1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 3

Last week we discussed the scariness of discovering acres of rot behind the quarter panel that I had just reluctantly removed.  Then I showed off the metal repair / replacement of the 64 Chevy’s outer wheel house, and trunk drop off.  There was one other piece that had some serious metal repair, but I already made a 1A Blog post about it over a year ago, so I won’t repeat it here again.  if you are curious, you can view the fuel filler neck surround metal repair Here.

Next on the Impala list was fixing all of the metal surrounding the “tailpan”.  Basically, the rear-most section of the trunk floor was rotted badly on both sides, and it all needed to go in the trash barrel. The bad news is that nobody makes these replacement panels, so I had to make them myself.  First step, cut out the rotted area and see what we’re working with. Eeeek!

As you can see , there was no shortage of rot on the driver’s side rear of the “six-foe”.  Rather than crying, I began making a flat metal replacement that was the “same” shape as the original.  The problem was that I didn’t have a lot of the old metal to work with, so most of this process was a guessing game.

Then there was the whole bead rolling challenge.  The original trunk floor panel had some kind of bead rolled into it for strength I assume, but it took some extreme internet & car show research to figure out what it was supposed to look like.  Yes, I do realize that nobody on earth will ever see this bead once it is installed.  As this saga continues you will begin to notice my obsession with “correctly-shaped” filler-free metal.  Anywho, after a few tries, and some time with a hammer, I eventually nailed it.

 

I then test fitted it and matched it up to the existing floor pan with several pairs of beloved Vise Grips.  They really are the most fantastic tool in the world.

Hours pass, and the panel was welded on, and smoothed out. It was around this time that I made the decision to just bite the bullet and remove the tail pan completely. I flat out needed to buy a new one.  Again, much like the trunk drop off in the previous post, the price was extremely inexpensive considering how much time it would take me to fabricate a new one (and be happy with it).  In the trash barrel it went, and this gave me a great opportunity to clean up the rear trunk floor properly.  In the next picture it is all cleaned up and welded, there was just a bit of metal trimming left to do.

By the end of the day, I was fairly happy with the results, but there was still 1 million hours of work ahead of me.  Imagine that this all started because I didn’t like a very slight bump in the original quarter panel?  Welcome to my 14 year Impala project.

More to come…..

In case you missed it:

1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 1
1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 2
1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 4

5 comments to 1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 3

  • Ken Roberts

    Most definitely a labor of love, Unless you have the tools and the parts you run into all kinds of road blocks , you have kept up the faith and the good fight I look forward to seeing the finished car knowing that it is solid from the skin to the frame.Just remember it is impressive to have a finish on the parts you can not see just as good as the hood or the skin of the entire car . floor pans under neath and every where it would be ok to cut costs you need to paint it as good as the out side.

  • Tang

    WoW! Dude!….you’re real Nutt!….just for swapping out a Honda engine in the snow in February, people called me that…. but no!…… it’s you….you take take the cake…you’re a freaking Nutt!…and in a good way, I mean that!

  • Don Ouellette

    Hi I was reading and you said that know one makes a certain panel I bought a trunk floor center pan the entire top pan both quarter rear light panels the gutters for both sides and the rear center weather strip panel just about every piece can be bought in many different configurations depending on what you need you can buy a single component or a complete trunk with rear support and drop offs in a complete unit I dont know how old this site is but right now the skys the limit my 64 impala SS looked rusty when I got it but after buying the parts I needed things are looking up good luck

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