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Old 03-31-2008, 06:22 PM
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Welding on Quarter Panels

I'm gettin ready to replace the quarters on my 87 Monte SS and had a question about where to cut. Is it easier to cut along a body line or on a flat surface? I figure it would be easier on the flat part because then you wouldnt have to mess with the angles of the body line and stuff. Any opinions/facts?
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:47 PM
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I just have to say that sucks you have to do the quarters on an 87 anything!
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:09 PM
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What kind of quarters do you have? Are they partial, or are they full like OEM?

Brian
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:31 PM
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One is a full and the other is a skin but is about 3/4's of the outside. I would of got 2 full quarters, but the other one was dented and rusted so i cut a partial off an 85 SS.

I know it sucks, but it is 21 years old now and saw about 17 years of Central New York winter (in the snowbelt 200"+ per year) until i bought it last year. The frame is solid as can be but the rockers and quarters didnt fair quite as well.

Last edited by mightycarlo10; 03-31-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:38 PM
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Just to add, the quarters are rotted around the fender lip and the rear lower quarter. If i cut 2 inches up from the wheel well and about 4-5 up from the bottom i'd be in solid metal. I was planning on just cutting up the door jam and going straight back like 3 inches above the wheel well to the taillights. The body line is probably 6-7 inches above the wheel well.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:39 PM
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For the full quarter i go around the whole quarter with an air nibbler and get the majority of the old quarter out of the way. Then I go back and cut out all the spot welds with a spot weld cutter. For the partial most people go about 2 inches down from that top body line. I've seen them flanged and butt welded. I personally don't like partials and always opt for full quarters.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:43 AM
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First thing you want to get is a set of clecko clamps, sheet metal screws, chalk line, 3/32 cutting discs, magic marker, 5/16 punch, and masking tape. Set your replacement Qrter over the old qrter and mark a line along the top edge. This is going to be known as the the max cut line. You don't want to cut above this line. Next step is to make sure that you have 3 inches of good metal below the max cut line (ie no rust or paint.) make a line and call it the 3 inch line. Now in between the max and the 3 inch line is what is known as the ideal cut line. Remove the replacement qrter and start removing all the spot welds from the old qrter up to the max cut line. Now you can trim the excess metal from the old qrter up to your 3 inch line. Using your clecko's, mock up your new Qrter. Align all your body lines, door, trunk, light, everything. Go ahead now and drill 1/8 inch guide holes in each corner of the quarter for ref. (Bottom of the door jam, each opening of the wheel well, rear of the car ect.) Once you have all your ref holes go ahead and take a black magic marker and start marking the areas that you want your spot welds at. Put back as many spot welds as you removed from the od panel. Remove the qrter and punch out your holes for your plug welds. Now comes the moment of truth THE CUT. Take a piece of tape and mark the bottom of that 3 inch line. This mark is the area that you want to stay above because there is no metal below it. Reinstill the qrter and align it once again. This time in all the ref holes place a sheet metal screw into it to keep it aligned. Next you want to mark your cut line on your new qrter with the chalk line. This is going to be inbetween your max and the 3 inch line or your ideal cut area. Now Your ready to cut. Start at the edges. You first will have to remove the flanges at the edges to get the new qrter to sit flush. This will require you to remove the panel. Once you have your flanges cut and the replacement qrter lay down perfect. you want to double check your cut line. Once your happy your ready to cut. Now you are going to be cutting threw both peices of metal. What this is going to do is give you a identical 3/32 cut gap between both the new and old qrter. Start at the edge and start cutting along your cut line that you made between your max and 3 inch line. You want to cut about 3 ft at a time. Once you cut about 3 ft stop and peal back what is left over of the new qrter. What you should see at this point is the old qrter on the top, and the new qrter on the bottom with an identical 3/32 gap between the 2. Place a tack weld directly in the center of the cut (be sure you flush the two panels before you tack.) Then place a tack on each end of the cut, however leave your self enough room to get the cutting disc back in so you can contiue your cut. Continue this process. Once you've finished cutting, the left over metal from the inside you simple fall out in the trunk. Now you should have a tacked in qrter. Next step is a lesson learned. Hold your self back from completely tacking in the qrter at this point. You want to go ahead and do all your plug welds first. It's alot easier to move the metal around at this time then if it is completely solid at the top. Once you have it all plug welded, then go back and finish your butt weld at the top. If you have a tig, i'd use it, if you only have a mig, then go slow so you don't warp the metal. You should now have a prof. installed Qrter that will require no or little body work at all.

Good luck
Corey

Good luck
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:50 AM
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Thanks man. That helps a lot and answers all of my questions.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:42 PM
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Very good write up Dually! Sounds like you know your stuff. Want a job? LOL!
The only thing I would add is a Body saw works well too and you won't go through as many disks or make as big a mess or have sparks flying around but to each their own on that. Again Very Good!!!!
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:16 AM
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Thanks, Yes I've done quite a few of them! The cutting wheel is my perferred method for cutting threw both skins due to its strength and you can get a straighter cut if you go slow. My second choice would be a little air body saw but the blades dull out quicker when cutting through both qrters. Sawzall would be my last resort over a plazma or torch for cutting due to the length of its blades. You have a greater chance of cutting through something you don't want to with one of those. Here is a little tip on using the cutting wheel. I have an electric 4" grinder that I've taken the shield off, I get 3/32 cutting discs from home depot. I have a new full face shield that I use just for cutting with the disc and I keep it in a bag. Any ways the tip is when your cutting with a disc let the grinder cut at it's own pace. If you start getting off your cut line don't worry so much and what ever you do don't try to turn the grinder as this will open the cutting gap and make it hard to fill in the gap when welding. Instead continue cutting straight and start tilting the grinder side ways. The tilt will slowly cause the grider to cut left or right depending on the way you tilt it. Try it on a old piece of metal and you will see what I'm talking about.

Good luck.
Corey
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