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Tips for Sheet Metal Installation

Posted on: May 14, 2020 in Tech Tips

Here are some tips for installing sheet metal on your restoration project:

1. If you don’t feel comfortable installing the products, please gain some more knowledge first before attempting any major repair. Most of the customer service complaints or questions we get can be answered by using a little common sense and knowing something about body assembly and procedure.

2. Always test fit and inspect parts before painting or installing! Mocking up the parts or testing fitting parts before final installation or paint is always a good idea. Then, if there is an issue to address, you can fix it before paint has been applied. By simply bolting or clamping parts together, you can see how they are going to fit. Compare each part to your original to see if there are any differences. Do you need to swap a bracket or drill a different hole?

3. Never cut or weld on more than one section at a time! Remember that when the vehicle was assembled in the factory, it was clamped together in giant alignment jigs and fixtures, which you don’t have access to anymore. NEVER work on more than one section at a time or you can screw up the factory alignment. If you cut the entire rear clip off at once to replace it, it is almost impossible to get each panel aligned again so it will fit the rest of the car. Also, if the car has had major collision damage in the past, the body may be “tweaked” and alignment will be off no matter what you do!

4. Always support the body so proper alignment can be maintained! Some of our customer call to complain about the fit of a door or quarter, only to discover that the vehicle is sitting on 4 barrels and is folding in the middle! The best way to repair is to have the vehicle on the ground, supported by the wheels. After the body has been repaired, then is the time to take the body off the frame so detailing can be done. NEVER cut on a body that is not properly supported!

5. Sheet metal is easily damaged! Small pecks and dings are considered “normal” when dealing with sheet metal parts. No credit will be issued for parts returned because of minor flaws and imperfections. Even new factory parts have minor flaws! Always inspect your parts when received for shipping damage BEFORE you sign for them!

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