Stud welder or door skin?

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by TX79Z28, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. TX79Z28

    TX79Z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I knew the body work on my 79 was going WAY too smooth! I finished the entire body shell, and only had to replace the floor boards, but other than that, it was completely rust/bondo/dent-free. Until I stripped the driver's side door. It's obvious someone did a half-ass job, they started to pull the dent (actually seems like at least two probably 4"x5" dents) but decided to fill the rest of it with filler. I know that there is nothing wrong with filler, but in some places they got it at least 1/4" deep....too much??

    I have three options:

    1. Take it to a body shop, but the down side is expensive and I will not learn how to fix it myself.

    2. Re-skin the door, but I am concerned that the aftermarket skins are not as good as factory plus the amount of labor and cost would rival taking it to the body shop.

    3. Use a stud welder/slide hammer (the inner door brace prevents me from coming at it from the inside). I'm leaning towards this method, and was looking at a cheap Harbor Freight ($99) stud welder kit. I don't need a $400 kit, as this will (hopefully) be the LAST dent in my project.

    Any suggestions/tips/advice?
     
  2. Dogwater

    Dogwater Veteran Member

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    I reskined one door cause the body line was caved in almost the whole length of the door. It would take you the same amount of time to pull dents an fill as it would reskining. Got my skin from Summit paid plus shipping was like 120.00.
     
  3. TX79Z28

    TX79Z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    What was the hardest part of doing the skin? I think I have a vague concept of how to do it (I guess it's spot welded?) How was the quality of the summit skin (thickness of sheet metal)?
     
  4. Shizzle

    Shizzle Veteran Member

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    I used a skin from D&R Classics, metal was fairly heavy gauge.
    I bought one of those Steck Skin Zipper (supposedly dies a door skin in 10 minutes), and even with a Snap On air hammer and the air pressure set to 145psi it wouldn't budge the steel

    I had to hammer and dolly it. I'd drill your holes for the spot welds before you start hammer, that way you can tack it before you remove the clamps.

    I had one that would of come out awesome, till the last 3" in middle on the bottom, it sucked out of the fold.
     
  5. TX79Z28

    TX79Z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    The main reason I was leaning towards pulling the dents is that I have read several threads that tend to indicate the quality of aftermarket skins is questionable. I have already hung the doors and aligned them to the shell, and my gaps are perfect.

    I drilled pilot holes on the hinges, A-pillar, and doors, and removed the doors.

    I am concerned that with new skins, the gaps will be off, and then there is the trim stud and mirror mount issues. I will take some pics of the dents when I go home for lunch, they may show a bit better what I am dealing with.
     
  6. Shizzle

    Shizzle Veteran Member

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    If you are that far, I would try my best at fixing the dent.
     
  7. Dogwater

    Dogwater Veteran Member

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    First mark where the body lines are on the door, use something that won't disappear, this is important cause your going to use those marks to line up the body line on new skin. I then used an angle grinder w/cut off wheel & cut along or just below where the seam sealer is, window needs to come out, door handle & mirror off
    also.Then cut along the edge where the outer window trim would be. But you don't want to cut to deep. Then pry the skin off. There will be tack welds under the seam sealer every few ins. It's not totally welded on. I sharpen a screw driver an scraped off seam sealer until I found a tack weld, then use the cut off wheel to grind tack weld. After removing that small leftover strip, clean it up. Spray weld thru primer all around the door. Put new skin on an using a hammer, bend the edge over some but not completely. Line up the body line with the marks then tack it there close to the body lines, you don't want it to move at all. I hammered over the metal at both ends of the door first an tacked a few spots to. I did the bottom of the door last, I had to use some C clamps an a piece of wood to draw in the bottom of the skin then hammered down the metal right next to where it was clamped down, tack it then move the wood an clamps a few ins. an do it again. I only tack it about 20 times around the whole door. The only place I screwed up on was the curve up that's between the hood an fender, so look closely how that's done I didn't think about that an mine doesn't match up real we'll either, if your looking for it you'll see it, one of those things. I had the door on 2 saw horse's with thick pipe inselation on them. There still heavy even without glass in them. My rectum almost poped out trying to get it on the horse's
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  8. TX79Z28

    TX79Z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Not the greatest pictures (phone), I was trying to show where the dents are. Another option I thought about was to take a padded prybar, and using the crash beam as leverage try to push on the dent from the inside? Sort of like the paint less dent repairs are done?


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  9. stapleszoo

    stapleszoo Veteran Member

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    Go for the stud welder- make a few practice pulls before doing the door. There may be other areas on the car that will also need to be fixed so its not a bad investment and you will learn how the fix the dent properly.
     
  10. BigBlock73

    BigBlock73 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    With all those holes and that dent going down the body line,you'll be spending a lot of time trying to get the body line correct.

    When I had my last car painted.One of the first things done was strip the paint off that body line before he would quote a price, he had noticed it didn't look right.
    Found some putty on the body line,said he wouldn't waste his time trying to fix and replaced the skin.

    If that line isn't perfect you'll always see it looking down the side of the car.
     

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