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Fiddling with Rambler's since 1995

Rambler American Restoration

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1967 Wagon Quarter Panel Repair
Part 10 - Putting It Back Together Part 8

March 26, 2009

It's hard to believe that it's been almost three years since I did anything with this part of the car (or really any part of it for that matter, all I've done since then is restore the heater box, replace the door handles, and switch out the PCV breather hose) but I started working on the quarter again last weekend. After re-reading my last post on this, I'm not sure what I was thinking. There was a lot more distortion to fix than what I remembered.

Anyway, the first hurdle I had to overcome was getting access to the back side of the quarter panel from outside of the car. I don't know about you but I don't happen to have 10 foot long arms with six joints so I had to remove the scary quarter window. That job turned out to be not so bad but it did take me a couple of hours to fuss it out of the opening. The reason it took so long was that I wanted to save the window, trim, and gasket. I was successful in 2 of these but there was a glob of sealant inside the car that was covering up a tear in the gasket so I'm going to have to replace it anyway.

If you happen to have a TSM for your car, the instructions make it sound like an easy job. Maybe it was 40+ years ago but not today. Luckily for all of us, another Rambler nut by the name of Tom Jennings crossed this bridge a couple of years back. He wrote up how he removed the window in his 63 Classic wagon. You can see his write up at Since I was working alone, I used some green masking tape to catch the window. As an aside, you should really check out Tom's site. There are lots of cool things to read there.

Once the window was out, I cleaned up the sealer with lacquer thinner and then it was time to break out the body tools. The first thing I did was to use a long sanding board to lightly sand the repair area. High spots had the paint sanded off and low spots were not touched. Both types of problems were caused by distortion from welding. I started by working the weld seam using the hammer on dolly technique to stretch the metal which helped a lot with both the high and low sports. Once the seams were basically level with the original metal, I went after the low spots using the same method. This resulted in some oil canning that I've partially addressed with a shrinking hammer.

As I write this, the easy to get to spots are in pretty good shape. I still have one major low spot left but it is hard to work since the wheel well is behind it. Within about 30 minutes, I was able to get it raised about 1/8". I still have about another 1/8" to go. Once that's done, I'll have to rope someone into helping me with some heat shrinking (yes, you guessed it, I need someone to carry a torch for me).

Up next: More body work.

Last Updated 04/05/09 11:33:45 AM