Elements of Proper Quarter Panel Replacement at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop

There are a lot of details to watch when replacing a quarter panel! 

Quarter panels are the large, steel body panels that reach from the trailing edge of the door to the rear taillight panel, and from the roof down to the lower rocker panel and wheel opening on a classic or Muscle Car.    

Quarter panels are integral structural parts of the car, and play a significant role in the construction, strength, and safety of the car's body and chassis.    Some cars, like Chevrolet Camaros, are not body-on-frame construction, meaning the body itself is the main structure of the car.   These are known as "unit-body" or "unibody" designs, and are also found in Pontiac Firebirds, Chevrolet Novas, Dodge Challengers, Plymouth Roadrunners, Ford Mustangs, and many other popular classic and Muscle Cars. 

Over time, quarter panels are prone to wear, rust, and crash damage, and are often in need of repair or replacement.    Many new reproduction quarter panels exist for popular cars.   When new panels are not available, original equipment panels can often be sourced from a donor car, reconditioned, and installed on another car… if done properly. 

There are many factors that contribute to a proper quarter panel installation, including, but not limited to:


  • Thorough cleaning of car. 

  • Initial body measurements and photographs.   Measure and record gap dimensions, and also overall body “squareness” to ensure proper fit when work is complete. 

  • Assessment of additional panels requiring replacement - trunk “drop off” quarter panel extensions, wheel houses, etc.

  • Shipping costs and tax of replacement panels.

  • Unboxing and inspecting new panels for shipping damage.

  • Inspecting accuracy - or lack of accuracy - of new panels.

  • Body masking to protect existing paint. 

  • Body fixturing / bracing, especially for convertibles.

  • Removal of bumpers, trim, lights, bezels, badges, vents, door strikers, etc.

  • Interior disassembly, including seats, carpet, headliner, rear package shelf,  interior lighting in sail panels, sound deadener, wiring, side panels, window cranks or switches, ashtrays, console, and other related parts. 

  • Removal of  quarter panel vent assembly.

  • Removal of vinyl top, if applicable.

  • Alignment of trunk lid prior to panel removal.

  • Alignment of door prior to panel removal, often requiring new door hinge pins or hinge rebuild to achieve proper and consistent alignment.

  • Window glass removal.

  • Paint stripping.

  • Undercoating removal.

  • Rubber weatherstripping removal.

  • Removal of lead in roof seams.

  • Removing original panel: drilling spot welds, grinding spot welds, separating other welds, cutting, etc.

  • Previous body structure repairs uncovered by panel removal requiring correction

  • Repairing crash damage on adjacent panels where quarter panel attaches.

  • Rust repair or replacement of adjacent panels, wheel tubs, trunk floors, etc.  Requires prep of new panels.  

  • Window trim fitment and attaching stud installation, studs not found on new panels.

  • Measuring and cutting of marker light hole openings on new panel where required.  

  • Measuring and drilling new trim, antenna, and emblem holes in new panel where needed.  

  • Window alignment and regulator repairs and maintenance.

  • Achieving desired level of panel fit - original and stock, or improved gaps.

  • When O.E. panel is used from a donor car, assessing and correcting the condition of take-off panels, and time required to strip, straighten, and restore.   May involve cutting and fabricating patch panels to repair small damaged or rusty areas.  

  • Removal of “e-coat” electrostatically applied shipping primer from new panels.

  • Masking and applying epoxy premier to panels with required preparation and materials.

  • New panel installation: fitting, adjusting, clamping, welding, grinding.

  • Applying appropriate seam sealers in all seams to prevent corrosion.

  • Lead seam filler replacement. 

  • Bodywork: new panel preparation and cleaning, sanding, filler application, sanding.

  • Interior body and paint work on exposed interior surfaces of the new panel.   

  • Cleaning the car to remove bodywork and grinding dust before the paint process. 

  • Masking for interior paint work. 

  • Preparation, priming, bodywork, paint, and clear.   Non-exposed surfaces receive prep work, primer and industrial coating, usually in color to match interior.

  • Unmasking. 

  • Cleaning the car to remove bodywork and grinding dust before the paint process. 

  • Installing wheels.   

  • Masking exterior and interior for paint application.   

  • Paint application, color and clear.  Possible paint preparation, masking, and paint application on adjacent panels for color match.  

  • Unmasking. 

  • Wetsanding and buffing new paint. 

  • Cleaning the car to remove buffing compound and other dust. 

  • Install vinyl top.

  • Window glass reinstallation and alignment. 

  • Reinstallation of bumpers, trim, lights, bezels, badges, vents, door strikers, etc.

  • Interior reassembly, including seats, carpet, headliner, rear package shelf,  interior lighting in sail panels, sound deadener, wiring, side panels, window cranks or switches, ashtrays, console, and other related parts. 

  • Rubber weatherstripping reinstallation, including fitment of new reproduction rubber.

  • Install quarter panel vent assembly.

As you can see, a proper quarter panel replacement is a time consuming job that requires many steps and precision work.    We have replaced many quarter panels over the years, and are happy to consult with you on restoring the body on your car!

Contact the V8 Speed & Resto Shop with all your Classic or Muscle Car needs today!


