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07-02-2006 09:41 PM Quarter Panel Cutting 2
This may look like a strange way to cut this, but the new panel does not go all the way to the top, so it will have to be welded somewhere in the middle of the panel. I cut it along the arched body line as far back as I could, but then up to the top of the repro panel, so the finished seam will not be visible inside the trunk, and part of it will be covered by the vinyl top if I put that back on.

The second photo shows how I made little scraps of metal which will help me get the top body line in the correct position.

The third photo is with all of the old panel gone. What really aggravates me about this is how rusty all the bottom edges of the inner panels are. I can see now that I will spend many more hours fixing the bottom and rear edge of the wheelhouse and trunk floor extensions. I thought this car was much more solid than it is turning out to actually be.


Spot welds will be ok in the wheel well, but I want a solid bead on the part of the panel that gets covered with filler. I bought some Eastwood heat shield putty to help keep the panel from warping as I weld. I'll let you know how that goes.

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  [Entry #114]

07-02-2006 09:25 PM Quarter Panel Cutting
Instead of removing surface rust from the hood right now, I decided to jump right in to replacing the driver side quarterpanel. I intend for the quality to be better than I've done in the past, and with a minimum of body filler.

The full quarterpanel is reproduced for the Supreme and convertible models, but this Taiwan cheapo is all I could find for my fastback style 2 door hardtop. If someone makes a quality panel that actually fits, I don't want to hear about it now!

First I kind of test-fit the repro quarter over the existing, and traced the edges onto my car with a magic marker.

I trimmed the new quarter just below the arched body line, then up sharply to where the weld will be both covered by the vinyl top, and not visible inside the trunk. I then used a small cutoff wheel to make a hole in the same bodyline on my car and used the air hammer to start cutting the panel.

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  [Entry #113]

05-25-2006 11:13 PM '72 Cutlass----Day 3
Messing around with the heavy surface rust on the hood. Someone told me to try a product called "Evaporust". I paid $33 for a gallon, to give it a try.

I soaked the surface of the hood in one small area, and covered it with a rag, and plastic to keep it damp for 30 minutes. The product did a good job of removing the rust stains, and I found paint left on the hood I didn't know I had. But it still left dark stains down in the rust pits.

I hit the area with the Ryobi and a 36 grit disc. It got fairly clean, fairly easily, but still did little for the dark stains in the pits. After I had ground it, I again used the Evaporust and a wire brush. It got it pretty clean, but still not as clean as I'd like.

Overall, I don't think Evaporust is the best product for this job, particularly if I have to do so much grinding before and after use. I'll put the leftovers in my ultrasonic cleaner to clean slot machine parts and see how it does on those.

I found Rlackey's project journal, and carefully read about how he used phosphoric acid and steel wool to remove surface rust from his roof. I'll give that a try and let you know how I do.

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  [Entry #112]

05-25-2006 09:24 AM Day Two continued...Exploratory Surgery
Behind the wheel is this old patch panel, brazed on. It looks ugly, but it was kind of what I expected. Closer inspection inside the trunk reveals that the old, rusty metal was simply beat in with a hammer, and the new patch was brazed in right on top of it!

In front of the wheel was a little more than I expected, so obviously this quarter panel has to go. The bondo is at least a half inch thick here, where someone covered up old collision damage. I don't know whether to laugh or cry about it.

Remember the Tom Hanks movie "The Money Pit"? I'm in it now. I thought this was going to be a quick, easy project, and on DAY TWO I'm already preparing to replace a quarter panel....

The passenger side gets a clean bill of health, and won't need to be replaced. It does have some rust underneath the bottom edge which was concealed by the trim, and it will need a small patch right at the bottom corner, but it looks pretty straight forward so far.

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  [Entry #111]

05-25-2006 09:14 AM 1972 Cutlass Day Two
I ripped off the remains of the old vinyl top. It had been replaced before, possibly in 1982, if the numbers printed on the back were in fact a date. I was sure I would have the vinyl top replaced, but seeing what the car looks like with it off, I'm reconsidering.

I also removed the rear bumper and the remaining trim.

The driver quarter is the one I'm worried about now that I've looked at it a little closer. I knew it had a little rust at the bottom, and an old repair. Using the Ryobi grinder and a 36 grit disc, I opened it up for exploratory surgery.....

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  [Entry #110]

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