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Hello everyone!

Finally bit the bullet and hit the join button, but have been lurking the forums for a while. This is one of my go-to websites for ideas and advice, so finally time to join the community.

I have a '96 Bronco that I bought about ten years ago from the original owner, and the truck has been babied for the entire existence. Then, I made the cardinal mistake- I loaned it to my parents for them to use to move, which took forever, and it got stuck with them down in Florida since everything shut down in spring. My precious truck has been baking in the sun and rusting in the rain for almost a year, and now has some rust bubbling up in three quarter-sized spots, a slow seep when it rains from the driver side window weather stripping being toast, and is in dire need of a paint job.

Most of the posts I have seen online are (short-term) patches with bondo or the like, or real repairs with welding involved. HOWEVER, I have seen intriguing mentions of repairs that involve rivets rather than welding, but nothing solid can be found after days of research online. Unless I'm searching the wrong places, which is possible. I'm not welding anything personally on the truck to make a repair, but I know my way around some rivets and would love to know more about how this has been done. I'm pretty good on rivets/materials/hole diameters/edge distances/countersinking, but my question comes in about how to blend the patch. When a patch is made on aircraft skin, you aren't worried about making it blend with the existing skin, but what would be used on a truck body? Fiberglass, bondo? I want to have the patches done right, but would also like to be the one to make the repairs, and my knowledge stops short of welding. Going to break down and visit a repair shop if the blending can't be figured out, but a post here was absolutely worth a shot!
 

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Yo Jet_Noise,
Welcome to our site with the Best Year Big Bronco Ever Made⚠ (we have a 96 too, bought new)😎

1980 - 1996 Ford Bronco Bulged Rear FIBERGLASS Quarter Panels 3 Inch Flare
169419
169420

SKU: BS306
Nicely bulged Rear quarter panels for all 80-96 Broncos. 3 inch bulge with 3 1/2" larger wheel opening. With or without gas door provision on left side. Use Dzus fasteners or Autofab panel mounts to mount these panels. Cut 90% of the original sheetmetal leaving a perimeter shaped with tabs to fasten mounts to. These panels are modeled after the 1987 - 1996 Bronco rear quarter panels on the wheel flare. Please send a note with order regarding gas door option. Gas door option $50 extra to be billed with shipment charge. Available with Gas Door recessed area for late model style gas doors and fill necks. See 3rd photo
Availability: Made to order and priced for both sides.
Shipping: Must be shipped by truck freight
Pricing: $750.00 @ 1980 - 1996 Ford Bronco Bulged Rear Quarter Panels 3 Inch Flare
They also offer "6 inch bulge with 3 1/2" larger wheel opening. With or without gas door provision on left side."

Quarter Panel Replacement w/adhesive:
See 1986 FSB Restoration Project (56K Warning) by Xris @ 1986 FSB Restoration Project (56K Warning)
He used 3M Duramix Large Panel Adhesive for his 1/4 panels
"...the rockers I have go over the existing and up the door jamb. So I'll fabricate the missing spots (very minor) and use the Duramix in combination with pop rivets to give it added strength. ...."

Quarter Panel Replacement w/adhesive Tip on an 86 by Sixlitre (Malcolm H, Eddie Bauer) at 1986 Ford Bronco Quarter panel adhesive pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net

Others have used SEM 3M 8219 adhesive, etc.

Panel Repair- Eastwood's No-Weld Panel Repair Kit
Repairs with patch panels or custom fabricated panels utilizing our panel adhesive can be done with structural integrity far superior to rivets themselves. Repair fenders, quarter panels, trunk floors, firewalls, doors or floor

Was speed control recall work, if equipped, completed?
Check @ Recalls Look-up by VIN (Vehicle Identification Number); or @ Welcome to Ford Owner | Official Ford Owner Site; or ... have VIN ready. While there, see most Ford dealer maintenance/repairs done @ any dealership nation-wide.
"Summary: ON CERTAIN PICKUP TRUCKS, PASSENGER VEHICLES, SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, AND MOTOR HOMES CHASSIS, THE SPEED CONTROL DEACTIVATION SWITCH MAY, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, LEAK INTERNALLY AND THEN OVERHEAT, SMOKE, OR BURN. THIS COULD RESULT IN AN UNDERHOOD FIRE."
To confirm current status, use this guide by jowens1126 @ 93 & 94-96 Cruise Control Recalls Repair
Note that the 93 recall is different than the 94-96 recall.

For any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories (75 posts required to participate due to scammers who preyed on our members.).

To save you time and for better responses, please fill out your Bronco info with location, year, engine size, transmission type, transfer case type (manual or electric shift), locking hub type (automatic or manual) info & major mods such as a Lift, etc. .
Bronco info is now able to be put under your user name.
Click your profile button in the top right and go to account settings.


On that first page, named Account Details,
View attachment 154412

scroll down to "Vehicle Info" and type in up to 100 characters.
Now you can simply enter your information in the text editor and click save.

See Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links (lots and lots of tech links), includes "how do I get the tailgate glass to...", etc.

