1946 Studebaker M5 More on Patching the door bottoms

 The right side patch is on the skin and the skin is back on the shell. 

Notice the drain slots in the door bottom just like original.
The door fits perfectly with uniform gaps.

1946 Studebaker M5 Pickup Truck Door Patch Panels

 Patching the bottoms of the doors requires removal of the skin.  It's best to cut it at the bottoms of the window openings because they can be welded back together there with minimal distortion. Drill the spot welds with a spot weld drill and then carefully bend the flange to a 90 degree relation to the skin. 

Patching the bottom of the skin without removing it, would end up a real mess.  It's impossible to get to the back side of the weld to work it.  I suppose you could cut an access hole in the inner part of the shell but that would compromise the finish product.

I went ahead and acid washed the surface rust on the back side of the panel before I welded the patch into place.

Then I thinned some POR15 with lacquer thinner. It doesn't take a lot when you thin it, to cover a pretty large area. It soaks into the rust and seals it very well.


Before I put the skin back on the door shell, I'll need to finish welding the bottom in the shell, as it is only tack welded at this point. I'll also spray some weld through primer on the flange areas where the skin will be spot welded to the shell. The rest of the area will be coated with a good oil base enamel.

This will make it better than it was originally.

1946 Studebaker Pickup Truck Turn Signal Conversion Up Front

 I converted the front park lamps to double filament sockets and got one side fired up today, along with my new Trippe headlight. 

A couple images here with park lights on and with turn signal on.

1946 Pickup Truck Studebaker Restoration

 Well I finally got some 20 gauge sheet metal to patch the door skin bottoms, so I'll be working on that tomorrow.

I spent the day today leveling up the cab and mounting the front sheet metal. The body mount pads were in pretty bad condition so I made some new pads and got the cab sitting right on the frame.

Getting the body level is important to give the vehicle that "standing proud" look.

I also went back on eBay and purchased some left hand lug nuts and a left hand threading die to clean up the studs that are messed up. 

I'll make up some wire harnesses for the front park light/ turn signal lights tomorrow too. I converted the park lights below the headlights to double filament sockets. 

That cool US Pioneer self canceling turn switch will be sending current to the signal lights up front and dividing the brake lights in the rear, making one side and the other flash on demand and self cancel as well.

I can hardly wait to get the Trippe lights that I purchased on eBay, that will take the place of the standard headlights. I think the "cool factor" will be over the top with those! They're coming from Canada so it's probably gonna be a couple weeks before I receive them.

Rust Repair on the Door Bottoms of the 1946 Studebaker Pickup Truck

I don't know if there are any pre-formed patch panels out there. I find that those that are available, all need some finish forming to make them work. It's easier for me to just make the panels myself. Then they fit like they should. I've formed the lower parts of the door shells and have one tacked into place. It's very important to keep the door fitting to the opening during the rebuilding process.

Bolting the door on and taking it off again will happen numerous times during the process. If you skip that process, it won't fit in the end. Trying to bend it into shape at that point will result in some ugly distortion and a completely disastrous finish product.

After I am finished welding the shell together, I will check fit again, and then at point I will form the outer skin which I have already made pattern for. The skin will get tacked into place, joining it to the existing skin, and then the whole skin will be removed from the shell at the bottom of the window opening.

I'll be showing the rest of the process in the next posting. Stay tuned.