Installing lower door skin patch panel

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 6:20 pm
I have a 55 Chevy Belair DR HT and I am replacing my lower door frame and door skin on my right door. I have installed the lower door frame and I think I did ok, but I am having trouble with my lower door skin. The replacement skin had a 90 degree fold on the bottom and the two sides had a bead roll where it needed to be folded over.. I trimmed the new panel down to about 10" and fit in on the door. I decided to fold over the two edges of the new panel to a 90 degree fold to make it easier to install (at least I thought). What I realized is by doing that I flattened out the curve of the door. I spent about an hour and a half trying to get the curve back and in doing so I now have sections of the two edges I folded over bulging out due to excess metal. Unfortunately I distorted the panel a bit in trying to reshape the curve back in. It doesn't look too bad and I think it can be rectified with a thin layer of filler.

My question is how should I have dealt with the two sides that weren't folded up. I guess I could wait until the panel was welded in and then fold it over with a hammer and dolly, but I thought the extra stress to the panel in trying to do the entire fold over would have ended with me distressing the panel surface with the work required. Another option I have seen is adding "V" cuts around the edge to relieve the stress against the metal when folding it over. I am thinking that "V" cuts might help me perfect the panel curve more than where it is now.

Any help is appreciated.
Art
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2023 10:02 pm
I will default to Chevman, Chopolds or Bam55 to answer

All three are experts on these cars and are Metal masters.
Give them some time to find your thread they will respond.

Out of curiosity what welding process are you using?
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2023 10:18 pm
I am using MIG.

thanks.
Art



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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2023 7:15 am
When I'm fabricating one of these panels, I might use my shrinker to gget the right contour, when the flange is at 90*. With a 'bought' panel, I would probably just hammer the flange over, and if it didn't curve as I went, I'd just give the edge a bend, over something with a large radius, slowly, little at a time I have a tree stump I use for lots of shaping). Even doubled over, it's not hard to bend 20 ga. steel.



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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2023 6:37 pm
I guess my mistake is adding the 90 degree bend across both sides at once instead of bending as I went. In order to put the 90 degree in I used a hammer and dolly as I was afraid if I folded as I went it would be difficult to make a straight bend against the door frame without screwing up the door frame. The sides of the panel didn't have much of a bend or bead to get me started. Did I get that wrong?

Thanks,
Art

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