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Had a wake-up call recently. I was kicking the snow and dirt of the front driver-side mud flap when it and a significant chunk of rusted-through metal fell off the fender body panel. So, anyway, it looks like time to replace that entire section (front-left quarter). Is this a DIY-able item, assuming I can find a chop-shopped section of the right color (maroon, which I have seen a lot on the road)? Any stories of similar replacements out there?

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Quarter panels are fairly easy to remove. If you're lucky, just the quarter panel is rusted. The frame rail underneath is an unstopable doom if it rusts through. Check the rear wheel wells while you're at it. It'll be a good chance to get aquainted with bondo.

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Looked at it again last night. Poked a finger through the hole to check the interior. The frame rail still seem solid although there was quite a collection of dirt inside. Hopefully cleaning this out will save the rail from serious harm for a while. Lots of used body panels for sale on a few 'net sites so there is a possible springtime project ahead.

 

It would be a shame to part with this car now. It still runs perfect (although DW can't stand the thought of me driving it any distance beyond the local Quik Mart...).

:banghead:

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Once you do replace the front quarter panel the best way to keep if from rusting in the future, and that goes for all 1st gen. legacy owners, is to regularly wash the dirt that collects inside the panel and on the frame rail. You can only get at it with the door open. I just stick the washer wand in there and gently blow it out trying not to blow it into the interior of the car. Washing out the front of the rear wheel well will also keep that area from rusting. The body on my 90 wagon is still perfect in that regard.

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