Wheel Arch Repair Panel
Is your rear wheel arch now an eye sore due to the rust that's slowly eating it up? No worries, you can now get a wheel arch repair panel that can replace that unsightly rusted area in the vehicle's rear. If you're planning to do the repair all by yourself, here are the steps to help you pull off the task faster and easier:
What you'll need:
- Mole grips
- Jack stands
- Marker pen
- Hydraulic jack
- Welding clamps
- Screwdriver set
- Air saw/compressor
- Spanners and socket set
- New wheel arch repair panel
- Angle grinder with gloves and goggles
Step 1: Raise the vehicle's rear.
Park your vehicle on a solid and level ground, set it in park, and engage the emergency brake. Place the hydraulic jack under the vehicle's rear jacking point. With the jack's turn valve closed, slowly raise the rear of the vehicle from the ground. Continue jacking up until the rear is high enough to accommodate the jack stands under both axles. Open the hydraulic jack's turn valve and allow the vehicle to carefully rest on the jack stands.
Tip: Check your vehicle's manual as the jacking points may vary from one vehicle to another.
Step 2: Remove all the components that may get in your way.
If the bumper covers or overlaps with the wheel arch and your full access to the arch is restricted, you will need to take the rear bumper off the vehicle. You also need to remove the rear wheels. Depending on the vehicle, you may also need to take out the sill covers and trim panels.
Step 3: Get rid of the rusted portions.
To eliminate the rusted part of the outer wheel arch, you need to use an angle grinder with 1.5 mm cutting disc. While removing rusted area, leave some space for the replacement wheel arch repair panel to fit in. You need not replace the inner arch if it doesn't have rusted parts.
Step 4: Pre-fit in the new repair panel.
After getting rid of rust, pre-fit the new repair panel and, using a marker pen, trace its lines. By doing so, you'll know which portion still needs to be removed to make way for the new wheel arch repair panel. With the air grinder, remove the excess part of the old wheel arch.
Tip: After doing this step, it's wise to take the time to check the rear inertia-reel for soaked up foam covers. These wet foam covers can be the primary cause of the rusting in your wheel arch panels.
Step 5: Mould the repair panel to the vehicle's specs.
If you've purchased a universal wheel arch repair panel, you will need to shape it according to the contours and specifications of your car. Use the hammer should you need to mould the repair panel.
Tip: Be very careful when moulding the panel as it can lead to deformation when not done correctly.
Step 6: Clamp the new panel into the car.
With the mole clamps, you can now clamp the new wheel arch repair panel into the vehicle. Then with your drill, create two 4-mm holes where you can insert the self-tapping screws to secure the panel in place.
Step 7: Smooth out the edges.
Do a stitch weld by using the angle grinder with a sanding disc. This will help you smoothen out rough welding stitches. Then, proceed to the arch seam wherein the inner and outer panels meet. Drill 6-mm holes with 2-inch intervals. If there are high spots of weld, smoothen them out with the angle grinder. Eliminate unsightly weld spots by painting them using the color of your car.
Tip: When using power tools like drill and angle grinder, wear personal protective equipment like goggles and gloves to protect yourself from possible injuries.