Quarter Panels


I purchased after market quarters and used only the bottom half.  The tops were in good shape and leaving them on helped keep the shape of the rear of the car.  The mid-body line provided a good point to patch on the new metal.

Ready for fitting the quarter panels. IMGP0255-1000.JPG (169662 bytes)
When cutting the old quarter panels I cut below the mid-line break. This should keep some extra stiffness. The rust was all well below this point.  To attach the new quarter, I put a lip on the existing edge with a crimping tool.  The new piece will be welded to the lip. IMGP0265-600.JPG (38436 bytes)
Test fitting quarter panel. The aftermarket quarters are for a 2 door plus the fit is not that great.  There is not enough of a curve moving down to the bottom of the wheel wells and the lip at the wheel wells not tight enough.  Just bending it will warp the metal.  I purchased a metal shrinker/stretcher tool from Eastwood.  This allowed me to adjust things by bending the lip and shrinking/stretching as needed to get the curve as needed. IMGP0253-600.JPG (66551 bytes)
After getting the fit as close as possible, I clamped the panel on, making sure the fit was tight against the bottom edge. The new piece was cut to fit into the lip formed on the top section. IMGP0267-600.JPG (40421 bytes)
This illustrates another tool that is useful.  Once the fitting is done, you need to hold things together and aligned for welding.  Drill 1/8" holes through each panel and they are held together by these spring clamps (from Eastwood). IMGP0254-600.JPG (45527 bytes)
The rear side marker light openings in the aftermarket quarter panels are not correct.  I cut the openings out of the old quarters, fit them to the stamped openings in the new pieces and welded them in.  The picture shows one tacked into position. IMGP0380-600.JPG (57046 bytes) IMGP0380b-600.JPG (47540 bytes)
Attaching quarter panels - I used 3M panel bonding adhesive to attach the bottom edge of the panels.  This (hopefully) will give a permanent water tight bottom seal.  The tops if the panels are welded to the lip described above.

(See below for problem with quarters)

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After the doors came back from sandblasting, I primed them with PPG DP epoxy. This shows the quarters welded and glued on and the doors hung (but not aligned). The quarters went on reasonably straight.  The biggest problem was self imposed.  I got them a little too hot when welding in the side marker lights.  The will need a little hammer work before painting. IMGP0469-1000.JPG (182883 bytes)
Problem with quarters - when welding in the quarter panels, I did not check the front to back profile properly.  As a result, the profile is concave instead of convex.  While it does not look like a lot in this picture, a LOT of body filler would be needed to make it right.  Based on a lot of advice from  the Autobodystore BBS. I decided to cut the top weld loose, push the panel out to the correct location and re-weld.  At the moment I do not know how much to push it out and am researching the question. In the meantime I will get everything ready and work on some other tasks. IMGP0485-1000.JPG (147346 bytes)
The re-attached quarter with a skim coat of filler. IMGP0603-500.JPG (39663 bytes)
I used a cutoff wheel and cut about 1/16" below the weld. IMGP0506-1000.JPG (91529 bytes)
This is to push the panel out.  It does not need the kind of horsepower implied by the picture, I just need something stable with a fine level of control to get the position right for welding.

The diagonal trunk brace at the left was in the way with a straight push bar so I welded up a length of 1 1/4" x 1/8" angle iron to allow me to work around the brace.  (see detail below)  I also think I need a more flexible piece of wood against the panel to flex when I push. The pike of lumber was just some scraps lying around that mad a convenient base.

Will return to this when I find out the proper fit.

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close-up of the hook to get around the trunk brace when pushing on the quarter to align it for welding. IMGP0508-800.JPG (75378 bytes)
Front lip of quarter panel by rear door.  The after-market quarters are only available for 2-door cars so I had to reconstruct the lip from a piece from the donor car that provided the trunk and wheel wells.  The driver side was similar. IMGP0250-400.JPG (21638 bytes)