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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to replace the rear quarters on a '72 mustang coupe. I found a deal on a quarter skin for the right side, for now. It looks as if it was damaged at one point and alot of filler was used, along with it rusting out over time. I seen a post where the skin is to go over your exsisting quarter panel. Is that true? If thats the case I just wasted a $100 on this skin. I need to replace with new metal. I was told get a skin, its not a whole lot of difference than a full quarter. But im not sure if its what I really need now, maybe a full quarter is whats needed. Anyways, can I just cut out what needs to go, and weld the new skin in place? Thanks in advance..
 

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The skin is used to replace what you cut out of the old quarter panel. Use as much as you want or need, it's up to you based on what the car needs. Sometimes (most times) it is easier to replace one big piece instead of three or four smaller pieces.

Slapping a skin on over the old rusted and collision damaged quarter is the "butchered" way to do it.
 

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agreed... :thumbup: :thumbup: plus it'll trap moisture between the panels and rot out in a year...the placement of the seam is MOST important...check it out.....stepping the seam gives it extra strengh for welding and helps prevent warpage get a flanger /punch from HF for 40-50.00 punch holes every 1"or two weld the holes at every fifth hole or so to keep the panel from getting to hot ..a quick shot with a wet rag after every weld helps but the panels will require customizing ,just a little ...and get a box of drill screws so you can remove and replace the 1/4 about a hundred times before welding.Ive found that 1 1/2" down from the top edge is perfect...same on a mustang...just run a piece of 1 1/2" masking tape along the edge and trim the final amount with hand snips.its a lot of work dont expect it to be perfect the first time.some 1/4's are so far off they cant be used check out the company from the pros before buying and beware of a deal,but you might get lucky with that one
 

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deadbodyman said:
agreed... :thumbup: :thumbup: plus it'll trap moisture between the panels and rot out in a year...the placement of the seam is MOST important...check it out.....stepping the seam gives it extra strengh for welding and helps prevent warpage get a flanger /punch from HF for 40-50.00 punch holes every 1"or two weld the holes at every fifth hole or so to keep the panel from getting to hot ..a quick shot with a wet rag after every weld helps but the panels will require customizing ,just a little ...and get a box of drill screws so you can remove and replace the 1/4 about a hundred times before welding.Ive found that 1 1/2" down from the top edge is perfect...same on a mustang...just run a piece of 1 1/2" masking tape along the edge and trim the final amount with hand snips.its a lot of work dont expect it to be perfect the first time.some 1/4's are so far off they cant be used check out the company from the pros before buying and beware of a deal,but you might get lucky with that one
I use a panel ripper with an air chisel for the first cut (red car) staying away from the edges in that pic I'm using 2" tape so I can make sure I end up with 1 1/2 " for final triming
 

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I'm going backwards but your very first step should be adjusting the gaps and body lines in the door and 1/4 so you'll be starting with good gaps and ending with good gaps set your jack stands on the suspension not the frame or rockers... taking the weight off the suspension will screw up the gaps... and leave the door on you'll need it as a referance point.the front of the quarter should wrap around and be welded in the jamb,it saves distorting the 1/4 when welding and a lot of unnecessary bootywork...the bottom and backside welds up like stock at factory seams,use a hammer and dollie to straiten the seams on the car and the new 1/4...there are many ways to break the factory welds but the air chisel is expensive and most important...I bought an ingersol rand at lowes for under a 100.00 with a quick release head,I've been using it for three years stedily,its a good one at a reasonable price...no need to get the very best
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank You! Ericnova, and DBM!! What I asked for and then some. I plan on going to where the car is located today and dropping off this skin! Thanks again... I will come back and post pictures of progress to finished once done.
 

