68 Camaro - Fixing Welds On Major Body Line

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



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:27 pm
Sent my 68' Camaro to the media blaster. Most of the flaws and collision damage is not intimidating, but I'm stuck on this.

Problem:
Both my lower rear quarters were replaced, but the lap welds were done on the body seam, instead of butt-welding around the seam. I'm concerned a welded seam on such an important body line will never look as good as a replacement panels perfect fold. Secondly, if body filler is used on the corner, I'm worried about it cracking a future paint job on the slightest ding. I'm also not too happy with the lap weld replacement style they went with.

Question:
Should I replace or build up the weld and grind it smooth? Will I most likely ruin the main body line with all the heat and grinding?

My Preferences:
I'm fine with replacement panels.
I am intimidated by replacing an entire quarter. I'm comfortable with most metalwork and creating/putting in patch panels, but I'm not an expert.
Attachments
quarter-back-lap-weld.png
You can see the lap weld. There original fold is there :(
quarter-zoom-in.png
Close up of the bad seam.
quarter.png
You can see the body seam and the grinded weld.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:54 am
I am a little confused at what I am looking at in that first picture?

No the welding does not look that great, but to be honest I have seen a lot worse.
(I am not a Fan of Lap welding body panels myself)
BUT I would be hesitant to do more welding or re-welding that as well. looks like it was done with a Mig welder. If you were to try to do more you could make it worse real quick, You could also do Whole quarters which would be the right way to do it.

I would probably blast it clean and try using lead to clean it up and seal it up at least the top side the bottom or back side side seal with fiber glass.
I am new to Lead myself others here know way more about it than I do.

If its just a Plain Jain driver/Hot rod I would not be afraid spraying Epoxy over it after it was cleaned by blasting with Glass media and then putting Fiberglass filler over it. Many a weld seam is covered with Fiberglass! But be sure to cover both sides! Is it right? no and yes depends on your skills and what you are after when done.

Welds can be very Porous and can collect moisture poor welds even more so.

With any restoration or repaint you have to ask yourself "Where do I stop?" "When is far enough far enough?" "When is good enough? Good enough????"
Its Not my Car I cant answer these questions? Is this a Family Heirloom of a Plain jain Camero or a Matching numbers DZ 302 Z28? or just a Hot rod your gonna sell off after your done playing with it? It makes a Big deference do you want just a Good solid driver or are you after a Concourse 100% accurate 20,000 hr restoration??? How perfect does it really need to be?
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:14 am
I've fixed panels done like that. I used a thin cut off wheel to cut it on the weld, and removed the overlapped metal. Grind down any remaining weld. Then carefully rewelded it up. You will most likely encounter some warpage from the previous fix, as well as creating some new. You can probably get a hammer and dolly on 75% of the panel, but some you won't be able to correct (easily).



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:52 pm
It appears in that last photo that the Tail panel has been removed???

If so That's a Lot of work! and If so Hows the Trunk Pan???? and the Trunk Drop off's??? that makes answering the question of how far too go easier. If these panels are being replaced cutting off those quarters easier choice.

I personally Don't like the Half Quarter panels other to cut them up for patching quarters. To use them in whole such as whats been done with this car would not be my first choice.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:11 am
I'm with Dennis on the need to determine if the car's value is worth the extra work to correct this problem.

Can it be fixed? Yes, anything can be fixed or replaced on a vehicle. However you have to be honest with yourself as to whether you have the skills/tools etc. to handle the job?

If this restoration is something you feel is worth the time, money and effort or maybe you just want to increase your metal working skills, then go for the repair that Chopolds described first. You can always replace the quarter panels or portions of them if that doesn't work out for you.
1968 Coronet R/T


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