CRG Discussion Forum

Camaro Research Group Discussion => Restoration => Topic started by: tom on October 30, 2005, 01:48:09 PM

Title: new quater panels
Post by: tom on October 30, 2005, 01:48:09 PM
I am plannibg to replace my rear quaters myself. I have been told to make sure the doors are properly aligned before I start. I expect I should also look into any trunk sections at the same time. What else is recommended before I begin? I have not attempted anything like this in the past. Is there a good reference on how to do this? I bought a mig welder to do this, but have no experience, I plan to preactice on some scrap panels before I start on my car. What kind of cutter should I use on the old steel? Can I do it with a cutter wheel on a dremel, of drill? I do not yet have a compressor so air chisels are not an option.

Thanks in advance,
Title: Re: new quater panels
Post by: DougD on October 30, 2005, 04:02:27 PM
I wouldn't begin to think about touching a project like this without a fully equipped shop/garage.  At a minimum, you ned air power.  A Dremel will take eons (and tons of wheels) to cut quarters off.  You'll have spot welds to remove, and lots of work to do.  Blowing decades of dirt and dust out of crevices, grinding metal to a clean usable surface, etc.  LOTS of work before you can just start slapping a new 1/4 on and migging it up.

If you'd rather not invest in the tools for the job, I might suggest towing the car to a shop to have the old 1/4 panels cut off and removed properly.  The end result will be far better and well worth it.
Title: Re: new quater panels
Post by: clwilcox on October 30, 2005, 11:55:04 PM
The following thread over at the Team Camaro web site will give you an idea of what you're up against.  I'm with Doug that you'll need a lot more tools to do the job properly.  Not to say you can't do it.  I think most people can with a ton of patience and the proper tools.  I'm doing mine myself, but I've spent over $1,500 on tools (compressor, mig, cutting wheel tools, etc) just to even think I'm near ready to start, and there are still tools I'll need.  I have more than just 1/4's to replace on mine though, so the expenses of someone else doing them for me starts to add up, not to mention I have another vehicle to restore after my Camaro is finished.  Anyway, read through this thread, it's many pages long:
Title: Re: new quater panels
Post by: little_hoss on November 01, 2005, 04:56:37 PM
Replacing the rear quarters may seem very intimidating at first but once you "dig in " to the project it really isn't that bad, just time consuming. I've replaced both rear qtrs. on my '67 and my '69 along with many other pieces of sheet metal along the way. As far as tools go, it sounds you like you have a good base to start with but you should really consider a compressor as a purchase as it will prove invaluable to you. Also, you should invest in a spot weld cutter and quality 3/8" or 1/2" drill to drill out the spot welds. You are also going to need at least a hand held propane torch to melt out the old body solder where the sail meets the roof panel. If you don't intend on using a compressor and air cut-off tool, there are many electric cut-off tools out there and you will definately need one, a dremel tool will not hold up to cuting off a qtr. panel.
Another thing to take into account is what is the extent of the body rot on this vehicle? If the qtr. panel is rusted along the outer edge of the wheel opening, you may need to replace the outer wheel well. Not a difficult task but one you may want to keep in mind.
Other than that, I like to start by melting out the old body solder and taking it from there. The hardest areas to remove I find are where the qtr. joins the drip rail. Very hard spot welds to get at with anything but a cut-off tool and it takes a delicate touch not to cut through the bottom of the drip rail. Other than that most of the spot welds are fairly easy to get to. It is also alot easier if cut out the face of the qtr. so all the welds are easier to get at. 
Title: Re: new quater panels
Post by: Buddy on November 01, 2005, 09:45:37 PM
One big suggestion... If you can find a set of GM Qtr panels BUY THEM!. The amount of work you save is way more than worth it in the end. Also the material thickness on the repros is thinner than the originals.

Title: Re: new quater panels
Post by: tom on November 03, 2005, 11:37:02 AM
Thanks for all the responses,
The drill is no problem, the compressor could happen very easily. Also I have a body shop nearby, may be able to drive or tow it over to have major cutting done there. Would it be preferable to use patches and just replace the rotted sections? I don't mind spending time, and there are many other patches needed as well. I will probably start inside the trunk, and work my way out to the fenders one patch at a time. I seem to recall reading that it is critical to get doors aligned first. That's more pf the process type info I was really looking for. I would rather be over cautious and do it right the first (and only) time.

Title: Re: new quater panels
Post by: shift1313 on December 31, 2005, 10:11:53 PM
i wouldnt drive it anywhere with 1/4's cut off!! especially if you are worried about doors lining up.