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Old 05-07-2009, 06:45 PM
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Installing rear quarters - slightly different countour 65 Mustang

I'm installing both rear full quarters on a 65 Mustang Coupe and am still a good ways away from firing up the welder but I see an issue that will need attention. The trunk line has more of a rise/curve on the sides than the flatter quarters. With the quarter and trunk aligned and level front and rear, it leaves the trunk about 1/4" higher in between the hinge line and rear of the trunk on each side. It would appear it might be easier to flatten the trunk edges rather than raising the affected area of the quarters, but I want some opinions on how this is dealt with in the real world. I'd rather leave as much of my Rage filler in the can as possible...

For what it's worth, the old quarters fit fine in this area. They were just rusted out.
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMatch
I'm installing both rear full quarters on a 65 Mustang Coupe and am still a good ways away from firing up the welder but I see an issue that will need attention. The trunk line has more of a rise/curve on the sides than the flatter quarters. With the quarter and trunk aligned and level front and rear, it leaves the trunk about 1/4" higher in between the hinge line and rear of the trunk on each side. It would appear it might be easier to flatten the trunk edges rather than raising the affected area of the quarters, but I want some opinions on how this is dealt with in the real world. I'd rather leave as much of my Rage filler in the can as possible...

For what it's worth, the old quarters fit fine in this area. They were just rusted out.
What brand of quarter panels are they?
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:21 PM
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It turns out they're imports. I expected better from Mustangs Unlimited, but... Anyway, the rest of the lines appear good so far. The trunk line and sheet metal gauge I'm not happy about.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:32 AM
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I know what you are talking about and for that reason I find it much easier to just install the skins instead of the entire Q-panel. I hate to say it but most of these parts are simply terrible and some of them just sort of resemble the part they are supposed to replace, I have had bad luck with most of the suppliers with Mustangs Unlimited being about the worst although most just sell the same parts. Don't attempt to flatten the trunk edges I have seen this done and it looks AWFUL! Honestly if the upper metal is still solid, as most of them are, it would be MUCH easier to just cut the panel below the body/Q-panel upper line and just replace the skin. In addition to that trunk fit you may also (most likely!) run into issues around the tail lights and door jamb, basically these things simply don't fit and every problem you manage to solve will seem to create two more. Do you have the old panel removed yet?




This is a subject that really gripes me as I do these Mustangs for a hobby and I see this all the time. I could tell some real horror stories about fenders that had to have pieces cut out and re-welded to make them fit at the doors- and speaking of doors, door shells that simply could NOT be made to fit and look right no matter how much work you put into them. I have seen trunk lids that were not even square and could not be made to fit, hoods that were bowed down in the center, inner fender panels that only vaguely resembled the part they were supposed to replace and did not even come close to a fit. The reason I am saying all this is that whenever possible it is usually MUCH easier to just replace the rusted metal with a patch panel that can more easily be made to fit than to try to replace an entire section with a part that does not fit. Whatever else you do DON'T start modifying original metal, such as flattening the trunk edges, in an attempt to make an ill fitting part work. ALWAYS make the part fit the car and never try to make the car fit the part because you will start a chain reaction that will leave you not only extremely frustrated but with a car that will look as bad as those parts.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:15 PM
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Listen to Red on this one..he does know what he speaks of and for the record I woudl much rather just break out the beater bag and make a panel than try an make some of the aftermarket stuff work,,sometimes I can get a patch panel out of one of the so called replacement panels..

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Old 05-08-2009, 06:10 PM
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Well, thanks for the info - here and elsewhere!

As for the old panel, I cut it out since it had rust up to the lead seam. I finally got 2 minutes to take a second look at it today and it appears once I get the rest of it's mounting area cleaned up, it will match the trunk lines much better. I'm assuming my wife was holding it in place under tension due to a poor fit at the roof panel which will be cleaned up as well.

I'm at a toss up as to whether I'll cut and skin the other side or quarter it as well. Even the factory panels are light gauge - I feel like I'll go blind welding 4-5 foot of this thin stuff. Should I decide to do so, how about an impromptu vote? Who would cut below the to edge versus who would cut between the top edge and the trunk (cut on the vertical panel or cut on the horizontal)? I don't plan to do any cutting on that side until the first one is nearly complete. I'll be using the trunk and remaining panels for alignment since it's square.

