|Rambler American Restoration
Driver's Side Quarter & Rocker Panels
Part 1 - Prepping The Replacement Quarter Panel
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April 14, 2003
After the stunning success I had fixing the rust around the
windshield, I figured that it's time that I start to repair the driver's side quarter
panel and rocker panel. I haven't taken any pictures of actually taking the quarter panel
apart (but who really wants to see pictures of me using a drill?) but that job is going
well. It's actually been easier than taking the cowl apart with the exception of the areas
that are brazed together. I've been able to cut some of these areas apart but I'll need to
take a torch to the areas I can't cut apart and carefully un-braze (if that's a word) the
I was planning on completely replacing the quarter panel but I'd have to remove the
rain gutter on the rear door and loosen up the roof skin (which means taking the rear
window out) to do it right so I'll be replacing from roughly the door striker down. After
going this far into the project, I can see why it costs so much to have one of these
suckers replaced. The pictures below show about 4-5 hours of work.
Here's how I've progressed so far:
Cut out the spotwelds along the trunk gutter (this is the part the weather strip
attaches to) and then realized that doing so was a mistake so no picture :P
Cut out the spotwelds holding the wheel well to the quarter. Red dots are approximate
locations of the spotwelds I cut out.
Cut out the spotwelds holding the quarter to the inner side of the door jamb (this is
along the pinchweld that's covered by the windlace). Red dots are spotweld locations. Blue
lines are where panels are brazed together.
The joint between the pinchweld and the outer rocker panel is brazed. Cutting along
this seam did free it from the rocker but it's still attached to an inner panel. I'll have
to un-braze it to separate the quarter panel from the internal structure. Brazed areas are
shown in blue. Also visible in this picture is the structure of the rocker panel itself.
This is actually made up of three panels. The outer is the cosmetic part most people think
of when you say "rocker panel". The middle panel is the one looks somewhat
reddish brown and has the stamped hole in it. The inner panel appears white in this
picture and the floor pan attaches to it.
The seam along the top of the quarter where the roof, rain gutter, and quarter come
together is brazed. Cutting the brazed seam left me with the same situation as the bottom
seam. Also shown in this picture is the location of the spotwelds holding the package tray
to the quarter panel. Red dots are spotwelds, blue lines are brazed joints. Note that one
of the red dots is under the roof skin and cannot be accessed with it in place. The tab
that is spotwelded in that location is perfectly lined up with a hole in the middle panel.
I'm guessing that this is a factory alignment mark to make sure the quarter panel is
Cut off the bulk of the panel the taillights go in to expose the flange where the
spotwelds attach it to the quarter. I'll be using my cut off tool to separate these panels
instead of cutting out the spotwelds since this area is awkward to drill in. I would have
finished that job but I ran out of cutting wheels :( Once again, red dots are spotweld
locations and blue lines are brazed joints.
One area I have not addressed yet is the trunk drop off panel. I was tempted to leave
the factory spotwelds in place but after looking at it, I don't have good access to the
spotwelds between it and the trunk floor. Leaving it in place will also make it very
difficult to fit the section of the quarter panel I'll use as a patch to the car properly.
I need to replace the stop on my spotweld cutter before I take care of this.
Up next: Part 2 - I'm a gas
02/15/04 04:58:40 PM