Choosing to use a panel bonding adhesive over traditional welding offers many advantages, most noticeably in time savings. Bonding also makes obtaining a corrosion free job easier to obtain because you won\’t be damaging existing coatings, as well as the bonding epoxy serves as a metal protectant itself.
Pull your damaged quarter back to rough specs. Doing this step in advance can make life easier when it Is time to fit your panel. Repair any structural damage ahead of time when necessary also. Drill out the spot welds and cut a line in your sail panel. Remove any structural foam and adhesives, cut a window in the panel if necessary. Use an air hammer with a flat chisel end on it to lift away the old quarter panel.
Clean and prep the car body for the new quarter. Grind away any left over metal from the old quarter, dolly any bent contact points and remove the paint from all edges where the new quarter will make contact. Also grind and taper the metal at the sail panel.
Measure and cut the new quarter at the sail to line up with a small gap. Save the scrap part of the quarter as you will need it later. Pre-fit the new quarter and make sure it lines up properly, then remove it.Take the scrap quarter and cut about an inch and a half from the previous cut. Use this small piece as a sleeve to attach the new quarter. Slide it under the sail on the car and leave half of the sleeve available for the new panel. Secure it with screws if necessary. On some quarters you will need to do the same with the bottom part of the quarter panel.
Prep the new quarter panel by removing the epoxy coating from the panel at the contact points using a grinding disc and/or strip wheel. Replace structural foam on the
Protect the Metal First – Apply a small bead of panel bonding adhesive to the car and panel and use a brush to cover all exposed bare metal for corrosion protection. Next apply a thicker bead to the panel only and install it on the car. Secure the edges with clamps where possible, screws where not. Wipe away any excess panel bond that squeezed out.
Remove the clamps and screws, fill in the screw holes by either welding or using some more panel bonding adhesive. Weld the top sail gap solid, grind and straighten with polyester fillers.
Re-apply necessary seam sealers, allow to dry and refinish as per manufacturers recommendation.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
- Not Pre-fitting the Panel – if you don\’t take time to do this you will not catch any possible snags that are going to interfere with the fit, resulting in a poorly aligned quarter.
- Not applying the protection coat to the bare metal first – this is a very important step to ensure the metal is well protected and not going to be left exposed once the quarter has been installed.
- Gluing the sail panel or on exposed seams – this can create a ghosting of the line at the joint later in the paint life.