Removing A Rusted Outer Wheelhouse Video Tutorial
How To Remove Outer Wheelhouse
Now that the quarter panel is removed, we can see the outer wheelhouse is severely rusted. Therefore, the best option is to replace it. The same basic steps of punching, drilling and separating the panels will followed to remove the spot welds on the outer wheelhouse.
Remove Quarter Glass and Track
With the quarter panel removed, you can easily see the top two bolts holding the quarter glass track in place.
To gain access to all of the spot welds, the rear window regulator needs to be removed. This not only allow access to the spot welds, but gives you the opportunity to clean and grease all of the moving parts.
Locate Spot Welds
Locating the spot welds are the same as with the quarter panel. However, there is another tip I did not mention earlier. If you lightly sand the spot weld area, it will highlight and make the spot welds easier to identify. Especially on rusted or coated areas.
Drill Spot Welds
Once located, a a punch can be used to make the indention in the center of the spot weld. Next, use a 9/32 drill bit to drill through the panels. One thing that is different with the wheel house is there are areas of the wheelhouse is spot welded holding three panels together instead of two. This includes: the inner wheel house, outer wheelhouse, along with the car body panels in certain areas. The wheel house is also underneath the parts being drilled in some areas. If this is the case, drill through both panels with the bigger 5/16 bit. The hole left behind can be used to plug weld the new wheel house on.
Separate Panels Using A Seam Buster
Once all spot welds have been drilled out, use a seam buster to separate the parts. However, there are a few spot welds that are difficult to drill out due to an outer brace. For these areas, use the seam buster to cut through the spot welds. This may need to been done from underneath. This will require jacking the car up, removing the tire, resting car on a jack stand and work from the underside. If you decide to use this method be cautious and always use a jack and make certain the car is stable and secure. You do not want the car to accidentally slip or fall while you are under the wheelhouse trying to separate the panels. I did not have a jack stand at the time I removed the wheelhouse, so I did not use this method. However, I think it would have made the job much easier. I just worked the seam buster from the sides until I was able to break the spot welds.
Some of the spot welds will need to be separated from inside the car. One thing you want to do when separating multiple panels welded together is to make certain that you are separating the correct part. In this tutorial, we are separating the outer wheelhouse. Care should be taken not to damage the car body or the inner wheelhouse.
Once you have the outer wheelhouse separated, remove it and your ready to start with the preparation for the new wheelhouse.
This car still has some rusted areas, so I will need to do some sanding, rust proofing, and painting before installing the new parts.
- Remove Rear Window Regulator
- Locate All Spot Welds Attaching The Outer Wheel House.
- Use A Center Punch To Indent The Center Of All Spot Welds
- Drill Spot Welds Using a 9/64 Drill Bit
- Drill Spot Welds Using a 5/16 Drill Bit
- Separate Outer Wheel House Using a Seam Buster
- Cut Any Spot Welds That Were Not Drilled Due To Limited Access
- Remove Outer Wheel House