2005 Camry - Help Replacing Body Panel

I’m trying to replace this panel on my car (highlighted in yellow) because it got a little rusty above the rear bumper cover.

At first glance it appears to be just one piece. With the rear bumper cover, front fender, and doors being the other pieces. However whenever I type in 2005 camry quarter panel, it comes up with only the back part above the quarter panel.

(I know this is for the other side, but this is just for illustrative purposes here)
When I looked in the service manual it mentions to replace the part above the rear bumper cover (quarter panel) having to cut it out of the highlighted piece and welding in the new one.

This seems like a lot of work. It’s not possible to just remove the highlighted piece as one piece on this car? I know some cars the quarter panel is a completely separate panel

But on my Camry, it has the appearance that the rear quarter panel and the part that goes around the doors is all one panel, but I guess not if you have to cut it out and weld in a new one?

No offense… but I think you’d be better off taking this to a body shop for an estimate. They have the experience and expertise to give you your options.

Good luck.


No worries. I’m just wondering what’s going on with this panel on this car?

Like if it was the front fenders, no problem at all. Just remove the bolts holding the front fender in, and bolt in the new one.

But the rear quarter panels on this car seems to require cutting into the panel, and welding in a new one? It like not possible to just remove the whole panel I highlighted in yellow as one piece?

The panel is welded to tbe car. It is structural. To remove it means the rear window need be removed, the interior panels nearby and the rear bumper cover before you start drilling out the spot welds. Once removed, anything bent underneath needs straightening before the new fender is welded on, the joints filled, sanded, primed and then painted.

This is NOT job for a newbie. It requires serious tools and serious skills.


And serious money .

… which would likely not be cost-effective with a 16 year old car…

I went through the same thing you are back in the day. I had a car I liked, but it was rusty and looked like junk. I wanted to just fix the rust, but I quickly found out that any significant rust repair quickly outstrips the value of the car. I learned it would be cheaper to fly to Arizona, get another car that didn’t have any rust (because Arizona), and drive it back home across the country than it would be to have the rust fixed.

And, the really nasty bit is that even after you have the rust fixed, unless it was done very well and you never drive it in the winter again, it’s gonna come back.

Those of us in rust-prone areas either have to live with rusty cars, or replace them when they start to look too bad.


If your 16 year old Camry has rusting body panels I can almost guarantee that it has lots of chassis rust. Subframes, brake lines, fuel lines, and suspension components are all likely in rough shape. If you fix the body you will end up with a nice looking car that is rotting from the inside out. Living in the snow belt for over 20 years has taught me not to mess with cars that are rusting out. Just drive them until they drop (or are no longer roadworthy or safe).


Rust by bumper cover seam? Why not replace lower qtr panel area instead? Yes cutting at a seam or hard edge makes it easier to blend in the repair but you may be removing too much good metal.

18 gauge sheet metal is not structural, but it does cover, and may be attached to, structural members that, as has been said, are also likely to be rusty. The panels pictured are those that the factory welds together to assemble the car. There is no need to replace the whole panel to address an area of rust. Repair panels can be sourced, cut to size, fit, welded and painted but it takes a lot of equipment, knowledge and skill to end up with a presentable repair. (Back in the day a body man would hammer flat sheet metal into panels.) My recommendation would be to get an estimate from a body shop. If it sounds like a lot of money it’s because body work is both science and art. It will help you decide just how devoted you are to a 16 year old car (said by someone who still owns a 21 year old daily driver.) This is NOT a DIY job without serious skills matched with a serious tool box and will do little if anything to improve the value of the car.