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Discussion Starter #1
I want to go today to buy some sheet metal for the 63 Chevy II Wagon of mine but wanted to get some oppinions on the thickness I need? I need to patch the front of the hood all the way across, the bottom of the doors and fenders also some places in the floors.
Any idea what thickness (gauge) metal I need?
Thanks for any info!
 

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I am thinking 18 guage,but I am think you will be cutting out some metal to fit the new stuff in? If so take a piece from each area and that way you can be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the biggest part of my worries is the hood and fenders right now since they are on the outside and it's been raining a lot here and getting worse! The floor I think I may just buy a front floor pan sections for and be done with that. The only part I am worried about is the front nose of the fenders above the headlights are rusted out and I am not sure if I can copy the shape of the metal and weld it up... It will be very hard. and I dont have the extra 300 per fender for new ones that wont fit worth a heck. Another part is the spare tire hole in the back. Looks like someone cut the dip out back there and just glued and screwed in a flat peice of metal to the outside quarter panel and it looks like crap and all jacked up and will be a pain to fix or try to get to look like the original.
 

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The easiest way is to get used fenders that are good in the areas where you need the patch .For the trunk pan you will have to buy a panel .replace the whole pan or cut what you need out of it and replace that section .I just did this on a 70 that someone cut a hole for a fuel cell sump .It came out perfect .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info guys... As for finding used fenders, I found a few rusted out cars locally but the guys didn't want to part with just the fenders and I will not take home another old car to add to the yard. Especially one that is total junk. :d
 

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Bringing another car home is the way to go .You can get what you need and part out the remainder .Usually get all your money back and your parts free .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Usually it is but when you have 8 vehicles already plus Harley's and two dune buggies it's a little too much plus your neighbors begin to hate you. I am trying to cut down on everything and have only about 4 vehicles.
 

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Im thinking 20ga also. Its pretty thin stuff.

The front of the fenders is an easy patch, no crazy curves. Im just looking at my 62, its a simple right angle from the top of the fender down for the flange. Two ways of doing it.

One is make the top sheetmetal, curved to follow the "L" shape, the top is curved out and the vertical section is almost flat, maybe inward some. Later cars might have an outside curve for the vertical section, they liked to get fancy with aerodynamics :rolleyes: Then make the lip and weld them together. Oh, and that joint, you will never see it. I can weld up sheet metal joints so you wont know where its at, after some clean up of course. Im not THAT good LOL

The other is to make the "L" shape but have the extra amount needed for the lip then hammer the lip over. It will hammer down just fine. But you have to be careful right at the peak, the point of the bend. It will be pointed at first, so you start your bending there, dont start at the ends and come up. Clamp the two ends down so they dont just spring up when you make your flange. So curl the peak over in a rough shape and work down on each side. Always coming back to the top peak. You are stretching the metal out from that peak. Oh, make the lip wider than it should be. If its a final lip of 1" start with 2". You will trim it to size.

Light taps with the hammer will give alot of movement.

I do this with 16ga and its a bear but works, 20ga will be a dream. Its a time thing, take your time. And dont worry about too much spring back. You could be outta size for the extreme ends a lil, the important area is the peak, where the fender side becomes the fender top. You get that line right and all the rest will follow.

Just simple sheet metal work. I usually do it better than I write it LOL JR

Oh, and DONT cut out anything till you are ready to weld in new stuff, what you have remaining IS your gauge...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks a lot for the info! I am pretty decent at shaping metal, welding (at least I should be, I didn't go to college for welding for nothing haha), etc. Only thing I was lost at is since it's rusted out and gone I didn't have anything to really base it off of to see how it is supposed to be but I just remembered, I have the headlight doors (rings) in stainless that I can use for shape. What I will do is shape it to fit those and then at the end the fender to the ring will actually be perfect and fit better than factory. If you notice how the fender and that headlight door does not really match contours, this one will. :D
Thanks again for the help and tips!
 

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For the last year or so I have been spot checking sheetmetal thickness on 50's and 60's cars and comparing the original to the repair panels we get in. Surprisingly all of them fall in the 18ga. manufacturers standard. (.0478") US standard 18 ga. is .0500". This includes off shore replacement panels...

Rich
 

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For the last year or so I have been spot checking sheetmetal thickness on 50's and 60's cars and comparing the original to the repair panels we get in. Surprisingly all of them fall in the 18ga. manufacturers standard. (.0478") US standard 18 ga. is .0500". This includes off shore replacement panels...

Rich
I had checked a used 69 Nova quarter section a few months ago, I seem to remember the 1/4 being 16ga and the rocker 18 ga. My memory is not so good
sometimes, I was going to check again tonite when I got home.
I had used a micrometer, not a sheetmetal gage.
I should check the Kia in the shop now, any guesses???
 

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I sure wrote my last post wrong, now that I read it again the 1/4 is obviously not thicker than the rocker.

I just measured my 69 1/4 cut.
The roof and floor are 20 gage, the rocker measures to 15 gage.
I'll check a 69 1/4 and the Kia this week at work.
 
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