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-   -   The great full quarter vs. skin debate (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/great-full-quarter-vs-skin-debate-222958.html)

NovaSS350 08-16-2012 12:59 PM

The great full quarter vs. skin debate
 
Hey guys,

I am in need of some advice. I'm in the process of doing the body work on my 1970 Nova and need to decide whether to do full quarters or skins. The current quarters have already had skins put over them by someone who had no idea what they are doing. They just laid the skin over the quarter and welded it on, leaving all the original metal underneath. I have cut off the skins and much of the metal underneath is still good but it is shot around the wheel wells and back towards the bumper. I'm leaning towards just doing skins as the jambs are good and the C-pillar is fine as well but I have read a lot of forum posts that have said full quarters usually provide a cleaner result. They are more than twice as much money but I don't want to kick myself later over a couple hundred bucks. What do you guys think?

Thanks,

tech69 08-16-2012 01:51 PM

full quarters just take a little more patience in making sure everything is in it's place...you got the gap to the package tray, you got the top of the quarter which has to give an even gap to your decklid on that side( and even the curve leading to rear gap), sail panel, you got the gap to the rocker, door gap, and sometimes you got gap to a lower valiance. All this stuff is forcing the quarter in one direction or the other. This can be a whole lot of work or at other times not so much. With skins you have to cut it really precise and game plan it accordingly. In my experience, I think skins are easier to deal with.

Moose2 08-16-2012 01:59 PM

I'd lean towards the full panels, but as the man said, they require fussy fitting. I've always purchased the panels that fit like the originals and wrapped into door jambx and trunk channel openings. If you go that route you need to know how to drill out the original spot welds but the payoff if you do it right gives a lot better result than just using the patches. I'm not sure what gauge of metal is available for the full replacement panels you would need, but shop around and ask about metal gauge; and watch out so you don't end up with a panel about the thickness of tinfoil...
:evil:

tech69 08-16-2012 02:07 PM

also look at the little things like how sharp bodylines are, how far they go with the mold, and other people's feedback on certain brands. We got a quarter skin and couldn't take it back due to us getting all our work from the shop who gave it to us...man...that thing was so off on every bodyline, it had a bodyline in by almost an inch and all around it. It was also wavy and didn't have the full stamp so they actually used tin snips to make a couple curves. Had to be the worst skin ever produced. Gotta really look closely to those things cause fortunately you can turn down bad panels, unlike us.

Here's a link to a video where I talk about some of the things our shop guru had to do to complete a full quarter. It's at the beginning of the video. While he was doing the full quarter I did a skin on the other side and will safely say the skin was a cake walk compared to what he was dealing with.


Lizer 08-16-2012 10:06 PM

I can relate to you as a fellow amateur as these things don't come as easy to us as some of the pro's on here who have done this many times. So I can offer my practical advice and experience.

On my 67 Mustang I replaced a full quarter and a skin. In short, the full quarter was very difficult whereas the skin was considerably easier. Sure it's not as clean because you have a weld going the entire side down the body, but if you do that weld right and do it good, you can still skim it over and leave no trace that a weld ever existed.

My difficulty with the full skin was EVERYTHING had to be matched up to all the critical places where it meets the rest of the car. Toss in the fact that it's a reproduction part so it's not going to match up perfectly. In doing a skin, 50-60% of this goes away because the top of the skin just has to match up with the cut you did.

Now for the part you won't like. Assuming the reproduction metal for your cars is anything like that for the Mustangs, quarter skins are made very poorly and cheaply. I bought a skin for the side I was going to skin and it was so terrible I junked it. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND buying a full quarter regardless, and cut the quarter down to a skin. The metal on full quarters is a little thicker and the part was a much better quality and fit. Again based on my experiences only, and with a 67 Mustang. I cut the top inch of the quarter off and a small part on the back. Doesn't take much to convert it to a skin.

I ran two inch tape along the original quarter body line. Along the bottom of this tape line would be my cut line. On the replacement quarter, I only ran 1 inch tape along the body line and cut there. This gives me an inch of overlap for wiggle room. However, that extra inch on the original quarter would eventually get cut off (in the next paragraph)...

I removed all the original quarter that the skin would replace. Take your spot welds out carefully to leave the metal beneath as intact and perfect as possible to give yourself a good mating weld surface. Set the new quarter in place and screw it down. At the top, it's going to be overlapping an inch of the original quarter. Put some screws every foot or so here as well. When the fit is good, put a few tacks around crucial parts of the skin to keep it in place. Now, take a cut off wheel and cut right along the top edge of the skin--this is the part where you are cutting the final inch of overlap off. The strip of old quarter will fall off inside the car and you can remove it. Now your skin edge and original edge are PERFECTLY mated to each other and you can butt weld them together.

I have an expansive thread on this here that contains tons of good information from the pro's here:

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/best...am-194394.html

Also, I have a blog entry on how I did what I described:

1967 Mustang Restoration: Replacing a quarter skin

In short, I will only ever do skins from now on.

