I started getting into the heavy body work this past weekend. I mentioned on my last post that I was planning on starting on the front section of the drivers heater channel, but moved on to this instead. This is the part that terrified me for some time now. I had some huge gaping holes just below and to the rear of the drivers side rear quarter window.
I've never been much of a bodyman, nor had I ever tackled this kind of repair before. The size of the holes really made this difficult for me to start since I really wasn't sure of the outcome. I figured I'd better just dive in before I chickened out.
Next Patch:After getting the fender mount tacked in, I moved up to the section by the wing vent. I figured I would do this and the lower section seperately to make retaining the body line easier. This patch went pretty well with only minor flaws.
Patch below wing vent: Now it was time for the part of the patch that I really wasn't looking forward to. I was a little hesitant since this part of the panel has multiple curves to it and I do not own any fancy tools. I don't even own body hammers and dollies.I started by cutting te patch metal to the rough shape of the hole, leaving about a quarter inch extra around all the edges. To get the convex bend in the patch, I layed the metal on a soft piece of pine and started hammering at it lightly with my trusty rubber mallet. After about 20 minutes, I had the metal in just about the right shape to make the patch.
I held the patch up against the cut out section and trimmed any metal that would over extend the hole and also mated it on the overhang of the lower patch. I had to continue bending and hammering the metal as I spot welded it in to help with retaining the shape. All went surprisingly well. Especially for my first attempt.