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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've started a new job, so I've had to slow down a bit on my restoration, but I would have had to slow down because of this anyhow. I have to figure out what to do here.

As you can see, it doesn't even come close to properly fitting. It fits great on the front end (nearest the door), but the section near the tail panel is absolutely awful. And what kills me is it wasn't even that bad back there. Now, I have a slight tear in my tail panel from trying to get the sandwiched quarter out (my fault), and the back section of the the quarter is shaped so poorly and so ill-fitting that I'm not sure what to do. It's too short on the downward curve/trunk corner, and part of the lower section doesn't even have one of the correct accent humps that lines up with the tail panel lines.

And yes, that is light shining through the gap!

I can't tell if I should try and metal re-work it, or if I should just purchase new panels. Problem is, I'm on a super tight budget and the thought of spending another $250 for perhaps another crappy set of 80% quarters, or even worse, $700 on a pair of US made quarters, is seriously going to set me back and cause a major stoppage on this build.

I might be able to shape, cut, weld in some of the parts that are ill-fitting, but I'm worried about there being too big of a "face" on the slanted inward section towards the tail panel. Since it's so far away, I'd have to bend some more metal down towards the gap.

In any event, let me know if you've had similar issues or I just purchased a set of super-crappy quarter panels (from Ground Up, by the way).

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the bumper bracket/bolt brace on the trunk floor in the corner is about 1.5" away from the quarter panel/bolt hole. My other original quarter that's still on the car is flush with this bracket. Not good.



 

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My quarters on my 67 were the same way... Here is where your metal working skills are a big plus. You just have to work with it. That is what I did. Not much more you do...
 

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At the risk of sounding harsh. This is basic metalworking and panel alignment. One applies the skills acquired over the years, or begins the process of self education. Poorly fitting panles should be anticipated. While it's too late now, full quarters are less work to install and produce a superior job. Especially for those who are green. I have never installed 80%'s but will guess the quality of fitment compared to a full quarter is even less desirable. This is the nature of the business and the hobby.
 

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Agree with Scott wholeheartedly on this one. The 80% quarters are a decent economical alternative. At $250 per pair, they represent a very cheap way to replace the bulk of a quarter panel on a budget. They do need more work than a full quarter,and as a rule, they are generally slightly more wavy than the OE style. In short, don't expect perfection for $250 per pair,but rather a good starting point. By the looks of the pics, it does not look like major tweaks are involved, just basic metal work and fitting. Looks like you need to clamp the edges with some vise grips in order to bring it in closer to the tail, and downward. This would also draw in the skin to the inner bumper bracket. As for the alignment with the tail, that part is under the bumper once its installed,but closing the gap up top would help this as well.
 

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If I can do it, you can too. I was there just a little while ago and made it happen after clamping, banging, slicing, tweaking, and ratchet tie-ing it all together. It can be done, but it will take time and patience. None of these parts that I have replaced have just fallen onto the car without some sort of effort or work to make it happen. Nature of the beast as mentioned before. Go for it....
 

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Tom, don't get discouraged. I don't think it takes years of experience to get you through this one. It actually pretty basic. Start fastening the panel all around the perimeter where it does fit well using sheet metal screws, or clamps. Once you get to the areas where it doesn't fit you will be able to manipulate these spots alot easier since the panel will be rigid now and clamped most of the way around. You will be amazed how much you can work this metal around with patience and common sense. The biggest item I found helpful was to get the area you were working as rigid as possible so when you do start "manipulating" the metal actual forms and not just flexes. The toughest chore you may run into is if an area around a stamp point is too long or short to line up you will have to slice the area and either take metal out to shorten the panel or add metal to lengthen the panel. This is one of those times where experience with a welder and sheetmetal is going to come to play. If you don't have any spots in the panel that will require this, then I don't see anything that is holding you back from tackling this job. Don't expect to get this panel to fit and be done in a day. I had five 8 hour days into my tail panel and full quarters on my vert before I could stand back and appreciate the fit. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. And no offense taken by those who thought they sounded harsh. I'm here to learn, and that's why I posted.

I think I was just taken aback by how the stamping on the end wasn't correct. But, as you all have stated, it looks like that's just the way things are with these panels.

I appreciate the comments and encouragement. It has caused me to rethink my plan of action, and I have actually come up with a few things (because of what you've all mentioned) that should help me get it to fit properly.
 

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The GM replacement panels still needed the same amount of work!
Haha! Wow. Now I don't feel bad at all. I just feel bad about complaining about my $250 panels (total)....:D

belair bob is the man on the sheetmetal.
Yeah, I know. I've had many discussions with BelAir Bob. He's a really good guy. It's just that shipping costs out here kind of get me. Plus the possibility for damage...
 

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I am with Jeff, I did rear quarters, tailpanel, decklid and outer wheelhouses and I kept up with my time @ 50 hours to get it all lined up and welded in.

I had the same O DA***it when I fabbed it all up the first time ( of many , many times). Had to quit for the day and go in I was so disappointed.

