Saturday, March 19, 2011

Full quarter panel and tail light panel finished

Today I blog about the completion of a major milestone for this car. You don't know this only because I haven't expressed it on here enough, but this quarter panel was the bane of my existence. It all goes back to LAST summer when I removed the quarter panel, then attempted--all winter I might add--to get it put on and lined up right. I was met with failure each time.

The biggest issue I was fighting was the fit in the wheel well. Since the edge of the original outer wheel housing was too shot to be used again, I cut this section off, and cut off the same section from a new outer wheel house to give a good lip for the quarter panel wheel well to mate too. The problem was I could not get the radii of the two to line up and was always met with a large gap inside the wheel well between the wheel house and quarter panel.

Finally Rosemary persuaded me to call Shaffer's, our local body shop, who is also the largest, and arguably one of the best, independent collision shops in the state. I finally took the car in there for it's second appearance (first was to get some frame straightening done) and let them deal with getting the quarter, trunk lid, and tail light panel installed. They did a fantastic job and it was worth every dollar. $1143 of them, to be exact. Let's start at the very beginning to do some review.

The quarter panel was in some bad shape due to a previous hack job of repairing it after some sort of collision damage. Of course this was revealed after i removed the paint as seen here.

So the entire quarter was removed.

This cross section shows the three sections of metal that comprised the quarter. It looks as if the middle piece of metal was the original quarter. They then put a quarter skin on it, and fabricated the piece on the top to create the body line. It is good work I must say.

The repair will require all of these reproduction pieces.

Because the rear trunk brace was dented in the middle and welded back together, I cut the entire thing out and welded in a new one.

If you noticed in the picture where the entire quarter is cut out, you'd have seen the trunk extension drop down was too worn away at the bottom to get a good weld to the quarter. I cut the drop down off a new one I had (that was accidentally ordered a long time ago, I might add), and welded it onto the old one. Also in this pic you can see the new outer wheel house lip on the old one.

...and the car with its new quarter.

New tail light panel and trunk lid fit in perfectly as well.

Finally, the real gauge of a bodyman's talent--the gaps. I'm including this pic because the door gap here is perfect and symetrical from top to bottom. Unfortunately I'm sure I'm going to have to remove this door once more. Hopefully I can get it put back on with such a nice gap.

So how did Kim, the body man doing this project get the wheel well to work out as perfectly flush as he did? He attached the wheel house lip to the quarter first, then fit the quarter. He then screwed the wheel house lip to the existing old wheel house.

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