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Shrinking sheet metal
Not finished yet:
The Chrysler Corporation in cooperation with Chrysler dealers has a panel replacement service for Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, and Chrysler cars that is proving popular both with their dealers and with independent repairmen. Other car companies have similar set-ups.
The replacement procedures illustrated here, while generally applicable to all panel replacements, show Chrysler's recommended practice. Work is speeded and profit increased where the more modern tools and equipment are available.
Cutting out the old panel can be done rapidly either with a power cutter or with a hook-type sheet-metal cutter and hammer. Welding, soldering, and refinishing facilities are, of course, required. Roof replacement is handled to best advantage by cutting out the old damaged areas.
Doors that have been injured in collision or have had their lower edges rusted out or damaged by rubbing on curbs can be made like new by replacing the panel.
Trunks that have rusted through or, are otherwise damaged, can have an entire new section put in.
The step-by-step procedure for doing this work in a pleasing and profitable manner follows:
There are four basic requirements in putting on a roof panel, as we see above. With one of the body-rebuilding jacks seen in illustration 1, square the body. Obviously all door and window openings must be properly aligned before the new panel goes into place.
As suggested in illustration 2, a careful check must be made to leave enough of the old material so that the new panel can be properly attached. It's a good plan to lay the new panel on the roof and use chalk to mark the outline the new panel will cover.
In cutting out the damaged roof, be sure to leave 3 inches of old material both front and back, as indicated by arrows A and B, and one inch of the old material above the drip mouldings, as indicated by the arrow C. Should the extent of the damage be so great that the metal left is bent, it must be smoothed out with dolly and hammer so that the repair panel fits smoothly.
Step number 3 is to tack weld the four corners and the centre of each edge into place using protection for paint. It is then necessary to go all around the repair panel, welding it every two inches with inch welds, using either gas or arc welding equipment.
After this the overlap must be dinged down, thoroughly cleaned, and finished with body metal, as we see in illustration 4. Then the job is ready for painting.
The three steps for replacing the damaged door panel are illustrated.
The steps for replacing luggage compartment panels follow the same basic procedures just given.
To square the trunk door opening, before installing the repair panel, measure from one trunk hinge bolt to the body bolt on the opposite side of the body near the X brace. Then measure the opposite diagonal and apply the necessary force with a jack. It is of utmost importance to remove the gasoline tank as a safety measure before doing this job.
As in any panel replacement, the damaged surface, should be measured and enough of the old material left to provide overlap for the new panel. Two inches is recommended on all sides. With a panel-cutting tool and hammer, or even a sharp cold chisel, the old panel is cut out.
With the new panel in place, the edges are welded securely. After this any roughness is smoothed out with hammer and dolly block, and the job painted to prevent rusting.