Here's the 1996 Bronco/F-Series Workshop Manual partial

96 Bronco Owner's Guide, Maintenance Schedules & Parts and Accessories by Ford @ Owner Manuals | fleet.ford.com

96 Bronco Dealer Brochure @ 1996 Ford Bronco Technical Info pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net ... scroll down

96 Bronco Quick Tips Brochure Excerpts & some Eddie Bauer options @ 1983 Ford Bronco 96 EB Bronco Brochures pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net

Register to see most Ford dealer maintenance/repairs done @ any dealership nation-wide @ Welcome to Ford Owner | Official Ford Owner Site .

See our Sites' FAQs, includes for example:
How To Save (Bookmark) Threads Or Posts
How To Search The Site
What is the Difference Between the Showcase and Gallery

Try to find time to participate and vote in our Full-Size of the Month Contest & later in the year, Full-Size of the Year Contest @ Voting
You will get ideas by those competing. See the prizes!
Al
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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181 Posts
If they are near the coast, the bubbling you see can just be the tip of the ice berg unfortunately. The only way to get it out and put a stop to it is to cut it out. If its on the fender lips, some folks have put some fender flares on that cover up those places. Anything short of cutting out the rust and replacing with clean metal is a band-aid that will eventually bleed back through.
As far as the weather strip goes, got to do your research on that stuff, if you can find original ford thats the best, some of the aftermarket stuff is super thick and the doors are hard to shut, even if you adjust the crap out of it. Unless you are talking about the window channel felts...now those are fairly easy to replace, and the aftermarket ones are just fine.

EDIT: Oh yeah, as far as welding goes...now's a great time to go buy a cheap 110v mig welder and get you some sheet metal and practice. Welding, like anything else, is 90% preparation. Or you could find one of these hands that works at a body shop, pay him some cash to do the metal work, then you can follow up with the finishing work. I suck and pulling dents, and i have a local body shop i take them parts to sometimes, i just ask them to pull the dents, then i get some bondo and filler primer and finish it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Holy crap, that is a gold mine of information you posted, @miesk5 . Thank you!! I've got everything loading in tabs now to do some reading tonight, haha. As for the recall, I believe it was taken care of? The switch was replaced in 2008, per the records. I don't use the cruise control, so hadn't looked in to the repair to be completely honest. Going to see what I can find out since the original owner passed away and his wife knew nothing of the truck and couldn't answer many questions. But I got it for a steal, so didn't mind too much that she was unsure of some details. I'll add my truck info, too. I figured it was somewhere under the account, but hadn't done too much digging quite yet...

@robbz28 Yeah, I think it's going to be a removal of old metal and replace somehow to make it a real repair and not a bandaid. They are in central Florida, but 99% of the state is a swamp, so it's all the same. Hopefully I can get the rivet idea to pan out, though, because I've done welding many times and can "weld", but ugly is a step in the right direction from my welding results.

EDIT: I'll see what I can find for the weather stripping. I haven't gotten it back yet, so only have seen the damage from photos after an apologetic phone call. Not sure the full extent of what I'm going to find, but thanks for the heads up about doing my research on that stuff!
 

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For the rivet to hold, the head of the rivet must survive, meaning you can’t grind it off. My point is, I don’t understand how using rivets you return the body to smooth and straight as adding bondo just to cover the rivet dimples will require bondo over a large area at the depth or height of the rivet head. Body work, isn’t tough to do or to learn to do, in fact I enjoy it.

if you have access to air tools and cut off wheel, cut out the bad, get cardboard to fit the opening. If you can tack weld, you can do this. A tack every inch or so around the opening, then keep tacking until your solid. Take grinder to smooth out welds, hit it with bondo, hand sand it smooth and paint with rattle can primer. Finding the patch metal and getting it shaped correctly is or can be the hardest part.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My thought was actually to do a flat patch. You cut out the damage, grind it back to a nice area that is rust free, then cut a patch to fit. You then need to cut a backing piece to go behind the seam between the existing metal and the patch, giving yourself proper edge distance to keep structural integrity. Using countersunk rivets and a dog's leg or other type tool to make the divots in your patch and skin, attach the patch piece to the backing plate, then rivet the backing piece to the skin. If you have the same or similar material thickness of patch as to the existing metal, there should only be a thin seam between the two metal pieces to fill and little to no step down between them. Bondo or some other filler could be used to take care of the seam and make it blend.

My main question is about the filler. There are horror stories everywhere about Bondo and fiberglass, so I was more looking for advice about better filler ideas. I'm sorry if this comes across as condescending, because I really don't mean to be one of those know-it-all noobs so much as following logic that as this type of patch is standard in aviation, if I can put it on a wing of a plane that flies in the sky, it should also work on a truck. Hopefully the truck never sees air like that! Would be a bad day. :rolleyes:
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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All of that cutting and overlapping is going to leave space for moisture to get trapped behind and eventually rust out. Just get a 150 dollar cheapo welder (because you don't need a lot of power to stitch up sheet metal) and you don't want to run a seam, you just want to make several little tacks all around it until its secured. The longer you squeeze the trigger the more heat builds and the more the metal warps. It don't have to be pretty. Little half second zaps here and there until you have it nice and secure, then you can follow that up with a flap disk then bondo, then filler primer, then done.
If you wanted to "smooth out" a rivet head you would have to have HEAPS of bondo to blend up the panel to cover the rivet and make it smooth, then if it's too thick it can crack. You're talking to someone who has seen and done a lot of this stuff you are talking about and just do it right the first time, lots of good videos on youtube, and auto body forums just like this one.
 
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