Removing Belly Pan, Spot Welds?
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    1000 Post Club My location Sparky73 Sparky73's Avatar
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    Removing Belly Pan, Spot Welds?

    I am finally starting on my GT again! I got the motor pulled yesterday, so I can start body work. The belly pan needs to come off.. but I have never attempted to remove panels like this. Should the spot welds be drilled (what size bit) or ground off?

    I searched the forums with no luck, so if there is already a post about doing this, please send me that way.
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    Uber Genius My location First opel 1981 will become famous soon enough First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky73 View Post
    I am finally starting on my GT again! I got the motor pulled yesterday, so I can start body work. The belly pan needs to come off.. but I have never attempted to remove panels like this. Should the spot welds be drilled (what size bit) or ground off?

    I searched the forums with no luck, so if there is already a post about doing this, please send me that way.
    My son is a body guy and he says there is a special drill bit for drilling out spot welds.
    Otherwise, I used a 1/4 inch bit with good results.
    Opel GTs are not GM products
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    Mid-West Opeler My location sawdust is on a distinguished road sawdust's Avatar
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    before belly pan removal

    should we tack weld support braces in to hold the front end in place before the belly pan is removed?
    Projekt 2014 - Der OPEL GT
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    Just an old fart My location wrench459 will become famous soon enough wrench459's Avatar
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    Jon
    Lots of planning on how to remove the panels before any work begins.
    After the planning a very sharp center punch and the closer to center of the weld the better. I used a 5/16th cutter and plenty of patience,blood,sweat and tears.
    HTH

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    1000 Post Club My location Sparky73 Sparky73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench459 View Post
    I used a 5/16th cutter
    What do you mean by this?
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    Just an old fart My location wrench459 will become famous soon enough wrench459's Avatar
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    GA219B, Kit, Hole Cutter

    This is the unit I used on the 70 GT with good results.

    Jack of all trades master of none..well maybe one or two areas

    ok back to none again :-)

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    άber OpelGT.com Moderator My location kwilford will become famous soon enough kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky73 View Post
    I am finally starting on my GT again! I got the motor pulled yesterday, so I can start body work. The belly pan needs to come off.. but I have never attempted to remove panels like this. Should the spot welds be drilled (what size bit) or ground off?

    I searched the forums with no luck, so if there is already a post about doing this, please send me that way.
    Have a read of the "sticky" thread at:
    http://www.opelgt.com/forums/2d-body...r-arch-gt.html
    and look at the photo in post #19 for a spot weld drill.

    Then look at my photos at
    MIG Welding Bodywork 2007 - Opel Photo Gallery
    for very explicit photos (ooohhh! almost porno!!!) on how to remove a belly pan. And to repair it as well.

    HTH
    Keith Wilford
    If I could only find the time to work on my '71 Opel GT...

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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder is on a distinguished road opelspyder's Avatar
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    Belly pan removal.

    Not a fun task, but it can be done with a couple tools. There is not a need to support anything on the front end, as the belly pan offers no support to the front end, it is mearly a dressup item, and once it is removed, you will see how flimsy it is.
    You can buy a spot weld cutter (there are several out there) I use a Rotabroach/Hougen brand that is actually not a drill bit, but a round cutter bit. These last a long time, but the kit is 79-100 for 5 different size hole cutters. There are drill bits made for removal of spotwelds, but I never liked them. Another way is to pilot drill them, and grind them out with a tapered cutter (you are going to reweld the hole up anyways.

    You will also need a cutoff wheel just to cut off the 2 inch part at the front fender lip where it is brazed from the factory.

    I love body chisels!!!, Once you have the spotwelds drilled out, take a body chisel, (Offered by Steck Co), and hammer in between the seam (These are called seam busters as well). I then hammer along the flat side of the buster to cut between the spotwelded seams of the two panels. Just do not get too crazy. In the restoration of the yellow GT I am currently doing, look at the part where I am replacing the rear deck of the car, I picture these tools and what they can do.
    Keith
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    Member My location Jeepsbeme is on a distinguished road
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    If this is pretty much one of the few panels you'll be removing, you can probably get by with just a single tool. try: EW Skip Proof Spotweld Cutter

    They also carry the body chisel opelspyder raves about!
    Brian B - SE Michigan

