a full cool down, just enough that is not a liquid puddle, but is still glowing, then do another swipe or 2.  This will give you something semi solid to build off of as you fill the hole in.

as far as missing the hole ... I do it all the time and I have great vision.  I get the puddle going ... fill it in, looks great thru the helmet. flip up ... and .. WTF ... I missed 3/4 of the hole... yup ... your not alone lol.  Don't let it get yah down.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 19, 2017, 08:07:38 PM
When you say the edge dies that mean the inside exposed edge or top side of sheet metal right next to where the hole drops off?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 70RAIV455 on March 19, 2017, 08:30:54 PM
Try Welding with your Bad Eye closed.
Or Get an Eye Patch to wear over your bad eye while welding.
You just may have better line of sight Welding then.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 19, 2017, 11:08:32 PM
Make a new test piece. This time, take a X inches wide by X inches long piece and make only 1 hole per square inch. If you got a hole punch I would suggest a piece 2" x 6" with holes along all the outer edges spaced 1" apart; should be super easy and very quick to mock up. Don't do the three holes in row. Is there a reason why you did that? Place the test piece over another scrap piece and fill the plugs.

You might want to try a thicker base scrap piece, something 1/8" or thicker. It'll be a little easier to start learning on because you will not get as much burn through; it will give you extra burn time allowing you to develop some technique and muscle memory. Then move to a thickness that's closer to your body panels to get a feel for what that's like. And definitely clamp your test pieces together; with plugs the 2 pieces being joined must be right on top of each other with zero space between them. Any spaces can cause amperage spikes (not sure if that's the right description) and burn through.

Learn how to do the basic plug weld before you try learning to fill up holes. Plug/rosettes are much easier than trying to patch holes in the way you are doing. Also, you're gonna have to learn to do some of this stuff by feel and dead reckoning. Your hands, the torch, your helmet, something will always be in the way. Welding really is a skill that needs to be developed. It's not difficult, it just takes practice, practice, practice. Be careful, if you get decent at welding you'll be looking for more welding projects in no time.  :shock:

As for the bad eye, try drinking until the other eye gets just as blurry. I'm kidding, don't do this! :lol:

Try something like this, it'll give ya tons of plugs to practice on. Once your get the plugs right, then try to fill in holes with the copper backer.
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/weld_zpswtgjd132.png) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/weld_zpswtgjd132.png.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 70RAIV455 on March 20, 2017, 05:33:46 AM
I had a friend that was a bodyman with only one Good Eye.
It never stopped him.
Not a big deal.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 20, 2017, 07:42:55 AM
@Ford, thank you for taking the time to lay out that sample for me.

The reason I'm punching 3 holes is to get it closer to the actual size I will be filling on the car.

I guess my thought process was to start practicing the hard stuff and the rest will be a walk in the park. You may be right it's better to get a handle on the easier welds and have those under my belt before moving onto the tricky welds.  The good news is there's only a hand full or so of holes that require filling.

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 20, 2017, 11:23:07 AM
What size is your metal punch? 1/4" is a sufficient size for plugs. I prefer 5/16" because I find it easier. I think 3/8" is too big, but I can't remember why I think that.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 20, 2017, 12:16:06 PM
The punch is 1/4" and I used it along the bottom inner panel (where it gets welded to the bottom outer panel), all other plug holes are 5/16".
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 24, 2017, 12:51:39 PM
Short and very sweet welding demo of plug, butt and lap.

https://youtu.be/aoTFcYw_qwc
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 24, 2017, 05:45:09 PM
The link is for an ad.....
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 24, 2017, 08:13:19 PM
My bad, try it now.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 24, 2017, 09:15:20 PM
Not sure I'd start on the outside like they suggested. IMO I would start in the center and spiral out. I have seen it where the backing material doesn't get any/much penetration when starting from the outside.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Black Sheep on March 25, 2017, 04:59:57 AM
Big hole start from the outside, small hole start from the inside.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 25, 2017, 06:16:56 AM
What size is considered a big hole?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 25, 2017, 07:58:31 AM
Good point. I was thinking in terms of our tail panel project.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Black Sheep on March 25, 2017, 10:39:47 AM
What size is considered a big hole?

3/8"

IMO, 1/4" is too small, 5/16" is pretty good, 3/8" is pushing it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 26, 2017, 04:32:19 PM
Turns out I'm pretty good at plug welds so I decided to stop practicing and start on the car. First is a small trunk floor patch located directly behind the driver side wheel well. It's an award spot but now's the time to do it since the outer tail panel is out of the way.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2082_zpsarncomqw.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2082_zpsarncomqw.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2083_zpsp9t4shu1.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2083_zpsp9t4shu1.jpg.html)


(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2084_zpsgnvmr6t9.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2084_zpsgnvmr6t9.jpg.html)

Long story short I messed up and spent hours grinding down excess welds and chasing pin holes.  Turns out the cause of this frustrating issue was the excessive gap between the new patch and the hole I cut.  Currently there's 3 or 4 pin holes left and a burn-through that just wouldn't quit getting larger and larger, I will have to cut out and add another patch to the existing patch to repair this burn-through.  I'm leaving the pin holes and will seam seal this area.

In my defense the patch is directly above a triangular shaped bracket so absolutely no access from below to use a copper backer. 

Gotta deal with this 2nd patch (in a patch) differently and I'm thinking of cutting the new piece slightly larger than the burn-through then placing it right on top. Then 2 tacks to hold it and dremel cut the trunk floor right along the outside of the new patch piece (tight to it). Add a couple more tacks and cut the original tacks so I can try and knock out the burn-through section below the new piece.

I'm open to any other suggestions. 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 26, 2017, 08:00:20 PM
You picked a rough place to practice butt welds. :lol: I had a lot of trouble that area too.

Be careful with your grinding. I used butt welds for my floors and tried to grind the welds to make it look like there was no weld. In the process I ended up causing pinholes in good steel around the welds. Just round off the sharp edges. If you want to make them disappear, use body filler. There is no BAD body filler, only BAD things that people DO with body filler. i.e. remaking rear quarters with a 1" thick bedding of filler!

It is a good thing that you did this without the tail panel in place. I was gonna leave some of the holes in my trunk before I realized I had to remove my tail panel. For me, a fat bastard with sciatica, getting at the same hole you did with the tail panel in place would have been mighty painful, if not impossible.

As for pinholes in the welds themselves, many people will fill with body filler, glaze or seam sealer. Most of your welding will not exactly be structural, so perfect welds are not that important.  :eek:  It sounds silly and shoddy, but sufficient is the operative word for most of the welds that hobbyists, like us, would be performing. Your butt and plug welds, gigity, should be less than 1/16" proud. If higher than that, you need to up your heat or lessen burn time.

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on March 27, 2017, 04:09:19 AM
Not necessarily a comment but a tip to find pin holes. Us a light of some kind under/behind the weld and it will show you all of your pin holes.

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 27, 2017, 09:11:45 AM
@Form, the light helped find most holes however because of the angle I was at and the crappy stacked welds there were a few holes which I had to isolate by using a small piece of metal to block the light from above and just kept moving the metal until I couldn't see the light coming through the pin hole when looking from underneath the patch.