817 S. MAIN STREET - RED BUD, IL 62278

High-pressure fuel systems required by Electronic Fuel Injection systems pose a possible safety threat should the car ever be involved in an impact.   We like to install Inertia Fuel Cutoff Switches in the EFI retrofits performed at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop.   The Fuel Cutoff Switch turns off the fuel pump in an impact to prevent dangerous high-pressure gasoline spraying on a hot engine and causing a fire.  

Patch Panel or Full Body Panel Replacement?

If you have rust or damage in your classic car, muscle car, hot rod, or truck, you have some options when it comes to sheet metal body repair panels.    One option is to replace the entire panel, be it a quarter panel, fender, floor section, trunk floor, roof skin, dashboard, or other body panel.    

The other option is to replace a section of the panel, cutting it in the middle and only welding in what is needed.   Which is the better option, full panel replacement or patch panel installation?    This video attempts to answer that question as shown at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop. 

Our team performs original factory style complete body panel replacements as well as patch panel installation, as we have the tools and experience to complete both types of repairs that are nearly undetectable when completed.    Our fabrication shop uses resistance spot welders and TIG welders to install quarter panels, trunk floors, trunk drop-down panels, cabin floors, rocker panels, fenders, and more.  

Contact the V8 Speed & Resto Shop if your classic car, muscle car, hot rod, truck, or other restoration project vehicle has rust or damage to repair.    


#v8speedandresto  #rustrepair #quarterpanel


Dyno Carb Tuning a 455 powered 1969 Pontiac Firebird with Oxygen sensor at V8 Speed & Resto Shop

The only real way to know your air / fuel ratio for certain is to measure the exhaust with a wideband Oxygen sensor.    In this case, this super clean and freshly restored 1969 Pontiac Firebird came to the V8 Speed & Resto Shop to have the air / fuel ratio measured and the carburetor tune corrected on the dyno by our technicians.    The car is running a Pontiac 455 V8 and is hooked to a Tremec T-56 6-speed manual transmission.   Fuel is provided with a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, and the suspension and brakes have been upgraded for better ride and handling. 

The V8 Speed & Resto Shop team analyzed the air / fuel mixture and tuned the carburetor for maximum performance, as well as optimized ignition timing.   

Click the link to contact the V8 Speed & Resto Shop for all your Classic and Muscle Car tuning and restoration needs, from simple jobs to complete body and paint restoration.   




Contact the V8 Speed & Resto Shop Today!

817 S. MAIN STREET - RED BUD, IL 62278

1968 Camaro Reloaded Restoration V8 Speed & Resto Shop

We provide complete restoration services including:

Project Planning & Design

Part Selection & Sales

Vehicle Transport Assistance

Project Evaluation


Rust Removal & Repair

Sheetmetal Repair, Fabrication, Installation

Engine Mechanical

Suspension Upgrades & Repairs

Bodywork, Panel Fitment & Installation

Paint Removal & Application

Buffing & Polishing

Performance Upgrades

Disc Brake Installs

Performance Custom Exhaust

Electrical Dignosis, Wiring, Installation

Interior Repairs & Installations

Air Conditioning Installs

Fuel Injection Conversions

Audio / Navigation Systems

Complete Reassembly

General Repairs & Maintenance

MIG, TIG, Spot Welding

Detailing    ...and many more!


Click And Fill Out The Online Contact Form To Contact Us About Your Project!

This is the same car pictured above before the V8 Speed & Resto Shop Restoration!

Reloaded Final

V8 Speed & Resto Shop

817 S. Main Street

Red Bud, IL 62278




A classic or muscle car restoration can be a big project, so we've assembled a few tips to help you get the ball rolling.   
The V8TV Crew discusses some considerations regarding driving and old car every day as a primary mode of transport.   While old cars look cool, there are safety and reliability concerns that could leave you hitching a ride home if you're old ride isn't up to speed.
We can help with your old car at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop - 314.783.8325
Seek RevealPRO Thermal Camera image at V8 Speed & Resto Shop

We use thermal imaging as a tuning and diagnostic tool in the V8 Speed & Resto Shop to see how various systems are performing in the cars we build. In this image, we see the radiator is doing a good job of reducing the temperature as the coolant flows down through the core. Seek Thermal cameras allow us to see high friction areas and other problems that the naked eye cannot.   Contact the shop today and we can show you the "unseen" on your Classic or Muscle Car! 

Seek Thermal Imagaing in the V8 Speed & Resto Shop


Custom Exhaus at V8 Speed & Resto Shop

The V8 Speed & Resto Shop Crew just finished another custom 3" mandrel-bent stainless MagnaFlow exhaust system on the COMP Cams Camaro!   The system is snaked around the Heidt's 4-link rear suspension, tucked up inside the quarter panels, fully TIG welded and ready to rock!  Fabricator Adam likes the challenge of fabricating tightly-fitting custom exhaust systems and use mandrel bends for reduced back pressure and TIG welded stainless tube for long life.   And that MagnaFlow sound… let us know if your ride needs an exhaust system you'll be proud to show off, both in looks and sound!

Custom Tail Pipes

Flush-fitting exhaust hugs the quarters for a clean look

Tubes hang tight to body

Tubes hang tight to body for best clearance and appearance

Tubes on bench

Each system is fully TIG welded before final installation

Contact us today to schedule your appointment for a tube tune-up on your ride!  314.783.8325