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    άber OpelGT.com Moderator My location kwilford will become famous soon enough kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepsbeme View Post
    If this is pretty much one of the few panels you'll be removing, you can probably get by with just a single tool. try: EW Skip Proof Spotweld Cutter
    Eastwood has good quality tools for sure, but at $31.49 USD for only one 3/8" cutter it's a bit pricey. A more economic option, at half the price at $14.99 CAD (about $12 USD) for TWO cutters (one 5/16", one 3/8"), and each cutter has two cutting sides (so effectively four cutters) is this one at Princess Auto:
    2 pc spot weld cutters | Drill Accessories | Powertool Accessories | Tools | Princess Auto
    This is what I used for all of my spot weld cuts (probably over one hundred welds) and I only used three 5/16" cutter sides (two cutters, one side left unused). I found that the 3/8" cutter left too big a hole for most spot welds. I like the idea of a pilot bit on the Eastwood cutter versus the retractable pilot centre point on the PAL cutter, but I found that if I centre-punched each spot weld ahead then the cutter worked flawlessly.

    JM2CW
    Keith Wilford
    If I could only find the time to work on my '71 Opel GT...

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    tomking My location tomking is on a distinguished road tomking's Avatar
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    I have both types of spot weld cutters. Both have their pluses and minuses. The removeable/reversible type Keith mentions above is much more fragile and easier to break. So with that one take care.
    TMK

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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder is on a distinguished road opelspyder's Avatar
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    Those reversible bit cutters are junk, as they are fragile if you get the slightest bit sideways, and it is easy to do when you are not working on a true flat surface. I have yet to chip a Rotabroach cutter tip, and I use them for quite a bit of other operations. Work good for an O'ring groove cutter also
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    άber OpelGT.com Moderator My location kwilford will become famous soon enough kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opelspyder View Post
    Those reversible bit cutters are junk, as they are fragile if you get the slightest bit sideways, and it is easy to do when you are not working on a true flat surface. I have yet to chip a Rotabroach cutter tip, and I use them for quite a bit of other operations. Work good for an O'ring groove cutter also
    Um, not as durable perhaps, but junk? Au contraire mon frere. For a few spot welds, they work fine. Heck, I did about a hundred spot welds with three cutting edges. I found that the trick was indeed to be gentle, keep the cutter "flat", and don't get ramy. I found that my cordless drill provided sufficient force and speed. Too much of either and yes, I chipped the cutter teeth. If $31 for single bit isn't too expensive, then sure, get the good stuff. Otherwise, at a fraction of the cost, the reversible bit cutters are adequate IMHO.
    Keith Wilford
    If I could only find the time to work on my '71 Opel GT...

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    opel gt mom Girly_with_style is on a distinguished road Girly_with_style's Avatar
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    Question

    is there a full out photo of where all the spot welds are in the belly pan. and how easy is it to line back up when reattaching it
    That girl with the opel

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    1000 Post Club My location Sparky73 Sparky73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwilford View Post
    Have a read of the "sticky" thread at:
    http://www.opelgt.com/forums/2d-body...r-arch-gt.html
    and look at the photo in post #19 for a spot weld drill.

    Then look at my photos at
    MIG Welding Bodywork 2007 - Opel Photo Gallery
    for very explicit photos (ooohhh! almost porno!!!) on how to remove a belly pan. And to repair it as well.

    HTH
    That's pretty much going to show you what to do and where to drill. Those spot weld cutters are 100x easier than a drill bit. I've learned so much since I've been working at a body shop!
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    So do I need a 3/8" or 5/16" cutter for the spot welds? Any tips for cutting the belly pan off of the fenders?

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    Just an old fart My location wrench459 will become famous soon enough wrench459's Avatar
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    Yes
    Along with a angle drill and short drill bits.
    I found that a sturdy long handle gasket scraper sharpen on two sides also helps
    separate the welds. You might notice that the spot welds ain't the same size or shape.
    what signature?

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    tomking My location tomking is on a distinguished road tomking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyNutZ View Post
    So do I need a 3/8" or 5/16" cutter for the spot welds? Any tips for cutting the belly pan off of the fenders?
    I have both but find the 5/16 is the best size. I would go with it.
    TMK

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