@Ford, my actual practice butt welds were acceptable and I was fairly confident before starting the patch, however in hindsight that's probably because the gap was tight and I was welding with new metal.

WHAAAAT! Now that I'm talking about it I just realized another technical mistake. All my stitch welds on this patch started from old (trunk floor) to new (metal patch) and it may have gone much different if I did the reverse. I could be wrong but since the new metal would have been more resilient to initiate the weld pool I could then have quickly jumped the gap to the floor side and release the trigger, correct?. I hate learning lessons this way, rather have someone tell me their mistakes so I don't have to go through the learning curve pain.

Good point on over grinding which leads me to ask a very elementary question, is there a way to know the exact point of abrasive to metal contact while grinding? 
I found that with both an angled die grinder and high speed angle grinder I kept having to grind-stop-check where I was contacting the metal-repeat, very inefficient and time consuming.



Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on March 27, 2017, 10:59:13 AM
Not sure if this is good practice or not but when I get problems with burning through I find that I can kind of bridge the holes by backing the gun away from the material. This causes it to burn cooler. so where you normally have 1/4 to 3/16 stick out I sometimes go to 1/2 to 3/4 and hold it back a bit further. Certainly not what you want to do with structural welds as I am almost sure it lacks the penetration, but for plugging holes it has worked for me. Others feel free to correct if this is not an acceptable practice.





Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 27, 2017, 03:40:46 PM
What Merlin said is workable especially for closing up holes. You still want to get a few good tacks in there so it doesn't just crack open later.

Hopefully this will be more helpful than confusing. At the top is how proper stitch welds should look in a gap; sort of, I'm not an artist! :lol: At the bottom is what you would do for an excessively large gap. Tack one side but don't try to get to the other side. Then place a tack on the opposite side of the gap. Then connect the first two tacks with a third tack roughly in the middle. After that, fill in whatever spaces are left over. Merlins suggestion should work fine filling in the spaces that you didn't get. The only caveat, try not to pile up welds on top of each other. You'll end up with a mess.

(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/Untitled_zpsfdny14uy.png) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/Untitled_zpsfdny14uy.png.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 28, 2017, 11:31:45 AM
I probably haven't mastered the technique yet but what I found whenever wire stick out was over 3/8"ish or the distance from wire tip to metal contact point was greater than 3/8'ish things didn't go well, I could see wire scatter like an MSD iginition and hear the machine struggling and sure enough when I lift the helmet the proof was in the weld.  Could be me, could be the weld machine, could be the settings or combination there of.

At what point would someone have to say this cannot be filled, gap is too large and a patch must be used?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on March 28, 2017, 12:43:29 PM
For me its if the 2 pieces are further apart than 3 "dot" welds then you likely need to think about adding another patch. The real question is how much time is it going to take you to bridge, and will you be happy with the results? It might be faster and/or cleaner looking when finished to grind out that patch and make a new one by using paper or cardboard template to get the exact right size and shape of patch panel... Honestly if it were me I would probably bridge it as it is. That is one of the lessons that I have gotten from doing mine. Its better to spend more time getting smaller gaps to work with. That's what they mean by "creeping up on  it" taking very small increments of material off to keep the gaps as close as possible.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 28, 2017, 03:03:59 PM
How large are your gaps? Generally you want the gap to be about the same size as your wire diameter. There is a second method along the lines of what Merlin said. Try for a smaller gap or almost no gap at all. If you go this route you need to turn up your heat and wire speed but you need to be really good about letting go of the trigger.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 29, 2017, 09:22:28 AM
I don't have access to the car until the weekend but from what I recall (and believe me I'm trying hard to forget this past weekend and move on) the burn-thru area is more than '3 dot welds'.  Spent a lot of time cutting and shaping the replacement patch and still think it was a fairly decent fit but like I said previously my big mistake was trying to start the weld from the old metal side.

How do you guys feel about the approach to my next patch within a patch:

"Gotta deal with this 2nd patch (in a patch) differently and I'm thinking of cutting the new piece slightly larger than the burn-through then placing it right on top. Then 2 tacks to hold it and dremel cut the trunk floor right along the outside of the new patch piece (tight to it). Add a couple more tacks and cut the original tacks so I can try and knock out the burn-through section below the new piece."
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on March 29, 2017, 11:02:42 AM
Three dots across is 3/8 to 3/4 an inch depending on overlap. That's just too much of a gap. .023 wire is about 1/32 in diameter. The gap should be .023 or less. you going to have to cut out a portion of the old patch in make a new patch. Your idea of putting down a new piece of metal and cutting it with a Dremel will work just fine.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on March 29, 2017, 11:27:25 AM
OK, I'm armed and ready for round #2 this weekend.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 01, 2017, 07:49:44 PM
I'm done with the trunk floor patch, it's ugle as heck but the seam sealer will cover it all up.

Now moved on to patching small holes and cuts that were a result of spot weld drilling and cuting. I noticed that the welder reacts differently now that I'm welding vertically do I need to change the settings, more or less heat, more or less speed?.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 02, 2017, 01:34:26 PM
Vertical or horizontal should be irrelevant if it's the same kind of weld. i.e. stitch or plug The only thing you need to watch out for is the weld pool drooping do to gravity. If it falls to the floor, it can be painful if it hits your foot. On thin sheet metal, if your welding CORRECTLY, your weld times should be short enough that it's not an issue. It is possible and is basically a function of burn through. The only place I ran into the possibility of this happening, due to longer burns, is when I welded in the new section of frame rail on my car. That metal is around 1/8" thick.

It may be because you're changing body position to set up for vertical or horizontal.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 02, 2017, 05:46:23 PM
How about welding over your head, any thing I need to know (have 3 plug welds to do that way)?

I don't know if I'm over grinding or not welding correctly but I just keep getting a lot of pin holes, it's so time consuming going over and over and over a weld not to mention frustrating and ugle.

Any suggestions on how to patch this gutter corner?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2094_zpsznlta64m.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2094_zpsznlta64m.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2096_zpsu1bv2mwt.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2096_zpsu1bv2mwt.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 03, 2017, 01:20:29 PM
Seeing that my welding isn't going as well as I'd like I figured there must be something fundamentally wrong.  So I got to thinking how the distance from nozzle to work piece greatly affected weld quality and that my understanding of the whole nozzle, tip, stick-out relationship still remained unclear to me.  Now that I've spent a few hours reading online I know why I'm unclear and that's because of the different schools of thought from all types of welders out there.

One example is the contact tip stick-out/recess for autobody metal, some say the tip should be flush to 1/8" out from the nozzle and others say it should be recessed 1/8" for thin metal so that you can increase the distance of unmelted wire and reduce burn-thru. 

How do you guys set up the nozzle/tip for sheet metal welding?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 03, 2017, 04:09:08 PM
Opinions are like A**holes, everybody has one and they thinks everyone else's stinks! LOL :lol:

Stick out should be about 1/4"-3/8" pretty much ALWAYS. Put the wire up against the metal and pull the trigger. You can start with the wire at 1/8" stick out but you should still position your gun so that the nozzle is about 1/4" away from the metal. If your nozzle is too far away your shielding gas will have a tough time doing its job. Be careful when researching on the web. Some pro welders have exotic equipment and use techniques that they perfected over years of welding. We're get r' dun hobbyists.

