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Request

What does I-CAR say about test-fitting and protecting adjacent panels during quarter panel replacement?

Response

Per I-CAR curriculum: “Test-fitting a panel:

  • is done to check the alignment with adjacent panels.
  • requires locking pliers to hold the panel in place. Screws may be used in place of locking pliers to hold the panel in place.

Screws may also be used to help realign the replacement panel if it must be removed after fit testing.

When installing welded-on panels:

  • perform a final fit test by installing the panel and securing with temporary fasteners. Check the panel alignment with adjacent panels. Remove the panel.
  • punch or drill holes in the replacement panel flanges (if required).
  • apply weld-through primer to bare metal areas if recommended by the vehicle maker.
  • make test welds on steel panels that are the same thickness.
  • weld the panel in place. Make sure to alternate plug weld locations to control heat / panel warpage. When welding a lap joint, be sure to use a stitch or skip method to control heat and reduce panel warpage.”