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View Full Version : Metal Shop in Front Range for custom Quarter Panels?


EWheeler
02-16-2009, 01:36 PM
I am looking for a contact in the front range (or anywhere really) of a metal shop that has the capability to roll 3/16" plate steel to a 6" radius. I want to make some new quarterpanels for my rig similar to the Budbuilt pieces. See link:http://www.budbuilt.com/new/cruiser_parts.html


Any suggestions appreciated :beer:

sleeoffroad
02-16-2009, 01:59 PM
Honestly, by the time you find someone to do that custom, you might as well buy them from Bud, unless he does not have what you want.

EWheeler
02-16-2009, 02:04 PM
You think it would be more than $350 + shipping (easily $100+) from Pensylvania? I know you know your fabrication so I repect your opinion. I am not looking for the wheel wells to be cut out, I just want a blank rectangle with a 6" radius and I will trim to fit my rig. I am not a huge fan of his corners because the radius is actually step "rolled" in a brake so it is not a smooth radius.

treerootCO
02-16-2009, 02:20 PM
Buy a sheet of 3/16 and a short length of 6" 3/16th pipe. Cut, weld, and repeat. You could also find a 6" radius somewhere and go to town with a 3lb mallet. It takes time but you will eventually bend it 90.

EWheeler
02-16-2009, 02:46 PM
I have thought about that. I will not spend $450 + to buy the Budbuilt ones. I will buy a sheet of 3/16", find a 12" dia pipe, and put some money towards a oxy/actylene torch setup if it comes down to it. I know that will cost me more but I will have another tool in my shed afterwards. I was just hoping I could get the blank sheets rolled somewhere to save the time of doing it myself, and also save some cash over the Budbuilt ones. Looks like that's not going to happen.

isotel
02-16-2009, 03:59 PM
Buy a sheet of 3/16 and a short length of 6" 3/16th pipe. Cut, weld, and repeat.

This is what i was thinking of doing..

Rolling 3/16" on a 6" radius takes a beast of a machine!

Let me know if you find a shop capable of it! i would like to have some made for mine!

Beater
02-16-2009, 04:13 PM
you are looking at a 80k machine to do that roll, and I don't mean dollars. buy them.

I have a powered roller that gave up the ghost at 10ga, and it is a serious slip roll.

sleeoffroad
02-16-2009, 04:19 PM
I assumed his was rolled as well. I can see why a step break is not the ideal. Making these would not be cheap on a 1-off deal.

nuclearlemon
02-16-2009, 06:04 PM
i've bent the thin diamond plate aluminum corners on a telephone pole before. i didn't do the corners on the current cruiser cause they were too thick, but you could strap or winch the corners around the pole

EWheeler
02-16-2009, 07:56 PM
Haha, I actually thought about trying to use my winch and a light pole in my parking lot. I don't think the condo HOA would like it too much if I pulled their light pole over, they already hate me becuase of my cruiser :(

Groucho
02-17-2009, 08:12 AM
Honestly, by the time you find someone to do that custom, you might as well buy them from Bud, unless he does not have what you want.
Very True.

You think it would be more than $350 + shipping (easily $100+) from Pensylvania? I know you know your fabrication so I repect your opinion. I am not looking for the wheel wells to be cut out, I just want a blank rectangle with a 6" radius and I will trim to fit my rig. I am not a huge fan of his corners because the radius is actually step "rolled" in a brake so it is not a smooth radius.
More than $450 for a custom 6" radius tool? I think you are looking at a $5k-$10k tool, plus the cost of someone running it on their machine. OEM runs nowhere near that thickness, so stamping it out one-hit like is not going to be cost effective either.

Buy a sheet of 3/16 and a short length of 6" 3/16th pipe. Cut, weld, and repeat. You could also find a 6" radius somewhere and go to town with a 3lb mallet. It takes time but you will eventually bend it 90.Your result will probably look worse than the step-bent ones, but Jesse James does that stuff all the time (albeit with much lighter gauge material), so you may get a result you like.

I have thought about that. I will not spend $450 + to buy the Budbuilt ones. I will buy a sheet of 3/16", find a 12" dia pipe, and put some money towards a oxy/actylene torch setup if it comes down to it. I know that will cost me more but I will have another tool in my shed afterwards. I was just hoping I could get the blank sheets rolled somewhere to save the time of doing it myself, and also save some cash over the Budbuilt ones. Looks like that's not going to happen.
First, you are looking to get a part with a flat section on both ends and a roll in the middle. A slip roller will not be able to do this. Once you put the material into a slip roller, assuming you have one with a 3/16" thickness capacity, it starts rolling as soon as it goes in.

Honestly, the Budbuilt ones look very respectable with regards to the step-bends. They tried to keep die marks out of the end result, which is always nice. My opinion? Get the bud built ones. Then take an orbital sander with some 36 grit paper and sand down the inconsistencies resulting from the step bends on the outside. You will be surprised on how fast that will happen.

I am speculating on the actual size of the parts here, but for just the 3/16" material alone is close to (If not over) $200, then you will be paying someone to form them. To do a one hit 6" bend would require specialized tooling that you have already read will not come cheap. It amazes me that people underestimate what bending a piece of 3/16" thick plate consistently will require, especially one that is 12"-18" long.

Lastly, do you really need 3/16"? That is 4x as thick as the OEM body panels, and about as many times as heavy. You will need a HD lift kit to keep your springs from sagging!:D It seems like asking for a cosmetic part would allow for thinner material, which frees up more options. If it is strength and durability that is desired, then orbital sanding the inconsistencies out of the BudBuilt ones seems like the best compromise between strength and cosmetics. Trying to bend that on your own may result in something better, but how much time and money are you prepared to spend to get it right?

