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I'm subscribed too. Try and get some larger sized closeups of where that foam is in the lower part of the quarter in front of the rear tire. That's where the older cars tend to rust due to that foam getting soaked with water. Can you see a piece of acoustical padding in there anywhere? That's another area that gets soaked and is a rust suspect. This could be a rare opportunity to see exactly what's in that area in front of the rear tire and how/where water is getting in over time. Photos would be GREATLY appreciated by many of us - I'll be following! Thanks!!

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I wouldn't keep the car after it's fixed if I were you. The car will never be the same again once the rear fender panel is cut out and a new one is welded in place of the damaged one. Body shop metal work like that can cause problems in the long run. I would try to sell it or trade it in for another RT or for an SRT.
 

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He's fixing it, it isn't his

A Guy
 

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Subscribed.

Thanks for documenting this repair; it provides a rare opportunity to see things otherwise hidden.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wouldn't keep the car after it's fixed if I were you. The car will never be the same again once the rear fender panel is cut out and a new one is welded in place of the damaged one. Body shop metal work like that can cause problems in the long run. I would try to sell it or trade it in for another RT or for an SRT.
I agree, most shops would do a horrible repair.

Fortunately, for this owner, he brought his car to a real shop that follows OEM procedures and has professional technicians instead of "bodymen".

Cars can absolutely be repaired correctly and about 1 in every 500 shops actually do repair cars correctly.
 

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Is the entire quarter panel going to be replaced? If it were my car I know I wouldn't want a welded seam going down the middle of my quarter.
 

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I would be more worried about ripples from welding such thin metal. you never see the weld if welded correctly.
Yeah, heat warp could be a problem if not done in many steps. Not seeing it isn't my issue, it would be knowing that there is a vertical seam running up the panel where there shouldn't be one. The replacement panels actually include the sail panel as well up to the strip molding along the roofline. I would just prefer the whole panel was replaced (with my car at least).

I could live with the repair in the picture attached where it's welded at the sail panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is the entire quarter panel going to be replaced? If it were my car I know I wouldn't want a welded seam going down the middle of my quarter.
Yes, the entire 1/4 is being replaced. Dodge procedures dictate where the 1/4 gets sectioned. The opening you see above is where I windowed the 1/4 so I could inspect the inner structure.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So this is how the rust gets started.

The plastic rocket cover clips into the metal rocker panel. The metal rocker area and 1/4 panel, in front of the rear wheel are filled with ridged foam.

Most of you already know this.

Water has easy access through the mounting holes for the plastic rocker cover. There the water (salt in the rust belt), sits and starts eating away.

As it eats away, it gains more access to travel farther into the rocker.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So what you're saying is a 2016 in the PNW is already rusting...!? Wow. Or is that just dirt I'm seeing?
No. What you are seeing there is dirt/mud/road grime. It hasn't started rusting yet, but for those in the east, where they use salt on the roads, this is how the rust gets started in the rocker.
 

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So this is how the rust gets started.

The plastic rocket cover clips into the metal rocker panel. The metal rocker area and 1/4 panel, in front of the rear wheel are filled with ridged foam.

Most of you already know this.

Water has easy access through the mounting holes for the plastic rocker cover. There the water (salt in the rust belt), sits and starts eating away.

As it eats away, it gains more access to travel farther into the rocker.
I had already planned on removing both rocker covers this Spring and then cleaning around those clip insert holes. Once done with that I plan on running a thick bead of 3M silicone clear caulk around each and then quickly reinstall each rocker cover before the silicone sets up. This should effectively seal out the water intrusion through those holes at least prevent it from coming in from the top down. I'm also removing the sound insulation that's in the quarters in front of each rear tire since those also sop up water that comes into that area. Finally, I also am going to seal up the plastic wheelhouse liners to the quarter panels where they meet.

Even though I don't drive my car in the rain if I can help it and store it when salt season starts in November/December, I'm still afraid that even water that gets in from simply washing the car will, over the years, start the dreaded rust process in those rocker areas. The use of that foam and the non-sealed insert holes were a piss poor design decision in my mind. But, I'm sure the bean counters figured out that once the rust became apparent you'd be out of the rust-thru warranty! I've seen ton's of Dodge trucks around there that have rotted rockers, tailgates and fender arches due to rust-thru and also quite a few Chevy Silverado's with rusted rear wheel wells and tailgates in the last year or so. It seems that FCA isn't the only one guilty of using that foam injection machine...many of the other manufacturers use that same process.

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