Rear quarter panel, fix or replace

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Feb 24, 2003
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Question open to anyone, all opinions solicited.

Here is a pic of my driver side rear quarter panel, just behind the spare carrier. I probed gently ( with a top maul) and was able to knock the hole you see. Past the edges of the hole the steel is actually quite sound, the area under the hinges seems to be surface rust, although I believe the bolts for the hinge are rusted in.

Any suggestions on how to fix, new quarter or just patch, will be appreciated. If just patch, what thickness steel?

Appreciate any input.

Straylight.
 
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Mar 6, 2002
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if the rest of your tub is fine cut the rust out and just patch with 14ga sheet steel

but you might find more rust in other areas that might even be worse then you might be in need of a rebuilt steel tub , aluminum or fiberglass

mine tub was a bit worse and right now i am in the process of redoing it with heavy steel plate

after doing bodywork i usually spray that rustcheck ristkiller stuff on the insides where you cant see but make sure you do it after paniting as the paint will not stick to the oil
 
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Feb 24, 2003
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I think that the lower edge of the section of quarter panel is rolled, can I get patch material that is rolled ?

Straylight
 
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Jan 3, 2003
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CCOT has the panel in higher than OEM quality steel. It has the rolled edge, and you can cut what you need to patch it from the panel.
 
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Apr 20, 2002
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my theory on rust like that is to really probe the area and knock 90% - 100% of that flaky stuff out- it can only cause more harm than good. Rule of thumb, is 1" beyond visable rust for repairs and what you have is SOLID rust (so more like 2"). Having used the CCoT patches I have nothing good to say about them. Radius was wrong on pass side and drivers side was nearly 1" lower than factory quarter. They were installed, but they are coming off for a full Vintage Cruisers panel. You want the shortest area across a flat for a repair so cutting a complete panel is worth it to find the right spot. Get rid of the rot and put a band aid patch over unless you are ready for the full panel.
 
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Jan 30, 2003
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Depends on which way you want to go, money wise. Our truck had very similar rust on both sides that we patched. We ended up cutting out the entire rear sill and replacing with steel tubing that we cut and fit so that it rounded the edge into the rear quarter panels. We cut away alot of the rear quarters until we found solid stuff. Then we used strap to make a sort of frame to adhere the new steel for the rear quarter areas. The strap was attached to the new sill beam and the new quarter steel welded on top of that. Came out looking great for $38.50 for all of my rust including part of the bed. Make sure you cut til you get to solid stuff or you're wasting your time. Also, that rust inhibitor/converter isn't bad stuff to have on hand.
 
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Mar 5, 2003
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8)My area of expertise is with 60's, but I know rust. From the photo I would say this is definely salvageable. First get some paint remover you can brush on and apply it to the affected area(hinge too), scrap it off, wipe clean. Now with a twisted wire wheel on an angle grinder get rid of all traces of rust. Then with a propane torch heat up the intact bolt on the hinge really hot, in through your rust hole spray the back of the bolt with wd40( it smokes a lot) but it shrinks the bolt a little and will help lubricate it coming out. Once you get the hinge off you should be able to use the same technique with a pair of vice grips to get the broken bolt out, clean all the rust behind it. Now cut away all the area that had enough rust to make the metal thin. Here you are at a fork in the road, the best thing to do is weld a piece of sheet metal onto the area, but if you don't have access to those resources for one reason or another you can inexpensively rivet a piece of galvanized sheet metalin there instead. Which ever you choose next gently hammer patch just slightly below surface of surrounding area, treat exposed metal with rust converter and once dry use short strand fiberglass filler(its waterproof), glazing compound, prime(not from spray can) the stuff you put in your spray gun is much higher quality.
Good luck, 8). ERICH
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
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Thanks for the extensive help I appreciate it. I do have a welder ( just got a Lincoln SP-175 plus) so I can weld in a patch. What do you think, 16 or 18 gauge?. I was surprised when I whacked at the rust, I expected to have to replace the whole quarter panel but the rust is limited to what you see. I think I'm going to begin keeping count on how may bolts heads I break off!.

BTW: if anyone need a good 80 amp MIG wire welder, inexpensive, let me know. Welds flux core and solid wire, just needs a tank, comes with everything else. Half a spool of wire through it, thats all.

Straylight
 
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Before 5/76, the sheet is 16 ga; after that 18 ga. The rule of thumb is that if you only have to replace a flat piece or a curve only in one plane (no lips or compound curves) then just welding in a new piece of sheet is cheapest and easiest. If you have to do compound curves and complicated shapes (eg not flat), then buy a panel that is the closest to the OEM panel stampings.
 
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Mar 5, 2003
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Hey Straylight,
How's your project going? I was wondering what brand and model your mig welder is and how much you wanted for it? I'm looking for something inexpensive, also I was wondering where you were located in terms of shipping. Take care and good luck.
ERICH
 
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Feb 24, 2003
Messages
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It's a craftsman ( Lincoln Welding is the manufacturer) , 35 amp and 75 or 80 amp. Variable wire speed, will do stainless, mild steel, aluminum with right gas (regulator included with welder). Will do flux core wire w/o gas. I didn't get any response on this list so I put it up on ebay, right now it is up to $200. It is in excellent shape, about half a spool of wire through it. Here is the ebay # 2406814609.

The welder is in northern Indiana, on the state line between Indiana and Michigan at Lake Michigan. Michigan City, Indiana. It is about 70 pounds to ship, my zip is 49117

Hope this helps

Straylight.
 

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