If your referring to how far the contact sticks out of the nozzle, that should be flush to about 1/8". If the tip is recessed into the nozzle it may be the way the welder was designed to work or more likely that someone bought too short of a contact tip or too long of a nozzle. Tighten down your nozzle and tip all the way and take a pic for us to see. I've been told that sometimes these things are adjustable but I never seen one that is.

Porous welds are usually caused by unclean metal or not enough shielding gas.

The gutters are very thin. Turn your power down and/or burn for less time than you would on the rest of the sheet metal. You can also try for longer stick out but I wouldn't go past 1/2"-5/8".
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 03, 2017, 05:05:11 PM
I can't take a pic of the tip to nozzle relationship until the weekend but can confirm now that it is flush because I had already checked this closely. If I understand this correctly the unmelted wire would be 1/8" exposed and the nozzle/tip would be 1/4" from the area to be welded leaving an air gap of 1/8" before pulling the trigger, right?

So far I have notice any porosity so the metal is clean and sheilding has appears to be doing its job.

Does your suggestion of 1/2"-5/8" stick out for thin metal include the air gap or is that total distance from nozzle/tip to sheet metal? 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 03, 2017, 05:37:34 PM
This is what you should be looking at:
(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/nozzle_zpsnghopbst.png) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/nozzle_zpsnghopbst.png.html)

That's just an approximation based on my machine. Stick out should be measured from the CONTACT TIP, not the nozzle. So if your tip is mounted flush then your wire should be extended 1/4 to 3/8 past the nozzle. Assuming a flush tip, your "air gap" should be 1/4 to 3/8. I always try for 1/4" because that has always worked for me with my welder. Rarely will I go past 3/8" and it's usually because I lost control or my arm hurts.

When I mentioned porosity I was referring to pin holes. I'm sort of mixing terms here, so forget about porosity. They could be caused by grinding or just a miss in your weld. If you only have a few, let's say 1-4 in a 1/2" area, then leave them and fill with seam sealer or body filler.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 03, 2017, 05:53:34 PM
Is any distance kept from end of wire stick-out to sheet metal contact?

Thank you very much for taking time to explain all this.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 03, 2017, 06:01:08 PM
No, there should be no distance/gap between the end of the wire and the metal you are welding.

This isn't a concern with MIG. Hit the metal and keep a steady hand. The welder will do the rest. Also, make sure you are cutting off the little ball that forms on the end of your wire. If you leave the ball, more heat will be needed to melt it. It's good practice to trim the ball off of your wire after almost every weld.

I should also add, make sure that your tip and nozzle are clean and not full of slag or spatter. If your tip is black and full of splatter you should replace it. Splatter and slag can be knocked off the nozzle with a screw driver or the tip of welding pliers.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on April 03, 2017, 06:16:09 PM
I have found tin snips fit right into my nozzle and cleans them out well. On a side note I took an extra nozzle and ground it on each side so it fit into corners. Clipping the call off the end is a good practice that unfortunately I didn't follow through with.... Lazy I guess but makes for better welds.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 03, 2017, 06:33:32 PM
Ok, so with no gap that means getting setup and into position with wire touching metal, hand is steady and locked into position and trigger is then pulled always trying to keep 1/4-3/8 from contact tip to metal, correct?

I have been in the habit of cutting the balled up tip and regular cleaning of both nozzle and contact tip, all that's left is to get back at it with renewed excitment, can't wait  :-P

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on April 03, 2017, 07:21:42 PM
great tips guys.

For cleaning out the nozzle, I use a wire brush for copper pipe soldering.  Yes, it requires you take the nozzle off to clean it, but it does a really good job and the junk comes out super easy. Big plus too... the brush fits right in the hole nice and snug, but not too tight, so it does the whole inner surface at one time with a few hand twists.  As far as the nozzle goes, I just put it on the gun hand tight, so I don't need tools to pull it off.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: cal30_sniper on April 04, 2017, 03:42:27 PM
What Merlin said is workable especially for closing up holes. You still want to get a few good tacks in there so it doesn't just crack open later.

Hopefully this will be more helpful than confusing. At the top is how proper stitch welds should look in a gap; sort of, I'm not an artist! :lol: At the bottom is what you would do for an excessively large gap. Tack one side but don't try to get to the other side. Then place a tack on the opposite side of the gap. Then connect the first two tacks with a third tack roughly in the middle. After that, fill in whatever spaces are left over. Merlins suggestion should work fine filling in the spaces that you didn't get. The only caveat, try not to pile up welds on top of each other. You'll end up with a mess.

(http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r594/christopher_ford2/Untitled_zpsfdny14uy.png) (http://s1173.photobucket.com/user/christopher_ford2/media/Untitled_zpsfdny14uy.png.html)

I have also used this method to tie in somewhat larger gaps. Once you have a bridge across, it's just a matter of making "U" shaped welds that run from one side, across the bridge, and out to the otherside. Take it slow so you don't get stuff so hot that it warps or starts burning through.

The ball on the end of the weld wire is a sign that your settings are incorrect. It's okay to get one every now and then, especially when you can tie it to a poor trigger release. If you're getting a ball on every weld, you need to either adjust the wire speed or the voltage until it goes away. You'll get a cleaner bead that way as well.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 07, 2017, 11:14:21 AM
I came across this pic in another thread, if you look at the gutter corner there is some kind of tab or clip, not sure if that is factory or not but I'm wondering if I can do something like this to cover up that relatively large hole in my gutter rail?

(http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t44/Marvinator/1970%20FIREBIRD/70Firebird161.jpg) (http://s157.photobucket.com/user/Marvinator/media/1970%20FIREBIRD/70Firebird161.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 07, 2017, 04:20:43 PM
I believe that clip is for holding a wire but, I'm not positive. If you're worried about covering up the hole, just use body filler, it'll be fairly thin. You could fill it with that body panel glue. I'm pretty sure that stuff is sandable.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 11, 2017, 04:47:24 PM
HELP!
Spent the day trying to complete the final repair at the trunk pan upturn flange where the new panels will be attached but it didn't go well.  Long story short the welder was acting up all day and I thought it was the volt and wire speed setting so I kept messing with those however it turns out the wire spool feed was stop and go and very inconsistent, my welds were horable. 

Can someone tell me how to adjust both the wire feed spring loaded tensioner and the spindle wing nut for a 2lb. spool on a 110V Lincoln Mig Pak 10.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on April 11, 2017, 05:21:45 PM
Ok,  this is how I set mine up, right or wrong, it works. I set the tension on the spool with just enough drag that the spool doesn't unwind on its own.  The tension on the drive wheels can't be too tight or it will distort the wire and it will drag on the liner which will then stop feeding and bind up the wire. Same thing if it is too loose, the drive wheels will tear up the wire if it is allowed to slip, spin. It is trial an error here but basically snug plus a bit. Also make sure your tip is clean and the wire can freely move through it. Sometimes if my wire is messed up I loosen the drive wheel, remove the tip and run out the wire until I have good undamaged wire and then set it up again.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 11, 2017, 08:13:26 PM
I haven't had an issue with this till today and wondering why now. The only thing I could think of is that I often release the spring tensioner and roll back excess wire when I over trigger the gun when I'm welding. Is this an action that may cause any problems?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on April 12, 2017, 05:50:51 AM
I think it could explain why you are now getting feeding problems when you had none before. What I typically think is if its less than 24" of wire sticking out past the gun I am ahead by clipping and going rather than rewinding the wire. Welding wire is cheap when you consider the amount of time you are going to spend messing around saving it and getting everything set back proper.

