How to Replace a Quarter Panel on a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air - The Full Quarter

Solving the Tri-Five quarter-panel blues, thanks to Real Deal Steel.

Patrick Hill Jun 3, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Jamb 2/19

7. With the car’s original coral paint showing again, we drilled out the spot welds, then split the rest of the quarter from the jamb reinforcement.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Trunk Gutter 3/19

8. Next, we moved to the trunk area and split away the gutter area around the trunk opening.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Fast Etch Rust Trunk 4/19

9. With the old quarter completely removed, we scrubbed the inner quarter with a heavy wire brush, then treated it with Eastwood’s Fast Etch rust remover. It eliminates rust while leaving behind a zinc phosphate coating as it dries. After that, we used Eastwood’s zinc-rich galvanizing compound to prevent any further corrosion.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 011 5/19

10. Before setting the new quarter in place, we installed a new outer wheelhouse seal, which goes between the house and the quarter.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Clamps 6/19

11. After setting the Real Deal Steel quarter in place, we used clamps and the old door latch assembly to hold the panel in place up front, plus other clamps around the rear flanges.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 013 7/19

12. The Real Deal Steel factory quarter-panel fit like a glove. The trunk gutters were a perfect match to the originals on the car, the doorjamb slid easily into place, and we swore the thickness of the metal was a heavier gauge than the original we removed. The quality was exceptional.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 014 8/19

13. With the panel clamped securely in place, we double-checked the alignment, then started welding up by the roof brace. We used our Eastwood MIG Spot Weld Kit (PN 13901) to attach our new quarter. The special tip that comes in the kit allows you to simulate factory spot welds and works with any MIG welder.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 015 9/19

14. From there, we moved down into the trunk gutter.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 016 10/19

15. After the gutter, we moved up to the doorjamb. If you have rust or accident damage to the brace or inner structure, Real Deal Steel also sells replacement panels to fix this. The part number for the passenger side brace is HCDJPR-567, driver side HCDJPL-567.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 017 11/19

16. Going underneath, we spot-welded the quarter to the inner rocker. We didn’t fully spot-weld down here because we might need to adjust the inner rocker that had already been replaced before.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 018 12/19

17. The last part is welding where the quarter meets the rear inner fin panel. Originally, there would’ve only been some spot welds on the inner flange to hold these together, then the seam was filled with lead and covered over. We don’t like the idea of loading that much filler into the body, so the talented Greg Lovell of Antivenom Performance welded the two pieces together along the seam. After welding, he ground down the welds on the seam and smoothed them out.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 019 13/19

18. And here’s what we’ve got. This entire part of the car is now brand new, no filler, no patches, and rust free. Our ’55 is finally starting to look like a car again. The Real Deal Steel factory quarter really impressed us with its quality, fit, and relative ease of installation. In the future, we’ll cover how to drill the proper holes to attach the Bel Air/210 trim on cars so equipped.

Sources

AntiVenom
Seffner, FL 33584
813-381-3995
www.antivenomefi.com
Eastwood Company
Pottstown, PA 19464
800-343-9353
http://www.eastwood.com
Real Deal Steel Bodies
855-567-1957
http://www.realdealsteel.com

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