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Old August 15th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #1
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Ray-Dean's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South of Disorder: a.k.a. Bristow, Ok
Posts: 7,708
Default round door corners: PART II

So you have rounded the door corners and your rod is lookin’ sick, but something still isn’t right. What could it be? Well, let’s see. Your rod is fenderless, right? You don’t have running boards. So how about filling in the rocker panel? Or better yet, let’s kill two birds with one stone. Instead of filling the rocker panel, what about dropping the outer edge of the door and rounding the bottom corners also?

Are you scared...?

Begin by welding over the running board bolt holes. Then clean all the paint from the bottom edges of the doors. Next, cut a piece of sheet metal (I used 20 gauge) 37” long. A bug door is slightly less than this. Now take it to the break and put two 90* bends in it. The first should be ½” from the edge. The second should be 2 ¼” from the same edge.

Test fit the piece to insure clearance. Then remove the door and tack weld the piece in place. This forms the new inner edge and bottom of the door. Now it is time to form the outer skin. For this, given the previous measurements, you should need a stripe 1 ½” wide. This stripe will attach to the bottom edge of the door and the top edge of the new section. Simply tack weld it in place and let it cool.

Remember to work slowly, as heat will become a factor. Continue tacking until fully welded. If you don’t want to round the bottom corners, then at this point grid smooth and fill.

But why stop now?

Using the template from the upper corners (hopefully you saved it) mark the cuts for the lower corners. I used an air saw for these cuts because it gives a better cut, produces less heat, and will follow the radius better than a cut off wheel.

You will be left with an opening on both ends of the door.

Now just make a piece to fill the opening and weld it up. Repeat the process on the other side and BAM! No more square corners.

We are still not done though. Now that the door is fully rounded, we need to make the body match. This part should only require two pieces at each corner. A good metal shaper could do it with one, but this is me we are talking about here. These pics did not turn out clear at all, so I'll have to just spell it out. Using my corner template and a scrap piece of 20 gauge, I marked the radius of the door corner and cut it out. Keep in mind there will need to be a door gap, so allow a little extra room. Test fit and adjust to an even gap. When you are satisfied tack weld in place. Now all that is left is to fill the gap between the new body skin and the rocker panel. Once again work slow to keep the heat down. Repeat process for each corner and you are done. Grab the grinder or file and filler.

And this is what you end up with.

My Kindergarten report card:
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