Nov 30th, 99, 05:57 AM
I've got some rust bubbles starting to pop through the lower 2 inches on my front quarters. Between the door and front wheel well. The rest of the panel is very solid, the engine compartment and forward really do look great still. Has anyone used the lower patch panels and had good luck with them? A whole new NOS panel would be nice, but really isn't needed in this case, not to mention $$$. If the lower 12" is cut out and replaced by a reputable shop, can I expect it to last through the years? Another concern is will I be stuck with crummy import metal and will I see the same problem 3 years from now? I live in Colorado and it's a 3rd car, so no snow, no salt, no winters, just sunshine and occasional rain.
Shawn 1969 Z28
[This message has been edited by Shawn (edited 11-30-99).]
Nov 30th, 99, 07:04 AM
I ordered the lower patch from National Parts Depot and it was a very nice piece. I can't tell you the specific gauge of the metal but it was heavy and seemed like great quality. It turns out that the rust in the rear of the lower front fender was only about 2-3" in diameter so the body shop just cut a very small piece out and replaced it. I would recommend stripping the area that is affected and deteremine if you need only a tiny patch like mine, the lower rear fender patch or an entire fender. I can't believe you need the entire fender and I am a believer in maintaining the original pieces and fixing them if at all possible because you know they fit and they are usually better quality than the repos. I think you will find that a good body shop can handle this repair easily and it will last as long as you own the car.
Nov 30th, 99, 07:28 AM
I would check with a local body shop. They can probably make the patch that you want.
Favorite Quote - Some people have shrinks. Some people have their garage.
1st & 2nd GENGuy
Nov 30th, 99, 03:24 PM
I recently put a rear lower front fender patch and a front & rear patch on the rear quarter on a 78. The patch panels worked fine and I did the work myself. Quality seemed fine. If you do not over expose the car to the elements and put some undercoating or good quality paint on the inside the panel should last (provided you cut out all the rust).
Jun 9th, 02, 09:52 AM
I just installed a front fender patch panel for the rust problem you describe. Near the door jam is a gusset or rib that runs from top to bottom. Between this rib and the fender panel, dirt and crud accumulated are began to rust. This is probably the same problem you described.
My fender patch panel came from Classic industries. The patch replaced all the metal behind the wheel from bottom to the body line. I wasn't happy to find the fender patch from Classic wasn't a perfect reproduction. It did have the right stamp, but was missing tabs for the bolts inside the fender well. It also lacked a rolled edge near the door. I'm not happy with the fit and the amount of pounding I had to do to get it looking somewhat close to original. I'm still stressed out.
In summary, if your rust area is near the door jamb on the lower part of the fender, I'd consider the small patch option. Much less obtrusive than the patch panel I installed. However, I would remove the spot welds on the lower half of the rib so you can really get in there and clean and rust proof. Also, after the patch is welded in, You'll want access between the rib and panel to seal the seams.