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Old 06-09-2016, 12:05 PM
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Final fitting of rear quarter skin?

I've got the quarter skin on my 54 Bel air pretty close. The skin needs to be shortened vertically about another 1/8" to properly fit the wheelhouse. How would you guys go about final fitment? Butt welding.

I'm thinking about using a cutoff wheel on a dremel to cut the existing gap wider and sliding the panels together. Do this until the panel fits the wheelhouse. Is there a better way?
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:31 PM
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Clamp to wheelhouse in proper position with new panel overlapping old at top. carefully cut overlapped material away so panels sit flush. Tack. Then pretty up your seam and prepare the gap for welding. Nice to see your progress, I had wondered how this was going.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:35 PM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. This is a PITA way to have fun, let me tell you.

Do I cut through both the panel and the car? Or do I cut just the panel, trying to meet the existing cutline on the car? Should I tack the overlap to the car to keep it from flopping around while cutting?
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiphead View Post
Thanks for the words of encouragement. This is a PITA way to have fun, let me tell you.

Do I cut through both the panel and the car? Or do I cut just the panel, trying to meet the existing cutline on the car? Should I tack the overlap to the car to keep it from flopping around while cutting?
If there is enough overlap, screw the two together then cut through both panels. Just be sure the scrap of old doesn't fall and get trapped behind the new. This will be close enough to tack into place. I like to use a very thin cutoff wheel when doing this. If there is not enough overlap, just cut VERY close to the new panel's edge, and check often to be sure you're cutting two layers.

You can cut six inches or so, level the panels and tack, then continue cutting. You are not committed because you can cut these tacks if the seam needs further refining. Keeps tacks to a minimum until you have the full length finally cut.

If everything is still flush after that, you can re-cut for a tiny welding gap in between the tacks or start welding if that already exists. If a tack is now holding it not flush, cut it and level it then re-tack. Repeat until satisfactory.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:22 PM
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OR... sorry... You can cut just the new overlapped layer and only make a mark on the old layer if you are careful with the depth of your cut. Then you can remove the new piece and cut on the mark on the old. This way is also quite accurate. My preferred method, actually.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:27 PM
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Splice That Lower Quarter Panel Section

Looks like you have it under control. I always try to remind people to be sure where you are going to cut when you are using a pattern. You have three options- #1 Cut on the line. #2 Cut on the OUTSIDE of the line #3 Cut on the INSIDE of the line. The main thing to remember is the THICKNESS of the blade. It removes metal! Cutting on the incorrect line might remove too much metal making the repair too small/short unless you add a strip of metal to the back side (too much extra work and you can see the repair from the back side)
If this isn't clear, test this operation using a small piece of wood and a saw. Also when tack welding the panel in place start your first tack weld at the center of the panel working from the center outward. Make your second tack. It's much easier to draw a diagram than to try to explain this, this technique works very well. Looking at the panel- there is a right side end and left side end from that point we have the "middle" of that panel. OK- 1st weld is in the "middle of the panel -- your 2nd weld will be placed in the "middle" again. Your point of reference? Between your 1st weld and the right side or left side ends of the panel continue welding small but penetrating spot welds. Always allow the welds to cool to minimize warping IT WORKS. Remember to alternate from the right side then to the left side this allows the panel more time to cool. Work from the center weld to the right, work from the center weld to the left. I hope I didn't confuse you too much, a piece of paper and pencil is much easier. Be sure to get your welder adjusted before you start on you actual project. Take it slow and easy too much heat will cause you much more work in the long run.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:59 PM
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I would leave the overlap and flange the new panel. Fit is underneath and weld away. This way, you don't grind too much weld off, no need to fill gaps with weld, no need for a backing piece either.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:21 PM
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I agree with Willys 33

I agree with Willys 33, much easier and less chance of problems. I usually choose butt weld repairs when both sides of the panels are available. You can "finish" the back side of the panel and no one knows that area was worked on. I realize my post was confusing too, as some people do they get anxious and ask advice second. I really wasn't recommending a backing strip, just a tip instead of trying to fill a gap with weld. Looking forward to seeing the progress. Enjoy
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:07 PM
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The EMS panel was flanged. I asked here about it, and the opinion was to butt-weld. So I pounded the flange flat and cut most of it off. So butt weld it is.

I think the contour of the patch isn't quite correct. I've got to re-bend about 3 inches of the area over the wheelhouse, as it isn't consistent. Looking at the pic, it tapers away from the inner wheeltub on the left side. If I install it like this, the panel won't be square with the rest of the car. I ordered some offset T-dollies I'm going to try to use to rebend that flange. Then I'll fit it back to the car and see what it looks like.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:53 PM
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Here is the latest progress. I had to cut the repair panel in half, as the part over the wheehouse didnt fit properly. The bend just wasnt right.

So now I have the lower quarter tacked into place. The fit is pretty good at the wheel opening and at the taillight. The problem is the crown is gone. The panel has gone concave. See the picture with the level, the panel is supposed to be crowned there.....

I can get to the backside of this. Should I try to stretch the metal at the weld line to get the crown back first? Or should I tack in the section above the wheel opening first? Or something else? How bad have I screwed up?
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:28 AM
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I don't see anything holding the bottom in place it needs to be fastened to the inner structure all the way around .If you push the bottom in the center might come out. The way your going your going to weld the flat in.
Whats the other side look like when you hold the straight edge up?
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:33 AM
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Did that happen when you tacked it? Looks to me like the panels were not held out when attached to one another. Like you'd want to cut those tacks, push the low area out, then re-tack. If there's not enough metal for that, you'll probably end up yes, hammering a lot and using a lot of filler.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:07 PM
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Its really weird. When I went to tack it in place, the repair panel had much more crown than the side of the car in that middle area. I tried to push the original sheetmetal out when tacking in place, but it didnt go out far enough to have the proper crown. Either the panel shrank from all the cutting with a dremel, or I cut the car too high. But that doesnt make sense since the front and rear of the patch panel fit about right. Maybe there is some "flop" in that front open section? Like if I cut the main tacks, would pressing the body above the wheel "flop" some crown over to the rear area?

Right now the panel is tacked along the major cut, a few places under the taillight and one place in the wheelhouse. There are several spots on the inner structure that aren't tacked, but it isnt going to budge up or down much at all. I might could cut the tack in the wheelhouse and rotate the panel outward, or see if the panel will "flop" but that may affect fit of the section over the wheelhouse.

I'll take a pic of the other side...

Last edited by Chiphead; 09-27-2016 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:23 PM
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That might help. More opinions sure would!

You might just need to flatten both the quarter and patch a little, and split the difference between low and high by tapping the seam out while backing up the quarter and patch with padded 2x4s or something.

You could make a cardboard (or whatever) template (or more than one) that when held vertically and perpendicular to the panel, hugs the right quarter's contour. You could flip that around and compare it to the left side. That might reveal the issue's root.

Re-read DBM's post too
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:34 PM
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The passenger side which has not been worked on....
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