Wednesday, September 12, 2012

68 Mustang - Replacing A Rusted Trunk

Our 68 Mustang coupe has held a lot of fun secrets, like most classic cars that haven't been restored. We found fiberglass panels, hidden damaged sheet metal, accidents, holes, a mouse or two and plenty of rust. The trunk was no different although I admit at first glance, we thought this would be a easy clean up and paint.

Using a 6" angle grinder and an aggressive wire wheel. one we began stripping the paint plenty of fun stuff came to light. At some point in the cars history it got a good smack in the passenger side, which if repaired wouldn't have been a big issue for us. Unfortunately a previous owner opted to conceal the damage under a metal plate which we soon discovered. The drivers side while undamaged was still unusable due do complete rust out. 

With those discoveries, we opted to remove and replace the panels, as this is a much simpler approach then trying to fix the damaged old pieces and the panels are relatively cheap. Costing around $40 per panel got us the needed panels in a short time. To remove the damage panels, just need to drill out the spot welds and used an air hammer to make quick work them. We were left with decent frame rails, that despite the wreck were undamaged. So we cleaned them up using the same wire wheel and painted them for future rust protection.
Once painted we were ready to install the new panels. It important to rust a weld through primer or else you will have sloppy spot welds and possible burns for the paint catching fire from weld heat.

Starting by using some clamps, we fit into place making sure it aligned with our outer sheet metal. After triple checking our fitment we drilled though the new panel to the frame rail and made several spot welds to join the two. Then seam welding around the inner tire well and adding our bumper support following the same process completed each side in roughly a days time. After welding, we made sure to grind and smooth our any  rough welds to give us a very clean seamless look.
With the bumper support added and the panel primed, we were ready to install the new gas tank
With gas tank in and fitment checked. We now have a completely new trunk. Free from past accidents and any possible hidden rust, for years of continued use.

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