Cutting for quarter skins - advice/opinions sought

jamieg285

Veteran Member
Jul 15, 2004
1,333
Luton, England
I've reached a stage where I'm ready to cut/fit my rear quarter skin. So far I've lined up the skin and marked it's outer edges. These are Tabco skins, that are bigger than the usual skins you see.
The metal gauge on these is thicker than the more common skins too, and is similar thickness to the original metal, so retaining original metal for strength isn't a consideration.

In the pictures the green/blue lines are marked on the panel to indicate the edges of the skin - the maximum I can cut out. I'm pondering whether I need to cut that far, especially on the B pillar and am wondering whether to cut lower - either in a straight line level with the bottom of the window (red line), or perhaps a diagonal(orange line) to reduce the amount cut out even more.

Around the window I'm aiming to use as much of the new panel as possible, but keeping below the edge.

At the rear, the skin actually goes past the trunk edge, but I'm intending to cut 1 inch away from the edge to retain the original fold.

What would you do?

Qtr1.jpg

Qtr2.jpg
 

TAZZ 1

Member
Jul 15, 2020
36
Hello Sir i would stay with the red if possible also i would not get up in the sail panel . The yellow line would be a funky angle. I am doing the same as you right now . IMG_0064.jpeg I have cut my line another 4 inches higher than the cut in the pic.
 

Dan Videoman

Member
Nov 16, 2019
71
I put my cut line a little down from that upper panel body line so when welded it would help minimize any distortion.
 

Camaro Tim01

Veteran Member
Jun 8, 2020
340
Bradenton, Florida
I would stay where you are now as the heat from welding may crack that glass unless you plan on taking it out....
but even without that, try to stay on a large , somewhat flat surface as welding will warp the panel, leave little tabs in your old panel or weld tabs inside the existing panel for your cut piece to sit against , it will help with alignment and keep it in place better when you do weld.
after you weld it, find some way to get behind it and coat your weld seam with something so it doesnt rust.

and if you don't need to cut it off, DONT, patch into it
try to cut and patch in easy location, large flat areas or along a bend or crease that can be fixed easily with grinding and light body work or hides well

and what ever you do.... DONT end up doing what I'm doing !
 

jamieg285

Veteran Member
Jul 15, 2004
1,333
Luton, England
I fear I've made it more difficult for myself.

I wasn't sure of the condition of the metal around that lower corner of the window, and didn't want to cut below it now, only to find out it was rusted there. With the window out I've stripped a bit of the paint off there and have indeed found a small area that would need replacing. Based on this I decided to cut about halfway between the red and blue lines, horizontal, just above the rust patch.

I also decided to cut vertically up from the current cut, instead of following the outer line. That line is now cut, but has uncovered something that I wasn't prepared for. The outer skin is glued to the inner structure, somewhere roughly between the red and orange lines. I just missed the glue, but now I know it's there, I'm not so keen on removing it, preferring to retain it and use it as a bit of an anchor/reference of the original panel.

I now need to weld up the top 6-7 inched of the cut I've made and cut either diagonal or a step sequence around the glue. I'll have to take some more pictures.
 

Camaro Tim01

Veteran Member
Jun 8, 2020
340
Bradenton, Florida
You've cut that metal brace, not a biggie, its not welded to the quarter or anything and there is only a very little of some type of insulation or maybe glue between it and the quarter

5.jpg


it can be welded together and ground smooth.... just dont cut the end of your rocker off like I did...
also there is supposed to be a triangular brace at the bottom by the door, be careful when cutting there, see pic below, mine was missing from some previous butchered job
this isnt my pic, its someone elses I borrowed to see stuff for my car....
DSC_0165-1507572100.jpg


now you can see what's underneath that quarter panel and where to cut better

I suggest reading a few posts in the project progress section before deciding what to do next

see how this guy has left some by the trunk and rear end, I highly suggest considering that at it makes it much, much easier, no trunk alignment or rear end to worry about, unlike me who's trying to line up trunk lid, lights, lines, rear glass all at the same time... without any real reference points or measurements....

... always remember to tell yourself this each day....

It will be finished one day and I will enjoy driving it knowing I did it all myself.
 
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