Friday, January 29, 2010

Removing the Ghia's Right Rear Quarter Panel

I've spent the last few weeks doing more head scratching and starring than welding and grinding. I need to get the rear end of the ghia back together, but I need it to be correct. I realized last weekend that I needed a second brain involved and I called my wife's Grandpa Cecil to see if he could bail me out again!!! Tuesday night he came over and we started making forward progress again.

For Cecil it all comes easy. Most of the problems that stop me dead in my tracks are just simple things that he's encountered before; either in fabrication or repair. My problem was the gap for the rear decklid. It was pie shaped because the rear quarter was improperly installed by the PO's "bodyman."

It seems simple enough, pull in the top of the opening and push out on the bottom. Unfortunately, every time we did that, the skin flexed up by the door. We welded on a couple scraps of rebar to give us something to clamp to and draw the gap together. Again, too much flex in the forward section of the panel forces the bottom of the opening even further in.

After about 2 hours of fighting, we decided it was time to remove the whole quarter from the B-pillar and find out if there was something else wrong... Yep. MORE CRAPPY REPAIRS!!! The skin was welded onto the B-pillar with about 1/4"-1/2" gap between the mating surfaces. There was bondo and caulking stuffed into the void. There was also a 1"+ buldge in the wheel well that was pushing the front end of the panel out, creating the uneven gap at the back of the car.

I have knocked the wheel well fairly straight again, welded up a bad section in the well, and I still need to work the B-pillar over a bit to remove the gap between it and the door skin. While I had the panel off, I decided to knock off the major rust and hit it with some POR-15. I forgot how much that stuff can stink up the house!

Rebars welded on so the clamps have a place to "grab on"

Rear Quarter removed (Am I in over my head?)

Everything coated in POR-15

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Right Rear Quarter finish up

Got the last section of the right rear quarter welded up and finished out. Now everything on that corner of the car appears to be solid. I don't have photos, just a video posted up on youtube. I'll hopefully remember to start taking photos again.

I got inspired by this guy: and decided I needed to step up and fabricate the tool I need to fix the nose bead on the front of the car. I went to the local metal supplier and dug through his scrap bin. I found a couple round bars that looked about the right size and a couple pieces of solid bar stock to make tools from. The tool works great on scrap sheet metal pieces. I suspect it will work great on the car as well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Passenger Side Rear Quarter Continues

Here are a few vids from the quarter panel repairs. Hope you enjoy them and learn something.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Passenger Side Rear Quarter Patches

While trying to straighten out the issues with the hood gap around the rear decklid, I discovered some chipping paint on the lower section of the right side quarter panel on the driver's side. After grinding off the paint, I found a 2" hole that had been filled with bondo and painted over. There was NO metal behind it at all. I cut off the rotted section and found more rot on the wheel well inside where the quarter welds on. I wound up having to cut out even more of the panel to get to the wheel well underneath.

I made the repair to the well, then started making the patch for the bottom of the quarter. There is a compound curve just below the indent for the bumper. I spent about 15 minutes with my HF planishing hammer and my redneck shrinker making the curve. After it was formed and fit up, I started welding everything back together. I still have a section I need to fab up and weld in either tonight or later in the week.
quarter with bad metal removed and the wheel well patched up.
patch with compound curve getting fit up and ready to weld

patch welded in
This is the extra piece I cut out to get access to the wheel well. It's getting welded right back into place.
Everything ground down. I still have some patching to complete. I might break out the POR15 before I go much further.