Removing the Drivers Quarter Panel
In the last post I set up the doors and trunk as to get a body reference lines. With all the references set up for the doors and Trunk lid, etc. I started by taking measurement of the placement of the rear quarters on the tail panel. I also check the angle of the top of the quarter panel. This measurement will align the quarter with the Trunk and the rest of the body lines, such as the end caps.
Next I inspected inside the quarter panel looking for any braces, or extra metal that I need to save. I found a drip pan in the trunk that you’ll see pictures of later.
Now it’s time to mark the quarter for my first round of cuts. Using a grease pen I marked around the edge of the quarter staying away from any braces, and the bends that are spot welded, I’ll cut them out later.
Now using my cut off wheel and a saber saw with a metal blade, I went around the mark on the quarter panel and removed the majority of the quarter. The cut off wheel was needed for the areas where the bracing was close to the body, and where the replacement lower quarters were welded in. Welding is very hard and would destroy a saw blade in very little time.
In the pictures above you can also see the area of the wheel well, I patched in the post “Rear torque box, fender well” All that upside down welding for nothing, oh well, at least I can that I got good penetration on my welds 😉 Since I was this deep in the fender area, I removed that outer portion of the wheel well and ordered a replacement.
Next I ground out all the spot welds, using a very thick cut off wheel, as shown in the first picture. For the thin metal on the body panels this give me much more control than I would have trying to drill them out
Grinding them out takes some practice too, I found the best way was to grind around the spot weld until I could see the metal glow all the way around the edge, this way I knew that the two parts were separate. LIke I said it takes some practice, I used the lower spot welds on the trunk drop off as I was not going to keep that area anyway, so If i goofed up it was no loss.
I just started one end and worked my toward the other, you can see in the second photo I kept lifting the metal up as I went, this way i could be sure it was loose. Once I had the metal removed, I sanded down the raised areas left by the spot welds. In the last photo, you can see I also found some rust, that we will be repairing in an upcoming post.
Here is a photo of the drip pan I was talking about. You can see in this photo that there is some rust. Also the Deck filler panel (The panel between the trunk lid and the convertible top) is badly rusted and will need to be repaired. Fortunately Dynacorn has just released this part, so I’ll be cutting it out and replacing it.
Next time we’ll start repairing the rust and removing the deck filler panel.