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primal 01-08-2011 07:22 PM

I am getting a lot of confidence and motivation about my 75 rebuild starting next month. Thanks for all the great posts, and keep them coming.

Kaiserjeeps 01-09-2011 12:22 PM

Fantastic!!:D Anybody can do this stuff. It just takes patience which I have very little of. So if I can do it, anyone can. Plus it's the tools. Having the right one's makes all the difference. Besides, it's just metal.:)

Mean while back at the ranch...

I started the repairs on the last big donor panel. I found a strange severe stretch about the size of a nerf football from the crash. It was right between two bead rolls. It had a big ridge right in the middle of it. I needed to heat shrink it. I have less than 10 minutes experience shrinking metal this way. So here is a perfect example of charging ahead despite the risk of doing this on someone else's panel. I spent several hours the night before watching U-tube videos. Here is the result and pictures.

Lots of cold water handy. Some dolly work as it went.

Once you see what it does you can sort of see where it needs it next.

Not to bad, but not perfect. The whole side of this panel is under stress from the wreck.

So once I started cutting the cut started spreading. Stress relieving? LOL

The new panel. Nice and clean.

I watched my gas regulator needle sit on the empty peg for a while. The very last weld the gas gave out. Perfect timing. The new bottle of gas will be the third consumed on the rig so far.

Lots of plannishing fixed it right up.

Now to fit the edge to the transmission tunnel.

I am off to go hide somewhere. I am having an open house today. Wish my house and shop sold!!! I have 5 acres waiting for me.:)

Eugene 1 01-09-2011 04:31 PM


Coryd55 01-09-2011 06:45 PM

More awesome work :thumbsup:

FTP 01-09-2011 08:50 PM

Whoever you are building this truck for is one smart cookie! I can't belive the response I have gotten on my for sale ad for my 72 Wag. There are way too many guys using 70's Wag parts on 80's trucks, it's a shame to see that there are only going to be a few true 70's Wags left. Only good news is that I own one and I'm not letting go to scrap.

Keep up the good work, I just wish I could afford to have you bring mine back to no rust status! Give me time, I may be knocking on your door asking you to look at it and give me a quote!

primal 01-11-2011 08:56 PM

Thanks for that lesson, I have never seen that done before. Thanks for all the great pics.

JeepBountyHunter 01-11-2011 11:16 PM

It's already been said, but I gotta say, you do superb work sir! Keep it up. :drivin:

mdill 01-19-2011 01:03 PM

Very impressive, fantastic job. (I hope your customer has deep pockets, that is a lot of time/effort)

Topgun2mo 01-19-2011 01:33 PM

What a great build thread!! I love threads where you learn.

chithead 01-19-2011 02:46 PM

I am jumping on this subscription bandwagon as well. EXCELLENT write-up and step by step guide here.

81cherokee laredo 01-23-2011 07:01 PM

Quick question what are you using to grind your welds down?

Kaiserjeeps 02-08-2011 01:41 PM

Sorry about the absence. Between the flu, family stuff and a temperamental computer I have been pretty busy. I am glad to get back on this project.

The welds I am hitting mostly with a air sander with a 2 inch disc. I use 36 grit Roloc disc's or 60 grit for a final pass. If I have a lot of material to remove I use a 4.5 inch grinder with a flapper wheel sanding disc on it. Then chase it with the air sander. Roloc's are expensive and I recycle my 3 inch disc's by cutting them down to a 2 inch when they are worn. It gives a fresh edge to cut with as the centers never wear as much.

So, where were we? This thing needs more floors.:D I have been looking at the hat channel replacement with a wary eye. My biggest worry is making a cut and having it shift or move out of alignment. I decided to not install the last big donor panel because I could use all three rocker supports to help brace all this together. A little undercoating had to be removed again. Thankfully the U-joint had been keeping it greasy. It came off much easier than the other stuff.

Prepping the replacement hat channel. I hate undercoating sometimes. Where is the neighbor kid when you need em?

More better... Xylene is the answer to getting this stuff off your part.

