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VW Beetle 1200 Jan '73 Marina Blue
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I am trying to understand what I am seeing here. My guess is - The rear quarter has been patched and the patch panel returns down and actually forms the outside of the heater channel. Does that sounds likely?

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Question. If you were replacing this heater channel, would you keep what you can of the rear quarter repair panel "flange" and maybe plug it to the outside of the new heater channel? (The metal on the repair panel looks newish). Or take a cleaner approach?

I don't have the experience to make these calls. And I'm going to have to make about a thousand of them.
 

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I'd imagine that's a replacement quarter. The repair panels come with an extension on the bottom so you can use them to bodge over holes in the channel itself.

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The original is just spot welded to the side of the heater channel. Struggling to find a good pic of an original on google, but this is more how it should look
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I'd be cleaning that quarter back to metal to see how 'nice' it is and try and chop around the good bit, even if only to preserve it as a reference point. Until that gets to the point where it seems more work than just chopping it out and replacing it later.
 

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I always remove anything that is:
1. Rusty.​
2. Not original.​
before beginning any repair.

PS. Plug welding a repair as shown is saying 'crack here' to the filler and 'rust here' to the overlap (in temperate climates). All middle-of panel joins must be continuously butt welded unless it really is just a quick MoT patch up not expected to last a lifetime.
 

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PS. Plug welding a repair as shown is saying 'crack here' to the filler and 'rust here' to the overlap (in temperate climates). All middle-of panel joins must be continuously butt welded unless it really is just a quick MoT patch up not expected to last a lifetime.
I've been plug welding the lower edge of Beetle rear quarter panels like that for years, (at least 6 cars).
Both surfaces in weld-through zinc primer, and re coated after welding, inside & out, seam sealer on the outside, cavity wax inside, never had one of these seams rust before.
I agree, the middle of panel join should be continuously welded, the one in my picture is 'work-in-progress', still a long way to go before it'll be ready for any filler and prep.
 
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