For that gutter I would:
1) clamp a piece of copper to the flat side with a set of vise grips. (carefully so as to not bend it)
2) flip it over and weld the hole completely closed. I would go from edge to edge at a reasonable rate of speed and just zig-zag back and forth while coming down until the entire hole is filled. To be safer you could do a pass across the top then a pass across the bottom, and hop back and forth like that to avoid overheating.

If it needs a small hole re-drill it after you repair the big jankity one.

Hope that helps.
Todd

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 12, 2017, 04:39:29 PM
No more short roll backs of the spoo.

My hole filling with copper has not gone well but all the areas will be hinden behind the bumper or tail lights, this gutter corner is visible so I may first try to fit it with a metal patch, weld and grind smooth. l
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 12, 2017, 05:51:49 PM
Something else to keep in mind, don't let your welding hose get kinked or make any kind of extreme bends. That can mess with weld speed.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 12, 2017, 06:38:15 PM
I do keep the hose as straight as possible, it appears the spool wing nut was to tight probably from me constantly rewinding it.

In a moment of insanity yesterday I went to town with the angle grinder and this morning I paid the price for it by now having to cut out a section of the trunk upturn because it's paper thin:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2099_zpsbnveaaaj.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2099_zpsbnveaaaj.jpg.html)

I'm thinking of cutting along the black line but not sure how to reproduce that curved bottom, any suggestions?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 14, 2017, 07:38:51 PM
Need to replace a trunk drain plug that looks exactly like this but there is no size in the description and it says it goes in the floor pan.

https://www.firebirdcentral.com/1975_1981_Floor_Pan_Plug_Small_p/she-71.htm

Is this the same plug used in the trunk?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on April 14, 2017, 07:47:46 PM
Find a piece of metal and hammer it over something. I use whatever I can find to hammer on, a bench vice, a piece of pipe a bag filled with sand, my body dolly, my trailer, pretty much anything that has the curve I'm looking to create on a piece of metal. I have gotten pretty good at recreating curves in metal this way.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 14, 2017, 08:53:38 PM
This morning before starting work on this patch I figured since I'm going to cut it out I might as practice filling holes on it first. I guess this took the pressure off cause things went well enough to change my plan and not cut it out  :-D.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 16, 2017, 07:37:08 PM
I'm ready to seam seal a few areas that I patched so I layed a couple of test beads on a scrap piece of metal and tryied spread and smooth it out with an acid brush dipped in acetone but it just balled up. Then tried varsol same thing, then experimented with a degreaser which was a bit better but far from smooth. 

Do I need to wait and let the sealer skin over before trying to spread it with anything?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on April 17, 2017, 04:56:29 AM
I just used my finger (while wearing plastic gloves) dipped in acetone.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 18, 2017, 05:06:11 PM
Hit another milestone!

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2104_zps4stsc1ha.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2104_zps4stsc1ha.jpg.html)

All that time spent reshaping these poor fitting panels is paying off and I'm finding plug welding to be much easier than filling holes and gaps.  Didn't want to over grind the welds as @Ford suggested, I was doing that on the patches and hole filling and it just got me into more trouble.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on April 18, 2017, 07:07:07 PM
Looking Great!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 19, 2017, 02:32:09 AM
I've never used the acid brushes like others have suggested. I was happy enough with the beads I got with just the caulking gun. Seam sealer appearance is a personal preference, some folks even use tape for laser straight lines. I did the same as FormTA when necessary. I swear, on both my '79 and '72 the factory guys just slammed the sealer in. :lol: Nothing neat about it on either car.

Did you use SEM sealer? That stuff skins over very quickly, like within seconds. Try a much shorter length of bead and work quicker. Or try Dynatron, that stuff took days to dry completely. I preferred the SEM, I found it easier to work with and could paint over it immediately.

What did you do about the small drain plug? I did a quick search but couldn't find one. You can try a hardware store, they will have something similar but different and probably only in chrome. They're just called plugs. Mine was still intact so I pulled it out, cleaned it up and put it back in with a healthy dose of seam sealer on the top and bottom. For all the other drains, I cut a small patch and welded them close.

You're getting there and it's looking good.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 19, 2017, 02:42:29 AM
Here's a few examples of hardware store plugs:

https://www.build.com/moen-22897/s129189?uid=2351395&gclid=CO-ZlauPsNMCFRBYDQod9Y4FCg&source=gg-gba-pla_2351395____49842551719&s_kwcid=AL!4215!3!49842551719!!!g!301646837468!&cawelaid=120135390007956644&cagpspn=pla&caagid=14390613799&catci=pla-301646837468&lsft=source%3Agg-gba-pla_2351395

http://www.partstown.com/leer/leer1940010?gclid=CLuKusCPsNMCFY1WDQodrlYGUg

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Heyco/2663/?qs=0Im1WKCNLyC5UQMoQmaSTg%3D%3D&gclid=CLL8ms6PsNMCFdOKswodGE0Ijw

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1296627&KPID=991352&cid=CAPLA:G:Shopping_-_Floor_Care_-_New&pla=pla_991352&k_clickid=897c1de7-edb2-49f4-95d7-f886447a78c9

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 19, 2017, 07:17:00 AM
I have 2 different brands of seam sealer (don't have the names with me right now) and they both come out of the tube with a smooth bead but once I try spreading or flattening it just rolls up like nose booger  :x acts very similar to tar. Tried plastic and steel scraper, finger and several different chemicals as lubricants, no luck.

I ordered the plug from Firebird Central hoping the size is at least close to what I need. Those are great alternatives for floor pan plugs, I like the Moen but can't figure out how the Heyco works?

 http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Heyco/2663/?qs=0Im1WKCNLyC5UQMoQmaSTg%3D%3D&gclid=CLL8ms6PsNMCFdOKswodGE0Ijw

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 19, 2017, 02:16:44 PM
The Heyco plug is actually for desks which are usually 3/4" or thicker. It could work figuring that seam sealer would act as a glue. The Moen style plug can be found at any hardware/plumbing store. Mentioning hardware store has me thinking. If you go to one of the old style hardware stores that has an isle devoted to small stuff in drawers there is almost always some kind of plug that will work for you. Home Depot is getting rid of this kind of stuff and small hardware stores don't keep the drawers stocked so, your mileage may vary.

