Both front fenders on my 23 Touring have no metal left where they bolt to the running boards, due to serious rust out. I can't locate any patch panels so I would appreciate some ideas on how others have repaired their fenders.
Sometimes it's better to find better fenders. This may be one of those times. Personally, that's what I would do. Otherwise, you may be able to locate some fenders that are bad for other reasons and salvage the bottom ends to weld to your fenders. However, most fenders rot out the same way yours did.
If your fenders are in otherwise good condition, you can find a piece of sheetmetal the same thickness and form your own "patch panels" And weld on to your fenders. Then grind off the bead on the top side which shows and you will be good as new. By the way, I think you can get reproduction fenders for that year car. If not, good used ones show up at swap meets.
Don't throw them out. There are people who can fab those parts from scratch.
I have a rust issue on the lip where the running board bolts onto the left rear fender. My paint and body man didn't seem too concerned. It will involve some new metal, welding & grinding before painting.
I think that most of the area needing repair will be hidden as the running board is on top of the fender in this area. I said I think.
Paul in Tacoma
With the cost of having a shop cut out the bad metal and put in new, its easier to come up with a better part and cheaper. Unless you do the work yourself..I had to have a 26 fenders cut out where the running board meets the fender and have just a piece of metal from a local company welded in the bad spot. Depends on the cost of the metal fab and the availability of used sheet metal in your area!!
One of my T friends can weld two halves of a fender together, and when he's done, you can't tell from top or bottom--and that's before painting!