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Your picking a hard car to do a quarter panel replacement on, the earlier Mustangs are alot easier. Whatever you do do not put new over old, cut it out and replace it. I started out on my 73 Mustang coupe by trying to patch just the rusted areas, it was a waste of my time. I ended up buying a repop and replaced the quarter, wheel well and trunk drop off. What you are most likely going to find is the wheel well and trunk drop off will be rusted. The thing I hate the most about 71-73 Mustang quarter panel skin replacements, is the body line by the door. The repops never match up like the originals, they just can't get it right. You can try to cut below the body line but most of the time the rust goes up higher than the body line. Then if you cut the quarter low and the wheel well is rusted you cannot access the wheel well with a low cut on the quarter. So if you replace the quarter with a skin then you will most likely have to cut it high up on the quarter panel above the body line. take a look at my project journal, it will give you a idea what is involved. I have a few details and pictures on my 73 Mustang quarter panel replacement.
 

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I'd like to see your pics badone... mabee help ...,I've solved that problem two ways in the past ...cameros too ...there certain spots that need special attention...I made a special tool just for reworking body lines...very ez to make
 

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I have the pictures in my project journal but I don't know how to put them on this thread. The three quarter skins I have done on 71-73 Mustangs have a problem on their repo panels. The makers don't put the right curve in the panel. When you try to align up the body line on the quarter to the door it puts a bow in the panel. What I have done in the past is cut a small notch or two in the lip that welds onto the pillar support. I then push the panel inward and tack weld it. When everything aligns up I weld up the small notches and finish welding it up. If a person didn't have to cut out the body line it would make things alot easier, but Ford made a bad design. Rust usually goes up high on the quarter around the wheel well. So if you want a nice straight cut you have to go up high. Ford also put a brace attached to the outer wheel well on the 71-73 Mustangs. So if a person has to replace the wheel well on their car which will most likely be the case, they have to cut the quarter panel high. This is so they can access this brace and the wheel well lip so they can be removed. I just wish I had a bunch of pictures on this, it would be easier to describe. When he gets into his quarter on his 72 Mustang he will see exactly what is going on.

One other note, their is a small metal lip attached to the tail light panel and quarter panel, it is sandwiched in between the two. When removing the quarter panel, do not cut this small piece of metal off. This is there used to align the rear quarter up. I have a picture of it in my project journal, you will see it.
 

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wraith

A full quarter costs at least 600.00 and you'll lose a lot of time and it'll be a lot of unnecessary work and there will be alot more chance of screwing it up.if you screw up a hundred dollar panel you can screw it up six times and gain six times the experance for the same price(win,win)..it only looks like a lot of welding,compared to all the preperation it took to get there,the welding was a breeze...as you see I followed the curve of the panel...after trying dozens of differnt ways,I've found this way to be the easiest and best plus the fastest...heres why,no measuring I start with 2" tape to rough cut it out with an air chisel (three prong panel ripper) it takes less than five minutes to tear the old one off and get inside for a better look...after I finish cut with 1 1/2" tape and SHARP hand snips I straighten the edge with hammer & dolly then grind both sides , the undercoating must come off so the flanger can work right...the best way to grind the back side is with a 4" air grinder as slow as you can get it to go,get too disks back to back be very careful you'll have the rough abrasive facing you ...this way you can grind backwards.if you dont understand I'll post a pic of it...but anyway after stepping the edge or "flanging" that little strip becomes very strong for welding especialy with the top body line so close...putting the seam any closer will create problems getting the tools in...any lower will cause unnecessary problems also... like warpage...when I finish welding and grinding you cant tell the quarter was replaced ..and thats in bare metal...both these 1/4s took two coats of ez sand putty sanded with 80 grit not bondo or 36 grit...the body work goes so fast and is in epoxy so quick its well worth taking your time...I hate useing bondo ,sanding sucks and takes patience , for me its a waste of time...when you knock on this 1/4 with your knuckle you cant tell theres anything but metal there...with bondo, filling a warped panel, no matter how nice the bondo work is... a couple of knocks will give it away,no body believes this until I show them... sooo,just like paint work...prep is everything.welding without warpage is a step by step prosess also... you dont "JUST" weld it on theres a ton of tricks that took years to learn I'll share those too. all any one has to do is ask but first theres a lot of prep work to do on the new panel with the same amount hard learned tricks and time savers
 

