Finally got around to welding in the quarter panel patch on the passenger side of the Impala. My welding skills still need work, but I figured I had welded enough stuff on the floor that I could pull it off. Without having a panel flanging tool handy, I decided to try butt-welding the panel in place. About an hour of careful cutting, measuring, marking, cutting some more, fitting and a little bit of fine-tune grinding got it to fit quite nicely! I did have about a 1/8″ gap at the very rear of the panel for about 2 inches, but all the rest of the gaps were pretty tight. I welded spots about every 5 or so inches and would come back to do some more in-between. I then ground then smooth before doing a couple more passes.
I know that warping can be a problem, so I was trying to avoid that… I did OK I suppose. There is a little warp, which feels like minor rippling along the welded seam. No massive warping or anything to be concerned about. There will be filler required because the replacement panel actually does not even have the correct contour to match up with the rest of the quarter panel if you can believe that! I noticed it after the panel had several tacks holding it in, that feeling the shape from top to bottom, you could tell that the seam is basically a ridge, because the panel is too flat, where it should have a slight countour to it all the way down its length. I guess that is what (gulp) bondo is for! Had I known this before fitting and cutting it, I would have tried to tweek the panel ahead of time… but I guess this is how ya learn! I still have to finish up some welding at the lower rear section, but then its done.