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Discussion Starter #1
I am finally getting around to fixing the passenger side quarter panel that was damaged when someone backed into me about 6 months ago. Problem is most of the body shops I have visited are pretty reluctant to work on the car let alone give me pointers. The most recent shop said if I can get a replacement quarter panel they would attempt the work. It's getting frustrating that these body shops are blowing me off. Anyway I was just wondering if anyone has any experience in removing quarter panels. Are they removable or are they welded to the body? I can't even find instructions or diagrams on how to remove them. Thanks!
 

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Yes, they are welded to the car, and removing one is a very labor intensive task, especially trying to remove one without destroying in the process. Also bringing your car to a body shop that said "we'll try to work on it if you get the part" is an almost guaranteed recipe for disaster. Part of the reason shops are brushing you off is you will probably have sticker shock when you see how much it costs, and you would be better off buying another car. For replacement of a quarter panel including paint, expect to spend $3000 at a body shop. If the car is worth that to you, make sure the shop knows that you understand you will be spending more than the car is worth fixing it, and they will be more receptive. If it isn't worth that to you, then you are better off buying another bird to replace this one.
 

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If body shops are looking to replace the quarter instead of repair it, I'm pretty confident it is well past the point of PDR.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. I'm still actively looking at shops and the car has a lot of sentimental value. It was purchased brand new by my grandfather and the inherited by my uncle after his death. I then inherited it about 10 years ago after my uncle passed. Anyway I personally don't think it needs to be replaced, but I'll upload some pictures to give you an idea of the damage in a little bit.
 

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I'm curious why they want to replace it. The most obvious reason assuming there not extensive rust damage would be that getting it straight would be almost impossible. But assuming the subframe areas aren't bent and there's not extensive rust then it can probably be pulled pushed and filled. The down side would be it might not be a absolutely perfect or undetectable repair and the cost of getting it straight vs replacements probably more time consuming and hence more expensive.

Can you even get replacement quarter panels anymore? Considering some of the standard service parts that have been discontinued I wouldn't be surprised if rear quRtter sheet metal is long gone. I've been looking for a aftermarket drivers side fender for 6 months and while there are passengers side fenders to be had the drivers side is no longer available any place I've checked online. And that's a standard collision part.

My advice would be to not check high volume collision shops as they don't have the time or inclination to tie up a bay for a day or two while they hang a quarter or work on the existing one. Look for a smaller shop that does restoration work. And don't be in a hurry. These guys are still out there. Hit a few car shows for recommendations.


As a side note. About 5 years ago I managed to spin the car at 55 and clipped the rear quarter with a gaurd rail. Took out the tail light. Punched the trunk opening over a good 3-4 inches so there was a gaint gap. Since the car was strictly a winter beater at the time and my only goal was to get the trunk shut and the tail light back in a buddy and I resorted to a little sledge hammer, wood block and come along body work. While I'm NOT recommending this as a repair I was both shocked and pleased we managed to get the inner trunk lip moved back the 3 inchs and lined up and the deck lid seam matched up fine. Actually got the trunk lid gaps right on. Why do I mention this? What ever metal they used is actually pretty damn malleable. The car took a direct strike to the rear 1/4 and we managed to pop it back out. But the subframe and trunk floor was still straight. Had those been bent it's doubtful we would have been as successful. Had this been a mid seventies car with thicker metal I doubt we would have had this luck. So I'm really just trying to say if there's no structural damage there's a chance some one that's good and willing to take the time may be able to massage the existing quarter.
 

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These are on eBay:

Ford Thunderbird T Bird Full Quarter Panels 1994 1997 Super Coupe Factory | eBay

"This is a pair of NOS Ford factory quarter panels for the 1994 through 1997 Ford Thunderbird. We bought new in 1997 and are in great condition. Buyer pickup in southeastern Indiana.If you need shipping these would have to ship by truck."

They have been relisted quite a few times. They may be the last set out there.
 

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The body work itself is not to bad, i can give you a crash course and if you need videos from a top body man:wink2:
I do my bodywork my self is not that hard just need proper planing and patience
what welder you have access to tig or mig?
i can get you also dent removal literature from a time bondo was not a normal procedure and hammer and dolly had to be used.
With enough time and patience there is no body shop needed
 
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