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badmerc

I'm assuming the body line alignment problem was an in and out issue not an up and down one so it looks like youve done everthing right and of good quality the notching for an in or out adjustment is a good way to go and in the jamb too.. good thinking ...you've built it in your head first then stopped when you ran into and obstical ...perfect. you should be giving me advice. :thumbup: :thumbup: DBM
 

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It is a in and out alignment problem, I don't know why they can't get the repo panels right. The first one I did on a 71-73 Mustang was in 1991 and the panel had the same problem. The last quarter panel skin replacement I did on a 71-73 Mustang was just last year and it was the same. I would think with around 20 years of reproducing these panels they would get it right. I really haven't done too many quarter panel replacements so I don't have too much advice. The only cars I have done them on were two 71-73 Ford Mustangs, one 66 Mustang, a 69 Nova and the bedside replacement on a 84 F150.

I also do the tape thing, it works great for making a sraight line for cutting. I have tried markers and welders chaulk and I always got off the line when cutting. I also don't drill out spot welds, I just cut up to the lip and remove the panel. I then take a grinder and grind on the spot welds and take a screw driver and pry the panel apart at the weld. After I pry a spot apart, I take a pair of pliers and pull the strip loose. It works pretty good and doesn't leave a small divit where you drill the spot weld out. The only thing I have to do is a little hammer and dolly work on the flange and clean it up for the new panel.
 

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BadHabitSS said:
What about using a panel adhesive at the top flange instead of welding??
ahhh someones been paying attention...I restored a carmon ghia almost ten years ago ...I rebuilt the whole bottom of the car and used nothing but glue with drill screws when it cured I pulled the screws and reglued the seam and holes so the glue was like a rivit...five years ago I saw it and it looked good "real good "now its ten years but the guy hasnt been over( he stills owes money) I think it works very well but one tube then was seventeen or twenty bucks....a lot more money but in my opinion its a much better joint and its completely water tight it should last much longer,but.........now its over 40.00 a tube.... and it dont go to far.. it would probably cost 100.00 or so per quarter, at that price I'll use lead.. that lasts forever,more fun too..the other problem I wonder about is a joint that high up is exposed to direct sun and extreme temp. and two dissimilar materials will expand and contract differently,I havent witnessed this but makes me wonder,how long ,so I weld everything .even custom cowel hoods made from scratch its not so hard welding without distortion how do you think they solder ic chips in circut boards without distroying them?By diverting the heat (sucking the heat up before it gets there)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What welder could I buy myself to get the job done? After all the information ive got here (thanks again) im thinking I should try this 1/4 replacement myself. I need to start somewhere... I know onebadmerc said this is a somewhat difficult car to do, but I figure nothing to bad could go wrong.. Maybe I should get the car back to my place and give it a try?
 

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If your only looking to do this one car and not more down the road, the panel bond glue is the way to go. The welder and all the incidentals needed to get it up and running(wire, shielding gas, regulator, gun tips, auto-dark helmet, gloves) will run you about $800 minimum just for one of the better 110V MIG machines, you can't do it with flux-cored wire or a bottom level 110v machine. If you think you might do more in the future though, the welder starts to pay for itself, just has a higher initial buy-in.

A lot of the new cars today have entire sections of the car glued together, it doesn't seem to have any problems with weather or temperature, and if it will pass crash standards it must hold up pretty good. A body shop friend of mine glued two 6"x 1" strips of sheetmetal together overlapping them about 3/8" like a lapped seam just as a test. The metal will actually tear apart beside the seam before the glue will let go :thumbup: . In fact, we couldn't get the glue to fail. A lot of modern shops are starting to use this technique more and more as more people learn what it is capable of. Modern 2-part epoxy bond tech is pretty amazing.
 
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