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Fiddling with Rambler's since 1995

Rambler American Restoration

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1967 Wagon Quarter Panel Repair
Part 5 - Putting It Back Together Part 3

April 1, 2006

A few days ago, I trimmed the first patch panel and prepped it for installation. I began today's session by grinding the paint off the car and patch panel in the area I was working on. Next, I lined up the first patch panel to double check it's fit. I ended up doing a little more trimming along the back edge of the patch, doing a little hammer and dolly work on the wheel well opening and trunk drop off panel, and then clamped the patch panel in place.

The square block with a wing nut seen below (there are several of them in the picture above but they're hard to make out) is a tool I got from Eastwood for lining up panels when you butt weld two panels together. They work great but you have to be able to get to the backside of the panel to install and remove them. I tacked the top edge of the first panel into place in about a half dozen places before I removed the first two clamps. I then did a little hammer and dolly work to line of the top edge better, added a few more tack welds and then started to line up the back edge and tacked it into place.

As I moved down the seam, I needed to adjust the panel to get everything lined up. My wagon was hit in the back at some point in it's life (the bumper's bent a little in the middle), who knows the history of the car I got the patch off of, and given the build quality of the day (or lack thereof), it's no surprise that things didn't line up perfectly. As it stands in the picture above, the patch is out less than a quarter inch at the bottom.

After I worked about halfway down the seam, I started my first welding pass. I spent well over an hour doing this pass. The idea is to not get any one area too hot (the hotter the metal gets, the more it warps). This will all need to be ground down, any warping fixed, and re-welded to take care of any gaps. Also, I have not welded the patch to the wheel opening or the trunk drop off yet. That will not happen until the second patch is installed. The reason for waiting is that it will allow me to move the quarter around so I can line everything up.

Up next: More work on the lower patch

Last Updated 04/02/06 09:28:36 PM