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Thread: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

  1. #26
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    With the high number of rear bed takeoffs available around the country,, I would seriously consider a complete bed replacement.
    +1 Somewhere along the line, I've seen entire yards filled with brand-new truck beds, I guess they were taken off of new trucks to make work trucks, etc.

    Unfortunately, when I wanted a new bed for my F-250, I couldn't find one (or I didn't know where to look)...

    In my experience, those polyethylene bed liner things just seal moisture in, and before you know it, you'll have nothing left to support the bed liner.

  2. #27
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    The third brake light on my Colorado leaked just like the OP's truck.
    I searched, and searched for some sort of material to use as a gasket,,, and I had actually ordered two "window foam" tapes to try from Amazon,,
    They both leaked.

    I was at the point of seriously thinking about getting a tube of bath tub caulk, and just sealing the light to the truck,,,

    Well, I was at Walmart looking for some cleaning supplies for the truck, and I ran into the PERFECT material to seal the third brake light.







    After cleaning off the old gasket, I stuck this stuff to the light. This seal is like a soft silicone tube, with one side flat.
    It easily contoured around the corners.
    The start-stop of the seal is located at the bottom center.
    The $5 package is enough material for 4 or 5 truck lights, so if you do not get it perfect the first time, you have enough material to rip it off, and do it again.

    Because of the leak, I also replaced the headliner fabric,, but, that is another story,,,,,,,,

  3. #28
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    In my experience, those polyethylene bed liner things just seal moisture in, and before you know it, you'll have nothing left to support the bed liner.
    My black '99 shown in a previous post got that drop in liner the first week we got the truck new,, it cost $169 installed in 1999.
    I have zero rust under that liner,, but, again, I live in Roanoke,, not much salt is used on the roads,,

  4. #29
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    If you're just trying to get it to look halfway-decent for five years or so, you could do as I did with a '71 Pinto back in the '80s:

    1. Chop out all the rusty material all the way back to good solid metal.
    2. Cut pieces of new metal roughly to shape and pop-rivet them (lapping underneath) to the good existing metal.
    3. Paint all exposed metal (both sides) with Rust Oleum Rusty Metal Primer.
    4. Cover the seams and pop rivets with fiberglass saturated w/ either polyester resin or epoxy. Jam it in there (until it's transparent) by stabbing with brush bristles.
    5. Sand and if needed cover with a little more FG and resin to get it close to fair.
    6. Sand again and cover with a "skim coat" of bondo.
    7. Repeat step 5 if needed to get it damn near fair.
    8. Cover/fair/fill all the pin holes and minor imperfections (like less than 1/32" deep) with the red "skim coat" bondo stuff.
    9. Sand and paint.

    My Pinto lasted a good 5 years or so without any paint blistering or any rust coming through, even around the rear wheel wells in the rock salt belt, after I did this. It's not "the right way" to do it, but if all you care about is cosmetics, you can get a pretty decent job this way (or at least I did). You could tell that "something" had been done, but you couldn't really tell HOW MUCH had been done -- and there were some HUGE areas that I cut out and replaced, particularly around the rear wheel wells (remember that atrocious steel Ford was using back in the early 1970s, that rusted out before it left the showroom floor?)
    That sounds like a cool project although those Pintos are ugly as hell lol. New replacement panels are only about $80 each so I'll just use those things and cut them to size. Then I'll basically follow along with the rest of the steps you outlined.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Looks to me like the color of the OPs truck is " victory red" . That paint is available in a laquer thru O'Reilly's. Personally I would paint the entire bedside. Surely the match won't be perfect and the space between the bed and cab will break it up enough so the difference will be harder to detect. I would pull the bed bolts, bumper and filler neck and slide the bed back to paint it. That will make masking the cab a lot easier and the painting as well .
    How the hell did you know it's Victory Red? Damn this project is getting more and more complicated lol. It started off as a fairly minor fix/repair for some rust bubbles now it grew to buying new panels/buying a whole new bed/slide the bed back/etc. Ugh, I should have just left the rust bubbles alone. Me and my great ideas lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    With the high number of rear bed takeoffs available around the country,, I would seriously consider a complete bed replacement.
    That truck was moved from one of the "rust-belt" locations, and represented as a nice truck.
    The 5 (or even 15) year answer is to install a rust free bed. The patch and paint method may only last 2 or 3 years.

    I know rust free beds are available,, heck, none of the trucks sold NEW in Roanoke over the last 25 years have any bed rust,, I own a '95, '99, and '07, all no rust.

