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JamieK 05-08-2009 12:45 PM

Junkyard Tools
What would be the best tools for removing a quarter panel in a pick and pull junkyard. Obviously, air and electric tools are out. Torches are not allowed. Rechargable reciprocating saw would be perfect, but too expensive to buy and use once. I guess I'm down to using a hack saw and tin snips. Any other ideas?

Chris Kemp 05-08-2009 02:35 PM


Originally Posted by JamieK
What would be the best tools for removing a quarter panel in a pick and pull junkyard. Obviously, air and electric tools are out. Torches are not allowed. Rechargable reciprocating saw would be perfect, but too expensive to buy and use once. I guess I'm down to using a hack saw and tin snips. Any other ideas?

Well the rechargeable saws all works great but they are expensive. A good sharp ax or hatchet and hammer and chisel will do a lot more then what you would think. Just be sure that if you chop it, to do it far enough away from the quarter as not to cause damage to the part that you want. Cut it through the floor board and down the side of the trunk floor. Plan on removing wheel house and all inside structure of the quarter panel, you can trim off what you don't want when you get it home. This way all you have to do is chop or saw through the rocker panel, turn and chop or cut through the floor board all the way back to the rear body panel. Then cut through the upper rear deck panel, package shelf and then cut the edge of the roof close to the sail panel (the upper part of the quarter). Stay out of the wheel house area because there is a lot of doubled metal there and it will be harder to cut. I have had to do exactly what you are planning to do several times. But if you take several good hack saw blades with you, several good sharp chisels and a good sharp ax or hatchet it shouldn't take more than an hour or so. Just cut it down the floor board, through the rocker and the edge of the roof and plan on taking the whole corner or quarter of the car home with you. You can always trim it when you get back to your shop.

Have fun!

forestrytodd 05-08-2009 03:23 PM

What about using a panel ripper end that goes into an air chissel. Pick one up at Northern or HF and just beat on it with a hammer instead of using the air tool (unless you can blow hard :D ). there are going to be some places that you have to use a saw. Ask around, some of your friends might have a batt. saw you could borrow for the right six pack.... I mean price.

alittle1 05-08-2009 03:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
In a word, SAWZALL !

They do rent them too.

1ownerT 05-09-2009 05:39 AM

If you go the battery tool route, make sure you have several batteries or the means to recharge them on site. I would want at least three or four batteries, they do take some time to recharge.
There are also right angle battery grinders that you can use cut off wheels.

If you have to rent tools, you might want to get a small generator and go 120v tools.

crussell85 05-09-2009 07:50 AM

i guess i would want to know how much a new quarter panel would cost. there are some budget body parts all over ebay you just have to spend some time looking around. How much is the junkyard charging for the panel? How much is a new panel? How much work is it to remove the used panel and salvage it? But if you have to use the used one I would go with the hammer and chisel idea. Can you just buy a cordless reciprocating saw then return it the next day, LMAO.

Brimstone 05-11-2009 11:02 AM

Don't ignore the air compressor - they do have engine-driven compressors that'll do the job exceedingly well. Course it might not be cost effective if you need to buy one of these (they might be available to rent, though).

I wouldn't even plan on using a hacksaw unless it was as a last-ditch backup when the primary cutting tool (saws-all, jigsaw, etc) couldn't finish the job. I had used a battery-powered saws-all to cut the windshield panel out of a '79 Trans Am - and the batteries died before I could get to one of the most difficult areas to cut. Took me almost as long to cut this 6" strip with the hacksaw as it did to cut everything else with the saws-all.

Tin snips could work *if* you can easily get to all areas of the sheet metal, and the chances of being able to do that on a quarter panel are exceedingly slim.

Definitely go with the saws-all, though - you'll be glad you did. 2 batteries has a chance to do 1 quarter, but 3 would be better. Also grab plenty of blades in several different lengths - if you think you've got enough blades, then grab more.

Also, plan on eating your Wheaties before you go - this is a PITA job no matter which way you cut it.

matt167 05-11-2009 11:21 AM

see if they have a yard guy who can remove them... last time I needed some sheetmetal parts, I found the car with the parts I needed ( taillight surrounding sheetmetal ) not expecting to.. ran to the rental place down the road, tried to rent a battery operated sawsall, but he wouldn't rent it to me, cause he didn't have enough good batteries. went to lowes and bought a hand sawsall thing and went back.. after about 1/2 way thru, I rode the bus to the yard man, paid him $50 and he fired up his generator and used his saws all.. the car was a '55 Chevy so it was worth it.. sheetmetal only cost $16 at the counter

jaguarxk120 05-11-2009 05:37 PM

You can also rent a Target saw. Engine driven cutoff wheel. 12 inches in diameter and cuts anything!

jimfulco 05-12-2009 10:38 PM

See if the yard will let you run an extension cord out there. One of our local pull-it-yourself yards let me run 150' of cord so I could Dremel out a broken retainer bolt that was keeping me from getting a pair of axles.

timothale 05-13-2009 10:07 AM

like cutting glass
II have cut sheet metal panels by using a hacksaw at the edges. Pillars etc then used a very sharp wood chisel and then hammer enough to put a crease in the metal and work along leaving an indent line. The stress will start to break the metal about 6 inches back from where you are striking and if you can start to flex the panel back and forth the line will start to break faster

bobinbc 06-01-2009 02:01 AM

Gas powered chop saw, looks like a chainsaw with a cut-off wheel on it instead of a chain. Caution: this thing goes thru metal like a hot knife thru butter, flesh and bone - well you can imagine. Can be rented.

jaguarxk120 06-01-2009 06:50 AM

The nice thing about a traget/chop saw is you can get the part/ body section out fast. Being able to cut fast is a very big plus factor when working on a old wreck. You already know the saw will cut anything so your careful about its use. There is less chance of body (your body) parts snagging on sharp sheet metal.

deadbodyman 06-01-2009 04:55 PM

when I go to the yard I bring my little lunch box generator and sawzall I can carry both in one hand even with a full tank of gas. it aint good fer nuttin else but drillin and cuttin ,I paid less for it than my sawzall oh yeah ,dont forget your glass cutting hammer he,he See your local pawn shops

jaguarxk120 06-01-2009 05:23 PM

Great idea, the small generator, and sometimes they can be picked up for a real good price. That way you can have not only a sawzall, drill, die grinder too. :thumbup:

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