Start repairing the trunk

Rusty metal removed

With all the rust taken care of in the passenger compartment, I decided to move on to the trunk.

lower quarter sectioned in

lower quarter sectioned in

.  The trunk has a few small rust holes, and the drop down area has an old partial repair that was done at some point in the past.  My guess is that when they repaired the lower quarters, they added some new metal behind the original rusted out metal.  As you can see in the photo to the right, the quarters are really just tack welded in, and then covered in bondo.  Regretfully this is a harbinger of  my next post.

Trunk Drop off area

Trunk Drop off area

The Trunk drop off area is used to close off the back side of the rear quarter panel behind the wheel well.

I believe this portion was repaired a while back, as there is a lot of rust and dirt between the two panels, which to me indicates that the car was driven at least some after this repair was made.  If you have been reading from the beginning  you may recall that this car has spent a fair amount of time sitting for many years.  I find It very interesting since I started this restoration/ modification journey.  The car is telling me it’s life story.  Every time I start to repair a section, I can see maintenance, or older repairs, some very good, others not so much.  Anyway back to the trunk area.

Since there is old metal and new-ish metal, I had to work from two tactics.  The first was to drill, and or grind out the repair welds where the new-ish metal was attached to the quarter panel and the wheel well.  The next part was to drill out the spot welds that held the original metal in place, such as on the convertible cross brace that goes behind the tail panel.

Rusty metal removed

Rusty metal removed

For this repair I choose to just replace the drop down portion and not the full trunk floor.  I decided to cut off the drop right at the bend, using an air cut off tool, that has the wheel parallel to the handle.  I picked mine up at Harbor Freight, It works good for Cut off toolgetting in to tight spaces like the area between the frame and the trunk drop off.  I could have cut it from the top, but I wanted to be sure I cut along the seam in a spot that was hard to see, and the easiest way for that was from underneath, where I could cut right on the bend..

Bumper Brace

Bumper Brace

With the panel removed I started removing the old Bumper braces. I don’t think the bumper braces on the car are the original ones as they have a hole in the top of the brace, and from what I can see in the assembly manual and on some photos, the 69 – 70 bumper braces did not have a hole, they were smooth on top.  In the picture in the left I have circled the hole in yellow.  I have also marked some rather poor welding, which looks like the bumper braces where tacked on.  I suspect that they were replaced when the tail light panel was replaced.  In any event they are also rusty, so I ordered replacements and cut them out.  Then I starred to wire wheel the trunk floor pan to find any other rust holes, or bad spots that may be hiding under the paint and rust proofing that was applied to the car.

Rust holes

Rust Holes

For the most part the trunk floor looks in rather good condition.  I found a few small pin holes in the transition pan, which fills the area above the rear axle.   The holes are close to where the gas tank sits, again marked in yellow.  These holes are easy to get to and should weld right up.

I also noticed some rust in the corners where the tail light panel attaches to the quarter extensions.  With trunk drop off removed, I can see better in the lower corners, and what I found was not good…

Check out the next post, where I cover the newest chapter of this Cars story in detail.