    By the time you value your labor at over $3 per hour, a bed swap will be the answer,, and getting a color match to red should be easy.
    I believe the truck was originally registered in NJ. I couldn't believe the amount of metal the rust went through as a 9 year old truck. Had a 2004 Cadillac CTS-V and didn't have a rust problem at all besides a tiny bit on the hood. Why do you think the new panel with adhesives will only last about 2-3 years? I was thinking if I primed the panel (excluding the section that the adhesive will be applied to), paint it and use clear coat it would last as long as the other non-rusted sheet metal.

    Didn't realize you're in Roanoke, was just up there Sunday. I'm near Quantico. Going to Smith Mountain Lake this weekend for a camping trip which is where I'll get the HF welder from my brother, if he remembers to bring it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    The third brake light on my Colorado leaked just like the OP's truck.
    I searched, and searched for some sort of material to use as a gasket,,, and I had actually ordered two "window foam" tapes to try from Amazon,,
    They both leaked.

    I was at the point of seriously thinking about getting a tube of bath tub caulk, and just sealing the light to the truck,,,
    Well, I was at Walmart looking for some cleaning supplies for the truck, and I ran into the PERFECT material to seal the third brake light.

    After cleaning off the old gasket, I stuck this stuff to the light. This seal is like a soft silicone tube, with one side flat.
    It easily contoured around the corners.
    The start-stop of the seal is located at the bottom center.
    The $5 package is enough material for 4 or 5 truck lights, so if you do not get it perfect the first time, you have enough material to rip it off, and do it again.

    Because of the leak, I also replaced the headliner fabric,, but, that is another story,,,,,,,,
    Ah so the Colorado's have the third brake light issue too, that sucks. You would think GM would have something like that figured out by now. The padding under the carpet of the truck was soaked so I was forced to remove everything in the interior. While everything was out I put in that sound deadening sheets to see if it would work. Seems like it's a bit more, not sure of the word, premium feeling I guess. Could just be placebo though since I know the sound deadening sheets are in there lol. I may have to apply those sheets to the roof of the cab, it sounds like I'm in a tin roofed shack when it rains real hard. I also have some water stains on the rear of my headliner on both left and right sides from the brake light leak. Haven't attempted to see if I can remove the stain yet, too busy fixing other crap lol.

  5. #30
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    I've had many GM trucks. My 02 is victory red and a 2011 at work is also. I spent a lot of time researching where to get affordable paint . By chance someone I knew had ,2 quarts or do left over that I scored for a case of beer.

  6. #31
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    My black '99 shown in a previous post got that drop in liner the first week we got the truck new,, it cost $169 installed in 1999.
    I have zero rust under that liner,, but, again, I live in Roanoke,, not much salt is used on the roads,,
    My F-250 came from NE Pennsylvania and, as I discovered when I climbed under it, had a hole in the bed that you could drop a 55-gallon drum through.

    I suspect the steel in the bed would have held up longer under continuous seawater immersion.

  7. #32
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post

    Ah so the Colorado's have the third brake light issue too, that sucks. You would think GM would have something like that figured out by now. The padding under the carpet of the truck was soaked so I was forced to remove everything in the interior.

    I also have some water stains on the rear of my headliner on both left and right sides from the brake light leak. Haven't attempted to see if I can remove the stain yet, too busy fixing other crap lol.
    My '99 Silverado leaked at the light, I thought it was the rear sliding window.
    The local Honda dealer has a guy that comes by once a week, and fixes leaky cars,, he fixed the "99,, he charged $40,, IIRC,,

    I figured out what he did, he simply added a second gasket,, or two new gaskets to the third light.
    I left the truck in the garage, with the doors open, and a fan running for a couple weeks, it dried out.


    If you read the truck forums, virtually all of the truck brands have the exact same issue with the leaking 3rd brake light,, it is not unique to GM,,

    The only trucks that are not leaking,,, are the ones that have not been discovered,,, yet,,

  8. #33
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    OOP's,,,

  9. #34
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    I would use an oil based undercoating like NHOU, it's specially formulated to migrate into places that you'll never get the rubberized stuff into, there's other brands available too, that's just the one I know of, I'm in southern Arizona so that's not a problem here.
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  10. #35
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    I've had many GM trucks. My 02 is victory red and a 2011 at work is also. I spent a lot of time researching where to get affordable paint . By chance someone I knew had ,2 quarts or do left over that I scored for a case of beer.
    Ah I see. I was trying to decide between a GM or Dodge truck and picked this Sierra because I thought it looked in great shape. I've been working on it ever since buying it lol. It is giving me valuable experience by forcing me to learn how to do things but I would rather learn how to weld.

