Tire Carrier Patch Panels

There was alot of miscellaneous rust to deal with.  Yeah, sure, buying full panels would have been easier, maybe, but they are expensive.  We already had some 16 gauge sheet metal lying around so we decided to turn the tub into one giant puzzle.
 
Tire Carrier Rust








 The factory tire carrier included a plate on the inside of the tub for strength that held moisture and caused some rust headaches.  We cut out all the rust and this is what we were left with.








 After making a paper template, we traced the pattern onto sheet metal, and tested its fitment several times.  These body clamps are quite handy for holding the panel in place prior to welding.
placing the patch panel
 
 
Stitch welding








 This was actually my first attempt at welding, and in my opinion, stitch welding patch panels is a good place to start.  The idea is to jump around so as not to heat the panels to the point of warping.
 








Here the panel fully tacked into place, at this point all thats left is to fill in the gaps.
Stitched patch panel
 
 
Ground down stich welds








 After filling in the gaps, we ground the weld down and were left with this.  The panel did warp a little, but all in all, I was pleased with this first shot at welding.