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panel repair - need tips on fixing this bodywork
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rustbus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject: panel repair - need tips on fixing this bodywork Reply with quote

guys,

i picked up this 1975 panel (FI, 1800 ~60,000 OG miles) a year or so ago - and just got it running nice (starting it cold is another story though Razz gotta sort THAT out)

course, PO cut the sides and hacked in some camper windows. a westfalia louvres on the drivers side and some weird 2 pane ones into the sliding door.

i want to weld them shut so i pulled the drivers side out today. this is what im left with.

i have a curved panel i cut out of a sliding door, for this side, but for the other side i'll need sheet metal

i have a 120V miller mig with gas, and a grinder etc.

dont really know where to start - cut it straight? whats best way to make the two panel parts match close before welding? how to keep this big sheet from warping?

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rustbus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is the panel i have from the sliding door, curves seems to be close if not perfect

comes with ribs already attached to keep it straight

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I figure i will cut 10mm away from the seam bend on all sides. i thought that staying close to these bends might help keep the warping under control...

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cut off disk the best option for cuts like this?
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Jes67
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like a cut-off wheel.I like to fit, cut,fit, cut,,go slow then use those butt weld clamps,short burst welds spread out over the panel,will keep the heat down.

I have the same task ahead of me,love your use of the slider panel.

I'm no pro, but I did just stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Wink
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rustbus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jes67 wrote:
I like a cut-off wheel.I like to fit, cut,fit, cut,,go slow then use those butt weld clamps,short burst welds spread out over the panel,will keep the heat down.

I have the same task ahead of me,love your use of the slider panel.

I'm no pro, but I did just stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Wink


thanks dude, i went at it with a cut off wheel.

got new cuts on all 4 sides of the bus hole and the new panel - straight as i could and seems to be within a mm or two everywhere all around - i'll file it down from this point to fit.

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sorry i was mistaken - the donor panel is actually from the drivers side of a bus, mid section under the window - see how it looks the same?

tomorrow I'm going to file and fit this thing - gotta pic up some of those but joint clamps you mentioned Jes67.

I've been thinking about the welding though - its loads of welding to do this all from the outside.

what i was thinking was to cut strips of metal ~20mm wide, then drill them for spot welds every inch down each side, then spot weld these strips on the inside of the bus all along these joints. throw a couple on the outside here and there of course- at the support locations and corners.

then just bondo (or whatever product) the "crack" gap full. so long as i have enough welds on the inside the panel shouldn't flex enough to crack the filler ya? anyone do something like that before?

....why does this bus look so scorched inside you ask? because it had a dash fire at 55,000km and sat ever since. I've replaced all that dash stuff as the bus came loaded with all the parts to repair it, including 3 spare dashes. PO was saving parts for years, then passed away, i bought this from his brother.
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Derek Cobb
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the welder and the time, I'd fully butt weld that section in. Strips and spot welds will allow some flex, and the flex will crack the filler eventually.
Just use a bunch of spot welds around the panel and allow each section to cool off before you weld more. gradually add spot welds next to spot welds until you've stitched the seam fully. be careful grinding as that heat can warp just like the welding heat.
With those factory ribs and a nice clean welding job, no one will ever know you had to patch the wall back in.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weld it. skim coat of filler. done.
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benzzz
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 on the skim coat.

From my experience you should clean any groove or rust pitting. Wire wheel it. Just dont want it to come back and haunt you by lifting and cracking.
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rustbus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok gotcha weld the thing in and quit being lazy/ Embarassed

finished fitting it tonight , still kinda tight end to end. i didn't find butt-weld clamps today but looks like i need them 100%

in the end i only plan to patch this thing and maybe lower it, and run it how it looks after i blend these new panels in

not sure if i will lower it since to get low enough you need to start cutting too much bus. well maybe i can add low wheels or something. maybe nothing will happen. maybe.
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rustbus
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so i welded it in, only some pictures,

welded, fillered, sanding, more filler, sanding, more filler, sanding, primers, filler primers, sanding, primer sanding, glazing putty, sanding, primer.

picked up color match paint for $25 and now just waiting for a break in the rain and breeze long enough to lay it on outside.


just starting the welding, took hours and hours but was kinda fun, must have been thousands of spot welds by the time i was finished.


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Did i mention i hate grinding?

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paint tomorrow i hope, hope that goes well.. looks good, the shape isnt perfect but not bad i guess for my first flat panel. getting a good sanding block and increasing grits of paper was a big deal.


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now that this is nearly over i have the sliding door, maybe next year. im going back to mechanical work on the FI and brakes after all this sanding.


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dasdachshund
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent job, rustbus. Applause

-dasdachshund
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks great! it is a long drawn out procedure no matter who does it. i try to tell people that and they look at me like i have 2 heads.

i am willing to bet by the time you get done with it you will have 12 or more hours into it. fun, huh? Laughing
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gprudenciop wrote:

my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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