MARTINSR 08-16-2012 11:14 PM

I look at it this way, if you had NOS quarters available to you, heck yes complete is the way to go. On a late model car, with a new quarter, oh God yes the whole thing. But with repro quarters, I have never done a complete reproduction quarter on an older car, but I have done enough with reproduction sheet metal to know it would be a LIVING HELL to fit that sucker.

I am thinking realistically the skin is the way to go. On your Nova you have the perfect body line to break it at and just do a nice job with it and it's darn near as nice as putting the complete one on. First off if you were to butt weld it, without a doubt that is getting as close to putting the whole thing on as you can be.

Brian

tech69 08-16-2012 11:40 PM

That would be a nightmare to open butt weld a seam like that and have it lay at the right angle.

Anywho, if the top edge of the quarter matches the factory I kind of like doing it on top of the quarter cause it's a tighter area that doesn't want to warp as easily so you can weld hotter, the seam is tucked away where you can't see it when looking in the trunk, and it's less mudding. Thing is, less than half(it seems) have the top edge matching the factory shape so I don't do it often. On the Impala quarter I recently did the top edge matched and I actually left the first inch of the edge into the door jamb. Turned out great and mudding that area was a cake walk...thing is...the side I was protecting from seeing welds was so messed up anyways it didn't matter. :D

MARTINSR 08-16-2012 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech69 (Post 1583571)
That would be a nightmare to open butt weld a seam like that and have it lay at the right angle.

Why? If you ran the seam right below that bodyline and left an inch or two below the seam until you have trial fit it GOOD and you KNOW it's perfectly fit everywhere else. You then have it screwed and clamped in and you scribe the edge with a sharp awl. Remove the quarter and cut the remaining old metal off below the scribe line. Leaving it just an eighth inch or so below the line. Then trim it to perfection with some nice offset tinsnips. You can get a perfect butt and then take your time welding it, me personally with the mig I would spend all day long welding it. Spacing tacks around and letting them cool COMPLETELY before moving on.

It really isn't that big of a deal.

Brian

Lizer 08-16-2012 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR (Post 1583574)
Why? If you ran the seam right below that bodyline and left an inch or two below the seam until you have trial fit it GOOD and you KNOW it's perfectly fit everywhere else. You then have it screwed and clamped in and you scribe the edge with a sharp awl. Remove the quarter and cut the remaining old metal off below the scribe line. Leaving it just an eighth inch or so below the line. Then trim it to perfection with some nice offset tinsnips. You can get a perfect butt and then take your time welding it, me personally with the mig I would spend all day long welding it. Spacing tacks around and letting them cool COMPLETELY before moving on.

It really isn't that big of a deal.

Brian

I agree, and this is how I did it for my first time ever doing it. I thought it was very easy. Except I kept the panel on and cut right along the top of it with my cut off wheel. Left just the right gap between old and new panel.

MARTINSR 08-16-2012 11:58 PM

No gap is the right gap.

Brian

tech69 08-17-2012 12:02 AM

Martin, have you ever welded a seam that big doing an open butt weld, or are you just talking theory here? An open butt weld would be nice but I think it would be a nightmare to get the right angles to meet up.

I would suggest flanging it so he doesn't need a perfect fit and so the panel lays right. I do like doing it right below the top edge as it will only warp one way and that top area will actually minimize it cause the heat has somewhere to go that won't warp at all. I like both ways really but I don't think I'd try to open butt weld them.

Lizer 08-17-2012 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech69 (Post 1583580)
Martin, have you ever welded a seam that big doing an open butt weld, or are you just talking theory here? An open butt weld would be nice but I think it would be a nightmare to get the right angles to meet up.

I would suggest flanging it so he doesn't need a perfect fit and so the panel lays right. I do like doing it right below the top edge as it will only warp one way and that top area will actually minimize it cause the heat has somewhere to go that won't warp at all. I like both ways really but I don't think I'd try to open butt weld them.

Have YOU ever tried to open butt weld, or are both of you just talking on theory? I'm not seeing what your reluctance is. I did it and found it very easy. How I decided to place my welds was a different story which is where I went astray.

Lizer 08-17-2012 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MARTINSR (Post 1583579)
No gap is the right gap.

Brian

so where were you two years ago? :spank:

However, my worst puckering was happening where I had no gap at some spots and I figured it was the lack of gap contributing to that.

tech69 08-17-2012 12:18 AM

I can open butt weld a lot of stuff and I know where to do it and where not to do it.

Martin was right about suggesting a skin to an amateur but to then turn around and suggest he open butt weld it is an eye opener.

Lizer 08-17-2012 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech69 (Post 1583585)
I can open butt weld a lot of stuff and I know where to do it and where not to do it.

Martin was right about suggesting a skin to an amateur but to then turn around and suggest he open butt weld it is an eye opener.

So have you done it on a quarter?


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