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Old 03-03-2011, 02:13 PM   #1
girodisc
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Default How To: Wagon Rear Sedan Conversion:

Hey all. I have been around the block with making wagons wider but I got the chance to do something I have always wanted to try. A true Sedan Rear end on a Wagon. This thread will be great for people that buy donor STi's for a swap and don't want to just stop at the performance and drivetrain. I'll show you where I make my cuts for removing the quarters off a Sedan and then how I have always envisioned the easiest way to swap them onto a wagon. I am about 40% through the swap so this is the first quarter I will make further posts on how to do the other side with the gas door and rear bumper modification next week.

Okay so first we have to start with the Sedan Donor Car. In these first pics I have marked where I am going to make my cuts to get the quarters off the Sedan. Due to the wider flares I am taking portions of the inner fender wells as well to make the closest to stock appearing as I can make it.









I used a melody of a cutoff wheel and a reciprocating saw to cut the pannels. off. All my cuts have at least an 1" of extra material over where I am going to make my final cuts.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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i'm listening....

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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Here is the Quarter Removed from the Car. Make sure you take your time and be sure to make clean cuts it will save you time in the long run.





Now on the Quarter there are 3 parts. The outer skin, the inner fender well, and a support brace for the c-pillar. We will be keeping the one on the wagon so in order to fit the quarter we need to remove the one off the sedan's flare. You can do this by drilling out the spot welds on the underside of the fender well.

First you will need to remove the undercoating and sound proofing to locate the spot welds. I only remove what I need to so its less undercoating I need to add later.



And here it is. Make sure to drill the smallest hole possible just to get the pieces of metal apart.



Next we are going to start cleaning up the new quarters and getting them ready to be installed on the wagon. First is to remove the inner piece of metal off the pinch weld, since we cut the quarter off on the back side. I do this by just using a cut off wheel and grinding the spot well off so that do have to worry about holes and removing to much metal.



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Old 03-03-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Next is to cut the quarters and trim them to get them ready for the swap. The inner areas are up to you but I make sure that I cut the outer skin 1/4" below the upper body line. This will make it easier to line and easier to mold and sand away.



Next its the best part... Cutting into a perfectly good car and in this case its a buddies 600+ whp super wagon. Fun fun. Make sure you make your marks and cut very slow to keep heat down. It is very important that you keep heat down so you do not warp any of the metal on the good car because that's just more work for you.



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Old 03-03-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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After much trimming and test fitting you will get everything to settle in fine. The cars are very similar and go together surprisingly well. First thing before you tack the quarter on for good is to tidy up what you have cut already cut. As you can see from the first pic the wagons inner fender well is cut and folded up into the outer skin. I do that because its the way the car was originally so by re-tacking them together the original structural integrity of the quarter is not compromised.



Next is some test fitting pics. I went ahead and drilled a few holes in the 2 pieces to hold them together while I tack the pieces together. I also marked the inner fender well and grinded off only the portion of metal I need to weld on.







As you can see there are some gaps on the inner door jam and that's because this car is getting the sedan conversion but i am pushing it a little wider to fit some big rubber for his track setup. I will be adding some material in these areas to do a subtle pull on the entire quarter before I roll it to go the rest of the way.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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Next is welding up the panels together. I start by doing spot welds every 3" and then slowly run down till I have a spot weld about every 1/2" I run my welder on a hot setting with fast wire feed so I can quick penetration which will keep residual heat down. Go this all welded up warp free. Also the Sedan's quarter is longer because the sedan's taillights are thinner so you need to simply just cut the excess off and tack it the wagons quarter on the corner so its easier to mold away with filler.

On the inner jam I I seam welded everything as the metal is a bit thicker and it will be easier for body work since these pieces couldn't be overlapped.





Once you have finished all the welding you brake out the grinder, and ear muffs and get to town. Be sure to remove or cover all glass in the area of your grinding or you will pit the glass.





And there it is. One side pretty much done. I have not welded the underside yet as I want to do my stretch to fit the wheels and then I will weld it up. I will have pics of this next week when I finish up this side and the other along with the bumper.









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Old 03-03-2011, 03:28 PM   #7
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You make it look so easy
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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...almost too easy......
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #9
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Yea, just like his flared legacy. Piece of cake
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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Very nice. I have wanted to do this for so long, but I fear doing it myself and I just don't know who I can trust out here. If you were close I would hire you for this job.


How will you resolve the STi trim piece where it meets the rear bumper?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:02 PM   #11
girodisc
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Imma graft the side of the Sedan bumper to the Wagon. Perfect integration. More to come.