Not to sound like a jerk but make sure that you're not using silicone as a seam sealer. I only say silicone because it's the only product I know of that balls up when it gets wet.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 19, 2017, 02:20:44 PM
Edit on the last post, Rust Bullet products ball up when used when paint thinner. I think acetone worked and laquer thinner definitely worked. It may be whatever chemical you are using to thin it just isn't compatible the sealer. Usually there will be some kind of P sheet or white sheet that tells you what works with a certain product. Check online when you get the brand names of the sealers you are using.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 24, 2017, 10:19:22 AM
OK, the outer tail panel is mocked up and in place ready for welding :lol:

a.  When should the gutter corners be welded (first, last, doesn't matter)?
b.  Does the trunk lock cage get welded in after the outer panel is welded?
c.  How do I properly line up the trunk lock cage before welding it in place?

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 24, 2017, 07:36:15 PM
I don't think it matters, but I would make sure they are lined up the best you can and then leave them for last. I usually like to start things in the middle and work out to the ends. This gives you a certain amount of adjustability if necessary.

I would weld the lock cage in first. Take measurements from the old panel before removing the cage and transfer the measurements to the new panel. The lock cage has a certain amount of adjustment to the lock cylinder. The only problem with putting the lock cage in first is that it will make it just little bit difficult to twist and turn the panel into place.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 25, 2017, 07:30:59 AM
The outer tail panel seems to line up well based on the plug hole locations and several sheet metal screws I used on the final test fit before installing the inner panel. However the driver side trunk lid gap had somehow gotten reduced and I presume this should be addressed prior to welding in the lock cage, correct?

If yes, is it just a matter of loosening the trunk hinge bolts and resetting the gaps or would this be opening up a new can of worms?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 25, 2017, 10:52:32 AM
Get it lined up the best you can first. The quarter panel has probably relaxed. Did you brace the quarter panels before you took out the tail panel? Personally I would realign the gap at the trunk lid first and then brace it so it doesn't move and then weld it all.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 25, 2017, 11:11:20 AM
I wasn't set up with a welder before removing the panel so I used 2x4 block of wood to brace things but for whatever reason removed it during the process. 
So can the trunk lid gaps be aligned by just loosening the lid bolts?

Also, the rear suspension has been loaded (jack stands on the axle) this entire process, it should remain this way for final install of outer panel, correct?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 25, 2017, 08:16:10 PM
There is gonna be a certain amount of adjustment in the hinges. It would be best to try to realign the quarter first though. Try putting the 2 x 4 back into place. If necessary use more than one 2 x 4 and use wood shims to get the quarter back into position. I think you'll have a much easier time getting the quarter back to where it should be than adjusting the gap unless the whole gap of the trunk lid is off. Didn't you rear spoiler end up shifting too? You may be able to fix both issues at the same time.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 26, 2017, 11:33:05 AM
Yes the rear spoiler also moved. 

I'm anxious and excited to weld in this outer panel but do not want to get ahead of myself and miss something that will bite me in the arse later.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on April 30, 2017, 05:59:22 PM
Middle section is welded in:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2121_zpsdakcmwxy.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2121_zpsdakcmwxy.jpg.html)

I mocked up the bumper and tail lights and found the driver side fit very well with consistent gaps as seen here:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2119_zpsorbh6j2d.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2119_zpsorbh6j2d.jpg.html)

However just below the quarter spoiler on the passenger side it leans in:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2118_zpsoqmtnh2k.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2118_zpsoqmtnh2k.jpg.html)

I tried shimming the mounting studs with extra rubber washers but this just pushed out the lower section of the tail light.  Also had a look at the quarter panel flange that the upper tail panel gets welded to and it appears to be straight and flat. Any ideas?

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on April 30, 2017, 09:44:57 PM
It's HAMMER TIME!

A little whack here and there should straighten it out.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 01, 2017, 07:49:50 AM
These pics were taken after some good 'wacking' to the flange that didn't budge. 
I think that because of the curves and bends in this flange it would be difficult to alter it without some serious damage from hammering on it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Black Sheep on May 01, 2017, 03:29:25 PM
Use a short piece of 2x4 (to spread the blow) and a bigger hammer.  Had a guy almost stroke out on me one day while he watched me "adjust" his door.  :lol: :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 01, 2017, 04:53:31 PM
I had already tried that but I used a small hammer, will have to break out the man hammer this weekend. With the outer panel now in place and welded in the center section getting into a good position to swing the hammer is challenging not to mention I have to use hammer my wrong hand.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 02, 2017, 06:50:48 AM
Is the trunk lid lining up correctly? Is it only that one end of the light not lining up? The outside perimeter of outer panel is not welded is place yet? On both sides or just the one?

And now a silly question, :lol: do you have the outer panel on the outside of the flange?

From the pics, it looks like just the upper portion of the passenger tail light needs to be moved out, is that correct? You may need to finish welding in the panel and beat out the areas where the light mounts.

Black Sheep has the right idea, break out the BFH.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 02, 2017, 07:24:16 AM
Trunk lid alignment needs a little more fine tuning to even out the 1/4 panel gap (right now it's larger on the passenger side).

Yes, only the passenger side tail light not lining up.

No welding completed yet on the outside perimeter of panel or on the frame bracket area.

Outer panel is mounted on the outside of the 1/4 panel flange (that's actually a very good question, it reveals insight and micro detail required to do all this).

Yes, only the upper section of tail light (at the curve) needs to move outward.

You know what, I think your right by welding the flange and panel then hammering on it because as it is right now hammering on the flange just seems to want to bounce back off the panel so nothing happens.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 02, 2017, 08:13:13 AM
I was able to get my outer panel jammed up because I somehow slid the upper portion behind the flange. What a PIA to get it unstuck!

I would lower the trunk lid and look for loss of alignment on both sides. Not only the width of the gap, but height as well.  If only to be certain that your quarters aren't doing something weird like curling down.

My brother John has this really bad habit of leaning on things that people are working on or under. He took a ratchet to ankle the day he leaned on a car I was working under. Sometimes violence is the right way! Did anyone lean on the car? Massaging a part or parts into place isn't all that abnormal.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 02, 2017, 10:16:34 AM
I figured something must of happened during your panel install for you to ask that question.

When I started this adventure I cut a 2x2 piece of wood to fit snug between trunk floor and underside of gutter on both driver and passenger sides, when I put them back in place on this past weekend the passenger side (same side the tail light issue is on) is now short by a hair.

No one has even been in my garage for the past 6 months and the only 2 things I could think of that might impact a shift in panels are:

a.   the gas fired radiant garage heater which is in close proximity (approx. 3ft.) and/or
b.   originally the car stands were on the frame but prior to removing the original panel I switched the rear stands to the axle so as to simulate it being loaded

What do you think? 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 02, 2017, 06:52:39 PM
I think that the steel might just be "relaxing". The initial installation of the parts back in '79 and 35+ years of service may have put some strain on the steel. I've seen parts of my floor move when I made certain cuts. Heat cycles might have done it. I doubt the stands matter much as long as you weren't jacking it with the panel removed or where off kilter by a high degree. I don't think it's too much to worry about, just one more thing that needs doing.

