Quarterpanel and Trunk Replacement on 78 Camaro - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quarterpanel and Trunk Replacement on 78 Camaro

Howdy all,

I normally am just a engine and suspension mechanic, but I decided to take on a restoration project. I have to replace both quarter panels and trunk in my 78 Camaro. Ive found some sites for some tips but nothing concrete for this specific year, make and model.

I was just going to use a skin since its just the lower parts of the panel that need replaced. The trunk needs replaced because the shock tower busted through the trunk. I am a pretty decent welder but I have never done any body work like this before. So any tips or links to sites would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 10-02-2006, 09:00 AM
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I faced the same situation two years ago. I don't believe you will find a specific site that will lead you through it step by step.

By reading many sites you'll get a sense of the steps involved. One area that is rarely talked about but controls the success of your patching is taking measurements. Before you cut, you need to know where the locating points will be when you start hanging that metal back in thin air.

I found it imperative that I make measurements and mark dimensions on adjacent good metal - even scribe lines in the metal to guarantee they'll still be there after a wipe of lacquer thinner.

Look at these:

http://www.57rustbucket.com/

http://floorpans.pontiac455.com/

http://www.specialpatrolgroup.co.uk/spooky/

I have many pictures of the '86 Dodge truck that I'm putting supports and floor panels in if you have specific questions - just ask.

Paul
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:08 PM
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Wow, those are some really good links! Lots of good info there I really appreciate it!
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:21 PM
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There is some info in my Project Journal for a 73. Pretty sure its the same.

1.) The frame (unibody sheetmetal formed into a channel thats spotwelded to the body) will be JUNK. Pretty much a lock on that! I dropped the rear end out, and traced the outline on construction paper. Transferred it to 14 ga. sheet metal. Do it for inside AND outside of EACH rail. They are all going to be different. Clean off the old "frame" down to bare metal. Find a GOOD ground. Drill 5/16" holes in your NEW frame rails, and plugweld the new pieces to the old. After all 4 are in, trace a new bottom piece. Trim and weld in. Clean up your welds and bury it in POR-15.

2.) Do the same for the shock mounts

3.) If the fender is eaten away in front and behind the wheel, you will likely need a new wheelhouse. To do that right, its almost easier to hang a new 1/4. And trunk extensions, while you are there.

4.) Doing the trunk CAN get tricky. Where the 1/4 comes down into the trunk opening, you have to be careful!! There is a strip that runs from the back of the window to the rear tail light panel. Thats HAS to stay there!! The quarter overlaps it. Sandblast it clean so you can see what you are working with.

TAKE PICTURES BEFORE YOU START of all your gaps. ESPECIALLY the gap under the tail lights where the valance and the quarters meet.

Plan on a couple hundred hours!

If you have any specific questions , post them up.
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:22 PM
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If the shock towers are eaten through, watch for the spring mounts. They are next.

To do it over, I would look for a Southern Car, or Backhalf it!
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