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Trunk pan and tail replacement


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This thread is useless without pics.


The best generic answer I can offer is: 

pull everything back into place without cutting anything.

Then measure your replacement panels, or hold them up against the seams if you can,

and see if you've pulled far enough. 

If you're not re- using them, you can beat the crap out

of the originals just to get the dimensions right. 

Cut and stretch as needed to get where you need to be.  Then stabilize the rear quarters- I use square tube

steel, but anything rigid works fine.  Get as close to seams as you can without impeding your replacement

efforts, then tack weld them to the most structural bit you can find.  The fenders will hold the up-down alignment, but

you need to make an X across top and bottom, and 2 parallels at the rear are bonus.


THEN cut away the panels, leaving a little strip of the original, which you remove last.  The tail panel side

welds are originally Heli-Arc'ed (tm) to the fenders, and the weld is insanely hard.  Heating the weld itself to white- hot

to take some temper out helps, but runs a risk of panel distortion.


If you only need the back 1/3 of the floor, only use 1/3.  Changing the whole panel is an order of magnitude harder

than using a partial section and then dressing up the butt weld.

Also look at where the floor is glued to the rear quarters.  This always rusts, and there is no magic

bullet 'right' way to restore it, as the original mastic is not a great solution, and modern bonding techniques

all are 'close fit' with the 2 panels pressed together, not separated as the original was.


All that typed, I almost always find that repairing the original panels is easier, even if they're a mess.

The exception to that seems to be if I'm not the first one to work on them, especially if the welding's crap.





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does anyone have a source for the body dimensions? i straightened the rear quarters by the tail light pretty well, the tail was caved in by the fuel tank and the spare tire well was rusted through. nothing seems twisted luckily.


you are right about the wheel wells seams, i have to patch behind the wells where someone decided to hide the rotted rear with bondo. luckily i have some old front fenders i can use to graph them 

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I'm going through some of this now and I would suggest not welding anything until both the trunk floor and the rear panel fit together properly.  I found a fair amount of massaging was needed to get things to fit together well, so use clamps and sheet metal screws to verify fit, then weld both in.  On my car, I found that the rear corners of the trunk floor required a little modification to allow the tail panel and the quarters to fit well.  I opted to replace the entire trunk floor, as I thought the end result would be better than trying to make the long butt welds flawless.  It is more work, for sure, but a better result in the end.  Good luck!




Edited by EricA
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