I would realign the quarter so that the gutter, trunk lid gap, rear spoiler and most of the light are in acceptable limits. As long as the outer panel is sitting on the quarter flange the way it's suppose to I would weld it. Then I would I try to hammer the rest of the panel into shape. Like Black Sheep said, use a big hammer and a piece of wood for big adjustments and then use a small hammer for fine adjustments.

My lights went back in the way they came out. I had the rear of the car on a saw horse under the forward sections of the frame rails and the front was still attached to my rotisserie. They weren't exactly perfect to begin with but not off in any noticeable way. You really needed to stare at them or use a ruler to notice that they may have been off a 1/16" here or there. My understanding is that's normal for most domestic cars of the era.

The Johnny situation was with my Dad's truck. It's just high enough that a fatty doesn't need a jack to swap out air bag sensors. That is at least until some knucklehead leans on the fender driving the bumper into your chest! :shock: :lol:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 03, 2017, 08:48:34 AM
I can't 'realign the quarter' because the quarter was never replaced, have to work with trunk hinges or maybe the lock latch (once it's installed) can help pull the lid a little bit to the passenger side to close up the gap. Currently I have the center spoiler removed but know that to will need some kind of shimming or something to line up with the quarter spoilers (it's important to me that the 3 pcs spoilers all line up nice).
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 04, 2017, 10:57:29 AM
Can someone post a pic or tell me what the tolerance should be between top of tail light and lower edge of trunk gutter drip rail?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2116_zpsuyuonlsu.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2116_zpsuyuonlsu.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2115_zps9qowqjvk.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2115_zps9qowqjvk.jpg.html)

Passenger side obviously has a large gap and this is with the mounting holes already opened up quite a bit.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 05, 2017, 06:35:21 PM
I'll try to get out to the garage this weekend and check mine if no one beats me to it. The tolerances for GM are in the 6-pack range. Probably Schlitz or Schaefer considering the era.  :lol:

What I mean by realign the quarter is that if the quarter dropped or moved because the 2 x 4 fell out then it may be out of position. You could try pushing in on the quarter when welding it to close up the gap a bit. I'm referring to the unattached area by the spoiler end.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 07, 2017, 05:02:08 PM
I found the problem (actually 2 issues) that was affecting the tail light positioning:

a.  Passenger side 1/4 spoiler is deformed directly above the area in question, I didn't see this before because I had it all taped up.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2134_zpspftxmzmr.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2134_zpspftxmzmr.jpg.html)

Here's the driver side:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2137_zpso8hnnq3a.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2137_zpso8hnnq3a.jpg.html)

b.  Tail panel had the wrong radius at the fuel filler opening and was preventing the tail light mounting studs from siting flat against the panel. I reshaped the curve as seen in this pic:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2132_zpsxtgrcvr1.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2132_zpsxtgrcvr1.jpg.html)

Any ideas what I can do to get the bulge out of the 1/4 spoiler (I'm thinking heat gun and 2 way tape to help keep it held down against the 1/4 panel)?

 
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 09, 2017, 11:26:16 AM
Got the trunk lid lined up better by adjusting it at the hinges but not sure how to get the lid flush with passenger 1/4 panel??

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2139_zpsqvaqfjya.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2139_zpsqvaqfjya.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 20, 2017, 10:45:41 AM
I had to radius the corner around the filler area to get the tail lights to fit as well. I think you need to put a 2x4 under the area where the quarter attaches to the trunk gutter. Shim it until the quarter is level with trunk. Then weld up the quarter and gutter to the tailpanel.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: DeCaff2007 on May 21, 2017, 09:23:34 AM
Use a short piece of 2x4 (to spread the blow) and a bigger hammer.  Had a guy almost stroke out on me one day while he watched me "adjust" his door.  :lol: :lol: :lol:

LMAO!!  I needed that, thanks!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: roadking77 on May 21, 2017, 11:49:43 AM
I remember being on a job years ago where the front door was not shutting correctly. The carpenter that was working on it finally grabbed a long 2 x 4, opened the door, wedged the board in, and shutting the door against the wood, "springing the hinges". Worked great after that.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 21, 2017, 03:56:06 PM
I guess it's too late to use the 2x4 and shims:

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2157_zpsp4iucmpv.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2157_zpsp4iucmpv.jpg.html)

Any other options at this stage?

Panel is all in including the lock cage, just need to work out the 1/4 spoiler gap just above the tail light.

As a reward to myself for saving a lot of money by fixing the tail panel I bought new front seats..

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2110_zpsv9sufsby.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2110_zpsv9sufsby.jpg.html)

I figured this would be a great time to add sound deadener but after removing the interior I found this right behind the brake pedal.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2156_zpshcfvxbtx.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2156_zpshcfvxbtx.jpg.html)

Took the wind out of my sail  :sad:

I can't understand how this area rusted when the rest of the floor is mint (except for a small spot near the driver side seat belt anchor along the inner rocker panel, no big deal though).

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2154_zpsjretazhw.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2154_zpsjretazhw.jpg.html)

I don't know whats on the other side of this hole, when I crawl under the car there is no hole??

I'm thinking about cutting it out and installing a floor plug with seam sealer...what do you guys thing??
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 21, 2017, 05:01:12 PM
You can't find the hole on the other side because it's covered by the front body mount. You could probably get away with using that magic rust killing paint and then sealing down a piece of sheet metal. Paint the patch piece too.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 21, 2017, 05:51:23 PM
So adapting a floor plug would also work, right?

Why would it rust ar that location, it's a vertical panel so moisture doesnt sit there?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 21, 2017, 06:01:44 PM
Was the car owned by a woman? Women that wear heels all the time tend to put holes in the carpet. I suppose it could be caused by flat shoes too. That's basically a pivot point we're the foot sits. That causes the paint to break down and then moisture in the air and current running threw the body causes rust.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 21, 2017, 08:09:45 PM
I'm original owner and never wear my heels while driving hehehe.

The hole is directly behind the brake pedal so it's almost impossible to place a foot back there.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on May 22, 2017, 07:54:30 AM
I would try having a helper spray the garden hose on the top /bottom/sides of the windshield while you watch and see if you are getting a water drip in that spot.

I would recommend avoiding wearing your heels while doing so.  :cool:
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 22, 2017, 04:47:26 PM
No need to get out the garden hose, I found the other side of the hole directly over driver frame rail where it curves up at the bottom of the firewall.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2175_zpsge9v0vub.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2175_zpsge9v0vub.jpg.html)

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2176_zpshbt3xgjw.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2176_zpshbt3xgjw.jpg.html)

When I seen it from this side it was obvious why it rusted. You can see from the first pic there is no seam sealer along the joint where cowl meets floor pan (based on how much seam sealer I removed in the trunk area they must have run out when they got to the front of the car). The car was my daily driver the first 12 yrs so water, snow and salt just got up into that open gap and found a home.

Correct me if I'm wrong but this will require 2 separate patches by cutting the floor pan hole a little larger I can access the rusted cowl section then patch the floor pan, correct?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mrandrew85 on May 22, 2017, 06:48:07 PM
I just had my cousin replace my inner and outer tail panels and do one small patch in my rear quarter panel. The bill that he sent me was for 480 dollars for the car in primer.

