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Old 09-27-2005, 12:57 AM
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1/4 panel replacement (butt weld?)

im about to replace the 1/4 panels on my 72 Duster. the arent the factory style quarters but they extend to almost over the bodyline.

should i butt weld them or flange them and do a lap joint?

any other tips to go about replacement?

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Old 09-27-2005, 06:52 AM
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You're probably going to find these panels don't fit very well. Most of these were designed years ago and were actually sized fit over the exhisting panel. Great for used car lot boogerups but bad for the guy that's trying to make the car look perfect. Check the fit and if you think it's going to be OK then proceed, otherwise look for used or NOS. I usually butt weld them, it's a long process but they turn out good with an easy to finish seam. PM me if you want a step by step and I'll see if I can explain. Flanging is another option but usually it adds distortion. Panel adhesive can also be used but another lengthy description on proceedure. Bob
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:00 AM
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I believe you have some experience doing this right?

Mopar Muscle had an excellent article on a rear quarter job mid part of this year.Got to their web site and I believe it's in their tech section or order the back issue, Worth the trouble IMO especally the welding procedure used by this shop. It's just a series of butt-tack welds and also some tips on these "replacement" panels and their pitfalls.
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:53 PM
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A picture of the area you NEED to replace would be helpful. I fail to see why we have gotten it in our heads that we need to cut away good factory sheetmetal, only to replace it with a piece of crap, ill fitting, aftermarket panel. In my opinion, your much better off replacing ONLY the area that's damaged. Your'e making much more work for yourself by using the entire heap of aftermarket garbage!!!

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Old 09-27-2005, 07:28 PM
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As usual Randy is right on the money. We did a Dart where we used a quarter as you describe, it was a very thin, wavy, too long POS. How much do you REALLY need to replace?

Brian
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
As usual Randy is right on the money. We did a Dart where we used a quarter as you describe, it was a very thin, wavy, too long POS. How much do you REALLY need to replace?

Brian
I agree, if you can use only what you need you'll be way better off. Most of these panels are a POS like Brian said.
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:15 PM
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i have quite a bit of experience in metal work and body work, im just looking for the correct way to do everything. i held the quarters up to the car and they do seem to be designed to fit ontop of the factory ones (lame!) you would think they would be able to produce a factory style/fitting quarter panel with todays technology.

to answer the question, both of my quarters have pretty much had it. both have rust behind the wheels in the lower few inches. the pass side has a good sized dent infront of the tire and a few rust holes in the same area. the drivers side has some previous slide hammer/bondo work in front of the tire and i welded a gas door in place of the factory cap but it ended being a pretty crappy design and broke etc. time to shave it completely. (it was a Hagens street rod gas door btw)
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:30 PM
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i just checked out the articles on mopar muscles website. i feel alot better now about it. i guess ill just do it the same way they did and it should come out as good as they did. (i hope)
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:37 PM
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The easiest way I've found to do a butt weld this long is to trim and fit the panel so it overlaps the original on the by 1" and test fit it again holding it in place with screws spaced 8" apart. If everything looks OK pull the quarter back off and I usually drill a small hole in the overlap area near the door and attach a wire which will then run out the trunk opening. Put the quarter back up and attach with the screws and clamps in the rocker and wheel opening area. I then take my airsaw and cut about 6-8" along the edge of the new panel trimming off the overlap, remove any screws in this area, then pull the wire which peels the trimmed section away allowing you to weld that section. Then cut another 8" and repeat the process untill you make it to the rear of the car. As you weld the two pieces will naturally come into alignment and pull the gap closed. You can make a verticle seam just behind the door opening to retain the factory edge and also at the rear of the car to save the factory seams. It's a hell of a lot of work.
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Old 09-27-2005, 10:33 PM
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thats about the way i plan to do it, thanks for the wire trick. i know its going to be quite a bit of work, but at least i wont have bondoed rusted quarters when im done.
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Old 09-28-2005, 08:06 PM
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I do not get it.What is the trick with the wire!?

After fitting the new panel and using clickos or screws you remove the panel and run a wire front to back ... Then you replace the panel so the wire is in between both panels? I am lost. BTW, I have installed many panels before.
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Old 09-28-2005, 08:49 PM
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When I trim away the overlap from the original panel the wire is used to pull it away so I can then weld the cut area, eventually you keep cutting pulling and welding untill you reach the rearend of the car. The strip of overlap gets peeled away and gets pulled out the trunk opening at a rate of 8" per cut. If you had good access to the backside of the seam for the whole length you could simply reach in and bend and pull back the trimmed section as you go, but some models have very limited access in the front of the quarter and below the sail panel area. Hope this makes sense. The next time I do one I might post a step by step with photos. One thing I forgot the screw holes or cleaco holes need to be welded up also but this is no big deal. Butt welding this length is no problem if you can hold the panel in alignment, doing the screw,cut,weld thing works for me. Clamps are also available for holding buttweld seams in alignment but I haven't tried them and I'd be curious to see how they would work on an install of this size-maybe someone who has will chime in. Bob
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:15 PM
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1/4 replacement

Hello NutDuster,

I do automotive sheet metal for a living and I can tell you a couple thing. 1st. only replace the damaged area and remember that these are not replacement parts but just patch panels. When making your cut, use a piece of 1" masking tape to help you make a straight cut and use a 1/32" X 3" cut off wheel. Go to use-enco.com and you can buy these for 59 cent a each. When you go to fit the new section, let it over lap the original metal by 1/2" and use self drilling sheet metal screws about 6" apart, then tape over the exsisting 1" tape, this will give you a reference mark to cut the new part with only a 1/32" gap. Use your mig welder and put little spot welds every 2" and you will want to set welder as low as pasible but still fuse the joint together, under no sercumstances should you try to do a seam weld, this will warp both sections. If you do get any warpage, stop and take a wet rag and cool the metal and it should come back, be sure you straighten this area before continuing. If you need any futher help, email at wildharold@msn.com.
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:22 PM
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Ah! I think I got it.The wire is not fit in between panels.It is fixed to the front edge of the original panel and extended above the wheel tube towards the inner trunk,and as you cut right above the edge of the new panel you pull the wire back from inside the trunk! Neat.

Now how do you cut the original panel without damaging the new one? Plasma?
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:41 PM
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With an airsaw, it makes a cut the same width as a hacksaw blade, approximately 1/32". If you angle the saw at a 45degree angle pointing downward the gap will be even less. Running the saw along the edge of the panel is easy.
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