Quarter panel replacement

Logan

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Hello my 78 LeBaron Town&Country is in need of rear quarters. I had body work and a paint job done two years ago but it's failing dramatically and becoming another thing that I wish I had done myself. I've recently come across someone parting out a 79 Volare wagon and although the parts don't cross reference, I'm thinking that they are the same panels. Can anybody confirm this?
I've been driving these cars for 22 years now and although challenging at times, it's always made easies with this community so close at hand.
To all of you out there who share so much of your time and knowledge helping keep our cars on the road, thank you very much.
 

Ele115

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For 4 doors they are the same from Volare to LB/Dip. I don't have any LeBaron/Dip wagons handy. The 4 doors use different rubber end caps to facilitate various tail lights. I don't think the wagons use a rubber end cap though, so you may have to use Volare tail lights if you use the quarters. I am not sure about the lift gate. If you look at the lights and how much of the quarter they had to stamp out to wrap them around, you'll see what I am talking about. Depends on your money and what you are up for. You may be better making patch panels unless it's super scary bad and the whole quarters really need to come off and go into the Hyundai foundry
 

Oldiron440

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I’d i’d rather make tail lights fit than rebuild quarter panels especially the wheel arches…
 

Logan

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Thanks for the reply. You're right that the wagon quarters don't have the end caps and if you were trying to use 4 door quarters for a wagon you would be left with some tough pieces to fabricate. I think I'm going to get the Volare quarters and just cut out what I need which is the typical area 3-6 inches in from the edges. I don't want to get into changing entire quarters and the seller doesn't seem interested in removing them whole anyway.
It would be nice but this is my driver and work wagon. I keep it nice but try to be realistic.
 

Ele115

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The wagon stampings are what they are. I have a Volare wagon and it's all steel. I don't have access to an ealry M, but it would appear they modified the dies to make the new big wide wrap around tail lamps and do away with the small side marker light. Just what you say, you can buzz off say...twice as much metal from the donor quarters and make patches, or even use 90% of the quarters but leave the old ends in from your existing car so you keep the tail light cavities. Remember this: The rust you think you have right now will at least double once you get involved and start stripping it. You always have more than you think, so cut out as much metal from the donor as is feasible and that may include inners. The inners rusted like mothers and you won't see it unless you go exploring or cut into it.
 

Mikes5thAve

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Where's the rust? If it's behind the wheel in the normal spot those panels are pretty flat and someone can make one. When I had a paint job done on one of mine years ago the body shop did it.
 

Ele115

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Well yeah, most of the quarter is flat. I usually just cut out what I need from some 16 gauge and if it needs a little bend I do it. I have a flanging tool too, the best $200 I ever spent. Cut, measure, fit, flange, plug weld and lead it in. Even the arches aren't bad. Metal is easier to shape than people think but I understand some people have less time or confidence level so someone's strategy will vary
 

Ele115

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Just look at the bright side, it's not one of those 57 chevys where everything behind the headlight rotted out from the crap being slung in there for years. You go to replace the headlight because it's dim, and the whole shebang just crumbles and there is nothing to mount a headlight to anymore
 

Mikes5thAve

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Well yeah, most of the quarter is flat. I usually just cut out what I need from some 16 gauge and if it needs a little bend I do it. I have a flanging tool too, the best $200 I ever spent. Cut, measure, fit, flange, plug weld and lead it in. Even the arches aren't bad. Metal is easier to shape than people think but I understand some people have less time or confidence level so someone's strategy will vary
I don't have a metal brake so I wouldn't be able to do it myself, mainly putting it out there because finding someone to make the piece might be better then dealing with 40 year old metal thats hard to find in decent shape or might already have rust starting where you can't see it.
 

Ele115

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I am about to do the leading edge of an Ambassador hood that has a rust out. Can't get a hood so I will weld in a patch. It's the leading edge where it rolls under and meets the grille. It's a bit complex but it looks harder to do than it is. I won't be using any special super technology. Stuff most of you have and could do at home. If there's interest, I could take photos.
 

kmccabe56

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Hello my 78 LeBaron Town&Country is in need of rear quarters. I had body work and a paint job done two years ago but it's failing dramatically and becoming another thing that I wish I had done myself. I've recently come across someone parting out a 79 Volare wagon and although the parts don't cross reference, I'm thinking that they are the same panels. Can anybody confirm this?
I've been driving these cars for 22 years now and although challenging at times, it's always made easies with this community so close at hand.
To all of you out there who share so much of your time and knowledge helping keep our cars on the road, thank you very much.
The sides of the quarter panels are the same. The area where the tail lights are mounted is different.
 

Logan

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Thanks for the info.
I’ll send along some pictures when I get cutting.
 
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