    Panels are on their way along with more cans of Victory Red and clear coat. Hope I don't screw this up too bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I would use an oil based undercoating like NHOU, it's specially formulated to migrate into places that you'll never get the rubberized stuff into, there's other brands available too, that's just the one I know of, I'm in southern Arizona so that's not a problem here.
    Yeah I'm going to coat just about everything in some kind of rust prevention product. I have a can of rust prevention/deactivation with a long tubular spray line to get hard to reach places. I'll probably use that to spray into the gap between the outer and inner sheet metal, I don't want to do this crap again lol.

  11. #36
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Bought six cans of Victory Red spray paint and four cans of clear coat along with, I believe, four cans of primer/base coat (don't remember the exact amount I bought already). Oh yeah, also bought two new replacement panels for both sides. When I get back from this camping trip I'll go 100% on this fix/repair and hope for the best. I've watched and read a lot of articles so hopefully I don't screw up real bad lol.

    On another note, still having issues finding a formalized welding class/course near me. If anyone is in VA and semi-close to Quantico area that would be willing to teach a newb let me know. I can pay in beer or cash, thanks.

  12. #37
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    You did youself a favor with the new 210 welder. You should not have any remorse over that, doesnt take much these days to make that back.

  13. #38
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    My '99 Silverado leaked at the light, I thought it was the rear sliding window.
    The local Honda dealer has a guy that comes by once a week, and fixes leaky cars,, he fixed the "99,, he charged $40,, IIRC,,
    I discovered about an inch of water in the overhead brake light on my 2003 F-150 a few years after I bought it new. Emptied out the water and tried to seal it up, but discovered water in it again not long afterwards. Can't seem to keep the water out, but the 18-year-old bulb just keeps goin like the Energizer Bunny.

    I'm thinking of putting goldfish or koi fish in there.

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  15. #39
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    I discovered about an inch of water in the overhead brake light on my 2003 F-150 a few years after I bought it new. Emptied out the water and tried to seal it up, but discovered water in it again not long afterwards. Can't seem to keep the water out, but the 18-year-old bulb just keeps goin like the Energizer Bunny.

    I'm thinking of putting goldfish or koi fish in there.
    I had the same thing with my 2018 F-150. I tried to seal it using silicone cauck, but failed, it would keep filling back up. I gave up and drilled a hole in the bottom so it drains itself.
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  16. #40
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by KenO View Post
    I had the same thing with my 2018 F-150. I tried to seal it using silicone cauck, but failed, it would keep filling back up. I gave up and drilled a hole in the bottom so it drains itself.
    Damn only three years old and leaking already? I bought an aftermarket replacement light and sealed it to the truck cab with Loctite. Now I'm wondering if it's really sealed lol. About to go look at it now.

  17. #41
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    I have another stupid newb question so figured I would keep all my dumb questions in one thread, if possible lol.

    The returned Hobart welder I bought didn't come with one of those metal thickness gauges so I'm about to buy one. Is there any reason to buy a digital caliper vs a simple metal thickness gauge? The simple metal thickness gauges are cheap, I can get one for about 5-$8.

    I see a lot of cheap digital calipers but, if I were to buy one, I think I would splurge a bit and get a higher quality tool. The digital caliper I'm thinking of getting if I decide to go that route is the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 for about $112 or so. I bought a piece of **** digital caliper from either Advance Auto or Autozone a few months ago. The digital reading jumps all over the damn place, even after I set it to zero. I can lay the caliper on a flat, stationary surface and the numbers continue to move dramatically. My only hesitation is I'm not sure if I really need exact measurements as a future hobby welder/wanna be mechanic. For measuring things in welding I can just use the metal thickness gauge or a tape measure/ruler. The same for mechanical work on my vehicles.

    You guys find a use for digital calipers or are ya'll doing it the old school way with metal gauges and tape measure/rulers?

  18. #42
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Shars tools have some really nice calipers that are between HF quality and mitutoyu. I find a caliper useful for many things such as scribing lines from an edge and depth measurements. To me those gauges for sheet metal are a trinket that's easily lost. After working with metal a while you will be able to judge thickness relatively easy.

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  20. #43
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Shars tools have some really nice calipers that are between HF quality and mitutoyu. I find a caliper useful for many things such as scribing lines from an edge and depth measurements. To me those gauges for sheet metal are a trinket that's easily lost. After working with metal a while you will be able to judge thickness relatively easy.
    Damn that's a huge quality variance, HF and Mitutoyu lol. I can definitely see myself losing the sheet metal gauge, it's kind of small. Too late though since I already ordered one.

    I can't judge metal thickness at all right now. I'm going to buy a dial caliper from Shars Tools even though I don't know how to use it yet. I think it force me to become proficient with reading measurements. Thanks for the site info. I need to make a list of welding sites so I can quit using Amazon all the time.