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #12
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please, please, please stop doing such ridiculous awesome ****.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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LOL I can't help it I am addicted....
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:12 PM   #14
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Nice welding skills! Now I know your secret to how you got the honda flares on there... hide seams at the crease! Genius... if I even need fenderwork I'm driving my azz to WA! How far to philly?
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #15
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lol a long way to WA. Yes I am showing off my secrets only because I need a place to remember as I learn new things old things fall out of my head. My next set of skills will be doing a smooth underbelly and making a car from nothing haha.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #16
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Dude, Thanks for the D.I.Y. How to. This info is great. I've always wondered how to pull this off, but didn't know how. You rock.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:19 PM   #17
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Holy crap Johann! Nice work
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #18
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Lol -"Dude, Thanks for the D.I.Y. How to. This info is great. I've always wondered how to pull this off, but didn't know how. You rock."
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #19
girodisc
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Okay so got some more pics of the Passenger side. I decided to be a bit more in depth on this side since there is the gas door we need to work with. To start you must first remove the filler spout so you don't accidentally cut it or drop a weld amber down the tank... It takes a bit of love and tiny hands but they do come out and as long as you take your time you won't end up with a puddle of gas.



So first you need to start drawing out where your going to cut. I am starting with just the Gas door opening, the new arc for where the new fender well is going to sit so we can bring the wheel out, and then drawing the lines for the door jam leaving extra material for trimming.






So when I start making my cuts I like to do it in sections for a few reasons. Working with smaller sections makes it easier to work them off the car. It keeps the heat down so the thin metal doesn't warp by doing a long continuous cut. Also it makes it so you never accidentally cut to much. Working with only little section at a time you can focus your attention to a smaller more manageable area then trying to cut the whole thing off at once. So here is the sequence I did my cuts in.

First is to cut the portion on the quarter to gain access to the inner fender well. I cut the lower section just above where it folds in at the pinch weld.





Second I cut the front of the wheel arch off. I took a cutoff wheel to cut though both the inner and outer pieces of metal to just remove the whole piece.





Third I cut the lower section off the rear part of the arch to remove the pinch weld section.





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Old 03-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #20
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Lastly I cut the portion of the jam leaving extra material for trimming.



Once everything is accessible I make a series of cuts in the inner fender well so that I can fold the metal up so the sedans fender well section and be laid over top.



Make sure that you cut a bit into the c-pillar support piece so the well can but folded all the way flat so there is no rubbing.





As you can see once everything is folded there is a lot of extra material so you simply trim it back.



Once the trimming is complete grind off the paint at the edge of the new wheel arc so you can tack the to pieces together.



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Old 03-07-2011, 12:47 PM   #21
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Next is the final trimming of the gas tank section. Since the Sedan has a long swing arm for its gas tank door the section that needs to be removed is considerable. The way I do it when 2 pieces of metal need to be butted up against each other on a flat plane is to make a small light cut outlining the new piece and then making cuts in all the corners. I then take a body hammer and tap the edges down so the new metal will sit a bit lower and more flush. The cut acts as a guide since the metal is thinner it will bend at that point.



So after a few test fits and some trimming the new panel is ready to be welded to the car.



As you can see there is a gap in this pic and its because I pulled the quarter out a but farther then the original point to fit his wheels. I'll be going into detail on how to make a piece that's a perfect fit to fill the space.



And obviously before you make any permanent welds check the fitment.



Johann @ Girodisc

Last edited by girodisc; 03-07-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:02 PM   #22
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Okay so now we fill that little gap. The easier way to do this without spending hours trying to make the perfect piece it to cover the area in painters tape.



Then you trace the area the piece needs to fill.



Then take the piece of tape and stick it on the metal you want to make your piece out of.



Make a light cut over the lines through the tape.



Then finish cutting it and grind the paint off of the side you intend to weld.



Here it is tacked. Perfect fit and it only took 10 mins to create. I do this for many other types of metal work as well. Make sure you use a premium painters tape blue or green as it doesn't stretch. Stretchy tape will make it harder to get your shape and it will shrink as you make your light outline cuts.



Next up is some tips on welding. Welding this thin metal can be a bit of a paint. To cold and the weld doesn't penetrate and the bead is high making more effort to grind it flat. I run my welder very hot and do very light (or short) burst. I do light stitch welding to keep heat down. This weld works best I have found because its hot so penetration is instant and the weld it very flat. You just have to dial in your style to know how to weld it to keep the heat down because if you weld to long or to fast and the heat ramps up you'll burn through. Practice is key. Here's what my welds look like.



And finally pics of it all welded up before grinding.








I will have more pics of this side all grinded down with the gas door back in as well as the bumper.

Stay Tuned

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Old 03-07-2011, 01:07 PM   #23
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great job man , cant wait to see finished results
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:34 PM   #24
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duuuuude sick! makin it look hella easy!
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:12 PM   #25
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Will it be going in the shop this week too? Our cars will be paint booth buddies
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