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: