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Old 03-13-2011, 12:49 PM
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the best place to put quarter skin seam

Hey all you radical dudes.

First things first. I've done a lot of reading, and have searched through the old threads on this board for quarter skins. I don't want to be That Guy that asks the same redundant question again. So if you are already aware of a good thread that answers this question, don't feel like you have to waste your time answering it yet again, just link me.

Now on to the business...

I have some aweful damage concealed with 1/2" of filler on the pass. side quarter. It's not repairable and the panel is so friendly you could probably get sex from it if you stood close enough (perhaps I should start standing closer).

I had a nightmare in replacing the full quarter on the driver's...so much that I gave up and took it in. Also replaced the tail light panel.

I want to try a skin on the pass side. I have a nice MIG that I'm decent with, not a pro, but not a beginner. I also will butt weld the panel in, not over lap. I also have an ever growing collection of body tools and some formal education on body work from the local tech school because I wanted to help my hobby.

I've read on Mustang Monthly that they put the seam on the top surface ( that is, the area between the body line and the trunk lid) rather than on the side of the car. It seems this would be much easier to conceal too, than a seam on the side of the car.

What have your experiences been? Thanks in advance. You guys are a cool bunch of dudes!

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Old 03-14-2011, 02:25 PM
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When I have replaced quarter skins I have always spliced them in just below the top style line, not sure what year mustang you are working with but if it's a 60's era car then the quarter has that sharp peak on the outer top edge. That peak provides a lot of strength and I would splice in 3/8 to 1/2 inch below that peak (on the outside) if I were doing the job.

You could also do an overlap seam at the top of the quarter and it would be easy to hide. With an overlap I would cut 3/4 to 1 inch below the top and overlap 3/8 inch.

I would be curious to hear if anyone has a different opinion on the best place to splice and why.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:54 PM
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I'm with you Hemi, however going up over the top would be a nicer look on the inside. The problem I have with going over the top is will have to pull down the original upper section a little so your quarter isn't too high. But honestly I think it's six one, half a dozen the other.

Brian
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:56 PM
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After looking at the contour of the car more, I can't see how I want the seam to be on the top. I'd rather prefer to do a buttweld rather than an overlap, and I think I've got a good strategy to do it.

I need to wait for the next sale to buy the panel but I'm excited to start. The problem is I'm always excited to start this stuff in thinking about it, and it usually turns to hell within a matter of only a few hours.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:01 AM
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I replaced a lot of these panels back in the day and I always lap welded just a1/2 to 1 in below the upper body line. I would trim off the old 1/4 panel at door post and butt weld just the frist in" or 2 right at the door opening so You dont end up with a door fit problem. Same goes for camaros.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swvalcon
I replaced a lot of these panels back in the day and I always lap welded just a1/2 to 1 in below the upper body line. I would trim off the old 1/4 panel at door post and butt weld just the frist in" or 2 right at the door opening so You dont end up with a door fit problem. Same goes for camaros.

Yep, it works like a dream. As far as Butt welding it, yes you can but it will add quite a bit of difficulty to the project. What is the overall expectation of the car? What is the condition of the rest of the car?

Don't let people scare you with the whole flange weld seams are a place for rust to start BS, the ENTIRE CAR is held together with these style welds! EVERY SINGLE SEAM on the ENTIRE CAR is a flange, lap style weld! One more isn't a big deal.

But yes, if this is a special car and you want it extra nice, a butt weld would be the way to go.

Brian
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:27 PM
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A full panel is always the way to go if possible, its less work and less filler and makes for a nicer job (less places to work body filler) IMO. If you must splice the panel I totally agree with using a body line for strength so there's less warping. Good luck with your project.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizer
After looking at the contour of the car more, I can't see how I want the seam to be on the top. I'd rather prefer to do a buttweld rather than an overlap, and I think I've got a good strategy to do it.

I need to wait for the next sale to buy the panel but I'm excited to start. The problem is I'm always excited to start this stuff in thinking about it, and it usually turns to hell within a matter of only a few hours.

If you're going to butt weld it, you'll have to learn to take out the shrink that comes with the welding.
You'll also need to learn how to use a shrinking disc.

If in a couple hours things turn to stink, these are the two things you will need to understand and learn to get you out of trouble.

Pick up a couple of scrap pieces of sheet metal and weld them together by tacking only with the mig.
After they cool, you'll have to hammer on dolly to stretch all the shrunken metal out. When you do this, you will overstretch somewhere for sure. This is where the shrinking disc comes on.

Without learning this basic welding, stretching, shrinking, you will be exactly in the same spot you've been in before once again
no matter where you put the weld seam.

These 1'' welds were done and then the weld was stretched back to where it started with hammer on dolly. I did 1'' at a time so I knew where the warping problem came from.




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Old 03-15-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Yep, it works like a dream. As far as Butt welding it, yes you can but it will add quite a bit of difficulty to the project. What is the overall expectation of the car? What is the condition of the rest of the car?

Don't let people scare you with the whole flange weld seams are a place for rust to start BS, the ENTIRE CAR is held together with these style welds! EVERY SINGLE SEAM on the ENTIRE CAR is a flange, lap style weld! One more isn't a big deal.

