All about Buying the Best Quarter Panel Extension Around
The quarter panel is a type of panel that serves as the rear panel of your car (particularly the four-door sedan type of automobile). It extends down to the bumper and trunk, right beside the rear window and immediately above the wheel well. This varies from vehicle to vehicle, but the underlying principle behind the quarter panel remains the same. As for the quarter panel extension, that's what you get when you're doing automobile restoration and that part of your car is already corroded, damaged, or otherwise dented for whatever reason.
Things to Take Note of
- More about the Quarter Panel: Quarter panels are usually made of sheet metal (like the rest of your car). However, they can also be composed of fiber-reinforced plastic or fiberglass. Panel disassembly is uncomplicated on many modern vehicles, but with other automobiles (particularly vintage ones), it can be quite complicated. If your car's quarter panel is welded unto the framework of the car itself, you'll need to cut it free to put in your replacement quarter panel extension.
- Purchasing Considerations: You have two options in terms of your purchasing decision. You can either go with what your dealership recommends then let them install a new OEM quarter panel extension for you or you could look for this car body part yourself in the aftermarket in order to restore your car back to manufacturing standards and save money along the way.
- Aftermarket versus OEM: The OEM route ensures perfect quarter panel extension fits but this isn't always the best option (i.e., what if the quarter panel is part of the body in your make and model of car?). As for the aftermarket, do extensive research on them to avoid getting a lemon of a part. What's more, to ensure that you won't get low-grade parts, always make sure the quarter panel extensions you're buying is made in the USA as well.
- How Well It Fits: The obvious number one concern people have when putting in replacement quarter panel extensions on their car is if it fits with the car or if there's extra work to be done (and for those who aren't doing this themselves, this usually means a higher labor cost). Cheaper aftermarket options make it likelier to get improper fits that require modification.
- Affordability or Expensiveness: The expensiveness of an extension can weigh heavily in the minds of many car owners. However, this concern should be tempered with the potential quality of the job. If you want something done well, you should be willing to pay for the best parts and services available. Don't skimp on quality when buying extensions. If the OEM cost is too much to handle, then find a reputable aftermarket company and acquire a good panel from them.
Fender extensions and caps are quite delicate, so be careful when handling them. If you're not confident in your skill to do it yourself, then let a professional deal with it instead (but that naturally comes at a cost in terms of labor). If damage is only light on your quarter panel, there are better restoration options out there other than removal and replacement. However, a replacement is usually better than hammering panels back to shape since those panels are now structurally weaker depending on the extensiveness of the damage done to them.