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Advice with Body Work

894 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  350_Malibu
I am looking to start the body/sheet metal work on my 68, but as usual, I am need of advice. Due to the rust on the fenders, doors, and quarterpanels (it spent a long time in the north), to me it would be easier to replace the entire fenders, door skins, and quarterpanels. As I've been browsing some of the topics here, I see where people either replace full fenders and quarters or use patch panels. I guess it depends on the amount of damage/rust where this comes into play? Or is it a personal preference with people? I want to do this right. Any words of wisdom out there?
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You might want to take a close look at the floor pan supports, there about four inches wide and go from rocker panel to rocker panel.

If you have the carpeting out, look at the spot welds very carefully, it will look like its raised a little bit between the welds, My floors looked good, but after I got to digging around, I found rust in some areas up to 3/16'' of an inch deep between the support and the floor pan.

Also take a close look under the car, with a good light, get the side of your head next to the edge of the support and floor pan.

Get an ice pick or awl, or something sharp and pointed. If you have rust, you will see some small amount of buildup right on the outside edge, if you pick at it a little, its hard and almost shiny mlike metal, but thats rust.

It might only be a 1/16'' of an inch thick from looking at the edge of it.

Thats what I noticed on mine, but you will find it is a lot thicker rust inside.

I will post a picture of the sandblasted pans, and you can see how deceiving this can be, these pans were loaded with rust.

Theres three supports on a 69, and I'm sure your 68 has the same thing.

The third support back, under the back seat, on the outside edge inside the car about six inches from the inside edge of the body, that was the worst, but all of the supports had rust.

I'll get a picture up I took a couple of weeks ago, you would not believe the rust that I found under these supports.

Not trying to discourage you, just trying to help you out in your evaluation.

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Looking at this picture, the vaccum hose hooked to a support, go back two more supports, that is the support with the most rust, although they were all loaded with rust, the bride deleated my rust pictures by mistake.

But if you don't know what your looking for or looking at, I sure didn't, but I found out.

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I bought the car with new quarters, and I put a new trunk and trunk supports, gas tank supports the front inside of the rockers, the guy that did the quarters did the wheel wells, although I rebuilt the inside edge of the wheel wells, also I replaced part of the base of the windshield, new toe boards, now I'm replacing parts of the supports and also new floor pans.

Also I bought new fenders, and I will be reskinning the doors, plus rebuilt the trunk dropoffs and part of the tail panel.

So, its been one thing after the other, but I enjoy it, plus theres a great support group on this forum that have helped me on it.

Without the help from this site, i wouldn't even consider doing it.

Yeah, I'm long winded, but I had some things I needed or felt I needed to point out.

Heres a few close ups, I have some more scattered around on my web site.


You are playing it smart asking up front, and giving your car a good evaluation before you get started, it will save you a lot of grief, and a lot of money.

Good luck

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