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Niehaus Restoration Products - TR3 front fender patch

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Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
First off, if any of you do contact Keith Niehaus about repair panels for your Triumph be prepared to be totally impressed by his customer service. Kieth really cares about his products and his customers. https://www.niehausrestoration.com/

Now to the reason for this thread. I needed a repair panel for my left hand front fender. It is rusted badly and beyond my ability to make a repair panel. I did the right front without problems because the wire edge was still serviceable. The left hand one is a mess. Picture attached.

I did some internet searching and found a supplier on Ebay. It turned out to be Keith. I contacted Keith and asked if he could make a panel with an extended section of wire so I could then make my own repair above his 12" tall panel. You can see why in the picture. Keith was happy to do that for me. We also discussed the dimensions on the lower flange/bracket. Keith said some of the early cars had a wider flange than the later cars. After some discussion he said he would send both loose so I could weld on the one that fit best. That's the excellent customer service I mentioned.

Now to the problem I have. The panel arrived in excellent shape with the extended wire as requested. When I laid the panel on the inside of the fender I immediately saw that the radius was different than that of the fender. Picture attached. So I then laid the patch on the outside of the right hand fender. It was much closer but still not perfect. Picture attached. Then I laid the two fenders together face to face. They do not match each other and these are the original fenders and have not been hit in the wheel opening area.

So the question is, how can I correct the radius of the wire edge? I'm hoping there are some people on this forum that can offer some tips. My one thought is to make up wood buck that matches the radius of the fender then cut away some of Keith's rolled edge and reform the wire to match the buck. Then weld back in some the needed rolled edge.

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated by me, and Keith, because I am sure this situation is not unique to my TR3. I think this is what you get on a hand made car.

Bill

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NRP LH panel.jpg    29.7 KB
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Panel on RH Fender.jpg    25.9 KB
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panelbeat Dave C.
N/A, N/A, USA   USA
Just tried to call you. No Ans. Dave.

TS18563L Avatar
TS18563L Keith Chapman
Fayetteville, GA, USA   USA
Simple fix but will require you to split the patch about 2 inches in from the edge and the length of your offset to maintain the integrity of the edge. Tack weld your patch panel to the fender and then the fun part.... Filling the gap you just create with a small patch and butt welds. Not sure if that's how the professionals do it but that's how I do all my work when the panels are slightly off... BTW, almost all the panels will fit different.... "Hand made"


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Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
Thanks Keith.

My friend Dave C., above, called me and had two suggestions. His first one matched yours exactly. His second was what Keith Niehaus suggested. That is to unroll the metal around the wire, flatten it, and move the wire to where it needs to be. Then rewrap the wire. Might have to add more sheet metal to acheive the wrap. This way any welding will not be on the flat part of the fender. But I think it will be more difficult to acheive the proper radius.

So, I think I'll probably go with slitting the face of the fender. As luck would have it I now to stop work on the TR again to finish up a few other minot projects.

I will post the work that I do as soon as I can.

Bill

TS18563L Avatar
TS18563L Keith Chapman
Fayetteville, GA, USA   USA
I always like to stress that I am no professional but with this fix I have actually tried both way and the one I mentioned was at least for me, by far the better results. I made all my patch panels and for me, once I get those edges nice and pretty or as close to what I am trying to achieve.... "I get away from it". I do however like to have a little extra sheet metal hangover on the edge where the joints will attach because I tend to always blow the very end edges through. This leaves me enough room to where I am not as concerned about the blow through because I will shave the ridge even at the end before rolling it over the wire. This is I believe one of the most inherit rust areas. Before wrapping the wire and after all welding I go super crazy with the rubberized undercoating.

All the best,
Keith

bltriumph Steve Choquette
Erin, ON, Canada   CAN
bad advice all round hopefully body filler is on sale in PA more info on what not to buy or where not to buy bet the A is bad too LOL

wyatt Avatar
wyatt Silver Member Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ATA
...undo the wire, flatten the flange correct the radius, then weld in material next to the wire,this way you'll have far less distortion on your panel........imho

btw you don't even need to rewrap the wire,adjust the wire so it is flush with the outside edge,then fill in behind it as you would have to do anyway,once primed and painted viola...disappeared.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-29 04:59 PM by wyatt.

Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
You make some good points Wyatt.

So now it's Keith Niehaus, Dave C. And you saying unwrap the wire. When I get a chance to get back on the project I'll certainly consider this. The big advantage as you say is less warpage of the panel.

Stay tuned.

Bill

Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
I finally found some time to work on this.

What I did was cut off the extra wire that was supplied by NRP and used that to create a small repair section that goes above the NRP panel. My first attempt to make the piece didn't turn out too good so I went to vist my friend Dave C. and he gave me a hands on demonstration on how to form a wire edge. With that knowledge fresh in my head I went home and made the one pictured below. It's a slow process but I'm happy with the results. I got a good wrap and the correct radius. I welded it in place and it fits good.

Then I unwrapped the edge on the NRP panel and moved the wire to where it needed to be and used Wyatts suggestion and did one tack weld at the end to hold it in place. Re-wrapping the wire was a real pain because there was not enough sheet metal left to make a complete wrap. I will add the needed sliver today. But, once again I got the correct radius and I'm happy with results so far. I do have some sheet metal work to do to get it all nice and flat again but that's easy compared to forming a wire edge on an arc.

Now that I know how to make a wire edge I'll probably never have to it again. Oh well, it was fun learning.

Bill


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panelbeat Dave C.
N/A, N/A, USA   USA
Cool...... really good job for a buck amateur.

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