Body structure repair advice

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by bigdav160, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. bigdav160

    bigdav160 Veteran Member

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    I've never been a professional body man but I'm not new to fixin' and painting either. This is my first time repairing a Camaro body so I have a number of questions.

    I've tried to follow a couple build threads but I get confused if I see a new full quarter panel in the background, then a partial quarter getting sanded and then a partial with door jamb installed being primed. :confused:

    Perhaps I should start my own build thread but I'm not a good writer and even worse with a camera so I think I'm just going to post up here.

    I knew when I acquired my car (nothing more than a shell) that it had been previously hit (and repaired) in the right rear corner. There wasn't much rust but poorly aligned deck lid and spoiler. I thought I could just tweak and paint. After closer examination I realize the old repairs were poor. Under the three layer of metal in the right rear trunk floor, there is a lot of brazing and some welding so I think it had been repaired in the '70's and then later someone tried to improve on that repair with a MIG.

    Question #1, being unibody, is it OK to replace panels while on the rotisserie? I know it's a no-no for body on frame cars.

    Question 2. I decided to remove the quarter panel to get a better look; can I save this inner wheel house? There's pretty good curve to the support brace going to the rear deck. I think the outer wheel house has been cut in half and spliced back together. I'll probably will just replace it

    Question 3. Do these inner replacement panels require as much work to fit as the outer panels? I'm afraid once I remove the trunk floor, right rear frame rail, etc that I'll lose all reference and the rest of the sheet metal/doors will never fit right.
     

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  2. chauncey1970

    chauncey1970 Veteran Member

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    Brace the car and take measurements if you need to cut away and re fit in smaller sections it may be better to put it on stands level if you are cutting the frame rails away so you will have reference points to measure too or make a template so you know it goes back in the same place

    Yes you can save the outer wheel well if you want too and yes the reop ones are crap too
     
  3. bigdav160

    bigdav160 Veteran Member

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    I went ahead and removed the trunk floor. Three layers of metal on the passenger side. :eek: and test fit the new one. It fit well on the (undamaged) drivers side. I cut the passenger rail just ahead of the sway bar bracket. Oh heck since it was a mess, I removed the inner wheel house also. :eek:

    Next up, the rest of the frame rail.
     

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  4. Double R Restorations

    Double R Restorations Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I've seen guys do it all kinda ways with great looking results, so there are many ways. It may just come down to preference and what has or has not worked for someone in the past.

    I have decided to do my rear body panel replacements with the car supported by jacks stands on the rear axle, Guy (olstyle) built his 74 on the rotisserie built using two engine stands and Tony (volsfan) built a frame jig.

    Looking at the pics, I would put the new inner structure back with sheet metal screws, and clamps. You have the other side as a reference. You can some clamps towards the inside and still fit the quarter to the wheel houses, trunk drop off and tail pan. Then fit the trunk lid and check the gaps. When you go to weld, your screw holes will serve as alignment holes. When you start to pre-fit the panels if you need any measurements doubled checked let me know and I will check my 72.

    The new trunk pan looks nice. Keep the pics coming.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014

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