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What Is A Quarter Panel?

"Original" quarter panels from donor cars may be rusty, have bondo from earlier repairs, or are aftermarket parts from eons ago. Here, we cover benefits of new replacement panels.
What Is A Quarter Panel?

Quarter panels are exterior metal body panels that define how the rear of your vehicle will look to the eye. Because rear quarter panels provide structural support, they are typically welded in place on vehicle assembly lines. Some quarter panels are one large piece that serves both as a rear fender and roof section while others seem to qualify more as rear fenders because they have no roof sections integrated. On a few makes and models, some rear quarter panels are available in partial sections.

1972 Chevrolet
While this 1972 Chevrolet ad touts driving cars of this era through snow as a better idea, the reality is winter salt usually led to premature corrosion.
Honda Civic
Wraparound rear plastic bumper covers like the one on this Honda Civic can completely cover and obscure lower section of quarter panels they're fitted to. Corrosive salt and moisture never gets cleaned off, and rust can develop here undetected until it's too late.

Quarter panels truly take a beating on the road. Salty slush thrown up by rear wheels collects on quarter panels - not only on outside surfaces, but in pockets along the inner lip of each panel. Add up-and-down temperature fluctuations in winter along with heat from exhaust pipes, and rust becomes a voracious eater of metal quarter panels.

Replacement Panels
"Original" quarter panels from donor cars often turn out to have bondo covering earlier rust issues, or they may turn out to be aftermarket parts installed on the vehicle earlier in its lifetime. Quality aftermarket replacement panels make financial sense, save labor, and install on your vehicle easily.
Rocker Panel Chevrolet
Here, the rocker panel on this 1972 Chevrolet Camaro shows the real-world result of driving in winter weather.

Wraparound plastic bumper covers which first gained popularity in the 1980s literally cover the lower section of rear quarter panels they're fitted to, creating an area behind the bumper cover that can't be reached with soap and water. Older classics equipped with OEM chromed trim pieces bolted on top of the quarter panels tended to develop a higher level of rot because cleaning efforts that would normally remove moisture, muck, and corrosive road salt were hampered.

Chevrolet Suburban
Depending on vehicle design, some quarter panels integrate roof edges completely - as seen on this replacement panel for a 1973-91 Chevrolet Suburban.
Ford Mustang
Quarter panels for some makes and models may also be available in simpler form without structural connection to roof elements or rocker panels. These are known as "quarter panel skins". Here, a replacement quarter panel skin for a 1969 Ford Mustang coupe / convertible is shown.

Add constant sandblasting of road grit from the rear wheels, chips from rocks thrown up while driving over unpaved or poorly paved roads, dents from scraping against high curbs, and an area prone to fender-bender damage, and the odds are stacked against rear quarter panels when it comes to longevity.

Truck Bed Panels
Quarter panels on pickup trucks such as this one are sometimes referred to as "truck bed panels".
Higher Level Rot
Rusted quarter panel after an impact.

If you've found your old quarter panels are beyond repair, you may have difficulty finding an uncompromised, original quarter panel from a donor vehicle that's the same age as yours. "Original" quarter panels from donor cars often turn out to have bondo covering earlier rust issues, or they may turn out to be aftermarket parts installed on the vehicle earlier in its lifetime.

Or, do you look for a new one? In this article, we'll share information on some premium quality new quarter panels we believe will finally solve this dilemma faced by enthusiasts everywhere.

Pontiac Firebird
Most OEM-style quarter panel designs integrate only some of the roof, as seen on this replacement panel for a 1978 Pontiac Firebird.
Quarter Patch
On some makes and models, partial "quarter panel patch" sections are available when cutting and welding a small section of metal is preferred.

Typically, a full replacement quarter panel will extend up into the roof edge - these may be described as "OE style", and the amount of roof inclusion varies depending on original vehicle design. Full, OE-style quarter panels will also include metal flanges shaped for easy welding to roof panels above and to rocker panels below.

Flaming Burnouts
Even if you don't engage in flaming burnouts, quarter panels still take a pounding however and wherever you drive your vehicle.

Unlike front fenders which typically are bolted in place, quarter panels are welded. This means that the old quarter panel must be cut away, and the new panel accurately welded in. While we recommend professional installation and painting when installing quarter panels, there does not always need to be a lot of labor. A new part that fits correctly from the start will greatly speed up completion time on your project. And if clean, rust-free examples of sheetmetal for your project have become scarce, new parts from the aftermarket will likely be your only choice.

Quarter Panels Selection

Whether you've got rust on a classic car or need to repair damage on a daily driver, we stock quality replacement quarter panels from reputable manufacturers such as Replace (wide variety of makes 1970s-today), Goodmark (select American makes 1946-94), Sherman (classic GM, Ford, Chrysler, Jeeps until 2006), AutoMetal Direct (classic Ford, GM, Chrysler), Omix-ADA (classic Jeeps), Restoparts (mid-size GM performance cars 1964-87), OER (Chevy muscle cars 1963-73), and Dansk (classic Porsche 911/912 models).

Related Quarter Panel Pieces

Quarter panels for some makes and models may also be available in reduced form without roof sides or structural connections to rocker panels - these are known as "quarter panel skins". Quarter panels may also be called "truck bed panels" when the make and model is a pickup truck. And on some applications, partial replacement "quarter patch" sections are even available for times when cutting and welding a small section of metal is all that is needed.

Along the left hand side of the screen in our Quarter Panels section page, you’ll see a number of check boxes under the PART TYPE heading. Selecting any of these boxes will narrow your search to complete quarter panels, or any of the related quarter panel pieces mentioned above.

Quarter Panels Vehicle Selection Box
Once you enter your specific make, model, and year in the vehicle selection box, our website will automatically guide you to quarter panel choices that will fit your car or truck.

We recommend using our Vehicle Selection box at the top of the screen as well. Once year, make, and model details are provided, you’ll automatically see a choice of quarter panels. Depending on the vehicle, you may have a choice of "full" or "OEM" panels, panel 'skins', or patches. If a pickup truck was available with both 'stepside' (narrow bed) and standard rear sections, both will be shown.

Likewise, the quarter panel design may vary depending on whether your ride is a coupe, fastback, or convertible. So be prepared to provide accurate information in order to be assured of receiving the correct part. For some vehicle applications, the same part number will apply to more than one model year.

Quarter Panels Gallery

Quality aftermarket replacement quarter panels make financial sense, save labor, and install on your vehicle easily. And when you order from us, you’ll get what you need fast – moving you one step closer toward getting your project vehicle back on the road!

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All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by CARiD.com is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.