1938 Oldsmobile Convertible Restoration / w52


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More LH front fender repairs


This is the rear mounting flange of the LH front fender with the outer skin removed (section between the white arrows). The outer skin was severely rusted and very thin. As you can see, there was also a bunch of rust residue beneath the outer skin. The rust seen here, is sitting atop the inner reinforcement, and will get sanded off.


This is the new outer skin piece replacement section that has been made.


Completed rear flange repair, with the new section welded in place and metal finished. (Between the white arrows above)


Now that the mounting flanges are repaired, its time to work on all the goobered up prior repairs and cracked metal.

First the fender gets bolted up to the body so it doesn't flop around and maintains it's basic shape throughout the repair process.

The white arrows surround the first area that replaces thin cracked metal. The red arrow is pointing to the second patch area. The old metal has already been cut away, and the replacement piece is being formed.


Before welding in the second patch it was necessary to jack the fender out to the approximate shape. The area being patched was gobbed with melted brass and gas weld from an old repair attempt. It was also cracked thin and weak, and would not support the shape of the fender. These areas are difficult to fabricate and patch at the edge of fender. The edge of the fender rolls under, it is not square.

Note the next crack on the edge of the fender just in front of the body jacking point.


With the 2nd newly fabricated patch piece welded, the fender now holds it's proper shape. The body jack is removed.


Here, a third patch is fabbed up and welded replacing metal at the next crack. (This was the crack right under the jacking point in photo w52_05 above).


As you can see with the three patches installed, the fender is holding it's shape nicely without the body jack. Unfortunately this fender isn't out of the woods yet. There are more cracks and old cobbled repairs around the wheel opening that need attention.


The white arrows point to a long slit in the fender that will need to be welded, once the lumpy metal around it has been straightened. (Next photo)


Here is a closer view of the cut metal. This was an old crack that someone had welded together, BEFORE the two halves were flush.

As a consequence, the metal was VERY lumpy. First I cut away the old weld to relieve the stressed metal, then smoothed the lumps and wrinkles around the slit to make it flush. It can now be welded together properly.


Moving along, this is the next old repair on the edge of the fender that needs attention. It is thin cracked and work-hardened.

Also, the backside has a large piece of copper rod that someone brazed in as a stiffener. Putting your fingers around the edge you can feel this huge lump of metal and brass. This is not a good feeling. In the next photo I show the backside of the bad area after it has been cut out.


Above is the bad area cut out. As you can see, the backside of the lip displays a desperate sort of meat & potatoes repair. Making it, "Look Good" was just not in the cards at the time.


Above is the newly fabricated patch that will replace the ugly. It looks fairly simple in this one-demensional photo but it was kind-of difficult to make. The fender lip is made up of compound curves. It was hand shaped with the shrinker/streatcher, and hammer & dolly, then fit up to the fender several times to get the proper angles.


As indicated by the text & arrows above, The slit is now welded up and the fabricated patch is getting fit into position with butt weld clamps. This patch will be gas welded, then metal worked smooth at the joints.

Some additional hammer & dolly work will be required after it is welded, to get the exact shape of the fender lip profile.


LH Front fender patching completed.

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