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Custom Drip Rail...How Do I?

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:30 pm
This is what I want
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Now my problem is I am not 100% sure how to get there. I think I need to reinforce the stock rail with steel rod and work the rail metal over the steel rod. I will then have to fill with a 1/2" or 3/8" strip of 16Ga and finish off with lead or bondo. One concern I have is that there will be space under the rod and the metal strip with raw metal and no paint. Is this something I need to worry about?

Am I on the right track?

Here are some shots showing a 1/4" drill as mock-up for the bar stock.
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These are looking down at rear of door
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Will a premium metal filled bondo work or do I need to learn lead work as I do this job?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:29 pm
That really looks sharp. You couldn't really get rid of the drip rail with the door frame sticking out there like it does, so filling that in makes a lot of sense. I could be wrong, but personally I think I would use some 2k caulking to fill most of it and finish it off with body filler. That way you don't have to worry about rust or distortion. There is an open seam there so don't use lead.



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:15 pm
The Rock wrote:That really looks sharp. You couldn't really get rid of the drip rail with the door frame sticking out there like it does, so filling that in makes a lot of sense. I could be wrong, but personally I think I would use some 2k caulking to fill most of it and finish it off with body filler. That way you don't have to worry about rust or distortion. There is an open seam there so don't use lead.


Thanks for the reply.
Not having to work in steel would make life much easier. Now my question is what "2k caulking"?
I know there is some 2k adhesive material, so would assume "caulk" is similar but I am wondering if the "caulk" is firm enough to use as a base to body filler.

Wouldn't a fiberglass filler like Duraglas work well for a base? I understand that I am looking at a greater thickness than is recommended. I could still use 1/4" rod to fill most of the drip rail void, just tacking it in place. I could then top with Duraglass to get the profile I am looking for and finish off with regular 2k filler like Evercoat Rage or other 1st class filler.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:57 am
I guess a good question is do you really want to go their? For that look.The drip rail is either sandwiched between the top roof skin and bottom support, the only way you can find out is by looking a restoration stock or old parts manual if the are out their, or the rail is welded to inner door frame.It would be easy if it is spot welded to the inner frame you could drill the spot welds out and weld up any gaps.This is difficult stuff to mess around with, if it is sandwiched between the two top and bottom support then you have to cut off the drip rail without touching the roof skin.(They had something similar on last weeks powerblock television), weld up the exposed sheet metal because if you don't it will separate, flex and rust without warping the roof. My quess the only reason it is done to to other trucks is because the top was chopped.Also it would be best to form new sheet metal and replace the removed rail.
It is alot of work and not doing it properly would ruin the trucks roof.
Even for me as a journeyman I would not touch it.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:51 am
Pistolnoon,
While the idea of removing the drip rail was an early thought going to this "filled" drip rail would seem to avoid all the problems you mention, as I am not cutting out any of the structure as i will keep the original metal. I also like the look as a lot of folk have simply shaved off the drip rail.

My plan is to blast the interior of the OE drip rail (ground glass media so no soda acid issues)
Bend pieces of 1/4" steel rod to act as a "filler" and to provide a solid foundation to curl the drip rail sheet metal over
Lay some Metal 2 Metal or Duraglass filler into the bottom of the OE drip rail then press the steel rod down into the filler before it hardens. Both of these fillers are rated DTM.
Use body hammer to curve the OE drip rail steel up around the steel rod. This will squeeze out some extra body filler but also mean the entire area is full so no voids to potentially rust.

The above will be a bit messy what with the extra filler but I will end up with a solid base that will allow additional filler to be added later to achieve the curve shape I want. Using the steel rod serves two purposes.
1. It provides a solid and consistent backing for hammering the drip rail sheet metal up over.
2. It decreases the volume & thickness of the filler.

The project is a 51 Chevy truck so there is little or no body flex involved what with the rubber and hinged mounts between the boxed (stiff) frame and the cab.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:20 pm
I love that look!!
I don't have enough experience to weigh in on this discussion in a technical way but I do think the finished shots you showed us look great and I'll follow this thread with great interest. Please post pictures of the work as you go, I know that many of us "lurkers" will get a lot out of it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:33 pm
I think you might need smaller rod to sit farther down in the valley. Maybe not. Tack it into the valley on the roof side to hold it while rolling the lip then weld it solid. Then get happy with the glass.
BTW you won't have time to push filler out of the voids.
Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:12 pm
timbo wrote:I think you might need smaller rod to sit farther down in the valley. Maybe not. Tack it into the valley on the roof side to hold it while rolling the lip then weld it solid. Then get happy with the glass.
BTW you won't have time to push filler out of the voids.


Thanks for suggestion of smaller rod. I have the 1/4" will get some 3/16 and test in small area. The pictures do show the 1/4" rod sitting up on the metal lip that is in the drip rail. If i can find out what that lip is in a section drawing I may be able to use cut off wheel to grind it down it that little lip is not structural. More research is needed.

Have changed plans on how to "attach" the rod to bottom of drip rail to provide solid base for the duraglas or metal to metal filler. I will use a 2k epoxy JBWeld. I will have sufficient time to hammer roll the drip edge over the rod. The JBWeld sets up over-night and is rated at 3,960 psi according to package. Some of the other 2k epoxies only have a few minutes of working time and I don't want to rush the hammer work.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:25 am
That JB Weld is great stuff!!
I used it to "temporarily" patch a Harley gas tank 23 years ago and that tank is still holding today!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:10 pm
I first used it back in 1984. Get the slow (regular) and not the fast if you must go this direction.
Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
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