View Full Version : Welding Quarter Panels

12-08-2008, 10:51 AM
One of the nice things about the forum is the ease and speed that can be brought to bear get a few of us together for a run or a technical session. On Sunday, Dan, Martin and I stopped by Jeff's garage to lend a hand, learn about welding panels and enjoy some fellowship.

It was a beautiful day to head up into the hills (of course all the others already live in the hills) made even more special as I had to wait for a deer to clear the way before I could pull into Jeff's. In short order the crew was assembled and started to size up the job.


The plan for the day was to apply seam sealer between the quarter panels and b-pillar and tack weld the top of the panels into place. Jeff had been preparing the metal for the prior couple of weeks so the day's work would go pretty smoothly. The primary equipment for the work included the cutting wheel/grinder, wire snips, rubber mallet, 10mm socket, welding helmet, gloves, knee pads and welder.


Early on the group did some double checking on how and where the seam sealer is applied. It is very nice to have a rig available for just this kind of double checking. Notice the FJ40 in the back ground, this is probably the last picture taken with no quarter panels.


Martin is working on attaching the passenger panel in prepration for the welding. There are three 10mm bolts that attach the quarter panel to the b-pillar.


Here Dan is checking out the back end of the panel. It was looking to be in the ballpark, but there is what seemed like a bunch of overlap. I was worried and wondered how the panels were going to get lined up.


My worry about fittment was for naught because Jeff's prep work was pretty much spot on. Jeff provided us with an overview of the welder, how it works and the key safety points and soon thereafter the welding began. Here is the first weld on the passenger side panel.


As the welding progresses, it is important to look just a bit ahead to see how the alignment of the panels is shaping up. A few times it was clear that a small amount of grinding would be needed. This is a normal part of the process and here is Jeff doing some grinding work on the drivers side.


We all got some hands on experience with the welder and each spent time observing the work. Dan and Martin with the welding hood on as they check out the welding.



Of course between chips and salsa we found plenty of time for the group to supervise Jeff as he worked. We did have a small fire in the parts washer sludge bucket, but Dan's quick eye spotted it early and Jeff's quick action put it out before it caused any trouble.


The welding itself goes very quickly, but it takes a long time. Sounds confusing huh :confused: - well it takes maybe 3-5 seconds to put a weld on but after several welds are done you have to stop. The stop time is used to let the metal cool and to check on the alignment of the upcoming metal. The stop time also came in handy for eating pizza:D.


It seems like in no time at all we were able to get the days work done and look over the results. The welds look good and the rig looks a bunch more like a 40 than before we started:thumb:.


Finally, this is an expression I really like seeing. Not just from Jeff, but from everyone else that enjoys those moments when it is all coming together.


Jeff, thanks for having us over and spending the time to answer our questions and encouraging us to put the welder to your truck. It is really starting to shape up nice.

12-08-2008, 11:04 AM
Looking good Jeff! Nice to see you overcame the issue with the B-pillar alignment and that this part went smoothly!

12-08-2008, 11:46 AM
wow, Olive's starting to look like a Cruiser again for sure, looking good! :) :thumb:

12-08-2008, 08:48 PM
Looks like good fun. Good to see Jeff finally get past those pillars. I've spent quite a bit of time hanging around that garage myself.

12-08-2008, 11:17 PM
Yeah but a lot of that time has been spent in the back room too :headbang:

12-08-2008, 11:24 PM
Wow, Thanks for the excellent writeup and photos Ricardo! And thanks so much for the help!

12-09-2008, 01:14 AM
Hey when you guy's are done with that i'll bring the bigbluefj by, i need to get the rear sill done.... Good looking keep up with the great work...


12-09-2008, 07:28 AM
Nice job Ricardo. Thanks for having us over Jeff. It was awesome seeing the progress on the cruiser and even pitching in a little. You guys were great fun to hang with. Oh yeah Jeff - your garage (and back room) ROCK. :headbang:

12-09-2008, 09:38 AM
Nice job and learning experience. One of these days I plan to tackle the sheet metal not just anytime soon. Keep it going Jeff!!

12-09-2008, 05:45 PM
Nice job Ricardo. Thanks for having us over Jeff. It was awesome seeing the progress on the cruiser and even pitching in a little. You guys were great fun to hang with. Oh yeah Jeff - your garage (and back room) ROCK. :headbang:

Thank YOU for coming over and helping Dan! I really appreciate it!

12-14-2008, 02:09 PM
I was supposed to go out Christmas shopping yesterday, but couldn't stay out of the garage. These first couple shots show how I supported the corner with a floor jack and a 2x4 (Tim's old shock?) and clamped the quarter panel all around the wing of the sill. Due to the way the bottom rear of the CCOT panel is formed, there was really only one spot for locating that corner onto the sill.

12-14-2008, 02:13 PM
It took a couple tries to get the right penetration on the outside of the wing - I ended up grinding, re-drilling and re-welding those outside 4 welds. I hit it on the inside in a couple places for good measure.

12-14-2008, 02:16 PM
In these shots, you can see where I welded to the box section. After the rest of the tub is assembled, I'll take the tub off and flip it over (with some help from my cruiser buddies) to weld, seal and paint the underside.

12-14-2008, 02:19 PM
I got as far as clamping and positioning the other side when my wife came down and fetched me - company for dinner :-)

A few days ago I took the last of the roll of 35mm, had it developed and will scan soon, maybe today. So between those shots, Ricardo's and these, that will comprise pages 31 and 32 of the resto on my web site. It's coming along!

12-14-2008, 03:19 PM
Looking good Jeff. :thumb:

12-19-2008, 11:30 PM
Thanks for sharing your progress. Nice work.

12-19-2008, 11:39 PM
Thanks for sharing your progress. Nice work.

Thanks. Wanna come over this weekend? Let's see, welding or Christmas shopping, Christmas shopping or welding...hmmm

I know what I'd rather do!


Happy cruisin' and Merry Christmas!

12-23-2008, 08:48 AM
Looking good Jeff.

12-23-2008, 08:54 AM
Starting to look like a 40 again Jeff! Quite a bit different than the sheet metal you started out with almost 10 years ago!

12-23-2008, 06:10 PM
Starting to look like a 40 again Jeff! Quite a bit different than the sheet metal you started out with almost 10 years ago!

Heh. That wasn't sheet metal. It was ferrous oxide holding paint together. :)

09-03-2009, 11:51 AM
Just thought of this - where are the factory spot welds located and what do they hold together? From the looks of these pictures again it looks like they would be too high for the quarter panel to floor pan connection - but maybe that's not true?

Oh - maybe they're for the fender wells when they get installed as well...