New Sheetmetal Replacement
I'm about to start on a 67 Nova project using aftermarket panels. I know that the fit on aftermarket panels is not always like factory so my questions is should replace the entire panel or cut out a "patch" from the new panel and replace what is bad on the car? I'm replacing both quarters and both door skins.
Also,... Since this is going to be a full restoration and if I go with replacing the entire panel(s), should I replace before I tear the car down completely or tear the car down and then start panel replacement. Thanks,... Tim
I usually like replacing the sheetmetal so that any seams are above the area that tends to get moist. If each panel has more than one bad spot it will probably pay to replace the entire panel.
When replacing quarters I usually cut and use a backing strip on the face of the panel without getting into the jamb. by doing this I don't change the hole that the door fills and I don't need to mount the door before the quarter panel is installed.
When I do a full restoration I usually disassemble the vehicle so that I know exactly what needs to be ordered THEN I start on the stripping, body work, cutting in and painting.
Below is one we're working on now and the quarter replacement is typical of the manor we approach the most jobs of this type.
Thanks Len for your reply,.... one other question. Do you use a backing strip for the horizontial cut as well? If I can help it, I don't want the horizontial cut or any other cut for that matter to be detected from in the trunk area.
Yes, I use it for the top and front seams. The backing strip is so high on the panel that you need to put your head into the trunk and look up to see it. If I wanted to hide it totally I would apply filler over it before painting inside the trunk just like I would if I butt welded the seam.
I like 67 nova's,real timeless lines.If I were you I would spend the extra money and buy the full oem type quarter panel for this car instead of the skin.You will save yourself a bunch of time and get a better result in the end.The only body work you will have is the factory seam at the sail panel and smoothing the spot welds.I'm not saying the other way is wrong,sometimes that is the best way.I know a couple of guys who have used those full quarters for the novas and they fit pretty good.I would do your door skin first and line it up to your original quarter and fender(make sure your hinges are not sagging)Then do your quarter panel.
Yes, OEM quarters make an excellent repair but there are a couple of important variables that come into play when installing complete quarters that don't come into play when doing a partial.
1. Trunk lid fit/hole size.
2. Seams at the upper body panel. Outside and in the trunk jamb.
3. Door fit/hole size.
If Tim has done several complete quarters successfully then he can probably handle the OEM method but for ease of fit and install the partial is the way to go.
Like Jason said there are times when one method is better than the other and it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the job. When replacing the jams getting the doors and lid to fit can be tricky and it usually takes time to get them right before you nail things down.
I don't think I want to go with the full quarters on this project. The quarters on there now are in decent shape with the exception of the wheel openings. I can get by with a patch and the outer wheel tub and be good.
I've had this project for a long time and collecting parts for it seems like forever. I did at one time have both GM quarters and I knew they were coming out with OEM replacements and since my project is not a true SS version I wanted to get rid of the GM's before the market price dropped. I looked at the "first off" productions of the full quarters and the body lines were not as "crisp" as the older skins so I choose the skins. The may have changed now.
Thanks for the advice,.... I'm just a little unsure on where to make the cut so that it will be a easier fix.
I may have misunderstood Len in his response, but I try to keep as much original metal on the car as possible. A 1/4 pannel has to be pretty rough to warrant an entire replacement, so I would only replace the wheel opening if I were you.
You have a lot less alignment issues that way, not to mention it's less work.
I can understand what you and len are saying and I agree it is best to keep as much of the original metal as possible,but you have to draw the line somewhere.If you are just putting in a patch or two its savable.But those half skin quarters are more work than changing the whole panel.IT takes more filler work to finish it off,plus there is more welding.I have done it both ways (full time body tech for 20+ years) and I can tell you it is faster to put on a whole oem type panel than a half skin quarter.I just had this conversation with a customer of a 67 camaro I did a couple of months ago.I patched her quarter from the top body line down and half way thru the wheel well,basically a third of the quarter panel.By the time I had it welded in and all the filler work done including a few dings I had about 25 hours in it.I could have changed the whole panel in about 12 hours regardless of fitting the door and trunk gaps.Just my oppinion.
When you have the experience that you have Jason it can be a little different than when a person is doing this type of job for the first or second time. Alignment issues can be pretty daunting when you figure that the door, trunk lid and rear widow are all effected by this single panel and if it's not aligned properly before welding you could have some big problems when you're finished installing the panel. However I agree that a person who knows the variables, because of their previous experience, may have an easier time installing the entire panel. I also agree that doing the body work after the partial panel is installed is a lot of work because I'm doing a couple of them now.:rolleyes:
Well said Len,I seem to forget about how hard my first quarter panel replacement was But I think if the person thinks it through and asks questions they can do it:cool:
I see with what both of you are saying, but I would still rather only replace the damaged area and leave the rest of the pannel alone. If only the wheel well opening is bad, then I would cut that piece out of my new replacement pannel and throw the rest of it away. On my projects I always try to keep as much of the vehicle as original as possible and it doesn't make any sense to replace an area that isn't even damaged in the first place.
I usually do the same thing that's why I usually don't touch the jambs unless they are damaged. We rarely install the entire panel that we purchase.
Originally Posted by Jon E