$150 for a quarter is a great find indeed! Replacing quarter panels is a
pretty easy job as long as you are patient and don't expect to get it done
in one day's work. From my experience I can offer the following:
While the new quarter should include the door striker panel, I usually use
the old one. This involves removing this striker panel from the new fender
(just a few spot welds to cut out). I've found that by leaving the old
striker panel in place and welding the new panel to it you don't have to
worry about alignment with the door (assuming your door to quarter alignment
was good to begin with).
Your new quarter should include the outer portion of the inner fender.
Getting to all of the spot welds at the seam of the inner and outer portion
of the inner fender is next to impossible. I use a sawzall just outside of
the seam so I can separate the quarter. I then go back and clean up the
seam with the spot weld cutter.
There are two seams hidden by lead - one just fore of the trunk in line with
the trunk opening. this is a lap type seam and you can feel it from inside
the car underneath the rear deck. The other is just inside of the tail
lights on the rear panel (you can see this one from inside the trunk). I
usually use a grinder to work my way through the lead. You need to make
sure all lead is removed before you try to weld the new quarter on.
I can't think of anything else off of the top of my head. Just remember
there are plenty of spot welds and a spot weld cutter is definitely
something you will want to get. Having plenty of welding clamps on hand is
also a good idea. You will want the clamp the quarter at all attaching
points to make sure it is lined up before you weld anything . Check and
doublecheck trunk and door alignment as well.
>From: Fred Schroeder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Thursday, September 06, 2001 7:56 PM
>Subject: Quarter panel replacement
>Several years ago I came across a quarter panel at a dealership. For
>$150 I nearly broke my arm getting my billfold out! Now I'm looking to
>utilize this little gold mine. (I'm convinced that "Datsun" is Japanese
>for rust.) Nothing mechanical worries me, but body work is FAR from my
>strong suit! And, considering what they cost today, I certainly don't
>want to ruin it.
>I was told by a reputable source that they are easy to replace and I
>shouldn't be afraid to tackle the project. I own a oxy-acetylene rig
>and a spot welder and am well capable of using both. Considering the
>above, I would like to have some other opinions as to the pitfalls I am
>likely to encounter. Any input would be greatly appreciated.