CJ Sheetmetal Work: Part 2
The last time we were in the Quick Draw Jeep Restoration shop we got a first glimpse at the rare CJ-6 Tuxedo Park Mark IV that had just been rolled into the shop. It looked pretty clean at first glance, but this Jeep had been rear-ended, and there were some serious issues that needed to be fixed. The rear of the frame was bent in several spots and the body had buckled slightly in a couple of places. That was the damage from the wreck, but there was also some damage that had to be fixed from the previous “restoration.” Dave and Preston are the father-son operation known as Quick Draw Jeep Restoration in Huntsville, Utah. Sharing generations of experience, it didn’t take these Jeep experts long to discover as much as a 3/8-inch coating of body filler in places.
These guys are making quality bodywork cool again by turning out some factory-perfect Jeep restorations. All of that old iron is showing its age and past abuse, which usually requires some sheetmetal work. Quick Draw recommends that the sheetmetal be sandblasted before any paint job you want done well. A reputable sandblaster with experience in automotive body panels is a must. Too much heat (from friction of the sand on the steel) can warp panels and create more work in the long run. If sandblasting is skipped, then there will be a lot of hand sanding to be done—especially in all of the corners, panel joints, and other nooks and crannies—so that the new paint can properly adhere. Otherwise, your paint will prematurely peel, and that peeling will spread over time. In humid locations it may be a good idea to have the sandblaster epoxy-coat your parts for an additional cost so that the parts do not rust again during the bodywork process. Quick Draw Jeep Restoration is conveniently located in a dry desert climate, so the body was left as bare steel to make panel repair quicker and easier, as the epoxy primer doesn’t need to be removed to do necessary welding. Without further rambling, let’s get on with tips, tricks, and how these pros do sheetmetal right.