Preserving Classics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Simplified Dentside Rust Repair

Simplified Dentside Rust Repair

As we all know rust repair is all part of the process when restoring an old truck, especially when it’s a dentside cab corner. When I look at tackling the rust repair in this area I only look to replace the bad metal and retain as much of the factory metal as possible. By doing this, sometimes you can avoid having to mess with body lines and you can save yourself some time during the bodywork portion of the build. The biggest thing to be aware of when you are doing a cab corner is you want to have the doors on and gapped correctly so your body lines will flow correctly. Also, make sure the new replacement panel you are cutting in fits well and to take your time welding it in to avoid warping the metal around the patch.

In this article we will go through the steps I use when I am replacing a cab corner in a ‘73-’79 Ford truck. I hope this helps some of you when you go to work on your  build.

Identify the affected areas that need to be replaced.
Layout the tools you think you may need to accomplish the project.
Unbox your new sheetmetal. This replacement panel came from Auto Metal Direct.
Drill out your spot welds with a 5/16-inch drill bit so the panel is easier to remove.
Once you have identified what metal needs to be replaced, I like to lay out rough cut lines with tape so they are easy to follow.
Fit your rough cut replacement panel on the truck and see what adjustments need to be made.
I always make the rough cut panel on the cab so I have an idea of where I would make the adjustments to the replacement panel before cutting the cab. One tip I would give is to round out any of the corners so you don’t have harsh edges when you weld in the new panel.
Cut out the piece of the panel that is going to be replaced and identify if the interior panel needs to be fixed as well.
Cut out the affected interior panel and use it as a template for the new patch panel.
Once you have cut out the new replacement piece of metal, make sure everything fits the way you like before welding it in. I either use 16- or 18-gauge sheetmetal for all my patches.
Weld in the new patch panel and grind it smooth.
I clean up any surface rust on the inside of the cab corner and seal it with POR-15 to help prevent issues in the future.
With the new cab corner fit into place, clamp it and start tacking.
Taking your time welding in the new cab corner along the seam and plug weld where the spot welds would have been to secure the new panel.
rough grind the welds with a flap disk or 36-grit roll lock.
To finish the panel off, I like to sand it with a DA and 80-grit so it is ready for bodywork.
Another look at the finished cab corner.



You May Also Like