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Okay! How Do You Do It? Raduising 55 Chevy quarters?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 55gasserkid, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    from so cal


    I'd like to hope that anyone who's considering the alteration of a
    '55 Chevrolet quarter panel would be in possession of top weld-
    ing skills, or at least have sense enough to find someone who
    does. The quarter on a two door, any two door, is no place to
    learn how to weld.

    Swankey Devils C.C.

    "Meanwhile, back aboard The Tainted Pork"
  2. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865


    i did a 55 hardtop last year with nomad quarters , look good but diff from the usual round look we usually do. and they were a grand each are pics of the nomad and the radiused ones on the gold car done with 1`/2 inch tubing welded around it

    Attached Files:

  3. PurHell
    Joined: Dec 17, 2004
    Posts: 375

    from So Cal

    I would make a paper pattern of the radius/opening with reference lines to the bottom edge of the body and any thing else I could measure to. Then transfer the line with transfer paper or pounce to masking on the body on both sides with the one pattern.

    Going off the center of the axle is great if your springs have the exact same sag and the axle is dead even forward and aft. Also cuts down on the chance of different radiuses side to side (operator error)
  4. duke182
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 562


    bend some emt conduit to the desired radius

    mark this on the panel on the inside of the radius

    cut the inner from the outter panel

    trim the outer to the mark

    trim the inner one inch lower than the outer

    cut relief cuts in the inner every two inches front and fear from top center mark

    tack weld, or braze, your emt to the outer panel, outside to leave a small flare when finished

    bend the inner panel tabs outward to wrap around the emt. trim as necessary so as not to extent past center of conduit.

    weld tabs to conduit

    finish welding, or brazing if you prefer, everything solid

    smooth with body filler of your choioce. lead or plastic

    prime and paint

    this method will give you a vintage look, seal you panel, and keep the panel strong.

    good luck with which ever method you choose.
  5. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    Yup, that
  6. John_Kelly
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 535


    You could use 3/8" solid square stock. This allows you to make a hammerform that can be welded to, or removed when you are finished. If you weld to it, the weld can be around the corner from the rest of the sheet metal of the quarter, making warpage less likely. Bend to the curve you want as seen in the attached pictures. You can pound the metal over a gap, or for slightly finer tuning, pound over a piece of wood. Weld temporary supports to hold the hammerform steady, clamp the sheet metal and gradually tap it over with a hammer going back and forth until is all the way over against the hammerform. I usually put a slight amount of front to back curve in the piece before making the wheel opening curve. There are simple ways to remove too much curve that I can show if you like.


    Attached Files:

  7. A elia
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 39

    A elia

    Heres some shots of my 57 radius job. I used 3/8'' solid rod for edge. once the ride height is set i traced the radious with a home made compas stuck in the ribbs of the piecrust slicks. In order to do this you must rough out the size first . No need to make template. Also lip is existing sheet metal bent and hammered .

    Attached Files:

  8. Pooch
    Joined: Apr 11, 2006
    Posts: 863

    from Oklahoma

    Volvo front fenders 200.00 at the local salvage yard. The curve of the volvo fenders fits the body perfect. A little cutting and welding and there you go.

    Thanks to everyone that posted on this thread. My rear quarters were a mess and I needed some ideas, this one worked for me. Pooch

    Attached Files:

    mikeymike likes this.
  9. I done a number of wheelwell modifications back in the 1970's. The preferred method at the time was #1--cut out the opening. #2-Bend a peice of thinwall steel electricians conduit around a tire (by hand) untill you match the cut out radius. #3--position the bent conduit on the outside of the quarter panel surface so that the cut out quarter falls in the center of the conduit. #4--mig all around from the inside (this requires blocking car up, removing wheel, setting in the wheelwell and covering crotch and legs with a peice of leather to keep from burning to death) #5 moving back to the outside and cutting a number of peices of sheet metal about 3" x 2 1/2" and welding to the outside center of the conduit and to the side of the quarter panel.---work your way around, tacking as you go. The fact that you are welding in a number of small peices of sheet metal will let you follow any compound curves in the dogleg area. #6--weld up all the gaps and grind everything smooth. #7 Fair everything in with "Marglass" which is a waterproof, glass fibre entrained filler. #8 grind to "close" with 6" body grinder. and #8--Finish with normal body filler and boardfile smooth. This gave lots of reinforcement to the cut out quarter panel, left no sharp edges, made everything look "factory", and added a small flair.---Brian
  10. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894


    1. Get a friend to help
    2. Get baseball bat
    3. start car up
    4. Force baseball bat between quarter panel and rear wheel.
    5. get friend to hold baseball bat
    6. Put car in gear
    7. drive car very slowely (while rolling baseball bat with the wheel) until baseball bat has made it all the way around the wheel.

