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Rust Repair Advice Request: 59 Lark

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  • Jeffry Cassel
    replied
    I have used POR15 for years. Small holes can be repaired with it or POR Patch. Big ones need to be cut out and repair panel welded in place. Hint -weld only a little bit at a time. If you do a lot you can warp the heck out of the piece. I've developed a technique of using POR and fiberglass mat and then covering it with polyester resin and another layer of mat-if needed. POR reacts with the rust so be sure surface is oil free and clear of loose scale. It is just about indestructible and won't come off -ever. I only use it on small holes. I've cut those so common fender holes out and patched the with a plug welded repair panel .. If you do this it is essential to seal the panel completely so no moisture can between the panel and the fender. If you're really good, cut the patch to fit the hole and but weld it in place. I lack the talent for that (the last time I did that I warped the panel so bad I had to cut the repair out and start over. I have a flanging tool - made by Vice-Grip-- that will flange the hole and allow the use of panel adhesive which , if you cannot weld is a good alternative to welding. I've used it it to avoid warp and 20 years later it seems just fine. (SEM) Have fun!

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  • pinehurstbob
    replied
    Years ago I took a general interest welding course at a local high school. Used their welders and had the benefit of an instructors looking at my work. I was also a paper pusher stuck in front of the computer and can relate to your satisfaction from fixing something. After a day in the office, the steel does not talk back!! They say "one mans work is another man's pleasure". One tip I picked up working on light metal was to put copper on the backside of the weld. Its keeps you from burning through and weld does not stick. Also make sure you cut back to good metal.Good luck and enjoy.
    Bob

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  • creegster
    replied
    Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
    It appears that you plan to MIG weld the repairs so let me suggest that you start with the floors as practice as they are all horizontal welds. You can practice there to get the feel of welding to older metal and either buy the body panels or just find metal (about 18 ga) and bend your own for most of the repairs.

    Take it slow as you mentioned and you can use a variety of tools and a vise for a lot of fabrication. You can also beat metal around any number of wooden forms to get some of the complex shapes you might need. Visualize what you need and cut, form and welding will come to you with practice. Just do it and learn from what you don't like.

    Bob
    Thanks Bob- that is the plan, yes. I want to start sloppy on the floorpans, then hope fully get better as I travel up the car. I have ordered some panels form Classic Enterprises, and those will ensure that I have a good base to start from and have the general shapes for panels. I am going to be conservative with what I cut out so there are no huge holes that freak me out.
    Ive been watching Fitzees Fabrications videos on youtube. He is amazing at explaining how to do this in a way that anyone can understand
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6J...r3EvJnw/videos

    Thanks!

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  • creegster
    replied
    Originally posted by 64studeavanti View Post

    Seeing as how a good driver quality 59 Lark is worth maybe $5,000, I agree with this approach. You need to do the minimum to make it road worthy so you can enjoy it. It is very easy to get upside down by getting too carried away. This is true even on the more valuable Studes. Just ask me how I know...
    Agreed with both Yogi and 64studeavanti-
    Im enjoying the journey, and want to get this car up and running: but doing all these updates and repairs is enjoyable for someone who sits in front of a computer all day.
    Im spending money on what I consider a hobby, so its money well spent. If I end up spending 5K to get this car up and running (or whatever the number is), its fine as this is fun for me.
    I bought the car for $1800, and it was a driveable car at that time. ALLLLLL the bushings needed to be replaced, but at least I dont have to get a new engine in there.

    I did the brakes myself, and its fulfilling to do that level of difficulty of updates to me. An engine rebuild is beyond my ability- I know my limits. But this body work MAY be something I can handle. If not, Ill take it to a shop and have them fix my mess after I try it first.

    Someone else mentioned that I should work on the floor pans first, and then work my way up the car and hone my technique. That is the plan, and I have watched a lot of hours of body repair videos (which by no means makes me anywhere close to an expert).

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

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  • sweetolbob
    replied
    It appears that you plan to MIG weld the repairs so let me suggest that you start with the floors as practice as they are all horizontal welds. You can practice there to get the feel of welding to older metal and either buy the body panels or just find metal (about 18 ga) and bend your own for most of the repairs.

    Take it slow as you mentioned and you can use a variety of tools and a vise for a lot of fabrication. You can also beat metal around any number of wooden forms to get some of the complex shapes you might need. Visualize what you need and cut, form and welding will come to you with practice. Just do it and learn from what you don't like.

    Bob

    Leave a comment:


  • 64studeavanti
    replied
    Originally posted by Yogi View Post
    The floor doesn't look bad at all. I would paint the whole thing with Hirsch Miracle Paint, cover the holes with fiberglass cloth and then give it a second coat all over. That's just my CASO way.
    Yogi, slightly smarter than the average bear
    Seeing as how a good driver quality 59 Lark is worth maybe $5,000, I agree with this approach. You need to do the minimum to make it road worthy so you can enjoy it. It is very easy to get upside down by getting too carried away. This is true even on the more valuable Studes. Just ask me how I know...

    Leave a comment:


  • Yogi
    replied
    The floor doesn't look bad at all. I would paint the whole thing with Hirsch Miracle Paint, cover the holes with fiberglass cloth and then give it a second coat all over. That's just my CASO way.
    Yogi, slightly smarter than the average bear

    Leave a comment:


  • NCDave51
    replied
    Totally agree with posts #11 and 12 - have used that successfully on some former projects and far easier than trying to keep a cut-off roof panel from distorting on re-entry.

    Those floor pics are a bit dark, but if that's you having wire-wheeled the floor already, I'd say they're in fine shape to make smaller patches and tack them in - I've worked on far far worse - these floors are pretty good!

