All too often, the quarter panels on vehicles rust well before the rest of the car. Fortunately, this doesn't have to mean the end of your reliable vehicle. You have two options, go through the efforts of repairing the rust, or replace the quarter panels. Most of the time, you will get better results by replacing the quarter panels, and it ends up taking you less time than making the repairs. Below, you will find the basics of replacing your quarter panels. After reading through, you will be able to judge whether this is a task you can complete on your own, or if it is something you should leave to the auto body specialists in your area.

To replace the quarter panels you will need

  • Replacement quarter panel
  • Lug wrench and ratchet set
  • Jack and jack stand

Have the Replacement Panel Painted

Most do-it-yourself mechanics do not have the equipment to paint auto body parts. Because of this, you should consider sending your replacement quarter panels to your local body shop to have them painted for you.

Remove the Rusty Panel

Put your emergency brake on, jack up one side of the car and position the jack stand under it. Remove the wheel on that side, lie on a creeper and slide under the car. Look around the edges of the quarter panel for the bolts that are holding it in place and carefully remove them. Use caution as you remove the bolts to avoid stripping them

Note: If the bolts are not coming free easily, take a moment to clean all of the debris and grease off of the bolt. If the surface of the bolt is dirty, it could cause damage to both the bolt and your tools. Spray the bolt with solution made to loosen stuck nuts and bolts.

After you have removed all of the bolts holding the panel in place, put on a pair of thick work gloves. The gloves will protect your hands from getting cut from the sharp, rusty edges of the panel. Carefully remove the panel and set it aside for recycling.

Note: If you do get cut on the rusty panel, clean it immediately. Contact your doctor to learn if your Tetanus vaccine is up to date. If the cut is deep or continues to bleed for several minutes after the injury was sustained, go to the doctor to have it examined and possibly stitched up.

Put On the New Panel

Place the new panel in position making sure that the holes for the bolts are perfectly aligned. Insert and tighten each bolt, ensuring that they are all tightly fastened. If you do not tighten them the whole way, the panel could rattle or not line up perfectly with the rest of the car.

Replace the wheel, use the jack to lower the car, and stand back and enjoy the look of your rust-free quarter panels.

This is a relatively basic project that most do-it-yourself mechanics can handle. If you worry that you do not have the skills needed to complete it, contact your local auto body shop, such as Stone Bros Auto Body Ltd, to have it completed for you.