Patching a body panel

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by: 41willys, Crashfarmer, Jon
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[edit] Patch panels

[edit] Acquiring patch panels

There are a couple of ways you can acquire a patch panel to weld in.

  1. You can buy patch panels. This is not always an option if the vehicle you are working on isn't a popular model.
  2. You can fabricate your own patch panel.

[edit] Procedure

  1. Make sure the panel/skin is in reasonable shape before you work on it; dents and formal repairs in the good part of the panel will distort the shape when the patch shape is cut out.
  2. Give yourself plenty of room with the patch; check if you can get behind the weld area.
  3. Cut the patch and then the panel, make sure both edges "match" together
  4. Clamp the panels and spot weld the panel in. Don't get it too hot.
  5. If possible, use TIG or gas, both produce a "soft" welds; MIG will work.
  6. Hammer weld the welds when hot (red). This stretches the weld; remember -- welding steel contracts the weld area.
  7. After spot welding, hammer and dolly the area to get it straight. Light off dolly work is best.
  8. Continue to weld in 3/4 length steps, don't get the area too HOT!
  9. Continue to hammer and dolly.
  10. Metal finish the area, use paint or large marker over area, block sand to find high/low spots. Hammer and dolly until there's little left.
  11. For best results use a shrinking disk on the imperfections, or use bondo.

[edit] Bondo

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