  21. #44
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Look for the shars " aventor" line. Those are a good medium priced caliper with good battery life. They also make digital calipers that measure in thousandths, fractions and mm, which may be handier for fabrication type work.

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  23. #45
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    If you learn how to read a non-digital caliper it will measure to .001" and batteries never go dead because it has none.
    A couple of examples(one of them is mm/inches)-https://www.ebay.com/itm/363579253204?hash=item54a70321d4:g:8gQAAOSwDPNhZzI J
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/29447411990...4AAOSwCORhbcf8
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  25. #46
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Look for the shars " aventor" line. Those are a good medium priced caliper with good battery life. They also make digital calipers that measure in thousandths, fractions and mm, which may be handier for fabrication type work.
    Yep those look pretty good. Still leaning towards those dial calipers though, they look pretty cool. When you mentioned scribing, do you mean you're using the caliper as a scribe or just as a sort of carpenters tool (don't remember what they're called). There's so many welding sites, it's hard to figure out which one to use. Why do prefer the Shars site?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    If you learn how to read a non-digital caliper it will measure to .001" and batteries never go dead because it has none.
    A couple of examples(one of them is mm/inches)-https://www.ebay.com/itm/363579253204?hash=item54a70321d4:g:8gQAAOSwDPNhZzI J
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/29447411990...4AAOSwCORhbcf8
    Yep the veneer calipers look really really old school. After buying this crappy digital caliper I wouldn't mind going with something without batteries that can mess up.

  26. #47
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambull01 View Post
    Yep those look pretty good. Still leaning towards those dial calipers though, they look pretty cool. When you mentioned scribing, do you mean you're using the caliper as a scribe or just as a sort of carpenters tool (don't remember what they're called). There's so many welding sites, it's hard to figure out which one to use. Why do prefer the Shars site?



    Yep the veneer calipers look really really old school. After buying this crappy digital caliper I wouldn't mind going with something without batteries that can mess up.
    Shars is a machinist tool site. A lot of import tools but decent quality at a fair price. Maybe your thinking of a marking gauge. So yeah using similar to that. I use mine a lot for laying out bolt holes and other features like that. I prefer digital as you can convert inch to metric instantly and by using the zero function you can tell instantly and exactly how much difference is between 2 given measurements without math.

  27. #48
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Look for a burndy wire gauge. They are a handy little tool. Only comes in analog.

  28. #49
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    I am a big fan of the digital calipers. Use them, for most my layout work that doesn't need to be precision. I also have a 6" slide rule for quick measurements.

    The thing you need to remember about calipers is that they are not intended to be a precision measuring tool, they are intended for quick measurements to get within a half mm or so. If you need to be within a couple of thousandths, you need some micrometers.

    If you go for a caliper, get a metal one. As mentioned earlier, you can use it as a scribe. Set your depth, then run it along the length of your piece, nice straight line.
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  29. #50
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    Re: Got A Stupid Total Newb Sheetmetal Question

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Shars is a machinist tool site. A lot of import tools but decent quality at a fair price. Maybe your thinking of a marking gauge. So yeah using similar to that. I use mine a lot for laying out bolt holes and other features like that. I prefer digital as you can convert inch to metric instantly and by using the zero function you can tell instantly and exactly how much difference is between 2 given measurements without math.
    That's true about converting inch to metric although I was hoping a dial or veneer caliper would force me to learn to do that on my own lol. Digital does sound nice though. I think I'll order one although I'm buying way too much **** already. Went to Home Depot today just to "look" at angle grinders and left with one.

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    The new Dewalt is super long though, especially compared to my old Hitachi 4 1/2" grinder. I liked how comfortable the Dewalt handle is and it's a 4 1/2", 5", and 6" with a quick adjust guard. Don't really get the 4 1/2 and 5" though, the size is so close it seems a little pointless to me. Hopefully I'll be able to stop myself from buying more crap soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcguide View Post
    Look for a burndy wire gauge. They are a handy little tool. Only comes in analog.
    I saw some wire gauges but didn't think I would have a real use for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roert42 View Post
    I am a big fan of the digital calipers. Use them, for most my layout work that doesn't need to be precision. I also have a 6" slide rule for quick measurements.

    The thing you need to remember about calipers is that they are not intended to be a precision measuring tool, they are intended for quick measurements to get within a half mm or so. If you need to be within a couple of thousandths, you need some micrometers.

    If you go for a caliper, get a metal one. As mentioned earlier, you can use it as a scribe. Set your depth, then run it along the length of your piece, nice straight line.
    Yeah I'll never need to be that precise. Didn't realize you could use it as a scribe, figured you would end up damaging the caliper "teeth" or whatever they're called. Or maybe that's the reason they are sharpened to a point.

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