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Body Panel Adhesive

So I’m doing some body work on my brother’s 01’ S10. Its not a restoration, more like ‘He needs this truck for 2 more years (college) and I need it to not rust away’. I’ve spent the better part of a week cutting out rust, welding in panels, and applying filler.

However, one cab corner is basically gone, so I decided to just go ahead and replace the entire panel. My local body shop suggested, under the circumstances, to just glue the panel on with an industrial glue (like Liquid Nails).

What do you guys think of this? Bear in mind, this truck is basically a beater, and the only objective here is make it last 2-3 more years. Any suggestions on over the counter adhesives that would work?

I wouldn’t recommend Liquid Nails because it is for wood, not steel. This would work bettee;

Clean off ALL the rust, epoxy won’t bond to rust. You can add a couple of sheetmetal screws to hold it in place until the epoxy dries, remove the screws and fill with more epoxy. Sand smooth, coat with a little bondo, sand, prime, paint. The repair is not for structural things but it will bond metal to metal.

If you welded the other repairs, why not this?

There are automotive body panel adhesives available;

There is a warning, not for use on structural components.

This product is not intended to bond structural components of a vehicle such pillars, rockers, or frame members. If doubt exists as to whether a particular component is structural, then that component should be welded.

Yikes! Cosmetics are one thing, but what about rust on the parts underneath that keep the driver, passengers, and those around the vehicle safe?

Brake and fuel lines, “frame” members and suspension components are all sound?

I would go to NAPA or other body shop supplier and get actual two part panel adhesive. Not cheap but I’m not a big fan of liquid nails, having seen some failures with the stuff.

Now, if you want to pass freshmen comp, be careful you don’t use “bare” instead of “bear” on a paper or it’ll get thrown in the trash. We got buy/by with it in 8th grade with only a red circle, but college is something else.

I wouldn’t use the generic “Liquid Nails” because that stuff isn’t very good. But I would use Loctite PL Premium 8x, which is amazing stuff. I’ve glued concrete blocks together with it and it works incredibly well. It will take longer to cure than epoxy, though.

Haha, take a chill pill Bing. We also learned to fully read through things in 8th grade. It’s my younger brother going to college. I’ve been their and done that. :wink:

It’s a body-on-frame, and it’s just the cab corner. So no worries about damaging a structural component. Had it on a lift and we checked all the important bits to ensure everything is solid. That was my first concern too!

The only reason I don’t just tack it, is a large portion is between the cab and bed. Which makes it impossible to get in there and weld anything. Frankly, I don’t particularly want to remove the bed.

You might could use some pop rivets in conjunction with the glue to help keep the joint strong and stay in place too. I’m not sure how JB Weld original compares to the glues mentioned above, but it seems to work pretty good for attaching one metal part to another for my purposes. I fixed a broken tubing cutter just the other day in fact w/JB Weld. I’ve never used to for gluing autobody parts together tho.

Edit: I got the rivet idea from a magazine article on a car restore project where the restorer had to get too aluminum body parts together, and he while he studied and studied and tried and tried he could never get a good weld on aluminum using the equipment he had. Finally he gave up and just riveted the parts together, thinking that’s how aluminum airplanes are pieced together and it seems to work for them. He said he wished he had done that first b/c it worked fine & trying to learn to weld aluminum turned out to be a big waste of time…

No matter what glue you use, back it up with some sheet metal screws or pop rivets.

And, yes, liquid nails is for wood.

You don’t have to remove the bed to weld in the cab corner.

Do the same thing as if you were installing a fuel pump.

Remove the hardware that secures the bed to the frame.

Then two people can tilt the bed back like a dump truck.

Then place a length of pipe/2X4 between one of the cross supports under the bed to the floor.

Everything’s exposed!


“Haha, take a chill pill Bing. I’ve been “their” and done that.”

All I can say is ugh. I hope you were joking. And then George with his “too”! Yeah time for a hard lemonade. Been a rough day.

The 3M automotive body panel adhesive that I listed can be found on Amazon for $40, is that too expensive? It is the proper adhesive for body panels.

Bayer with me, I’m developing a headache.

I’m two pooped to pop … lol …

Shoe goo is my fav and some of the rust converter, hilbilly at it’s best.

A two-part epoxy resin, like JB Weld, but designed specifically for the materials being glued, is the best thing, but some applications don’t do well with something as strong as a two-part resin. For more cosmetic applications, like attaching a wide angle mirror to your side view mirror, I prefer LocTite waterproof adhesive.

So based on all the opinions, I decided to tilt the bed back and just tack the panel in. Only snapped 1 out of 8 bed bolts, so I’d say it was a success.

Definitely the way to go, tilting the bed wasn’t nearly as difficult as I originally thought

Good advice @Tester !

Late to the game but I found out the same thing some years back. Pro friend of mine told me it was easier to partially remove the bed than to drop the fuel tank to replace the pump. Thought he was nuts. Learned the hard way he was right. Done it that way since.

Almost forgot- when I did my cab corners on an old '88 2500, it was a cheap and dirty quick job just to stop the cancer spreading. So rather than cut back to virgin metal, I just painted everything I could reach inside w/POR-15 before installing the replacement corners. It still looked like the day I did the job about 7 years later when I gave the truck away to a friend. That stuff is astounding…