But yes, if this is a special car and you want it extra nice, a butt weld would be the way to go.

Brian
ok, you've got my attention.

The overall expectation of the car is to make it the nicest car I can, minimizing as many short cuts as possible and doing everything as right as possible. This also meant the floor pan was butt welded in rather than lap welded. The rest of the car is in good shape; the full left quarter has already been replaced, as well as the tail light panel. I've completely restored the front, and am using the original fenders.

If you flange lap weld, do you just do a series of plug welds? I've heard that the flanger will cause some distortion in the metal in areas where the body line curves, such as the area immediately beneath the quarter window on the Mustangs.

I don't want to do a full quarter again because getting everything aligned was such a pain. Of course since I haven't done a skin yet it's easy for me to say it will be easier.

Will you still get extensive shrinking that will need to be addressed even after doing a series of many small tack welds, hopping around the panel and allowing for natural cooling?

I don't notice a lot of distortion on the other things I weld (I do patch repairs as butt welds as well), but I've never had to do a long run on a big flat panel like this. And that is a very long ways to make a lot of tack welds.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:43 AM
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I actually have the same question so I hope the OP won't mind me piggybacking on his question. I will say that my original preference in the past had been to butt weld in a quarter skin (full quarters are not available for my car). I've found it exceedingly difficulty to butt weld a seam and not have the seam pucker inward as the metal cools/shrinks. As previously mentioned you can get a nice result by hammer/dolly to stretch the shrinked metal back into shape. The problem I found is in quarter panel seams that extend forward of the wheel well. There's really no way to get behind the panel so therefore the seam can't be planished. I guess you just fill it in with filler.

Next time I do a skin, I'm gonna try lap welding. Not knowing much about, can anyone give us the basics. I assume that when you cut the original quarter out, you leave extra metal for the overlap. Flange the original metal with a pneumatic flanging tool. Is the skin held on just with a series of plug welds? How close should they be together? Then just finish with filler of choice?

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Old 03-16-2011, 08:04 AM
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If you have done the rest all in butt welds you are pretty well versed in them and should be able to continue and use a butt weld here. It sounds like you are doing a kick but restoration and it sounds like the car deserves more of the same.

You do NOT just plug weld along the flange seam, You still need to completely weld the seam or you WILL have "ghost" lines once you are all done with body and paint. A quality flange tool like I bought at Eastwood years ago (made from real American made ViceGrips) does a hell of a job with little distortion.


Personally I say forget the pneumatic flanger, as well as the pneumatic hole punch, i have preached here enough why I dislike them. But hand tools are almost always better, with very few exceptions, than pneumatic tools.

If you keep your welds small and ALLOW THEM TO COOL NATURALLY you can keep warpage down to a very small amount or not at all. If you cool them with air or water or something you WILL have warpage.

Brian
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:02 AM
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Butt welding is best for splices, but if a full panel is available for your car, that is by far the best way to go. This puts the welds at the factory locations, which gives you the best possible appearance with the least work.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:17 PM
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I see that a lot,....going the full panel route. And I've already been that route on the driver's side. I ended up giving up and taking it in, but I was also replacing the tail light panel too. Just too many places not lining up right. I've never done a skin yet, but it's less places to have to line up. I can get a skin on sale for $83 with free shipping. It only cost me $50 after kicking in a gift card (I bought the skin today), so I'm out little if I trash the skin. Which, by the way, I don't intend to do.

Since the full weld still has to be made along the entire flange joint, I would assume it's not as prone to warpage since you're welding over a lot more metal at this point, as opposed to a butt junction?

Someone feel free to add recommendations or corrections to my strategy...

1. Carefully remove spot welds from all the necessary areas (door jamb, wheel house, tail light panel). I grind the spot welds out to keep the original mating surface intact.

2. Cut old panel out 2-3" below body line.

3. Tape along body line on new panel and cut about 1" below the line. The tape is spacer to maintain consistent distance. I might use a plasma cutter to make this cut so it's nice and clean.

4. Fit new panel and screw in place in door jamb, tail lamp panel, and wheel house.

5. Scribe along old panel where new panel meets it.

6. At this point I can attempt a flange seam, and if I bomb it I still have enough metal to go butt weld. Remove new panel.

7. Cut excess off old panel so the distance from the scribe line to the cut is the depth of the flanger throat.

8. Punch holes in new panel and reinstall. Plug welds every 6 inches? And then close the seam junction with hop scotched tack welds, allowing natural cooling. This means it'd probably take multiple attempts over the course of multiple days before I get the entire seam welded continuously.

The thing with my butt welds is they were never the prettiest, but they never had to be. They were always in inconspicuous areas where it didn't really matter. This is scary to me though
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:20 PM
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ooh I just thought of something else.

When I make the initial cut in the old metal, 2-3" down from the body line. If I just make that cut first, and leave the rest of the panel still attached (or screw it back if I already removed spot welds), is there any reason I can't put in my panel clamps and butt weld the old panel back together to practice my weld?
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:18 PM
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Sounds good to me.

Brian
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