Have you ever wondered what it takes to get rid of unused body panels on a truck? With most ‘bagged or body-dropped trucks, moving the factory gas tank or swapping it to a new fuel cell seems to be normal when changing the rear frame section of a truck to add air suspension. By doing this, the factory gas filler location usually won’t work anymore, so you’re left with a gas door to nowhere. 

We know that the crew at Phat Phabz in Choctaw, Oklahoma, relocates a lot of fuel fillers with most of their builds, so we reached out to them to see if they can show us the basic steps to getting rid of a factory gas door. They were currently working on a new Chevy Silverado that needed the gas door shaved, so it was perfect timing.

Of course, the process of cutting and welding metal on a truck is a learned trade, so we don’t see this as a step-by-step guide to how to shave a gas door, but more of a look into what it takes to make a modification like this happen. After the process you see here, the truck bed goes off to a body shop where they mud it in, smooth it out, and paint it so it’s like the gas door was never there.

Follow along and see how much work is involved to making a gas door disappear.

01. We start by mapping off a square/rectangle around the original fuel door opening.

02. Cut on the inside of the pattern with a cut-off wheel or body saw.

03. This is the removed piece from the bedside.

04. File and deburr the inside of the cuts to remove any debris or excess material.

05. Measure and cut a piece of cold rolled sheetmetal from like-thickness material. Drill a hole in a corner to prepare for a Cleco fastener.

With most ‘bagged or body-dropped trucks, moving the factory gas tank or swapping it to a new fuel cell seems to be normal when changing the rear frame section of a truck to add air suspension  

06. Attach a Cleco fastener into the corner. Then proceed to drill the other three corners and attach fasteners as you go. Mark an arrow on the panel signifying an upward direction. This will make sure the panel is fitted in the same direction every time.

07. Spray Dykem Blue layout fluid onto the back of panel.

08. Scribe a line into the Dykem spray from the inside of the bedside. This marks where to cut.

09. Shown is the scribed line of where to cut/trim.

10. We use a table band saw to cut and trim the excess. This can also be done with a cut-off wheel.

11. Test fit the trimming.

12. Remove the paint/primer/sealer down to bare metal. A clean surface is a good surface to weld to.

13. Using magnets, fit the panel into place.

14. We use butt weld clamps, which create a small gap for the weld to sit into as well as keeping the panel flush. This allows for the weld to stay after grinding.

15. Start to tack weld between each clamp.

16. Tacked pieces are shown, and the clamps can start to be removed after the panel is fitted and secured.

17. Slowly tack about every inch, leaving a good amount of time between tacks to prevent warping. Now is the time to practice patience. Being in a hurry will warp these panels and create a lot of mud work.

18. Fully weld the panel. Welding a panel this size is usually spread out over two workdays to complete without warping.

19. Grind the welds flush. Also take your time here. Grinding can sometimes create as much heat as welding and warp the panel, especially because you are applying pressure into the panel while grinding. It’s best to keep the grinding disc as flat as possible to prevent gouging the material.

20. Once the panels are ground flat, a dual action (DA) sander can be used to feather the new material with the old and flatten out the remaining paint in the surrounding areas.

21. Here it is, finished and ready for the body shop.


Phat Phabz LLC
16092 NE 23rd
Choctaw, OK 73020