Your car’s quarter panel is situated in the rear-end. It is a metal body part that dictates how your car looks from the back. Rear quarter panels are welded in place as they provide structural support for the car. Quarter panels come in a multitude of designs. Some are a large single piece of metal that covers the roof and the rear fender. While there are other models that are only in rear fender part of the car.
There are car models that have quarter panels available in partial sections. Rust is a major problem that the quarter panels face. These are the outer most part of your car so they face the brunt of the abuse. Dirt and salt and slush pile up on the body and in the crevices on the auto part. Also, add to the fact that the temperature around it fluctuates during winter and also due to the exhaust pipe. It seems clear why rust is the quarter panels number one enemy.
If your car has a rear bumper cover then you already know that it wraps around the entire rear-end bumper section. When this happens the entire part of the quarter panel behind the bumper cover becomes inaccessible. This is a big problem, as now those parts cannot be cleaned properly with water or soap. If you have an old model that comes with the classic chromed trim pieces then you have a problem.
These are bolted in place on the car. Meaning that there are pockets that cannot be cleaned as those places cannot be reached. This is why rust is a big problem in older car models with these chrome trim pieces. The quarter panel isn’t considered as a body part that has a long lifetime. Along with all the above-mentioned things they are also subject to sandblasting scraping and the occasional fender bender. These damages are more prevalent if you drive off-road regularly.
If you are in the market for some recycled quarter panel then you should be ready for some frustrating searches. This is because if you find a donor that is like yours, you most often or not find that the body part was compromised previously. Usually, you will get panels with bondo filling covering up an older rust issue. Or you may find that the panel is an aftermarket part which was used in its earlier lifetime.
Quarter panels that extend up to the edge of the roof are known as OE style panels. Now different manufacturers provide different roof coverage so there isn’t really a fixed style. Quarter panels come with metal flanges that need to be weld in place. This means that before you can install a new quarter panel for your car you would need to cut the older one away.
So these are some things that you should know about your car’s quarter panel. Make sure you look into the body part before going in for the replacement. My recommendation would be to go to an expert because this is a big replacement for your car and it is almost a permanent fixture.