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Old 03-05-2008, 07:45 PM
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floor pan replacement

i just bought an 85 ranger that i think i am going to be useing as a mud truck.Well it sat for a few years and the carpet got wet and now the pass side floor pan it gone. I want to replace it but i have never done body work before so i have a few questions. First i am looking for a welder i just want it to do body work not much more. http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100093231 i am thinking of this one with a gas set up is it going to work for body work? Also what gauge metal is the cab made out of becasuse theres a few rust spots i want to patch up. can i just use some sheet metal i get from home depot? Also anyone have an tips on how to weld sheet metal and weld in patch panels.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:42 PM
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That welder will work just fine for you, I have one very similar to that model and I've had it for more than 14 years now. It looks like it comes with a video, so if you have a VCR it will probaly answer many of your welding questions. You can use sheet metal from just about any source as long as you get the same gauge sheet metal. I'm thinking you want 18 gauge sheet metal for what you're doing. Do some searches in this section for welding tips, there's been discussions on this topic recently. Also you may want to look into 3M's Panel adhesive as a welding alternative. There a quite a few discussions about panel adhesive on this forum as well.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:15 PM
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is panel adhisive good for floor pans? do you think it will hold becase the rust is right were the cab mout sits. I think i try the panel adhisive to fix the wheel well arches since thats more visable.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:50 PM
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According to the 3M site they claim their panel adhesive is 11 times stronger than welding if done correctly. I use both MIG welding and panel adhesive in my bodywork repairs and sometimes both in one repair. I had to do a floor panel repair in the same place your talking about and I welded the metal for this repair for both the floor pan and cab support. When I replaced both my cab corners and the lower back edge of my cab I used both welding and adhesive to make these repairs. Here's a link to some photos of these repairs:



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Old 08-08-2008, 11:12 AM
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Nice job cujo8! Looked through the entire album. Really got me looking forward to doing the same to my 86 f250 this winter.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:22 AM
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Thanks Trigger200. It's a long slow process when you can only work on the truck on weekends, but I'm getting closer to having the truck back on the road. I'm hoping to be driving the truck next summer. I find it helps to break this restoration project up into smaller sub-projects to make you see that you're making progress. Make sure you take plenty of before and after pictures, not only does it show your progress, but it is very helpful when you go to put your truck back together months/years later. Also, bag-n-tag all your hardware and make notes about complicated assemblies it will really make reassembly much easier. Good luck on your project!
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:18 PM
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Mind if I chime in with an opinion?
Mine is that, although I have never tried panel adhesive & I realize that shortcoming to my comment, but I worked in bodyshops for 10+years and have never seen it used in shops and would never use it personally.
Now, cujo8 does some VERY nice work and my time in shops was 15 years ago, but now that I only do "hobby" restores, I would only weld. It was good enough for the factory, it's good enough for shops, it's good enough for me!
Of course, if it works and the end result is of good quality, then fine, I wouldn't tell YOU not to use it. I did read on another site that it doesn't mix with polyester filler - how do you get around that?
Cheers.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-tek View Post
Mind if I chime in with an opinion?
Mine is that, although I have never tried panel adhesive & I realize that shortcoming to my comment, but I worked in bodyshops for 10+years and have never seen it used in shops and would never use it personally.
Now, cujo8 does some VERY nice work and my time in shops was 15 years ago, but now that I only do "hobby" restores, I would only weld. It was good enough for the factory, it's good enough for shops, it's good enough for me!
Of course, if it works and the end result is of good quality, then fine, I wouldn't tell YOU not to use it. I did read on another site that it doesn't mix with polyester filler - how do you get around that?
Cheers.
These panel adhesives are a more recent technique that was developed for panel attachment in modern automotive factories. Welding is still used and is better in some places than adhesives.
The person that suggested the panel adhesive is a welder by profession with more than 27 years of welding experience. The use of panel adhesive has many benefits over welding. The main two reasons for me deals with corrosion protection. Often when you are replacing a body panel you want to do all you can to protect the metal behind the repair before you button it up, like painting, seam sealer, rust-proofing and many times after a patch panel has been installed you no longer have access behind the panel, so you can't do it after the repair. Many of these rust protection materials are flammable, so if you use them inside the repair zone and then start welding they have a tendency to start on fire. I also feel the adhesive itself protects the attachment site by sealing the seams of the repair area. I have not heard about any incompatibility with polyester filler, but the adhesive really does not come in contact with filler how I use it. Before the adhesive dries I wipe up any excess adhesive from the outside surface with a rag damp with lacquer thinner, so when the repair is done I only have a metal surface that sees the filler.
One of the big problems with welding is the heat can warp the body panels during the repair process and cleaning up the welds after words is a lot of work and also generates a lot of heat. So usually during a welding repair you need to do some hammer-n-dolly work to true up the panel as you go. That is the major reason I used the adhesive on my cab corners, since once the patch was in, I would not have access to the backside to do any hammer-n-dolly work. Don't get me wrong I use my MIG welder all the time for patch panel repairs and like I said earlier most of my body panel repairs use a combination of the two techniques. As far as strength goes the manufacture state then when applied correctly the adhesive joint is 11 times stronger than a weld joint. I was reading on a 4x4 forum about a guy that had used the panel adhesive on almost all of his replacement panels and one day out on the trail he rolled him 4x4 all the way down a big hill several times and although the truck was pretty smashed up, none of the adhesive repairs had failed structurally. All the repairs I've done so far seem very solid, in fact we actually lifted the cab back onto the frame using the cab corners as a handle and they did not move at all. Repair techniques will continue to change as the technology advances, who knows the next great thing will be some kind tool that uses sound-waves or lasers to attach panels. Knowing that you are an experienced bodyman you probably used to use a torch to braze in repair panels and then use lead to smooth out the repair and I bet you were quite willing to put that technique aside when the MIG welder was introduced.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:49 AM
 
 
 
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