Another thought: What are some thoughts as far as welding the seams for the rear cowl to the quarters? This looks like a good seam to "disappear" or is there some unknown to me reason to spot weld it as original? My plans are to use filler in the lines of the trunk extensions to make those lines disappear. I've seen it done and like it so I'm considering having most of these seams "go away". Thoughts or reasons this might backfire?

And last... I'm running into brass in a few areas - bottom front most corner of the quarter, roof-cowl-quarter union as well as other places. I assume this is repairs and the factory never used brass? Just curious.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:35 PM
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Oldred is right on. My Bud and I did our first and last Mustang at the same time: a 66 Convert. Some of the things we did was replace were both door skins, finished and installed a repro hood (a weeks worth of body work for a fair fit), new trunk floor and gas tank, new rear trunk panel, had NOS quarters, but opted to sell them and only replace the rusted out metal with patch panels because of all the issues you are addressing, converted to Granada brakes in front, replaced all of three floor sections and part of another (the tunnel was good as well as the rockers and torque boxes). We found a good used factory hood that fit and finished much better than the repop. A tip on repro hoods: the older ones were not spot welded to the frame, thus they would flex and appear very flimsy. We later learned that we could have spotted these about every 10 to 12 inches and they were good to go as well as any NOS or good used one. One door skin was NOS and the other was a repo. The NOS required a lot of fittment, but not near as much as the repro. The top of the repro was more about 3/8 inches wider at the top front than the old door and 1/8 inch wider at the rear. We ended up taking an air cut off wheel and making a cut the length of the door, flanged the door side of the cut, and welded the window side piece to the flange, tapering to a butt weld the last couple of inches. We also had to re bend the lip at the bottom front of the skin to get a decent fender/door gap. The repro lower trunk panel is straight across where as the original was curved to match the curved trailing edge of the trunk lid. Most people install them straight, but they stick out like a sore thumb to a Mustang lover. We did some cutting and arcing on the repro to get the proper contour and welded up the cuts. This takes time to get right and then additional body work to get it paint ready.

Good luck on your project!!!

Trees
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:52 PM
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There is no way I would tell you what to do without seeing some photos! Where is the rust damage EXACTLY?


Don't toss off what Red has to say, he is RIGHT ON THE MONEY. I have LITERALLY pulled a fender out of the scrape metal truck and put in on one of these Mustangs (a 65 Fastback) and brought back the repro fender I had for it. It was WAY easier repairing the junk fender out of the scrape metal truck than it was to make that junk repop one fit!

I also used a repro hood on that car. About five years later I came across a decent original with only a few dents and took that "perfect" repro piece of junk off the car and repaired and painted the original one and installed it.

DO ANYTHING before you cut off a whole quarter and install a repro!!!

Post some photos so we have an idea of what you are after.

I can not say this enough, I have seen home hobbiest take almost perfect panels off to put repro junk because they thing the repro is "new" and their car won't have "bondo" on it. Or THEY think the panel is too badly damaged.

Please, post photos, we may totally agree with you, I don't know without seeing photos.

We did a 67 a while ago where the owner had brought in a Dynacrap radiator support and fenders. My God what GARBAGE! The rad support was tin foil and BARELY even looked like the original.

