Joe and Patty Reed have a lot in common with our Editorial Director Brian Brennan; they are all very passionate about two things: great hamburgers and vintage trucks. You see, Joe and Patty Reed are the owners of Brakeman American Grill in Victor, Idaho, and they are longtime hot rodders. Brennan, on the other hand, loves to consume their hamburgers, and he too is a longtime hot rodder. It's a proverbial match made in heaven.
And so, while scarfing down a famous burger at Brakeman's last month, talk turned to Joe's latest project, a '61 Chevrolet Apache Panel Delivery. Finding a decent '61 C10 is getting tougher by the day, and finding a Panel is even more difficult. For that reason Joe wasn't concerned with the rusted fenders, he was simply glad to have a complete and fairly solid panel truck in his shop. Joe has always done all the work on his vehicles so he was both qualified and prepared for the upcoming project.
As it turned out, the big brown truck had just delivered panels from LMC to repair the front fenders and our pal Brennan figured he should follow along as Joe handled the rust repair the following day. As quick as you can say "I'll have fries with that," they were in the shop.
The process is quite straightforward, but like any repair if you don't take your time and measure and mark things properly you'll most likely run into some problems. LMC panels fit perfectly and the fact that they have the structural fender brackets makes it a complete repair using all-new parts. With that in mind it always pays to first inventory all the parts to be certain you have everything you need to complete the repair. Holding, clamping, and fitting panels and brackets in place over the rusted area before any cutting is done will dramatically lower your chances of error. It's the same old rule, measure twice, cut once.
After one day in the shop Joe had both front fenders repaired and he was well on his way to having a rust-free Apache Panel Delivery. Follow along to see how the process works.
1. Joe Reed checks out the condition of the bolts holding his rusted front fender in place. The '61 Chevrolet Apache Panel has typical front fender rust. The rest of the truck is pretty solid.
2. The rust problem is clearly defined, with the exact shape of the inner fender brace providing the silhouette of rust. Dirt, debris, and water become trapped between the inner brace and the fender to produce rust in this area.
3. Removing the upper fender bolts proved to be easy enough. At this point Joe is simply loosening the bolt to ensure there would be no problem removing the fender later.
4. Happily, the area above the fender and between the hood and door was in good condition, no structural rust in this area at all. This is another area that often gets rusty due to collected dirt and debris.
5. When you remove a fender bolt take special care to collect all of the shims and place them in a marked bag for reassembly. This will save you a lot of alignment time later.
6. A quick test-fit of the LMC lower patch panel proves the panel fits the fender perfectly. Always test-fit and examine all panels before cutting them up.
7. Certain the panel will fit, Nelley Dolgaia scribes the line while Joe holds the panel in place.
8. This line should be the actual cut line. As you can see, the LMC panel will take care of all the rust in one easy process, but don't cut that line just yet.
9. Proving this isn't Joe's first time at rust repair, he opts to cut slightly below the line, this leaves a little metal that can be trimmed for a perfect fit later.
10. A piece of masking tape makes for an easy guide to follow in the cutoff process. Once again notice the tape is slightly below the scribe line.