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Panel repairs on 1930 Ford coupe Hotrod 21 Jan 2002

As usual with a 70 year old steel body, time and man have taken their toll.  Rust, bullet holes, neglect and previous damage are all evident on this body.  The left rear quarter panel is the worst and needs  extensive repairs due to all combinations of damage.  I started to repair the original but came to the conclusion that some sections of panel will have to be replaced.  The rest of the body is in a similar state and I am trying to repair everything using the file finish technique. That is, panel beat the damage until running a body file over it reveals no lows or highs, just steel as Henry made it. (or maybe better)  It takes a long time.

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The rear quarter panels had extensive rust in the lower edges and needed patch panels to be made up and fitted. The patch panel in the left corner is a commercial unit whilst I hand formed the panel in the wheel well bottom. Both have been hammer welded (oxy-acet.) into place. Upper section of this panel is very rough and thin. It was badly damaged and is now straightened out, but needs more work.

Sept '99  I decided to replace the damaged section above with new steel, rolled and beaded to suit. This new piece has just been tack-welded into place here.  A homemade petrol (gas) filler door will also be fitted above this section.

See Gas Door button below for more info.

Dec '99 Here is the same panel with the damaged section replaced. About 30 hours work here!

Gas door hole is evident  too.

body-rr.JPG (35446 bytes) March 2000  Things are starting to take shape now. Trial fitting shows up a few areas still needing work like the repro rear panel which has no proper crown.
23rd-rr.jpg (31483 bytes) April 23rd.  I start assembly of the body onto the floor frame. For more pics. and information, see the Body Assembly button below.


Trunk Lid construction on 1930 Ford Hotrod.

As the body did not have a trunk lid, I decided to make my own.  Here is how I am doing it. I made a tube (3/4") frame and curved it in gradually in a vice, (or  hold tube between two wooden blocks and use a heavy hammer to gradually curve the tube) to the shape of the trunk opening and I have curved a piece of 0.8mm steel sheet on an English wheeling machine (at TAFE college)   It will be completed when the body is back together, to allow accurate fitting.

The curved sheet will have its edges turned down at 90 degrees and it will be attached to the frame via some other sheet steel pieces (not shown) and then spot welded around the edges. Hinges will be home made also.

More details to come.

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Cowl Repairs

The bottom edges of the cowl have rusted through and have now been replaced with patch panels. This pic. shows the rusted section cut out (plasma cutter at TAFE) and the new patch panel, cut to fit, to the left. It has been oxy-acet. welded into place using hammer weld technique where access to the rear is possible. The cowl has been de-rusted in the molasses bath (see de-rust button) and the internal sections primed.

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Fender repairs are another major item to tackle.LR-GARD.jpg (3379 bytes)


I bought another (much better) LH fender on the 25th of April, '99. After some panel work, here it is. Still a bit more work required to finish it off.


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rear-1.JPG (22243 bytes)Rear window Panel

This panel was badly creased on the top right hand side and also featured several bullet holes and dents around the window opening and bottom edge. Although not adverse to some history in my Rod, I decided the holes had to go and hence were repaired along with the crease.



bar-all.JPG (12071 bytes)HEADLIGHT BAR Dec '99

Not really a body repair, but I thought I would try making my own headlight bar with hidden bolts.  I bought some 3/4" rod and tube ($8) and then turned the end down on the rod (bottom left of pic.) so that it would fit inside the tube.  I made a simple jig and bent the two rods to shape, using the oxy torch.  The tube forms the centre section of the bar and the joints will be welded. The oval shaped end pads are also home made using an angle grinder. 

h-lbar2.JPG (13275 bytes)

Click to enlarge pictures

Here is the rubber pad with a homemade steel  oval piece with tapped spacers welded onto the rear.
hl-bar3.JPG (36582 bytes) The steel pad will be welded onto the ends of the bar...
hl-bar4.JPG (14597 bytes) as shown here. The tapped spacers will go through the rubber pad, fender and the support bracket, below...
hl-bar5.JPG (13884 bytes) and the bolts will be under the fender. (bolts not shown in photo)

That is, not visible from the fender side.


New Rain Gutters

The old rain gutters on the coupe are badly dented and on the left side, are also rusted through.  I had been worried about what to do with them for a while, but decided to make new gutters up, at night school. Removing the old gutters was done by drilling out the spot welds from inside the body using a spot weld drill. This exposed a lot of rust also which will have to be removed. I folded up new gutters in two pieces, joined in the middle (because I used a short folding machine)  virtually to the same size as the old ones, but as a simple "J" shape only. They were then bent to shape (over my knee) until they were a good fit. They will be welded back using MIG on the inside of the body and will also be sealed with a suitable sandable sealant. Pictures show old gutter being removed, new gutter trial fitted, held by a clamp only.

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23rd April, I trimmed the new gutters to length and welded them from the inside, onto the body. Before I did that, I thoroughly cleaned the area on the roof and gave it a coat of zinc loaded paint, hopefully to stop more rusting. I will fill the gap on the top and bottom of the gutters, to the body, with a suitable paintable seam sealant.  The left picture show the new gutter and the body masked with the zinc paint applied in the gutter area.

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New Gauge panel

guage-3.JPG (8502 bytes)  the old panel.

guage-1.JPG (12605 bytes) Hammer formed at home over wooden form.


At the rear bottom edge of the trunk, I need to add a gutter, to stop water from entering the car.  I decided to make a "U" shaped gutter running across the rear panel, below the trunk lid. It will be connected to the side gutters on the trunk also and water will exit via drain holes and tubing at each end. I used a piece of 18g steel and folded up a lip of about 15mm on one side of the gutter (to front of car)  and also folded a 5mm section over on itself so there are no sharp edges. For the other side, I  made up a wooden pattern to hammer form a curved edge, to match the rear panel.

The front edge is folded up

Shown from the bottom, the edge is turned over

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boot-gutter3.JPG (14674 bytes) Here is the side gutter section   2106boot1.JPG (32793 bytes)Hammer forming the curved rear section over a wood pattern.
 2106boot3.JPG (32748 bytes)    2106boot2.JPG (37255 bytes)The gutter fitted into the rear panel       2106boot5.JPG (34317 bytes) The side gutters will be modified to flow into the new rear gutter using the section shown..


 Picture of finished gutter, including drain holes, soon.




January 21, 2002 updated August 13, 2010