from the editors of:
GM High Tech Performance
LOG IN / SIGN UP
GET THE MAGAZINE
tech & how to
engines & drivetrain
Chassis & Suspension
paint & body
Best of the Best
GM High Tech Performance
Paint & Body
1971 Chevrolet Camaro - Drawn And Quartered
New Flanks For A Second-Gen Camaro
Jul 1, 2005
Goodmark Industries Inc.
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
C. Hopkins Rod and Custom
Cleveland, GA 30528
View Full Article »
VIEW FULL GALLERY
1971 Chevrolet Camaro - Drawn And Quartered
Remove trim, marker lights, bumpers, etc...Take a good look at the car and the replacement parts it will require. You need to know exactly what needs to get cut off and what doesn't. For example, the gutter that holds the trunk weather stripping isn't part of the factory quarter; GM offered this as a separate piece. The Goodmark quarter is manufactured like the original, so keep the gutter. If you whack it off, you're going to have to put it back on. Know what you are doing before you start to save yourself grief.
Use a torch to melt the lead out of the factory seam, but don't burn a hole through the metal; you're just trying to melt the lead away. Please wear the proper safety equipment.
Use a brush to get all the lead out and expose the seam.
You have a couple of choices when you install the quarters. If you do it like the factory did, you must peel away the quarter from under the roof. Or, you can cut the old quarter right below the seam and butt-weld the two quarters together in the gutter area.
You can remove the quarter with a plasma cutter, a cut-off wheel, or a chisel. Craig's considerable experience makes him comfortable using chisels. He uses the V-shaped one to remove metal and the other to...chisel.
Once you have decided where to cut, be careful to not to disturb anything structural underneath. You want to rough-cut the quarter a couple of inches from its outside edge.
Always wear gloves, ear protection, and safety glasses. A piece of metal in the eye isn't fun.
Remember to stay a couple of inches from the edge of the quarter and don't worry about taking out the factory spot welds. You can do that during the fine-cut procedure.
Once again, stay a couple of inches away from the outer edge of the quarter.
Finish the rough cut around the entire panel.
With the side of the car exposed you can see that the trunk floor and the rear tail panel also needs to be replaced. It's better to do all of the needed work at one time.
Before the old quarter comes off, it's nearly impossible to know what parts you will need. To be safe, plan on replacing wheelhouses and trunk extensions before you begin. You don't want to sit around waiting for parts, so you need to plan ahead. You might find that the car is worse than you thought. It may need inner wheelhousings, a rear tail panel, rockers, a trunk lid, a deck filler panel, a trunk floor, and trunk braces. Here, the trunk drop-off will need renewing before the new quarter goes on.
Now that the panel is off, begin to remove the remainder of the quarter.
For easier access, use pliers to pull the excess sheetmetal out.
Chisel away the excess material from the wheelhouse. Always point the chisel away from you.
Use a grinding disc or sandpaper to locate the spot welds. You will find them in the doorjamb area, the roof seam, along the wheel opening, the trunk, and the back glass area.
If you are uncomfortable using a chisel, then drilling out spot welds is the easiest way. You can drill them out with a spot-weld drill or regular drill, but be careful not to perforate the inner structure or you will have to weld the holes in the underlying panel closed before installing the quarter.
Craig prefers a chisel to remove the rest of the quarter.
Next, he begins to chisel the doorjamb area...
...and then chisel some more.
Use the chisel with a delicate touch so you won't cut into structural areas.
When you have the rest of the panel cleaned off around all the spot welds located in the wheelwells, jamb areas, and the rest of the quarter, use a grinding disc to make sure all areas are absolutely clean. A hammer and dolly will straighten any areas that need attention.
Here is the first test-fit of the new quarter. As you can see, the trunk extension has already been installed.
If you don't get the quarter correctly installed at the seam, the entire panel will be off.
Take a close look at the gaps and the spacing around the quarter panel.
Just like NOS panels, you may need to tweak the panel to get it gapped exactly like you want it. Since we are going to butt-weld our panel, we make sure that the trimmed area lands in the gutter where the panels come together. Butt-welding makes the strongest joint, so don't overlap the pieces.
Mark the locations of the welds as close to the original ones as possible and remove the panel.
A punch would have difficulty reaching the areas that the spot-weld holes must go, so use a 3/16-inch drill bit to make them.
Once this is finished, sand away the EDP (Electro-Deposit Primer) so the metal sur-faces will be clean to weld.
Use a punch on the areas that are easy to reach. Since the quarter is about to go on, make sure everything is clean and straight. You can paint the exposed metal under the quarter with weld-through primer or rust-preventive paint.
After clamping the left and right quarters in place, Craig test-fitted the Goodmark tail panel. He examined every gap closely, and when he was satisfied with the fit around the window, trunk area, tail panel, wheelwell, rocker, jamb and top, he looked at the lines with the door closed (remember, the door stays in place during the entire process).
Weld the wheelwell openings. Plug- or spot-weld everywhere there was an original weld.
Sand away the EDP coating. If you decide to butt the panels like we did, leave a gap of 0.035-inch between them so the metal can expand when it heats up. Maintain this gap by inserting a small screwdriver into the seam next to the welder tip. This trick also keeps the panel from buckling. Never weld in a continuous bead here; it will cause the panel to distort from too much heat. Put the welds an inch or so apart and then go back and fill it in. Move around the area so the metal doesn't overheat.
All of the welding was done on this car with a gas tri-mix MIG welder using a 0.023-inch wire. This method required less amperage, so there was less heat buildup and less distortion.
Once the welds are finished, sand or grind them down and use filler for the seam where the roof and the quarter meet. Craig prefers plastic filler on the factory seam because it reacts better with today's paints. You also can emulate the factory medium and use lead.
4.8L VS 5.3L Engine - Tech - Little LS Slugfest - Super Chevy Magazine
Most people look past the small 4.8L engine and go straight for the bigger ones. In this Little LS Slugfest, we compare both stock and modified versions of the 4.8L and 5.3L engines, now you be the judge!
LS1, LS6,LS2, LS3, L99, LS4, LS7, LS9 And LSA Engine History - GM High-Tech Performance
Web exclusive content of the history of the LS engine which includes the LS1/LS6, LS2, LS3/L99, LS4, LS7, LS9 and the LSA, only from GM High-Tech Performance Magazine.
Building a 700 Horsepower 454 On a Budget - Super Chevy Magazine
We take a junkyard 454 shortblock, and without taking it apart bolt on a new top end and other parts to make 700 horsepower for less than 2500 dollars - Super Chevy Magazine
10 Best Mods for Trailblazer SS
List of 10 best mods for the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS to help make the LS2-powered SUV haul some serious lumber.
recent how to articles
Techin’ In With Fletch - October 2014
Inside the New 507-cfm Brodix SR20 Chevy Cylinder Head
E3 Spark Plugs - How It Works
How to Install a Weiand Supercharger on a Small-Block - Street Smart 383
Corvette Product Preview - November 2014
subscribe to the magazine
Subscribe and Save 74% off the Cover Price!