Removing the deck filler panel

New deck filler panelOn the convertible body there is a deck filler panel that fits between the trunk and the area where the convertible top is stowed.  Until early this year this part was not available.  I was glad to see that Dynacorn has released this part.  So I ordered it right away.  Once it arrived I double checked its fit before removing my old rusted one.

in the first couple of pictures below , you can see that the original is rusted very badly in the water drain area for the trunk.  The passenger side was completely rusted through.  I was dreading having to try to fabricate the complex shape that channels the water and holds the trunk gasket.  Needless to say I was very happy when Dynacorn announced the part.

To remove the old deck filler panel, I ground out the spot welds using the same technique I outlined in my post about removing the quarter panel. This panel is not very wide, so as you can see the last picture above, I used my cutoff wheel to section the part.  This allowed me to remove the panel without bending or damaging the lower parts.    Here is a view of the deck filler completely removed.

In the above picture you can also see that the drip pan is very badly rusted.  The below pictures show the steps taken to repair and replace the badly rusted metal.  Note: on the drivers side I was lucky, as the outer edges are still in good shape.  This not so for the passenger side, as of this posting I do not have a good solution to fix the passenger drip pan.

First I marked out the area to remove.  Using a cutoff wheel and a body saw I was able to remove the rusted section.  When removing rust always cut back far enough to get to solid metal.

Using the cutout section, I made a cardboard template.  you can see that several clamps were used to make sure the cardboard conformed to the shape, this helps make sure you have enough metal to allow for the bends when you start working with the actual replacement metal.

you can see that when I transferred the cardboard template to the metal, I added about ¾” all the way around.  This will serve as the overlap to allow me to apply the glue.  In the last few pictures the part is test fitted and any trimming or shaping as needed.  This is a fairly simple fix as it will not be seen once the new quarter panel is installed; however i did want it to be functional and reliable.

Next I sanded the area where the new metal and the old overlapped.  I needed to get all the rust off the old metal and roughed up to get a strong bond.  I plan on using the same adhesive that i covered in the repairing the cowl post.  I applied a generous portion of the fusor adhesive to the drip pan, and then placed the new patch and clamped in down.  I wanted to make sure it was a good watertight fit all the way around, so I used just about every clamp I had.  Maybe overkill but better safe than have leak later. Once the Fusor had set, I removed the clamps and sanded the area down.  I also took the wire wheel and went over the surrounding area.  Then I wiped it down with grease and wax remover to get any additional residue up. Then I sprayed it with Eastwoods Rust encapsulator to help protect it in the future.

Next time I’ll replace the wheel well and test fit the new quarter panel.