Time to brace this. I welded a tombstone shaped thicker piece of sheet metal over the upper part of the firewall. Over the end of the hat channel.
I put a long thick angle iron piece along all three rocker supports. I welded it all then put a 1/4 thick piece of angle to joining the tombstone to the side support. Hopefully this would keep the firewall from sagging. It worked. Although next time I will weld to the frame also.

Now I start checking my cuts every way I can imagine. Coming up short now could be bad. This is structural. Fortunately there was a factory hole still present in the bottom of both hat channels. I was able to line this up to make sure they measured out by double checking this way.

More checking to see if the lines relate.

Kaiserjeeps 02-08-2011 01:59 PM

Looking at the other side to see what side of my line I favor when I cut.

Time to clean and paint the frame. This will be hard to reach later.

I really like this paint. It is very tough. Napa chassis black.
I elected to keep the rocker support. It was undamaged by rust and would keep my alignment correct for sure in that direction. I am not sure it would have better to just cut and join it. It was a very difficult and time consuming extraction. There are little welds inside the rocker support where it joins the hat channel. They were very hard to reach let alone cut.

Almost a perfect fit.

Putting back all the welds once it is in place.

The final product. Now I can get this covered.

But first a good clean and some Bill Hirsch urethane paint in the bottoms of the hat channel.

While I am there I chased and repaired all the threads for the seats and belts.

Now it is time to land this panel. The bracing has been removed and the welds cleaned back. Pretty soon it will be warm enough to paint and seal the entire interior one color. Some body caulking will need to be done first.
I look forward to that day.

Stay tuned...

jaber 02-08-2011 08:38 PM

WOW, just... WOW....:eek: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

247pia 02-08-2011 09:10 PM

I take back everything I've said about parts guys:D

Leapfrog 02-09-2011 12:57 PM


Satch 02-09-2011 03:45 PM


Kaiserjeeps 02-15-2011 12:20 AM

Well I got the floor welded in. It took 2 full days as it needed edge alignment pretty much everywhere. I started in the back of the trans tunnel. I needed pressure on top to close the gap correctly. I found the strap and trusty import jack worked great for pressing down before a weld. I have tried over and over to weld a floor down by holding it manually. It always lifts and gets messy. I had to re-rig the jack many times on the hat channel. What ever it takes to put the metal where you want and keep it there.

Tacking where ever it was perfectly level. If you deburr the panels on both sides with one quick pass with a sander you won't get fooled by the burr when dragging a finger across the gap. A burr makes you think the panel is higher than the other. Without it you can really feel the gap and if one side is higher than the other or not.

Moving all over trying to be random about it. I had to try not to blow holes in the metal. I had to fill in a few.

Careful with the jacks. You can assist a warp from heat that is hard to pop back up. I really want a stud gun puller. I found that the giant holes left by the spot weld cutter were hard to fill sometimes. It made some heat which can move stuff.

There were differences in factory panels from the 69 to the 70. The bead rolls were deeper on the 70. I leveled it off as well as possible. I then made a corking tool out of an old chisel. It fit the radius and I was able to stretch the metal to change the groove to weld it up. Any item used or made to move metal is a corking tool. Also be careful in the final finish of your tool. Every flaw on the tool will transfer to your work with every blow.
Never use a ball peen or claw hammer for sheet metal work. Take a really close look at the faces of them. They ruin stuff.

Drive it in the direction you need by looking closely. Lots of little hits. Not three big ones. Work the stretch back a bit to blend it.

I had a friend come over to help plannish the entire weld. I could not do it alone as I cannot reach. It really helped level it.
I did not use any wet rags to cool the weld this time. I was reading that it makes the metal brittle and it will not plannish as well. I did not see a problem before but did find that the metal seemed a little more workable this time around. I did use some compressed air for some of it. Always learning.

Sanding and more sanding. My friend took this when I was not looking.
Careful to sand the weld only. Then a quick face across it all to blend it.

It looks pretty good and a couple spots I was a little concerned about leveled right off. Some paint, sound proofing, padding and carpet and it will be set. Well later...

Now to look at the last corner. Then the door pillars get covered after some more paint inside. Stay tuned...

Dr Teeth 02-15-2011 02:19 PM

Just caught the updates. Looks great!


seamus 02-15-2011 03:17 PM

Just found this, wow amazing workmanship!

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