Just keep at it - trial fit- adjust- trial fit- adjust and repeat and repeat and repeat ha ha

Looks like the corner on the tail piece is rotated up and counterclockwise slightly as you look at it from the rear. It may be the nature of the stamping, but my 02. would be to try and rotate it down and make those top lines fit up better and then do any metal, cutting, tweaking down on the bottom. The area up around that taillight panel and trunk will be very visible when done and down below not so much and easier to finish down there with a little filler, extra weld etc.

My biggest problem was fear of screwing it up! I remember reading somebody on here addressing the fear -' it is just an old car, get the welder and get busy, figure it out, you can do it as well as anyone and if you screw it up, pull it apart and redo it till you get it right' or something like that.:yes:

Good luck:beers:
 

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As others have said, full quarters are better but some better installation will help. Its clear that the quarters need to be rotated down to get rid of the gap at the top, then youy body lines will line up better.

Regardless most of the stuff has to have some tweaking. I can not remember buying one part for any car that I have built that fit without some measure of grooming.

Just stand back, take a breath and look at it. Also prefit using self tapping sheetmetal screws, this way you can move and manipulate as needed.

Good luck
 

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I can agree with much of what has been said but the fact remains. This is 2010, we have measuring devices that can clone and program for any shape or size. If you are going to make a part that is .500 out of tolerance all the way around, why not make it to specifications? It takes the same amount of time to make it wrong as right. With the millions of dollars being spent on restorations you would think someone would make sheetmetal guaranteed to spec. If they did they would capture the market. I just retired from a company that had over 20 CNC macines for various needs, today there is no excuse for making incorrect parts unless you start out to make incorrect parts.
gene68ss
 

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I can agree with much of what has been said but the fact remains. This is 2010, we have measuring devices that can clone and program for any shape or size. If you are going to make a part that is .500 out of tolerance all the way around, why not make it to specifications? It takes the same amount of time to make it wrong as right. With the millions of dollars being spent on restorations you would think someone would make sheetmetal guaranteed to spec. If they did they would capture the market. I just retired from a company that had over 20 CNC machines for various needs, today there is no excuse for making incorrect parts unless you start out to make incorrect parts.
gene68ss

Well put,and ideally, you are right on the money. Not making excuses for needed tweaks at all, but...... remember, these parts are reproduced based on existing versions, so the best CNC machines in the world could never compensate for poor fitting original parts. Even those claiming to be made on "GM tooling" are using worn out dies to stamp the parts. The part is only going to be as good as the unit it was copied from. In fact, GM's own plants, Norwood and LOS produced the same first gens, but there were actually minor differences in sheetmetal fit even way back then. Some parts today are made based on Norwood assembled cars, and others are based on LOS cars, hence some of the minor differences we see to this day. What's the solution? Reproduce the panels from an entire car deemed "perfect" in terms of fit. The problem? The car would need to be systematically destroyed in order to do this properly,and should the parts be based on a NOR car, or LOS? The tweaks needed now are fairly well known,and not outrageous for the average hobbyist. GM never made perfect cars,because they never made perfect parts. I can show you guys an all-original,non-wrecked 69 Z with all GM metal with 3/8 inch gaps under each door. The lower gap starts out at roughly 3/16, but by the time you get to the corner of the door and rocker, it is 3/8. Perfect? Nope. Original, and how GM really made cars? You bet. These were never roller bearing cars, and our attempts to bring them up to modern standards of fit and finish make up most of our tweaks. One last quick story:) My dad owned a 69 RS Z in hugger orange. It was purchased from the original owner in 1971. I can remember washing and drying the car on hot summer days,only to find that the paint on the lower valances front and rear was rough to the touch,and dull. In fact, I could not wax these areas, because it resulted in waxy residue being trapped in the rough, unsanded, unbuffed GM lacquer paint. This is the reality of how these cars were built. Quality was not nearly what it is today. Only wish I knew where it was now. I'd take it back, unbuffed paint and all :)
 

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I think AMD is on the right track, they say they are in the process of prototyping there parts, so Id imagine they make sure there 1/4s to deckfiller and deck lid prolly fit really nice with there tail panel.

But If your cars 40 years old, has a frame rail 1/2 off like mine was throwing the trunkpan off the new is still gonna need worked to the old, but would fit with the other pieces it was made to fit good with better.

the thing thats really hard is getting ALL of the off pieces to fit together good, if it was just replacign one 1/4 it would be easier to deal with but when you got 5 pieces to fit together at once you just gotta find a spot to start and keep working it
 

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Keep working it a little at a time and you will figure it out and be surprised with the results.
I went quarter skins and did it to escape a whole host of misalignment issues. I am glad/lucky that the person who butt welded them on did a superior job.
 

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the thing thats really hard is getting all of the off pieces to fit together good, if it was just replacign one 1/4 it would be easier to deal with but when you got 5 pieces to fit together at once you just gotta find a spot to start and keep working it
amen brother:d:d:d:d:d
 
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