Problem with the Fuel Door Area on a 2000 Bonneville SSEI: Readers Respond - BodyShop Business

Problem with the Fuel Door Area on a 2000 Bonneville SSEI: Readers Respond

In my April column, I described a problem I was having with the fuel door area on my daughter’s 2000 Bonneville SSEI and asked you, our readers, for creative solutions. And boy did you respond!

Well, actually, it’s winners. Since this is my game, I changed the rules.

If you recall, in my April column, I described a problem I was having with the fuel door area on my daughter’s 2000 Bonneville SSEI. The area was rotted out, and I fixed it, but the fix only lasted a year and came back. So I asked you, the professionals, for a creative solution.

There were three entries that really stood out. One of them is the exact process I ended up using, another is just plain well-written and very complete step by step, and the other one is, well, an excellent example of creative writing.

Let’s start with the one I used to fix it. Jim Huff from Huff’s Autobody in New Jersey hit the repair dead on. As you can see by the pictures, I cut out the old repair, created a patch and flanged it. Then, I panel bonded it in place with screws, removed the screws and did a traditional fill, feather and paint. I will say the lip around the fuel door was a bit challenging, but we got it done. Thanks, Jim!

The second entry was very complete and came to us from Chris Randall of Finest Auto Body in Minnesota. Chris’s entry was very creative and provided a solution for the fuel door lip issue. His idea was to find a different vehicle in the yard that had a fuel door opening the same size and shape that into a patch
panel. Pretty creative, I thought, but we did not have access to a yard.

The third entry was literary genius. Frankly, I think some OEs could use someone like Nathan Bagby of Liss CARSTAR Collision Center in Schererville, Ind., to write their repair manuals. It was “repair for dummies,” which in this case was perfect. It included every step necessary. It was highly creative and even included the use of exotic materials such as chicken wire and old stop signs. The part I really liked was that Nathan included some humor.

In the end, the vehicle was repaired, my daughter learned from the experience, and we had a little fun here in the pages of BodyShop Business. And there were three winners!

Thanks, guys, for participating. And here’s to the next project!

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