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Thread: quarter panel repalcement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default quarter panel repalcement

    Gentlemen:

    I'm in the process of fitting a quarter panel to a 78 firebird. This is my first attempt at this. The previous owner had cut off the old one, but i don't know if he cut enough. The panel wraps around the door jamb, but it was cut straight off to the body. Do i need to remove a small strip running the length of the jamb or do i just overlap it there. I've incluided a pic below...I still need to replace the wheelhouse, so this is just a rough fit to see what fits and what doesn't. Thanks men....

    Barry

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...it/aug2009.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...it/aug2008.jpg

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Do you have the new quarter panel yet? If the new quarter does not include the jamb then your question is answered. However I usually don't remove the jamb unless it's damaged, I use the backing strip method in order to get a nice butt welded seam on the outer part of the skin.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Thanks Len;

    Yes, I have the quarter panel, it came with the vehicle when i purchased it. The quarter has about a 3/4 inch lip on it at the end where it goes around the jam. I guess if i'm reading your reply right, i can cut this lip off, and use a backing strip
    to weld the new quarter on without messing with the jam? (the jam is in good shape.) Thanks.

    Barry

  4. #4
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    Default

    That's what I would do, it leaves the jamb nice and clean.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern Missouri
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    Default

    I'm confused, it looks like the Qt. wraps around the jamb and spot welds on the inside. If it is made that way and the car is made that way then do it that way. Use a But weld with the horizontal seem or backing strip methed or what ever looks like the best way to tackel it to you. Just be sure the doors aline with the fenders and the rocker panels. And the trunk lid is alined before you aline the new Qt. with them and weld.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Yes, the new quarter wraps around the jamb about 3/4 of an inch. But, when the previous owner cut the old quarter off, he cut it straight down the panel and left the jamb untouched. The new quarter wraps around the jamb and sits on top of the old metal jamb. My question is, do i have to cut that 3/4 inches out of the jamb, put a backing plate in, and weld it, or do i just sit it on top of the old jamb and weld it, or do i cut the 3/4 inches off the panel and try and match it up with the jamb? I've added a few new pics with the quarter held in place so you can get an idea of what it looks like. I pulled it out at the bottom so you can see the full jamb. Appreciate the info.

    Barry

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...it/mar1103.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...it/mar1104.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    256

    Default

    this guy cut and welded in the door-jamb and I thought he did a nice job...

    Just another thought...

    http://57rustbucket.com/5733.htm
    Last edited by barthmonster; 03-11-2006 at 05:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Central MA
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    Default

    If it was me,I'd leave the metal in the jamb,as long as I could get a door line.
    If I was in love with the car,I'd see if a factory Qtr was availible from GM {you never know} Or see if an A/M full panel is availible,I'm pretty sure Goodmark,and possibly others,make them.
    MUCH neater repair,should come with full jamb,you plug weld{or glue} in the factory spots,and only have a small splice in the sail panel to mud.
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    lower Michigan
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    Default

    Barry, I think you're a little confused by lens post about using the backing strip/butt weld setup.

    Len was suggesting that you use backing strip/butt weld setup for attaching the quarter panel upper seam. Not the door jamb. From what I can tell by the pictures you posted of the front door jamb/seam the previous owner has already removed some of the old quart front lip at the door jamb and some of it was just cut off flush with the outer edge of the quarter. In that case you really have no choice but to finish removing the rest of the remaining old quarter panel front lip from the door jamb ( that strip of metal about 1/2" to 3/4" of inch left of the old quarter panel). I use my air chisel with a spot weld cutting blade/bit but once in a while I will use a spot weld cutter. Once you get that strip of metal removed then grind that area clean to remove that old white factory seam sealer and so that you have a clean surface to weld your new quarter panel lip to. Some aftermarket quarter panels have the front seam where it goes into the door jamb too rounded out instead of a crisp 90 deg angle like the factory quarter panel had. If you have to then use a hammer and dolly to get a crisper angle in that area. My suggestion for attaching that new quarter door jamb lip to the door jamb is called the plub weld method. If you have a hole puncher for metal then punch a hole every three or four inches in that front lip all the way from top to bottom on that quarter lip. Grind the paint away so the metal is shiny clean. When you're ready to weld in the new quarter panel then mig weld/plug weld those holes you punched in the front lip which firmly attached the new quarter panel lip to the cars existing door jamb. Grind that area again to get a clean lines then use a seam sealer and you're just about ready for primer.

    Do a search in the archives for backing strip/plug welding sheet metal. If you can't find that information then maybe Len can walk you through that method. Its a good way of attaching your upper quarter panel seam. I personally just overlap the new quarter panel a couple inches over the old quarter panel and weld it in place. Thats the way we did it in all the dealership bodyshops for many years.

    Judging from the pictures you posted it looks like the car needs a new quarter panel extension also (the piece of sheet metal that goes from the trunk floor to the bottom part of the new quarter panel). Some people prefer using a structural adhesive glue to attach a new quarter panel in the lower sections like at the tail panel area, trunk floor extension area, wheel lip area and rocker panel area which works fine but I personally still prefer the old plug weld method ( close to $40 for a kit to glue that new quarter on). Welding is relatively free, no structural adhesive glue kit to buy.

    If you have any more questions about intalling your new quarter panel feel free to ask away.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    lower Michigan
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    Default

    Typo clarification - judging by the pictures it looks like you need to install a new trunk floor extension ( piece of metal that goes from the trunk floor to the bottom part of the quarter panel). My previous reference to a quarter panel extension was a typo, it should have read trunk floor extension).

  11. #11
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Phil V....

    Thanks for the instruction, you made things alot clearer. As for some of your observations...Yes, the new quarter needs to be squared up around the jamb. (the line there isn't real crisp). I need to install a new wheelhouse, and trunk drop off panel, the trunk floor is questionable, so i will probably change that to, not to mention i need to take a long hard look at the tail panel. With the quarter panel in place as it is, the overlap sits tight against the old panel, if i read your post right, i can just overlap it like that and weld it in? that would work so much easier for me if i did it that way....my welding skills are nominal to poor at best. Infact, is it possible to glue that long seam in if i overlap it? I'm just not real confident in my welding skills, I have been practicing, but i'm fighting the learning curve. Thanks again for the info...you've made this an easier job already.

    Barry

  12. #12
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    Nov 2005
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    Default I stand corrected.


    Phil is right, you'll need to go into the jamb because the panel has been removed too close to the jamb to use the backing strip method on the exterior. The link below will show the plug welding/backing strip method. It's on a different part of the car but the proceedure is basically the same.


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