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Jeba 02-23-2020 12:14 PM

Quarter repair practice

Long time since I posted here but I recently started a new project and thought I could share some pictures and maybe get some pointers at the same time.

I have a four door 65 malibu which the previous owner(s) have welded and beat the quarters on into almost unrecognizable shape, along with rust issues throughout the rest of the body.
The rear wheel openings have been cut and welded end-to-end with multiple patches. Seems they used a gas torch and a large hammer trying to widen the wheel openings, which didn't yield the best results:

Since I live outside the united states, new quarter skins end up very expensive once they are shipped and all paid for over here so I thought I might as well play around with some scrap to practice a bit of metal shaping to see if maybe at least I could maybe get a more presentable result until I get some new metal. I have a chinese english wheel and some basic dollies and a few hammers. Also an old manual bead roller which I should probably have tried using for this also.

Here are some pictures of what I came up with:

First I drawed a basic rear wheel opening, according to pictures of untouched quarters on 65 malibu's:
Then I beat down the heavily warped quarter and tried to wheel some crown into the flat sheet according to the rough shape.
I tried making it all the way down to the lower section also at the same time:

Then I wheeled/hammered out a flare according to my best ability from pictures:

It was at this stage that I started to realize while looking at pictures that the section in front of the rear wheel was welded way different than original, and that my panel was warping too much. So I ended up cutting of the lower parts and only try making the upper part of the wheel arch.
I hammered the lip with a 90 degree flare at the end so it would be possible to weld it to the inner wheel house (which would also need fabricating).

This was the end result where I did not have further time to spend at the moment:

It seems it is possible for me to make some basic shapes, which could be fine tuned better with more planning and maybe a planishing hammer. One of the issues I faced however were that it seemed the wheel opening did not want to stay in shape easily whilst hammering the flare, so it needed a lot of fine tuning to get it to fit decently.

Are there any tips and tricks that any of you experienced metal shapers have on shaping wheel openings like this? Would you use a tipping wheel in a bead roller to make the flare or should it be beat out with a hammer on the sandbag first and maybe wheeled in a small english wheel?


Charlie Myres 02-23-2020 04:36 PM

Well done Jeba!

Have you had a look at Peter Tommasini's DVD on making a 1/4 panel? He is an expert who knows all of the best methods.

Ask Peter which DVD has the Monaro quarter in it; I can't remember which one it is,

Cheers Charlie

drivejunk 02-23-2020 05:12 PM

Practice is good and I think you'll do fine. Patch panels may fit bad enough that what you are doing would be preferable anyway. You mentioned difficulty in keeping the lip shape. Shrinker and stretcher jaws, used on the weld flange of the lip are how to manage that. Jaws look to be the only thing you lack to make a nicer piece. Of course, planishing can stretch and pie cuts can shrink but the jaws get it done right now so fine tuning is quick and easy. That being said...

I would not worry about trying to keep it one piece. The approach you took is fine with me, making the bottom rear seperate. I have made a similar panel to the bottom part where the wheel opening lip tapers off.

Just my thoughts here on how to go about it and I am just learning too...

As you have done, wheel the big main curve in the panel. Then, using a more flat than round anvil on the english wheel, tip the flared out area above the lip. Just get a good start to it.

Then with the suitably sized round bead roller but very little tension, roll the beginnings of a bead where you want the outer lip. Just make a precise, flowing bend there without actually rolling a bead.

From there, bending the lip over can be done with hammer and dolly but the flange will have to shrink a bunch along the way. Return trips to the english wheel but with rounded anvil now can continue defining the flared area above the lip if needed.

Since you are now just mainly asking about the bottom piece, that ought to fall into place fairly simply but a guy could make the whole lip that way. I'd still do the bottom section seperate. But man, doing wheel opening patches without the shrinker/stretcher makes it ten times more work. Really no way around that. The wheelhouse lip, same thing but maybe more so. If you end up with pie cuts instead, just develop the part fully before tacking so that your coatings will be disturbed as little as possible when doing the final welding.

Peter Tommasini 02-23-2020 05:23 PM

I will be in Denmark teaching metalshaping in April you might want to come along and see .
If interested email me and I will give you details and dates of the class

Jeba 02-27-2020 02:24 PM

Thank you for the replies, and for your invitation Peter. Unfortunately I am not available to attend your course, perhaps some time in the future!

With some of the pointers I got by drivejunk's post and a bit more experience from my first try, I decided I would give it another go. I put down about 4 hours last night with still quite a bit left to do but here is what I came up with:

I tried making it from the front lower section to the rear section where the body line comes in:

Then I decided I would try making a larger piece with the middle body line curve so I tried rolling it in the wheel. Unfortunately I got a "dip" a bit from the line because of the anvil hitting in the other end (should have tilted the lower anvil to avoid this but I sorted it out later):

Next I wheeled some more shape into it, before I tipped the flare with the lower anvil tilted:

I will try to sort it out next time. At least I think this attempt was more succesful and I will try to get something out of it to weld in.

More pointers and feedback much appreciated.

dwmh 02-27-2020 02:35 PM

That looks great Jeba. Well done,you've made it look easy.

drivejunk 02-28-2020 08:22 AM

Looks like progress from here. Pretty neat. Glad you were able to understand. Keep it up.

Peter Tommasini 02-29-2020 07:52 PM

Practice makes perfect very true! ......................Well done !
Peter T.
PS the next one will be even better!;)

Jeba 03-22-2020 02:50 AM

I've been experimenting some more and making further progress on the malibu.

I started making the rear section which had been severely rusted and repaired sometime.

It became clear however that I had seemingly stretched the wheelarch section too much, so I made a new attempt.

Try-fitting the pieces together:

I decided it was probably best to try and TIG-weld the pieces to be able to smoothen it better after welding, so I made an attempt with my chinese welding machine. Fusion welds where possible but had to add som mig wire as filler in some places.

After a lot of hammering and wheeling and painting the piece black while filing and sanding to find low spots I still have some work to do. The "bulge" in the rear section needs to be fixed still and the whole arch completed. After this I will cut below the marked line in the quarter and try to sort out the wheelhouse before welding the new metal in.

I think for the other side I might try to make one bigger piece to avoid the welding and having to match all the body lines between two pieces. I'm trying to learn as I go..

Jaroslav 03-22-2020 04:03 AM

Beautiful result. Keep it up.:)

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