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Lower Door Skin and more questionable painting

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maikell77

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Like most of my car, the rust I saw was just the tip of the Iceberg.  It took another near full day to strip off the past two paint jobs and rust.  After getting down to bare metal the bottom three inches were pretty much gone.  After getting to that point I hit the whole thing in a light coat of self etching primer.  

 

Then it was on to using the lower door skin from Wallothnech.  First of all they do fit pretty well.  Removing the old one was as simple as marking the outline of the new panel, cutting with the cut off wheel.  Then around the edges with a flap wheel and the skin peels right off.  The tabs on the back do have a few spot welds.  Then I cleaned up the panels and hit the whole inner structure with rust reformer.

 

The new panel is straight, doesn't really have the slight curve.  After a little finesse with the hammer and dolly and liberal use of clamps it was in place.  Then about a million tack welds later it was in.  The last part was folding over the tabs.  I don't know if this is truly the correct method, but it made sense to me.  

 

Lessons for anyone wanting to do the same....

1. the panel as is places the seam within 1/2" of the lower character line.  If you have good enough metal I would cut the new panel down to stay a little further from that joint.

2. Really take your time welding.  I jumped all over the panel, but still managed to get a warp in there.

3. folding the tab on the back is a bit tiring.  

4. Be careful folding the tab over.  I was a little sloppy with the dolly and it really complicated matters.

 

Finally getting the blue paint on resulted in a better outcome that the rest of the car. A smaller panel and better dust control resulted in a better job.

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