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Replacing Rear Panel


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I'm thinking about replacing the rear panel on my '76, mine has a little rust and is a little bent up.  How difficult is this?  I'm pretty competent with a welder and this is not the first vehicle i've restored.  I also had a thought of converting it to a roundie while doing this.  I'm thinking the only thing I would also need would be new tail lights, correct?  Thanks.

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The Mobile Tradition Inka tii started out as a square light car (Most likely a European one without the structural reinforcements that the USA cars had so it was much similar to a Roundie).


The bodyshop welded a roundie rear panel in place



There was a recent Project Thread with video on replacing rear sheetmetal (trunk floor, rear valence and panel).  The rear panel has a center section which stiffens the panel and locates the trunk lock mechanism.  I believe the video notes the center section must be transferred to a new outer panel but the panel I received from BLUNT included this piece already welded in place. 


In addition to the (2) round lights, you will need the center trim piece, (2) tag lights and either cut/modify your new panel to accept the existing 76 rear bumper or convert to the early chrome bumpers.  


Keep in mind that new roundie rear panels do NOT come pre-drilled for the (2) USA license plate lights nor the emblems.  The panel does have (2) mounting holes for the European type license plate holder and an opening for the bumper-mounted license plate lamp wiring harness.



Edited by jgerock
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If MT really did cut the shell like that... they were lazy.  They're cutting OUTSIDE the seam, which means they had a donor

car to cut in a similar fashion.  And then just butt weld.


Anyway, to answer your question another way, it's not trivial.  The seams that are visible were flange- welded, and it's

kind of hard to take them apart.  It can be done, it's just work- for some reason, those welds are REALLY hard.  Like, way

harder than a mig weld.

Then you have to unhook it from the floor all the way along (not bad, just a lot of welds) and realign.

The biggest problems I had were rust- related- cleaning that flange up took a while, and as the car had been hit, getting the

panel fit right took a lot of fit, try, repeat.

On refitting, use your trim rings- then you can get an even gap all the way around.  That will NOT correspond to best edge fit

the first few times, but it's critical.  

After that, it's all just fittin' and grinding and stuff....





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FWIW, factory replacement panels aren't the quality that one would expect these days (it took three orders to get a right side quarter panel that was halfway useable).  And I still need to have my right side taillight opening reworked so the seams align better.


For TOBY--isn't he cutting on the inside of the seam (the fainter line at the top)?

Edited by nbcbird
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it is my opinion that folks aren't taking the time to learn how to 'bump' sheetmetal.  there's a wonderful book sold by eastwood and plenty of youtube videos on straightening sheetmetal.  this is especially true for the DIY'r.  i can understand a professional shop that has to 'watch the clock' and get 'er done, but if you are contemplating the work yourself, consider patching what's necessary and straightening the rest.  i've heard about the new replacement panels and i'd only replace if absolutely necessary.  having said that, i will be looking to replace the trunk floor in a 73tii, that was really mangled at some point in its life...  there ARE limits.

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