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Old 07-31-2020, 08:08 PM
WSSix WSSix is offline
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Default Help me cut up my TA!

Calm down. I also would like help with welding it back together, too.

Here's what my rear quarter panel looks like now that I've removed the paint and bondo.







I have a quarter from a donor car that's in good condition except for this one spot.



What would be the best way to replace the damage area on the car?

I was thinking I would cut out only the damaged area avoiding the rust on the replacement quarter panel. I would try to make the cut below the marker light but still high enough up that I could work on the seam on the inside to make sure it's smooth and painted. I'd make my forward cut just far enough past the damage and marker light and take it all the way over into the trunk area. Looking at the area under the trunk lid, I think I would cut in between the weather strip channel and where the quarter rises up. My thinking is that this gives me a wide enough area that I can grind the welds and not have to worry about the weather strip channel. How does this plan sound?

My concern with the above plan is that I would have to align both the belt line and the top bend where the quarter forms the trunk seam.

My alternative plan is the come all the way to the wheel well and cutting diagonally across the quarter to the trunk area starting from above the belt line at the wheel well. Then, I'd follow the same space under the trunk lid to the rear of the car. I'd remove the quarter to inner wheel well and trunk extension spot welds there by essentially replacing the rear half of the quarter. This would prevent me from having to deal with getting the belt line perfect. I'm just not sure what I'd do about the rusted area from the replacement quarter.

Thoughts? Suggestions? This is by no means a show car so I see no reason to remove the entire quarter panel. I have no desire or need to remove the rear window either. I intend to butt weld the panels together and not overlap them. I appreciate any input.

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:32 PM
dhutton dhutton is online now
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If it were me I’d go at it with a stud welder, slide hammer, hammer and dolly and a shrinking disc. There is no shame in an 1/8” of quality filler.

Otherwise you want to make your cuts and welds near body lines to avoid warping the metal too much. Do some reading on how to planish your tack welds as you go.

Don

Last edited by dhutton; 07-31-2020 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:59 AM
WSSix WSSix is offline
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Thanks, Don. I'll be sure to look into the planish information.

The issue that I run into with trying to repair the current quarter is the corner under the top portion where the spoiler mounts and after the marker light. It's not supposed to be a corner. It's supposed to be rounded to meet the bumper. I don't know when all the paint and body work was performed on the car, but I've owned the car since 1999. The work they did was good aside from not rebuilding the radius and making it a corner.
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1979 Trans Am WS6: LT1/T56, Kore 3 C5/6 brakes, BMW 18in rims

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Old 09-08-2020, 09:47 PM
WSSix WSSix is offline
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Bring this back up cause I'm getting closer to starting the cuts. I have the portion from the old quarter I intend to use already removed.

One thing I am a little concerned with is that my rear bumper has always had a larger gap below the driver's tail lights than the passenger side. Yet, the bumper cover has always been up against both quarter panels so I'm not sure I can raise the driver's side of the bumper. I don't want to assume I can simply make adjustments to get it right. I'm concerned I'm missing something though I can't find anything else on the car that looks tweaked or damaged in any way. Aside from the portion of the quarter shown, the quarter is in great condition.

Thoughts?

Here's a couple pictures. The second one looks like the tail lights are up against the trunk panel correctly.



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1979 Trans Am WS6: LT1/T56, Kore 3 C5/6 brakes, BMW 18in rims

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Old 09-10-2020, 02:12 PM
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Hi Trey,

Something looks out of whack. From the picture, the taillights don't look level across the back. Bumper issues aside, it looks like the passenger taillight is somehow lower (looking at the bottom of the spoiler corners compared to the bottom of the taillight).

Ron
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:51 PM
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Not to derail your plans but I had a front fender that looked much worse than this. I found a good sheet metal body guy that hammer/dollied it back to a very light coat of filler. I would suggest that before you go cutting anything. My $0.02.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:34 PM
WSSix WSSix is offline
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Hmmm, I see what you're saying, Ron. I'm honestly not sure. I'll pull it all apart and take a look. I only had the driver's side apart earlier.

No worries, Erik. I appreciate the input.

Thank you, both.
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Trey

1979 Trans Am WS6: LT1/T56, Kore 3 C5/6 brakes, BMW 18in rims

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Old 09-11-2020, 05:51 PM
WSSix WSSix is offline
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So I did some more research, which means browsing bring a trailer since they have lots of great pictures, and I had forgotten how bad the build quality is on these cars. Basically, I just need to spend some time adjusting everything until I get it close because that's all you can do. From restored cars to low mileage originals, the tail lights are all over the place in terms of fitment. I'll see what I can do this weekend before going any further.
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Trey

1979 Trans Am WS6: LT1/T56, Kore 3 C5/6 brakes, BMW 18in rims

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  #9  
Old 12-20-2020, 08:57 PM
WSSix WSSix is offline
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Does anyone know if the belt line on the rear quarter panel is a constant taper as you go back or does it curve inward as it goes back?

I've cut out the damaged section on my car. I have the new patch panel lined up well except for the belt line. It wants to curve as I go back instead of just being a constant taper that you can lay a straight edge against. I can't trust the passenger side as I know it's also been damaged and had work done to it.

If it's a constant taper, then I'm dumb founded as to how I messed this up.

Thanks
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1979 Trans Am WS6: LT1/T56, Kore 3 C5/6 brakes, BMW 18in rims

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  #10  
Old 12-21-2020, 09:24 AM
dhutton dhutton is online now
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Test fit the bumper, tail light and spoiler end. That will be the true test of fit imho....

Don
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