Real Steel Fitment Advice

Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
197
Location
Renton, WA
Rear doors came out well but the inner patch for the front door doesn’t even come close to matching. Any advice from someone whose been through this?

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Joined
Dec 2, 2002
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16,646
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Helena MT
are those pieces for the correct year doors that you have?
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
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Location
Renton, WA
Yup, they only offer one kind of front door patch. Should fit all front doors 75+ The rear doors are different because they went to a rounded corner in 79+
 

dmaddox

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Nov 7, 2003
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Long Island, NY
I have experienced fitment issues on door bottoms, quarter panels and rear channel (complete). I had to cut and fit and cut again on almost every part to make them work.
These panels (like most others) are not a 100% direct fit. They are intended to be used by body shops and experienced fabricators. The moment you try to fit like for like part, you'll see the tolerances are sometimes 1/2"!

I've yet to find a company that makes a direct replacement body panel that DIDN'T require some manner of fabrication.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
197
Location
Renton, WA
Totally understand, the rear door patches were a little wider than the doors so they had to be opened up and closed to move them in. Like I get it but… there’s a difference between some fabrication and tweaks vs. trying to match this. The stamped ridges aren’t even in the ballpark. It shouldn’t take that much work just to join these let alone try to match a factory curvature.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
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Location
Renton, WA
Hmmm. Mine are identical. Its possible they sent me two of the same. It’s getting there. I have a person more skilled than I tackling this bit. Still lots to do, will have to cut and sink more to match the curve but it will come together. The edges can be pulled in.

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wimberosa

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Nov 8, 2017
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135
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Durango Colorado
I just posted a comment regarding CCOT doors panels in my build thread. The insides seem to work ok for CCOT but the outside skin is wrong. The relief along the outer edge is about 1/3" off on mine....resulting in basically having to hammer out the panel and then re-bend it.

 
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
197
Location
Renton, WA
The real steel rear door patch panels were too wide as well. They had to be opened up and re-folded to get the correct width to match the doors. There’s room for improvement but I am thankful there’s some products. It’s far better than trying to piece in new metal
 
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Oct 4, 2022
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Harbor Washington
Has anyone worked with defenders northwest Brian hall in gig harbor washington. It looks like they are scamming us on a restoration project. Here is a link to the complaint that we filed:
 

wimberosa

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Nov 8, 2017
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135
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Durango Colorado
I think my current plan is to thin down and brush on my epoxy primer on the inside of those new panel seams. If yours is like mine there
is rust crud in every seam on my door so I'm swishing Krud Kutter Rust remover around in those old seams.....cleaning it out
with a bit of brake kleen and then swishing the thinned primer down into every crevice. Follow it up with a bit of seam
sealer on the back side of those welds. When you butt weld like that there is a seam on the underside that has voids
in it that really need to be air/water tight so rust doesn't come back in that seam. I'm on a path of insanity though
right now.....so this thought process may have different mileage when I get further into it.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
197
Location
Renton, WA
Agreed. The overlapping untreated metal is an issue. I’ve found rust everywhere. I’m so far into this that I’m committed to my current path. If I were doing it over, I’d take the tub, frame and every panel to a place that fully submerges it in a chemical bath that would eliminate all that rust then zinc dip it. I just have to accept that even with all this work I’ll be the old guy with the rusty FJ40 decades from now
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2015
Messages
302
Location
SW Colorado
Agreed. The overlapping untreated metal is an issue. I’ve found rust everywhere. I’m so far into this that I’m committed to my current path. If I were doing it over, I’d take the tub, frame and every panel to a place that fully submerges it in a chemical bath that would eliminate all that rust then zinc dip it. I just have to accept that even with all this work I’ll be the old guy with the rusty FJ40 decades from now
Don't feel too bad. Toyota put nothing in between lap joints all over these rigs and they've lasted this long. Do what you can. It will last another 50 years.
 

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