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72RustBucket

Tail Panel Repair

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So my tail panel needs to be replaced. 

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I've done lots of searching on the forums for as much info as I could. I think I'm ready to tackle it. I've got some 20 and 18 cold rolled to play around with. I think if i do it in 2 pieces meeting in the middle it will be doable. I'm just making this thread to keep track of how it turns out. I wouldn't mind if anybody else had pictures of how they repaired their's for comparison...being that this isn't reproduced we gotta help each other out! 

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I already made a quick rough template and I think it will work.

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I will update with any progress!

 

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Thomas, 

It will be interesting to follow your progress on this.  You are right, this tailpiece is not reproduced.  I think your hardest part to reproduce will be trunk weather strip lip.

I do know some members have been able to acquire a tail piece from donor cars.  You may want to try to see if any members have a donor car they could cut one out of, it would make your job much easier.

rob

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I think you can use the Chevelle trunk weather strip lip. 

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I ended up buying a good used tail panel from AZchevs on Ebay. Mine was about as bad as yours(maybe a little worse or better in some areas). I used a 70 or 71 panel because that is what I could find but I have been able to make it work on my 72.

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I'm having some fun.  Not there yet but looking better and better. Going slow but I have enough steel for a few attempts. I've talked to Leo, and I'll cave if I think I have to. I think this can be done ! It just wont look exactly like factory but I don't think it needs to.

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Well we will call that first one the practice patch lol. It actually went in extremely nice after cutting out that half of the original...but it turns out one of my bends was slightly off making the face of the panel a tiny bit taller. This wouldn't have been such a big except I already did the first few bends on piece number 2 and they are spot on with the original.  So next thing to do will be cut another piece and bend it at the same time as the other, so I know I have identical bends.

More to come!

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I had a lot of rust repair to do so it was worth it to me to find a good panel because it was one less thing I had to fix. I had actually started replacing the bottom flange when I saw the panel listed on ebay and bought it. My original plan was just to fix it with a bunch of patch panels though and then section a Chevelle tail panel for the weather strip area.

It's a tricky panel to make because there is a lot going on and its long. I'd probably break it down into several pieces to make it more digestible. What gauge steel are you using?

 

 

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On 1/5/2020 at 9:54 PM, Rancid87 said:

What gauge steel are you using?

 

 

20. I have a sheet of 18 but with the bends 20 is very sturdy .

I started on attempts numbers 2 and 3 . Took my time and did everything to both pieces simultaneously to ensure they matched this time...they are identical enough for me now. They need to be trimmed a bit still before tacking in. Hope to get at least the one side in by Sunday. 

 

 

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Looking good. I would graft in an aftermarket lip from the chevelle tail panel. Or you might can buy just the lip

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1 minute ago, Jared Richey said:

Looking good. I would graft in an aftermarket lip from the chevelle tail panel. Or you might can buy just the lip

I'm thinking for the trunk gutter, I may buy a set. Idk how good the goodmark or AMD set are, but beldenspeed.com has some as well if I just want the bottom section. They also list dimensions so I may try making those too...I've got plenty of sheetmetal. 

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I've made the weather stripping gutters before using a shrinker/stretcher. They turned out nice but sometimes it makes more sense to just buy it if its available. Keep up the good work!

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Well I spent the week slowly but surely making 2 identical pieces. Today drivers side went in. I think it's looking good! Definitely have some issues that I'll have to make sure to address. I'm thinking I might buy the lower section of the gutter from beldenspeed.com. that way I can line it up with remaining gutter(upper half should be salvageable) and then know where additional patches should go.

It may not look exactly stock but it will still look good!  Let me know what you think!

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Last night I trimmed the passenger side and got it clamped in. Waiting to tack til I have a second set of eyes and hands lol.

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 I think you've done this type of work before. Lookin' good. You've got quite the project there. I was lucky enough to find good piece in Illinois when I was doing mine. Awesome job!post-259-0-61935100-1474727657_thumb.jpg

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1 hour ago, 420ponies said:

 I think you've done this type of work before. Lookin' good. You've got quite the project there. I was lucky enough to find good piece in Illinois when I was doing mine. Awesome job!post-259-0-61935100-1474727657_thumb.jpg

I took auto body repair my last 2 years of high school. I also work maintenance in an industrial setting so I'm around fabrication a decent amount, just never much on cars! 

I actually got my first 72 summer before senior year. Drove it around all summer til it locked up. Pulled the motor and took it to body shop class. Found way more work to do than what was able to get finished, and I graduated with a shell of a car lol. Sold that one and bought this one from a member here.

The only fab I did on that car that I still have is the numbers. I deleted the license plate recess in the front and had them rechromed. I'll have to dig them out and clean them up for a pic.

35 minutes ago, Rancid87 said:

Put the taillight extensions on if you can and close the trunk lid. Looking great!

This is a great idea! Thanks!

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Tail light extensions on., cant put bumper on until its tacked, but I think it looks good. Measures the same on mirrored sides, so I should be even.

 

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Looks good! I'd get that truck lined up and latched close to how you will want it just to make sure it all works. It looks very nice though. Good job!

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Passengers side is in. I think it looks good! Still have to put the bumper on, but it looks ok holding it up. Waiting to clean the welds/ re weld until I've got the lower trunk gutter. Want to make sure I don't need to re do anything. 

 

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