C2 Corvette Flare Patch Panel Installation trouble

Guitarzan

Promoted Users
So this 66 Vette had flares and on the front, I am installing the press molded patch panel (from Lee Bumb Composits) with new bonding strip and when cut to fit and screwed in place, it has to be bent under tension to fit.....i.e., when panel is flush with fender below beltline, the top above it pushes into the bonding strip which could be glassed over and VPA on top, or when top is set to fit well, the lower part has to be pulled out to be flush below the beltline. It's not a great deal of tension but it is under more than I would like.
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So my question is, is that ok and after glued and screwed (using VPA) will the panel conform over time and take a "set" or will this eventually end of with some kind of cracks?
 
I’m far from and expert but I would be tempted to score the back of the patch panel along the belt line to make it more flexible. Score, not cut. Baby steps. Then it could be reinforced with a strip of fiberglass after installation.

Don
 
Thank you, I did consider that and believe it's a good option. If I didn't do that I wondered what problems that slight stress/tension might cause.
 
The photo makes the existing fender look buckled outward in the center. That might make me a bit nervous if it's true. Having the jackstand where you have it should lessen the tendency to buckle.
 
I see what you mean but no, what you're seeing is the top of the arch they cut for the flare and i didn't trim the gap quite exactly there
 
So the issue is just that the patch panel has too much of an angle. Patch panels always seem to have issues of one sort or another. Don's idea seems to be good. I might also try to hold the panel in place and put a heat lamp on it for a few hours. Fiberglass will move when it gets hot, especially if it's still a little "green."
 
FWIW, Done some Corvette body panel work and what I was told and what I do is glue all of your panels with all 4 wheels on the ground. I think you are asking for trouble gluing panels on with a Corvette on jackstands. I do know on some C3 convertibles, the door gaps will change a little on jackstands, so things really do flex a little.
 
Similar rules apply to repairs on all body types, since the degree of chassis flex will not often be known by the repairer. Although it's not always practical to have "wheels on ground," it is usually possible to support the vehicle at or close to the points where the weight of the vehicle is supported by the suspension.
 
Good points on gluing with wheels on the ground. Thank you. I now discovered that I have to replace the park lamp panel bonding strip as the top of that is missing and presents a new twist on how I piece that patch in. Have them on order.
 
I've installed those patch panels before and remember having similar problems. I forget exactly how I did it, but sanding the backside to thin it and allow the belt line angle to be reduced is how I would do it now. I would do that at least 3" from each end, then glue it in place with either VPA or 3m 8115. I would make a bonding strip for each end as well to put on the backside to bridge the ends of the patch panel that aren't bridge by the stock bonding stip. After all glued in place I would grind out a valley along the whole seam and fill with resin and mat. An angle grinder with a 60 grit flap disc is real handy for jobs like this both to grind out a valley and smooth out the cured mat/resin. Then use VPA or everglass filler to do the final leveling. Be sure to glue/fiberglass over bare fiberglass, not painted or gelcoated surfaces.

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Update: I didn't realize the dogleg bond strip was hacked by the flare addition and needed to be replaced and when i cut the patch to make room for that, all the tension went away and they fit pretty good. VPA glued and roughed in with VPA. Now i just have to do finish filling/blocking, then feather fill, blocking then paint. A friend suggested I use a DTM epoxy primer before filler but I don't think that's necessary but correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Update: I didn't realize the dogleg bond strip was hacked by the flare addition and needed to be replaced and when i cut the patch to make room for that, all the tension went away and they fit pretty good. VPA glued and roughed in with VPA. Now i just have to do finish filling/blocking, then feather fill, blocking then paint. A friend suggested I use a DTM epoxy primer before filler but I don't think that's necessary but correct me if I'm wrong.
Why use any thing other than SPI epoxy primer?
 
Supposedly for FG polyester primers do the best job of sealing up? It seems to be the go-to for FB work. I don't believe they make one.
 
Two or three coats of SPI epoxy followed by quality poly primer if you need poly. I use Z-Chrome Rust Defender and I see it used by a lot of high end Corvette restoration shops. Apply the poly within the epoxy recoat window for best adhesion.

Are you going to strip all the old paint?

Don
 
I do have almost a full qt of that I had for another project but it’s 12 years old. Still very liquid but I guess it’s not useable?
 
Do I use the epoxy primer into the feathered old paint to seal that up, then poly within the epoxy area?
What is the goal here? Are you repainting the whole car? How old is the paint? If it’s old paint it should all be stripped to bare fiberglass and epoxied. At least that is what any decent Corvette shop would do.

There’s a couple of hard core Corvette restoration guys here. Hopefully they will weigh in. If they don’t give Barry a call on the tech line. He’s one of them… :)

Don
 
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