Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO
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Jeepster sheet metal/body sealing advice
Hey all, I'm new here to the boards. Actually I've been lurking for a while and stealing all of your expertise from old posts.
I have a '69 Jeepster Station Wagon that I've been working on. Last year I rebuilt the motor, tranny, transfer case, and axles, along with the steering, all electrical, etc. She's mechanically sound, 100%.
I went into this project thinking I'd build myself a well-running rat rod/beater for driving out in the woods and hauling my dogs around, but after driving it this summer with the top off, my wife and I decided that we just had to go through with a full restoration.
The body is mostly rust -free, but has a decent amount of dents, dings, and a couple of ripped panels. My issue is: I can't seem to find a source for replacement body panels or patch panels. Both of my front fenders are ripped through at the bottom corner triangle where they attach to the tub, the rear fender wells were cut out by a prior owner (GAAAAH!), and the rear corners by the light buckets are smashed in. I'm no body guy, but I might be able to pull and shrink the areas by the light buckets, but I have no way of making new panels to replace what is missing around the rear wheel wells, and I'd prefer to replace the front fender sections as this appears to be a weak area.
Anybody have a line on body panels? Got some you want to sell? Good with metal, and would be willing to make some new panels for me? I'll pay whatever you're asking, within reason.
Next question is: what was the factory method of sealing the hard top to the body? I just slapped the top back on for the winter with some thick rubber round seal, and discovered that it is WAY too thick. I had to wedge myself between my barn and the top just to get it to line up while my wife tightened up the bolts. Still isn't quite where it should be. When I took it off, it had that thin sponge-seal on it, which I don't trust to be waterproof and is a PITA to remove. Makes a nice big mess when it gets old, and doesn't hold up to repeated top removal/installation. I don't want to have to be scraping worn out seals of off my newly painted top when I'm done with this thing.
Any tips or tricks? I'd also like to know how the original headliner was installed, and how it looks. If anybody has a picture of their's with a headliner I'd like to see it for a point of reference.