Hand Forming Model T Door Patch Panels

Model T Door Patch Panels
Hand Forming Model T Door Patch Panels

Anyone who’s torn into a pre-war hot rod project knows rust is a fact of life.

While the selection of patch panels for these cars is still decent, throwing money at the problem just won’t work for a budget hot rod.

Dan from Winnipeg’s DD Speed Shop started with one of the roughest $ 300-yard art Model T we’ve seen in a while. The young builder figured out how to replace the bottom half of his rotted Model T with some basic hand tools.

Using a set of body dollies and a hammer, Dan formed the inner and outer structure of his rotted doors from flat steel in a couple of hours.

While the patch panels are available, it’s hardly worth putting $400 into doors on a tub he got for just $300 out of a ditch in rural Canada.

Forming the skins and edge trim in a few pieces ends up being a time-saver on Model T parts — most curves are not complex and can be replicated with no machines involved.

Tackling one flat section at a time saves on fitment and makes adjustments easy later.

Following the same simple recipe on the inside of each door, Dan hammered the new patches right over the rotted sections of the structure and used a cutoff wheel to remove them when the panel fitment was right.

This method also helps maintain the structure of the door, as the weak metal is not cut out until new metal is tacked into the car.

With a little practice and careful hammering, even the most rotten doors can be saved on the cheap in a few hours.