Well it’s the second week in succession I haven’t managed to get to my car and it feels very strange now. But things have not been allowed to stand still at Mustang Maniac, the guys have been turning bits of my car into scrap! Of course I knew what they were going to do it and why. The left side rear quarter panel which was in the worst condition and the outer wheel arch have been cut away to leave an exposed rear chassis. The full quarters have to be unleaded from the rear roof supports. Once that is done then the “B” pillar posts spot welds are drilled out along with the spots for the outer wheel arch. The panels were cut away in small easier to manage sections and thrown unceremoniously into the scrap bin.
The lead has to be removed, cleaned up, preped ready for the full quarter to be re-fitted. In these pics you will see the lead being worked by Yogi.
I replaced the hinge pins a while ago (click here for the link) so there is no movement on the doors which is always a good idea when doing this type of work in order to avoid the door dropping on the hinge. You will also notice that the doors are still in place for a good reason, with the rear quarter removed from the car, the door is now the only constant to work from at this point, you will need as little movement as possible, hence the hinge pin replacement I completed a while ago because I knew this work was coming up. The full replacement quarter panel would need to do the same obviously but in reverse, matching up to the door now. Any misaligned panels at the rear will be multiplied considerably due to the length of the door and the fenders themselves. By the time you get to the stone bumper guard and the bumper itself, depending how bad the misalignment is, it could be enough to stop the panels being bolted back together again. The very common mistake is to take everything of the car and then weld the quarters on. The panel alignment should always be worked from the back going forward, the fenders and hood will have to line up correctly with the doors and hence the rear quarters. This is a very timely and tedious but critical part of the process, get it wrong and the car will look very odd. Or even worse, if this type of work is done without a purpose-built jig, beware!
Once the arch and the quarter were out-of-the-way, the old rotten section of the chassis rear left leg was to be cut away at the point where there is plenty of good metal.
A butt weld is not acceptable due to the stress on this part of the chassis so the guys make up a heavy plate which is to fit inside the original chassis leg and the new section of replaced chassis. The new section of rail was welded to the plate and the joint welded together to give the support for the welds and new rear rail.
With the chassis rail now in place the trunk cover panel section was placed over the rail and welded into place to offer more support and look a lot nicer in the trunk area.
I dare say I will have more red oxide painting to do when I am down at Mustang Maniac again to match it all up.