Rear Quarter Patch Panel Installation
(My new passenger side front rear quarter section. The original is on the ground below - nothing left but Swiss cheese and Bondo.... )
Some New Tools
This project started sooo innocently. I decided that my old
College car will be sanded and quickly "Earl Sheib'ed" so I could enjoy it a
bit and then find it a new home, as I have another car that will be "The
final car" (I should know better...)
What Did I do?
As you can see on the left, there wasn't much left of this section
of the quarter panel. What's worse, this ugliness was covered with a
mess of Bondo and flame screen. I started with a wire wheel and buzzed
the Bondo off the car.
Old Mother Nature did plenty of damage. The rockers have held up well against the assault, but the rear wheel well and rear door jamb showed more and more rot as I wire wheeled them clean. The first patch was on the rear wheel well. I also spot welded the interior support piece back to the rocker. The grey-white sealer is automotive seam sealer. This can be found at any good auto body supply store. It goes on much like silicone, and also comes in a caulk tube. The difference is body sealer turns hard and adheres to metal.
Not much of the door jamb to rear quarter section left, so time to rebuild! Using 18 gauge sheet metal scraps I fashioned patches to rebuild the corner. I used .023 wire in my MIG welder and systematically spot welded the patches in. The metal is too thin to run a bead, so spot welds must be lapped to fuse the new patches, and fill any gaps where the patches meet. After the welding is done, a pass of the grinder smooths the welds out and shapes them into the work.
Using another patch, I welded the edge to the rocker and used my hammer to shape the metal piece to match the contour of the rear of the door, finishing off the door jamb area. The chalked area was used to cut off access metal and then blend the top of the patch into the jamb.
After grinding, the new metal is ready for a light dusting of primer. The body shop will use self etching primer and build primer to smooth the area. After that, the paint will make this fix disappear.
Now onto the front section of the rear quarter panel. This
is a common problem for all Falcons, as water collects along the bottom of
the quarter panel and rots out the seam between the rear quarter panel and
The angle grinder was used again to trim the door skin and create a patch. Using a board and C clamps to make a makeshift break, I bent the patch on the bottom so it could sit on the rocker, and side to match the bodyline inside the doorjamb area.
A few spot welds later and use of the hammer gets the panel in place to weld up.