I used one amd inner panel and a goodmark outer panel. His opinion was that the panels were of normal quality and required a bit of fitting but not too much fitting.

He did put the car in primer and I think that he just scuffed up up the black coating that the panels came in and then painted over that material. Do you guys know if that coating is okay to be painted over.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on May 22, 2017, 07:34:51 PM
@Form, ya 2 pieces, you got the right idea. The bottom piece is the forward mount and will be a thicker gauge than the floor board. Pretty easy fix except for the positions you will need to contort into. This is a good time to teach a little kid to weld. :lol: Not really! And don't weld in heels, you'll burn the top of your feet. I like those seats you got. Where'd you get 'em?

@Andrew, you gotta test the black primer before it's covered. Generally, AMD and Goodmark use an e-coat which only needs a scuffing. The manufacturers' quality control is sort of a joke, so you should test each panel just in case. Some companies use a shipping primer or only a light oil to protect the panels from rust during shipping. These products need to be completely removed before applying any other product.

To test, clean a test area on the panel with plain water and dry it off. Take a rag soaked in acetone and let it sit on the primer for a few minutes. Then wipe it with a clean rag or paper towel. If any of the primer comes off it's likely a shipping primer and should be removed.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 22, 2017, 07:53:59 PM
The seats are from Scat Procar they custom covered them with Oxen Camal Tan vinyl which they had to order from SMS. Should have been a perfect color match to original seat covers so a bit dissappointing that they don't, hopefully not as noticable once installed.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 23, 2017, 07:32:31 AM
I'm dreading having to deal with this rust hole, does anyone see a reason not to cut out the rust and install a plug with seam sealer in lieu of welding patches in?

I found this but there is no size in the description:

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/amd-427-3961/overview/
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 79merlin on May 23, 2017, 08:43:51 AM
Since it is under the brake pedal I cannot see a structural reason why a plug would not be fine just so long as you seam seal it and treat the back side (of the plug and the toe board) with rust converter or some similar type material to make sure you don't get more rust in the area.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on May 23, 2017, 07:17:03 PM
I recently did that toe board in full on my passenger side.  For more pictures click the link in my signature, its on page 4.

This is what all is there though ... if your interested... or not lol.  Use your imagination and mirror it to get the driver side.  By no means am I suggesting you tear in this far, this is just to give you an idea of the structure in that area.


The toe board here is cut away, and most of the body mount is still there.  the whole bottom of my mount was rotted, so I cut it off just to get it out of the way.

(http://i1379.photobucket.com/albums/ah131/mz-formula/0920162124a_zpsaety1psr.jpg)

Toe board is all that joins to it on the inside.


This is the body mount.  Again, yours is a mirror image for the driver side.  Your rot spot is along the silver edge on the left side of my part.

(http://i1379.photobucket.com/albums/ah131/mz-formula/1002162046a_zpsiz9ppagu.jpg)

another view

(http://i1379.photobucket.com/albums/ah131/mz-formula/0930161925_zpsvzpn8oft.jpg)


and from under the car, as if laying on the ground.

(http://i1379.photobucket.com/albums/ah131/mz-formula/0930161926_zpslxqd4tek.jpg)



If any other shots would help, please let me know.  the body is still on the flipper and will be for a long while yet.



My driver side is on the to do list also   :P

(http://i1379.photobucket.com/albums/ah131/mz-formula/0207161631_zpszedln6wd.jpg)




Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 24, 2017, 07:11:48 AM
Wow, that's very helpful thank you.

What gauge is the body mount panel and the toe board panel?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: mz-formula on May 24, 2017, 07:28:31 PM
The body mount is .080 thick, the toe board is .040 thick
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 25, 2017, 08:13:44 AM
Great, thank you mz.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 27, 2017, 08:28:26 PM
Any idea how I can close this gap between bumper and lower quarter panel, it wasn't there before starting this tail panel project?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2182_zpsxnlqopit.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2182_zpsxnlqopit.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on May 30, 2017, 11:20:49 AM
Is there a particular tightening order and torque spec for the rear bumper bolts?
Bumper return to lower quarter gap is perfect on driver side but the passenger side is an eye sore.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Black Sheep on June 02, 2017, 11:46:04 AM
Big hammers fix a lot 8)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 02, 2017, 12:47:34 PM
After analyzing the area it appeared the culprit was the frame end tabs which I may have over tweaked somewhere between the removal, cleaning and mock up stage.  I now realize if the frame end tabs are too far out (away from the car) then it keeps the bumper brackets out (away from the car), thus not allowing the bumper to be squeezed tight to the lower 1/4 panel. 

I used the big hammer and had to stop because it appeared like some of the plug welds on the frame end tab were breaking apart.  Also spent a lot of time with different tightening sequences of all the bumper bolts, end result of all this the gap has reduce somewhat and we'll see if I could live with it for awhile.

Since we're on the topic of panels and gaps there was a previous post and pic of the trunk lid to 1/4 panel height difference which is now even greater since installing the trunk weather stripping, I absolutely hate it. Got me thinking if the trunk lid is being raised further from some simple rubber forcing it up, then there must be a way to put pressure on the top side of the lid to reduce that height difference to the 1/4 without damaging paint finish, any thoughts?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 03, 2017, 07:43:15 PM
HELP!
The height difference from trunk lid to 1/4 panel is 5/16"  :shock: it's imbarrassing.

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2199_zps9nhcs4pt.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2199_zps9nhcs4pt.jpg.html)

Is there anything I can do without damaging the finish paint?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 03, 2017, 08:45:12 PM
Lower the latch. That should lower the lid. You can also add shims between the hinge and the lid. I know that sounds like it would raise it but it actually lowers it.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 04, 2017, 10:36:05 AM
Shims on the same side that it's high?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on June 04, 2017, 03:55:17 PM
You don't think it would be better to cut the welds between the upper quarter and tail panel, then adjust the quarter upwards and re-weld?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 04, 2017, 04:10:54 PM
What is it like on the other side?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 04, 2017, 04:18:27 PM
If you have height issues on both sides lower the trunk latch. I had to elongate the holes on one of my projects. This will bring the back of the trunk down. If you need to bring the hinge side down add shims between the trunk lid and the hinge. You will have to experiment with shims in the front and rear holes of the hing to get your desired drop.

I doubt he wants to cut spot welds to raise the quarter panel. I think he can get it really close using the above-mentioned information. But that's just my .02

Good luck!
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 04, 2017, 04:20:52 PM
Other side not perfect but I'm happy with it.

