The back of the car was in a bit of a mess. The left side rear quarter panel had rusted through and the worst part had been cut out and left, this of course compounded the problem and made the rest of the panel along with the outer wheel arch only fit to be a tea strainer with all the holes in it.
I knew that the left side would need to be replaced and possibly the right hand side. I was going to wait and see what the verdict was once she arrived to Mustang Maniac. The first part of the job was to sort out the floor pans and check the chassis. This was easier said than done as the underside had already been coated in under seal. The decision was to mount the car onto a rotisserie and clean it up before being put onto the Jig before any major body work was to take place.
The technique is the same for both sides of the quarter panels and I have selected the best photo’s to show the process rather than duplicate the pictures. So I explain it once but BOTH sides were given the same treatments.
The Chassis legs needed to be replaced rear and the floor pan supports at the front. Click here for the quick link. The car was mounted on a jig after the chassis and floor pans were completed and the work on the rear quarters got underway.
The first step was to remove the rear light section and dismantle the trunk area. In order cut the quarters away the “B pillars” would need to have the spot welds unpicked along with the wheel arch welds.
The rear quarters of this time were brazed to the back of the roof and the trunk rain gullies. To make this work the quarters were cut away below the brazing line and removed from the pillars and the wheel arches. The rear wheel arches were cut away around the main supports and the new arches would have to be fitted and cut out to make them fit around this main support area then welded into place.
The lead brazing would need to be heated up, brushed out and then the old part of the quarter to be removed. This would leave all sorts of jagged edges that would need to be addressed. Now many restoration companies will simply weld the panels in place and fill the holes. Or they skin the panels below the brazed line and weld the inside via a stepped layer of metal approach. This will look fine for a while but will eventually blow out or the panel will look distorted when welded back into place.
With the full brazing removed the new rear quarters would roughly offered up to make sure they fit without the outer wheel arch to make it easier to manoeuvre in place against the B pillars.
The leading edges of the C Pillar downs were rotted as they normally do so a new piece of metal had to be fabricated into place.
The quarters are to be aligned to the B pillars and the door gaps checked to make sure they fit. The comes the tricky part to fit the outer wheel arch to the remaining section of the rear end.
With the outer arch held in place and the rear quarter offered back to the car the arch was tacked into place before the final weld up and seam seal. The inner shell was cleaned up and painted with red oxide to protect the metal work from rust.
The new replacement quarters were then sprayed with the correct colour as the final spray would not be able to get to the bottom of the panels without making a mess further up where the eyes will pick it up. The main paint job will of course go over the inner arches but it will be indistinguishable from the pre painted layers previously applied.
The trunk section was now built up for the replacement chassis legs, drop sides and rear light panel. These were all aligned and welded into place and cleaned up ready for an under coat.
A white undercoat was applied to the car that had now been cleaned up and then a couple of light coats applied to the trunk area in various stages.
A base top coat (unlacquered) was applied ready for the final paint job.
The rear quarters where then lightly tacked into place ready for the truck area to be built up and the rain gullies fitted to the rear light panel and lower valence. Once the parts were aligned the full welding was completed to the B Pillar and the replacement brazing to the original specs was applied.
The quarter end caps were fitted and aligned up to the light panel along with rear valance and gaps adjusted as required to make sure the bumper would line up too.
The final part was the brazing of the quarter to the roof C Pillar downs. The lead was applied and smoothed over as the original cars were built for strength and now allowing the two panels to separate under extremes.
Last but no means least was to get the car smoothed over ready for the final very fine filler and paint ready. Filler was applied to the rear quarters for the imperfections and the lead work was filled and rubbed down to.
Related Quick links:
Trunk and Tail Light Restoration click here
Chassis and Floor Pans click here
4 thoughts on “Rear Quarter Panel Replacements”
You need to edit and remove any mention of a B pillar. Mustangs do not have B pillars
Hi Craig, you are correct, but for easy of explanation it was easier to say B pillar for those references as that is where they would be.
Now how come you brazed instead of just mig welding it? This is just about where I’m at in my build and I just planned on migging it or even tigging it. Thanks!
Hi, I was brazed because that is how they were from the factory. The brazed joint is stronger and will join across the whole surface not just the edges as welding. This is also a structural part of the car around the c pillar and trunk area. Leading was done for the same reason and not welding, less heat to distort team metals and just a strong a join. But I have seen many of these sections welded. The choice of course is your preference.
Hope that helps.