    Leave a comment:


  • wdills
    replied
    I like swvalcon's suggestion of panel adhesive for the roof patch. Keeps the heat out of it so you don't get warping. Form your patch and test fit it with screws first. Use enough screws to get a nice tight fit all around the edges of the panel. Take it in and out multiple times to be sure it goes in and fits the same way every time. Then apply the adhesive and screw it in place.

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  • swvalcon
    replied
    Is the headliner out of the car? If so where its rusted at the drip rail I would sand blast the inside of the roof skin as clean as I could get it and on the outside where the rust is. Then build my patch panel and be sure it fit up from the inside as close to perfect as I can make it. Now cut out the rust keep it as small as possible. Then use 3-m patch panel adhesive and glue my patch panel in from the back side. It has to fit tight so if you have to use small screws or pop rivets to hold it until the glue is set up. I like to leave it overnight. Then seal good around the edge of the patch on the back side of the roof either with panel adhesive or epoxy two part seam sealer. After totally cured prime and undercoat. On the out side remove the screws or rivets grind the whole area good and tap where the screw where just a small amount and put a nice skim coat of panel adhesive over the whole area. Let dry over night grind as smooth and flat as you can get it epoxy prime area and after that has cured do your filler and body work as you would any other repair.

    Leave a comment:


  • creegster
    replied
    Originally posted by wdills View Post
    The advise about sandblasting the entire body is spot on, but I understand the desire to not get that deep into the weeds. From the photos, here are my thoughts. You will probably be better off with full floor pans. The problem is getting new metal welded in. If you try to weld new metal to a spot that has pitting, the result is often blowing a big hole in the old metal. Then you have to weld that new hole up and grind it smooth. You want to make sure you cut out old metal such that you have a nice solid (non-pitted) area to weld your new panel to. That rust on the roof is probably going to require you to fabricate a patch panel. Once you get in there and strip it down to shiny metal in prep for making your repairs you will probably find that it is easier to just weld in a single big patch instead of a lot of little plugs. Watch some videos to see how the pro's skip around with small tack welds when installing patches and allow plenty of time for the panel to cool between welds. Also make sure your patches fit nice with just a small gap between the patch and the existing metal. If you can get your panels formed and fitted where you just a 1/32' or so gap between the patch and original metal, it make welding it a lot easier you typically don't get you panel nearly as hot. Also I would recommend 0.23 easy grind weld wire and 3M makes some 3" diameter grinding stones for a cut off tool that work great for grinding you weld down and then finish it up with 40 grit 2" sanding disc on a air angle grinder. Once your patched are done, make sure the first thing applied to them is 2 part epoxy primer to get the metal sealed. Then put your filler on top of that.

    Best of luck
    Thanks!
    Ive been watching lots of videos on youtube about how to do all this, so I have an understanding about how to cut out and then weld in new metal.
    Of all the work that Im planning, the roof is the part that I am most worried about getting right: the curve in that part of the roof is going to be the hardest part to create if I use a panel (but that also seems like the best way to approach it. Im planning on tackling the roof last, after Ive had the practice on being sloppy and making ugly welds on floor panels, then getting better on the fender repairs.

    Leave a comment:


  • wdills
    replied
    The advise about sandblasting the entire body is spot on, but I understand the desire to not get that deep into the weeds. From the photos, here are my thoughts. You will probably be better off with full floor pans. The problem is getting new metal welded in. If you try to weld new metal to a spot that has pitting, the result is often blowing a big hole in the old metal. Then you have to weld that new hole up and grind it smooth. You want to make sure you cut out old metal such that you have a nice solid (non-pitted) area to weld your new panel to. That rust on the roof is probably going to require you to fabricate a patch panel. Once you get in there and strip it down to shiny metal in prep for making your repairs you will probably find that it is easier to just weld in a single big patch instead of a lot of little plugs. Watch some videos to see how the pro's skip around with small tack welds when installing patches and allow plenty of time for the panel to cool between welds. Also make sure your patches fit nice with just a small gap between the patch and the existing metal. If you can get your panels formed and fitted where you just a 1/32' or so gap between the patch and original metal, it make welding it a lot easier you typically don't get you panel nearly as hot. Also I would recommend 0.23 easy grind weld wire and 3M makes some 3" diameter grinding stones for a cut off tool that work great for grinding you weld down and then finish it up with 40 grit 2" sanding disc on a air angle grinder. Once your patched are done, make sure the first thing applied to them is 2 part epoxy primer to get the metal sealed. Then put your filler on top of that.

    Best of luck

    Leave a comment:


  • Corbinstein0
    replied
    weren't there some Larks in the Pick N Pull yards out there recently?

    Leave a comment:


  • creegster
    replied
    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
    The last time we had a '60 Lark 2 door with the Rain Gutter full of holes and almost rusted off, we simply Cut a Roof off of another 2 Door below the Gutter, easier than filling a hundred holes.
    I dont have access to a lot of donor cars here in Los Angeles unfortunately.

    Leave a comment:


  • creegster
    replied
    Originally posted by Cus63 View Post
    Hello,
    I would get that whole body sandblasted, remove the front fenders, doors everything & get it blasted & primed. Unfortunately its going to look a lot worse after blasting,
    but at least you will know what your going to be up against & most of the rust removed accept for areas of rust inside cavities etc. Epoxy 2 part primer is definitely the go
    for your first coating, & it gives you time without absorbing moisture a long the way. Hopefully you know a good sheet metal guy,

    *make sure the sandblaster is very careful with broad areas, like roof turret , hood & trunk, I stripped those areas by hand & just blasted around the edges.

    regards, Cus
    Thanks for the suggestion: Im not looking to do that hardcore on this (I wish I could though!)

    Leave a comment:

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