Brian
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:12 PM
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Hmm... Can't say I ever argued with anyone... Actually, after having a few minutes to take a second look, the repop was a much better fit than I initially thought. I don't have real detailed pics, but a couple to show rust holes in the lead area, wheel opening, and not much solid mass anywhere else on the right side. The left side is much better and will likely be skinned.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:00 AM
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If that entire Q-panel has not been cut from the car yet I think you will find that rust at the roof will be localized but if it is rusted all the way to the trunk edges then you may very well have to replace the entire quarter. Do you have new wheel housings? You will almost certainly need them here because for sure they will be too far gone for just a lower patch, which is not an available part for the inner anyway. How are your floor pans, especially in the rear around the wheel housing? Pay particular attention to the rear torque boxes in this area because they are often overlooked and can lead to disaster if they are rusted inside which they usually are in these cases. A rust-out this extensive can certainly be repaired and I have done several but I urge you to resist the all too common mistake of just glossing over things that are out of sight like those torque boxes and the wheel houses because the structural integrity of the car depends on Them.
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:33 PM
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The repo quarters are terrible to fit and get looking descent. The last one I did was on the passengers side on my 73 Mustang. I was going to try a patch panel, but when I started cutting the rust out, I found more than I wanted to. The wheel well was rusted out and the trunk drop off was in worse shape than I previously thought. This forced me into doing a a quarter panel skin, outer wheel well and trunk drop off replacement. If I didn't have the rust issues I did, I would have just done a patch panel. I think the 71-73 Mustangs are the worst to work on, plus the repo parts made for them are even worse than the earlier ones. If you don't have to do a full quarter panel or skin replacement, don't do it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
If that entire Q-panel has not been cut from the car yet I think you will find that rust at the roof will be localized but if it is rusted all the way to the trunk edges then you may very well have to replace the entire quarter.
The right quarter has been cut because I'd found rust covering under the panel as well. Too much rust through and hidden surface rust needed treating for me to do it any other way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Do you have new wheel housings? You will almost certainly need them here because for sure they will be too far gone for just a lower patch, which is not an available part for the inner anyway.
Right side is on order due to a poor lip to weld to. The left is in much better shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
How are your floor pans, especially in the rear around the wheel housing? Pay particular attention to the rear torque boxes in this area because they are often overlooked and can lead to disaster if they are rusted inside which they usually are in these cases. A rust-out this extensive can certainly be repaired and I have done several but I urge you to resist the all too common mistake of just glossing over things that are out of sight like those torque boxes and the wheel houses because the structural integrity of the car depends on Them.
The floor pans from the front of the seats on back are in excellent shape. The only real rust on the pans and related areas is in the front front floor mat area (backordered...). Torque boxes, "frame rails" and all are in rather good shape. The total rust on this car is rather localized in the r/r quarter and under, left rear wheel opening, small r/f fender patch and a couple of small holes in the lower rear window frame. It's been interesting in the fact that most of the rust areas are either totally wiped out or non-existant.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMatch
It's been interesting in the fact that most of the rust areas are either totally wiped out or non-existant.
I have seen that before and it is usually related to past damage repair, possibly collision damage from years ago.

Glad to hear about the floor and torque boxes that will save you a heck of a lot of work (and some cash too! ) I hope we didn't sound too discouraging about those panels because they certainly can be made to fit and look right it is just that they almost always turn out to be far more work than most people expect from a new part.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
I hope we didn't sound too discouraging about those panels because they certainly can be made to fit and look right it is just that they almost always turn out to be far more work than most people expect from a new part.
Hey, I understand! I know just how crappy some aftermarket parts can be as I've been in the mechanical side of repair near 30 years and much of that was dealership experience along side of body shops. Sometimes it could be a tossup between installing that aftermarket fender or getting a sheet of flat panel and starting from scratch to see which one can be made to fit easier. I was actually surprised that the trunk line was the only one in question - and that looked better with more prep to the car.

How about some thoughts on welding on a skin versus quartering it due to the thinness of the metal in question? It's definitely not the 69 Chevelle I have in my next stall as far as metal gauge goes. The factory panels are light and the replacements are lighter. I can feel the stress level BEFORE I start tacking this .032-.035" stuff. The factory is like .040". What is that - 20 gauge onto 18? I'm not fond of welding beer cans. If it can be done, I can do it - but the question really is - is it worth it? I put a patch in the r/f fender and hood which came out great, but without measuring they seemed heavier. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention...
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:47 AM
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I am going to suggest this as now we have panel adhesives that are used on the new cars..i know welding that thin metal can be a bit of a zoo so in that case break out the flanging pliers and use the metal adhesives to attach the new panel..Other wise a guy may be in for a lot of tigging..welding can be good in doing a resto but sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do..

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