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I'm restoring the old rust bucket mentioned in a previous thread I started awhile back. It has to have the trunk floor replaced, 1 quarter and the passenger floor, along with a patch panel or two here and there. Would it be better if I find an older car (69) and cut all of the parts off of it and use 1969 sheet metal, or would replacement sheetmetal be OK? Would the purists PLEASE comment on this? If you recall, I bought a 69Z that had all of the parts(and I mean all) swapped over to a perfect body, and I aquired the rusted shell from the owner and now I have lost my mind and want to put it all back in its original body shell...your comments are greatly appreciated.
 

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If it is sheetmetal being replaced is above the belt-line, then original donor sheet metal is hard to beat. If is below the belt-line, then you are going to have trouble finding a donor car that has no rust in front and in behind the wheelwells. In that case, US reproduction metal would be the best alternative.
 

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Bad thing about doner parts is that they often rust in the same places you are trying to fix. Examples are the area between the front wheel and door. I opted for patch metal from an aftermarket supplier.

The patch piece I purchased was fairly heavy guage compared to the replacement panels I've seen. I practiced my body work on an old car hood I found laying in the road ditch and then commenced mig welding with C25 gas. It was/is a big project intermixed with success and dissapointment.

I think reparing what you have is the way to go if you like metal work and have a majority of the tools you'll need. Bonecrushers's comment is also valid. Patching will save you a few hundred bucks (provided you have the tools). Otherwise, the aftermarket can't be beat in terms of simplicity and cost, especially if you charge yourself by the hour


I've heard of problems getting aftermarket replacement panels to fit, but vendors vary. I've heard good things about goodmark on this web site. A search of the archives should give you some good recommendations on suppliers.

With my limited experience on patch panels, they need to be beat into submission and shaped - which is the most nerve-racking part of the job.

-dnult
 
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