Re-drilling the plug welds is probably the right way to do correct this however there maybe to much risk in it for me, it would have to be an absolute last resort.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on June 04, 2017, 04:51:04 PM
I yield to the crazy-man with the Sawzall. LOL! After looking through FormTA's build posts I'd bet 5 cents on his 2 cents anytime.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 04, 2017, 05:17:54 PM
Shims and latch it is, thank you guys for providing direction here.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 05, 2017, 04:56:37 AM
Quote
I yield to the crazy-man with the Sawzall. LOL! After looking through FormTA's build posts I'd bet 5 cents on his 2 cents anytime.
Quote
LOL, Thanks! I didn't? know anyone read those  :-P .
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 05, 2017, 07:13:59 AM
Elementary question, do you use regular washers for shims or something else with a slip fit cut out so the bolts don't have to be remove completely when trying different shim thicknesses?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: Ford5of5 on June 05, 2017, 11:10:19 AM
This is what I use for body adjustments. I've used them in my contracting business a bunch of times too. I don't think it's worth the cost of shipping though. https://www.harborfreight.com/144-piece-body-shim-assortment-67585.html (https://www.harborfreight.com/144-piece-body-shim-assortment-67585.html)

They can be ordered through discount auto part stores, Ebay and Amazon. I would imagine that body shop suppliers and old school alignment shops would have them. I know my local Napa doesn't stock them but will order them. I've also seen them at smaller hardware stores, usually in the nut and bolt section, but haven't seen them at places like Home Depot or Lowes. Washers should work just as well but you'll have a limited selection of thicknesses.

Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: roadking77 on June 05, 2017, 11:12:51 AM
Agree with Ford, I used some washers in a couple of places in lieu of body shims.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 05, 2017, 05:05:13 PM
I use what I have but for the trunk lid on both projects I used washers
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 05, 2017, 05:10:50 PM
Gonna round up some washers, what range of thicknesses should I gather?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 05, 2017, 06:13:02 PM
1/8" on down or whatever you can find. Small movement there doesn't make big change so really thin ones probably won't be necessary. Start with moving the latch first though.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 06, 2017, 12:06:39 PM
Another elementary question, if I wanted to try and get the lid pulled down a little further (tighter) would I do that by adjusting the latch or the catch (I'm not sure which is which so you may want to define those 2 terms so we're clear)?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 06, 2017, 09:15:16 PM
The catch is attached to the trunk lid with two bolts. I had to elongate the slots on one of my cars so I could move the catch up so the lid would pull down more. I would not move the latch..
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 18, 2017, 06:16:00 PM
Trunk height alignment update.
Added washers (up to a 1/4" thick) to the rear hinge bolt and it lowered the trunk height at the hinge corner only, there was no change down by the spoiler area.

Readjusted the trunk catch by raising the catch slightly on the same side that the trunk is high on and it helped pull it down some, it's not easy to shut the lid but that could also be the new weatherstrip.

Anything else I can try?

(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af105/formulajg/IMG_2228_zpsjsyra0is.jpg) (http://s998.photobucket.com/user/formulajg/media/IMG_2228_zpsjsyra0is.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: 70RAIV455 on June 18, 2017, 09:02:43 PM
You might have to Live with your Gaps .
Nice work by the way.

Apparently the Unibody rear clip moved around while you were working and then stopped.
Came back to work and weld and never noticed till you completed and went to shut the decklid.

I suppose a Birdcage should have been welded inside of the Trunk and to each 1/4 panel skin.
It would have burnt through and destroyed the paintjob.

Like a jungle jim race cage made from 1/2 to 1 inch tubing or retangular steel stock.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 19, 2017, 04:36:03 AM
That is much better. That is all I can think of.... Time may help form the weather stripping and make it was to close. Not much else you can do other that adjust the last more by elongating the holes. I would do that only after a month or so so the weather stripping has had time to compress.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 19, 2017, 07:56:31 AM
Out of curiosity I added shims to the hinge forward bolt and the result was the opposite raising that corner of the lid.

The lid catch still has plenty of adjust ability in the factory elongated holes but I'll keep it closed for a few weeks before attempting to bring it in tighter. 

Just want to reconfirm there is no point in messing around with the trunk 'latch' (keeping in mind I had to remove the original latch from the old panel and weld it onto the new panel so there's a good possibility it may not be in the best position)?
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 19, 2017, 12:26:03 PM
Only other idea is to remove the latch or catch completely and see if you can position the lid in the correct spot. That would tell you if the catch/ latch is what is holding it up or is it just the weather stripping.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on June 19, 2017, 01:29:28 PM
I'm trying to wrap my head around this idea or your's, so If I remove the catch with the weatherstrip in place then lower the lid to see whether the height gets reduced as I apply downward pressure on the lid, correct?
If the lid height improves then I can work the catch adjustment a little more after the weather strip has had time to relax, correct?

I should mention the weather strip is not glued in and I don't intend on applying any adhesive, really where's it going to go.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on June 19, 2017, 07:04:24 PM
It was just an idea to see if it is hitting anything other than weather stripping and like you said, is there more room to go.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on August 08, 2017, 04:57:01 PM
After readjusting the trunk latch, catch, hinges, spoilers and using some good ole fashion Canadian enginuity like this:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4317/35301860494_f931f6312e_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/VMvge9) (https://flic.kr/p/VMvge9)  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

The result is not perfect, but much better and I'm OK with this:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4355/36369071576_bbca4d12ca_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XpNZUd) (https://flic.kr/p/XpNZUd)  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

Here it is out of the garage for some fresh air at last:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4333/36379057396_077fc77902_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XqGbkw) (https://flic.kr/p/XqGbkw) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/36255992382_f91ca18704_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XeProW) (https://flic.kr/p/XeProW) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

I didn't notice the damage above the marker light (below pic) until I took this pic. I'm certain it was caused by me when I was trying to line up the new tail panel and placed a block of wood inside the trunk to help support things, must of hammered on the block one too many times  :mad: Is there any way I can smooth out this lump without paint damage?

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4363/35644479133_40d985dcbd_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/WiMgP4) (https://flic.kr/p/WiMgP4)  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: roadking77 on August 08, 2017, 06:19:57 PM
Turned out great. I doubt your Canadian ingenuity though, I don't see any Molson's on there eh. LOL.
As for the bump in the quarter, around here theres a guy that goes to local body shops that claims paintless dent repair. You might want to see if you can find someone in your area that offers that kind of service.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on August 08, 2017, 06:32:23 PM
There's an unwritten law up here that all beer must be kept refrigerated at all times so I had to use the cases of water as the back up goalie.

Thanks for the tip, gonna source someone out.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on August 09, 2017, 04:48:44 AM
That came out great! Good job! Can you upload a couple of pictures of the tail panel in primer or paint before all of the lights and spoilers we're put back on?

I bet you sleep better at night knowing the tin worm is not chewing through the tail of your car anymore.
Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: formula jg on August 09, 2017, 11:46:26 AM
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4374/36296467982_72ccab72d5.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XioTo7) (https://flic.kr/p/XioTo7) by  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4373/35656532163_e77a576fe7.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/WjR3KV) (https://flic.kr/p/WjR3KV) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4384/36464598255_3e2e38faf6.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XyfADV) (https://flic.kr/p/XyfADV) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4415/35656533423_89d5f31d56.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/WjR48D) (https://flic.kr/p/WjR48D) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4390/35629538194_74c2ff085a.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/WhsGoE) (https://flic.kr/p/WhsGoE) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/36418865006_01a9aff629.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XudcKC) (https://flic.kr/p/XudcKC) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/35629538084_f428924aa8.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/WhsGmL) (https://flic.kr/p/WhsGmL) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150033562@N06/)





Title: Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
Post by: FormTA on August 09, 2017, 06:46:45 PM
Looks great! Thanks for posting!