My :twocents:. But what do I know?

Hulk
02-17-2009, 11:27 AM
Another option: call Lance at Iron Pig Off Road (http://ironpigoffroad.com/fab/panels.shtml) to ask about Heritage steel body parts. You can see his ad at Heritage Sheet Metal (http://heritagesheetmetal.com/).

IPOR sells the Heritage body panels that are made from the original Toyota dies. You can get OEM thickness or premium panels that are thicker than OEM.

Please keep us in the loop as to what you do!

EWheeler
02-17-2009, 01:28 PM
Grouch, sorry if I came off as assuming this would be a piece of cake. I do not work in the fabrication industry so I have no idea what something like this would cost. I do understand that the equipment is expensive, the material is expensive, and labor is expensive, but do not know to what extent so that is why I was inquiring. There are some individuals on MUD from the east coast and also california that have had new plate quarters made at steel shops for what they claimed "fairly cheep". They did not disclose the cost or their relationship to the shops that did the work. Maybe it was a close relative and they had the plate laying around so it cost next to nothing. I am Joe Blow walking in off the street so I am well aware I am not going to get any kind of "deals". All I wanted to do was do some research and determine if it was an option or not. I appreciate your input :thumb:


Hulk, thanks for the Heritage suggestion but that is not the direction I am looking to go. The whole purpose of this is to replace my rusted out quarter panels with something that can take some abuse. I want to be able to lean up against a tree or a rock and not totally beat my junk up. I will also be doing a comp cut on my wheel wells as I am extending my wheel base, so I don't want to pay premium price for a panel designed with the stock wheel wells, only to cut most of it away.

Thanks for everyone's opinions, keep em comming. If I find a good solution, I will be sure to share.

Red_Chili
02-17-2009, 02:09 PM
Call Bud and see what he can do for you.

Beater
02-17-2009, 05:08 PM
the killer is 3/16ths plate here. Also, Denver is not exactly steel fabrication headquarters...

3/16ths is NOT sheet metal, that's plate. Is the fj40 quarter really just a 6" radius and not a complex concentric radius bend?

I find that it doubtful that this is just a simple 6" radius.

teamextreme
02-17-2009, 07:10 PM
I guess I have to re-measure my radius. I've got the same plans and when I measured the radius off a cardboard template, I came up with a 12 inch radius. That sound coincidental, 6 versus 12, like one of us is talking diameter, but I know I didn't measure diameter. I'll re-measure tonight. If I'm wrong I'm glad I saw this before proceeding with the wrong dimension.

My plan was to either do it myself using a torch and a length of steel pipe of the same radius/diameter and heating/bending/hammering it around the pipe. Or I have a buddy that has had several Jeep corners (much smaller radius) rolled at a shop he works with near Sante Fe & Evans (don't know the name though).

EWheeler
02-17-2009, 11:17 PM
Post #19. 6" radius (I have not measured them myself to confirm). At least from the pics, they are good enough for what I am trying to do. Also seems that he had these done in a brake similar to the Bud-built corners. I did not notice this previously and this may be the approach I need to take. Any recommendations? :D

http://forum.ih8mud.com/40-55-series-tech/191245-anyone-making-thick-guage-corners-bedsides-smooth-steel.html

I am not set on 3/16" material (and I am well aware that 3/16" is plate NOT sheet metal), but seeing as Budbuilt, a gentlemen by the name of Walter Moses (makes one off BOMBER cruiser panels up in New England), and darn near every crusher corner for a Jeep uses 3/16" material I figured this is what I should try for. There must be a reason they use 3/16" material? Obviously as many have stated, it is not because it is a cheaper material or easier to manufacture!!! I am open to using thinner material if it allows me to get the panels fabricated, I just do not want to go with sheet metal.

Groucho
02-18-2009, 07:46 AM
My assumption from your original thread was that you did not have a lot of experience or knowledge of metal manufacturing. I hope my post did not come off as negative. It was meant as informative. :)

Plus, out of all the gobble-di-gook info I did write, my suggestion was that you would really be money ahead to get the bud-built ones (or I could recommend a shop locally who could do what you want--a quarter panel without the wheel-well cut out, then step bent like you need for the corner) and sand down the step-bend inconsistencies.

Like Beater said, this isn't the fab capital of the country. There are sections of the mid-west that have shops scattered all over who have much lower rates, probably have "drop" from other jobs that, for one-offs, might work so they get rid of it at cost. Plus there are always cases of a guy who does this on the weekends at work that when the boss isn't looking he whips out a couple of fender pieces. Since it didn't cost him nothing but his time, the price can be pretty cheap.

Beater
02-18-2009, 02:57 PM
let's try it this way:

ever wonder why only 1 or 2 people do this? buy the ones someone is already to go through the pain...

j

teamextreme
02-18-2009, 06:48 PM
I guess I have to re-measure my radius. I've got the same plans and when I measured the radius off a cardboard template, I came up with a 12 inch radius.

Ok, I wish I could chalk it up to drinking or something, but I can't. I confirmed and it is a 6" radius. I had 12" stuck in my head cause that's the diameter of pipe I needed to find to use as a bending die if I do it that way. DUH.

Beater
02-19-2009, 02:06 PM
matching the same radius will not provide the correct die. you need to formulate metal type, as well as thickness to account for spring back.

you will also need to account for the elongation and shrinking of the metal if done in a mechanized roller.

another reason to buy from someone who has fought the battles and decided they can do it for a profit. I can assure you, there margin will not be that high..