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Old 03-12-2018, 07:39 PM
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pplace pplace is offline
MetalShaper of the Month March 2018, August 2021
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Hector, MN
Posts: 278

In this post I will explain and show how I fabricated a new inner structure for the quarter panel where the rear door used to be as well as the exterior sheet metal work for the same area.

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On the Mercury the bottom half of the quarter panels unbolt and are removable.

Here I've begun fabricating the new inner structure to take the place of the original rear door. This first horizontal piece is the separation between the top and bottom of the quarter panel.

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This view shows a vertical panel that goes from the floor up to the previously fit horizontal inner panel. Effectively these two panels now seal off the exterior wheel well area from the interior portion of the vehicle.

These pieces are just temporarily screwed into place while fabricating / test fitting.

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The view from inside. I added several beads to give the panel a bit of strength and to help give it a bit more "factory" appearance.

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With the inner structure figured out. I then took the top half of the rear door and test fit it into place. Eventually I added a 90 deg. edge to the front for the door jamb edge and a second 90 deg. flange to the bottom that is spot welded to the horizontal inner structure panel shown earlier.

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This picture shows the jamb edge added to the top half of the quarter panel now.

The bottom half of the new quarter panel section is 100% new (not salvaged from the original door skin) I did this because the door was in poor shape (rust on the bottom) and the fact that I would need to extend the front edge like I did on the top panel, as well as the added length to fabricate the new rocker portion.

Here the panel was very rough fit, just checking before I refined the shape a bit better.

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Showing the fit of the top and bottom panels with the door shut.

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Here I've progressed a bit further with the shape of the new lower panel and have it tacked into place. After I had started on the panel, I realized I should have added more length to the rear, as the original quarter panel had bad rust issues that I had to replace on the "dog leg" portion in front of the wheel opening. I just made that little wedge piece separate as well as a new wheel opening edge. (No real problem with my oops.....just a bit more fitting, welding and planishing that I could have / should have avoided)

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Here I'm doing a little "brainstorming" in my head in how I want the bottom rear corner area of the door eventually. I wanted to radius the door corner as well as maintain the ability to unbolt the lower quarter panel. So I took the original section of the rear rocker / quarter seam and came up with a look / location that looked nice.

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I've finished the welding and initial metal work on the quarter panel extension (good enough for now)

You will also notice I've added the lower radius and extension to the quarter panel / rocker edge. The front edge is a hemmed over edge to give it more strength and a finished look.

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I bolted the quarter panel back onto the car to see how it looked to the door.

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A view from the rear of the extended quarter panel.

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A bit closer look at the junction of the door, quarter panel and future rocker panel.

NOTE: At this point I'm not worried about my door gap for 2 reasons:

1. The door skin is just temporarily screwed and clecoed to a roughed out inner door shell so things will change slightly later. (I made the quarter panel jamb edge correct, and will fit the door to that later)

2. I don't want to refine / finalize any of the panel gaps until I have the body more structurally sound and actually on the correct body mounts, suspension (to come later)

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In this close up I'm holding up the original rocker section with the "joggle" that the quarter panel edge fits into. Eventually when I fabricate new quarter skins I'll add this feature with new good metal. (Again, don't mind the door gaps)

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This view from below of the quarter panel / rocker roll, shows a nice smooth bottom with no vertical pinchweld.

On the inner portion of the quarter panel I've added a 90 deg edge that turns up vertically. This flange "hooks" on the inside edge of the rocker panel structure and is bolted from there for a 100% hidden fastening method.
Rush too much trying to get to the end when the end is closer when you take your time.

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