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OER Quarter-Panels - Playing Quarters
Project Orange Krate gets some much-needed fresh sheetmetal.
Jul 1, 2010
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Huntington Beach, CA 92648
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OER Quarter-Panels - Playing Quarters
Wanting nothing but the finest reproduction sheetmetal for Orange Krate, editor Nick Licata (the dude owns the car, too) looked to Classic Industries for the replacement quarter-panel. Their OER (original equipment reproduction) panel (PN 9868286) isn't just a skin; it's a perfect reproduction of the original factory-configured sheetmetal.
To prepare the car for the panel install, Brian Jordan of Competition Specialties began by removing the rear glass, assisted by an air-driven glass removal tool and plenty of muscle.
To complete access for the quarter-panel, Jordan used a Phillips screwdriver to remove the rear valance panel.
Continuing with the balance of the panel removal, Jordan changed the head on his air hammer to a flat 3/4-inch-wide blade to allow better access to the deep areas of the wheelwell, while being watchful of the inner support structure.
Once removed, the glass was stored in a safe place, as we plan on using it when we put the car back together.
Sporting proper safety equipment, Jordan began the inner perimeter panel removal by using an air hammer with a ripper-bit, starting at the top of the panel and moving forward. Be careful during this stage as to not damage any of the car's inner support structure.
To separate the top of the quarter-panel from the roof skin, Jordan used an air-driven grinder topped with a 24-grit disc to remove all the plastic body filler coating the region and expose the spot welds. This area would have been filled with lead by the factory had the panel been original.
Using a drill topped with a 5/16-inch bit, he carefully drilled out the spot welds. Once the spot welds were broken through, an air chisel was used to then separate the panels.
With the door lock striker and vent grille removed, Jordan addressed the doorjamb area with an air hammer topped with a 5/8-inch spot-weld breaker bit to split through the welds and divide the panels. A master of his craft, Jordan's execution was nothing short of perfect.
With the majority of the quarter-panel removed, the intricacies of the car's inner support structure are visible.
It didn't take long for Jordan to amass a pile of twisted sheetmetal next to the car!
At the rear of the car, Jordan used his air hammer capped with a 5/8-inch spot-weld breaker bit to split the delicate area between the quarter-panel, rear body panel, and upper trunk seam.
With the panel completely removed, you can see that the inner structure of the car was in really nice shape, aside from a bit of surface corrosion. Jordan then used a small grinder topped with a 24-grit disc to prepare the surfaces for welding.
The inner support structure took a beating from a past accident, which was apparent when the passenger-side door was closed. As illustrated by the arrows, you can see the door line was off quite a bit.
Jordan used a hammer and dolly to bring the inner support structure back into place.
Here you can see the results after a bit of reworking to the inner support structure. We now have a nice crisp door line.
To bring the outer wheelhouse lip back to its original radius, Jordan reworked the area using a hammer and dolly in preparation of the new quarter-panel.
With the inner structure of the car exposed, it made good sense to address all of the surface corrosion before installation of the new quarter-panel. Using a small grinder topped with an 80-grit disc, the surface corrosion was removed in a snap.
To prepare for welding, the surface areas were ground smooth and blown clean and properly sealed with a nice, even coating of SEM's PN 39783 Weld-Thru primer.
The inner structure of the Orange Krate looked factory-fresh once all of the surface preparation was completed. Even though it will never be seen again, the extra effort will be worth the extra time invested.
Our good friend Ray Williams who operates the local Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes store in Medford, Massachusetts, not only supplied us with all of our grinding discs and cutoff wheels, he also made sure we had plenty of aerosol to complete the job. To ensure proper metal coverage, a combination of SEM Self Etching Primer and Weld-Thru primer did the trick.
Once Jordan removed all of the surface corrosion that had accumulated on the inner body structure, he blew the surface clean and sealed the area with a coating of SEM's Self Etching Primer before test-fitting the new quarter-panel.
To prepare the new quarter-panel for installation, Jordan prefers to use an air-driven recess hole punch to create openings for spot welding every 11/2 inches.
Peter Newell, owner of Competition Specialties, lent a hand when it was time to test-fit the new panel. Once final adjustments were made, it was clamped into place. Newell then used sheetmetal screws to secure the new steel in place in preparation for final welding.
This image demonstrates just what it takes to properly align the panel with the inner body structure. Close attention needs to be paid to all related body and door lines prior to committing the panel to final welding. Here you can see the various Vise-Grips used to hold the panel in place during the adjustment process.
Using a Lincoln Electric Model SP-135T MIG welder, Jordan began the process of welding the new panel into place. It's best to take your time during this portion of the job to ensure nice clean welds.
Once all of the welding was completed, Jordan got busy with a small air-driven grinder topped with a 24-grit disc to knock down the welds and bring them to a nice, smooth finish.
It didn't take long to make a huge difference in the progress of the Orange Krate! Thanks to the team at Competition Specialties, and the fine folks at Classic Industries, the car has taken a major step forward in its body restoration.
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