    And now you have radius'd wheel well
  11. doesn't anybody reproduce Nomad quarter panels?
  12. hotrod-Linkin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,382


    55 2 door buick,,,,ruined a few for the 55 chevy.
  13. Jay Tyrrell
    Joined: Dec 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,631

    Jay Tyrrell

    Can't fix stupid!
  14. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,082

    from Houston

    early s/10..s/15 quarter pannels
  15. I like the appearance of the volvo radius...very clean!
  16. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,984

    from California

    I think if you have a fiddy six or seven it is cool to keep kind of the original swept back shape of the wheelwell. I had a "axled" 56 back in the 80's. the original wheel well lips were cut off and repostioned higher .. right below the original Bel Air side trim.

    the idiot that did it (no, not me) cut them out, then brazed and bondoed them back on. it looked cool before the cracks started.

    those Volvo lips are plentiful in the junk yards since they made pretty much the same car from the early 70's until well into the 80's and maybe beyond that
  17. I used quarters off an S-10. Bought just patch panels, not complete quarter. Had to shorten them a little to get the right look.
    belair likes this.
  18. ardunpinto
    Joined: Dec 12, 2007
    Posts: 173

    from WACO tx

    Get a tape and head to the wrecking yard. Theres gotta be plenty of stuff that will work ,van,truck. Who knows a 89 buick might be perfect 90 van, hell anything just finy something "you" like and do it.
  19. Thanks for posting this! Personally this is the ONLY way I would radius rear wheel wells.
    I have to ask, did you end up doing any welding after you were done?
  20. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,525

    from swanton oh

    Back in the day, in Ohio, we would just cut on the line made where the rubber seal on the inner fender rusted the quarter out.
  21. I put an ad on "Craigs" locally for a pair of 240 Volvo less than 2 weeks, I found a pair, already removed, for $30! I recommend other HAMB members checking their local CL for cheap 240 fenders, if that is the route you wish to go. Local yards wanted $75 each and up.
  22. Herdez
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 357


    When i cut mine I also asked (How do you do it?) I also didnt want something that looked different from what they did back in the day. I wrote a blog on my build up different styles from way back when. Check it out. I have a photo of my 55 it can use 31x13.5 slicks in the rear and they only stick out 1 inch past fender on a 15x10 mags 3.25 back spacing on a 57 chevy rear. ;)
  23. Cut55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,978

    from WA

    Nope, just sprayed some satin black around the cuts, about 1/4-inch wide, and called it good. I wanted it to look the way most street machine '55s with cut quarters looked back in the old days--just a cut radius, cleaned up and trimmed with black paint. Low buck, like most of us were when we were young street racers.
  24. Herdez
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 357


    Cut55: That is the best modern job Ive seen so far and thats what I used your pictures as a guide.
  25. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    I bet you guys cut the sleeves out of good shirts too:D
    I like'em the way chevrolet done'em better;)
    Yeah my avatar has'em cut but I wouldnt have the heart to cut a real one.

    Attached Files:

    belair likes this.
  26. chopt55bc
    Joined: May 10, 2008
    Posts: 886


    the volvo fenders look ok but i personally dont like the way they get a bit straight toward the back of the wheelwell. the car does look sweet though!
  27. Cut55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,978

    from WA

    Oh I got a little antsy about cutting my '55 but then my buddy Brad, who did the cuts, said that I had to do it. It's the look I knew I always wanted on a '55 if I ever got one and so when I got one I had to do it. (Damn that 1964 Revell '55 model box art!!! Screwed me up BAD--PERMANENTLY.) I hung the two cut-out pieces, with the cut-out trim in place, on the garage wall.
  28. full race
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 61

    full race
    from florida

    Love the look its look cool !!!!
  29. Cut55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,978

    from WA

    BTW, here's how it looks.


    And here's what I did with the cut-outs:

  30. Krash Vegas
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 452

    Krash Vegas

    Bringing this one back to life.
    I am getting ready to do mine.
    I'm using a little old school and hi tech just to double check myself.
    I laid the thing out old school and from the centerline of the axle, to the height I want the top of the new fenderwell I get about 16 1/4
    That makes an overall diamater of 32.5 inches.
    I had a CAD drawing that was a 31 inch circle, 15.5 radius but there was no way to position it and make it work. It seems that the 16.250 radius will do the trick.
    I should know tonight and I'll update with pics when I have this thing all triple checked.


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