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How to remove the rear panel????

3733 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  DGBG
Im having problems finding any info into the removal of the rear panel. Feeling from the inside along the rear trim peice, I can feel from the inside what appears to be rivits / screws or similar. Are these what needs to be removed.
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The rear trim piece is held on with nuts on the back of little clips. The rear panel itself is welded in place, with a number of spot welds that attach it to the rear deck panel, the inner lower panel and the rear fenders. It's a fair bit of work to remove.
Civin, before you try to take the rear trim panel out, lubricate liberally with rust preventative or remover, the 10 nuts that hold the trim panel on. They are usually serverely rusted in place. So much so that I have purchased 150 replacement fasteners from a uphostery company that has them in stock, but not metric, and given them to folks that needed them. HTH.

The rear panel is spot welded inside a return bent down from above and can be remove by driling out the spot welds with a "spot weld" drill bit - yes, Virginia, there is such a thing and it is usually avilable at body shop supply out lets.

The rear trim must be removed first and it is that which is held on by those pesky wee nuts. I just filled the trim piece with urethane body filler, after sand blasting it clean, then glued it onto the car with the same stuff to eliminate the nuts; fastners; holes in the body; rust traps and AGRIVATION!

See my Gallery - the finished article looks like it is bolted on but there is only a groove around the join and no gap between the trim and the body! ;)
OK I know this is an OLD post but some questions still remain: Can someone tell me how to locate the spot welds so I can drill them out (using my spot weld drill)? If I locate some, are they evenly spaced so I know about where to look for the next ones? Can they be seen on the inside of the car (after cleaning the rust off the outside and hitting the area with an orbital sander, I cannot locate more than 2-3)? I will attach some pics but this is vehicle #3 from Matt's EV adventure and my wife is thrilled that it is now in a number of pieces (front of car to door, rocker panels-pure rust, and rear of door to rear of car)! The rear panel looks to be usable (and if my body work capabilities don't don't get better, I may need to replace mine). The hood isn't to good or too bad but ?? and the roof (which is off the vehicle) is pretty good. If you want/need some body panel patches more than 6-8 inches off the ground (above the rust line), I can cut those off (and if not too large, figure out how to mail to you). Matt, I got the front suspension off (and as you said "What a PITA!) Using 17 mm nuts on the bottom made it impossible to get a socket on the front 2 but I drilled the heads off and then ground the remaining metal off so I pinched them out the bottom! I would still like to get the brake booster assy off (the M/C has been removed) and the driver side headlight assy still refuses my "attention" so any hints on those 2 would also be appreciated!

Thanks, slracer (Doug Robinson)
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I don't know how to Edit a post so here is a new one with the pics promised above.


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Wire wheel the paint and the spot welds will reveal themselves
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Doug - Y'know, it hadn't occurred to me that, without rear suspension, or tires, or a trailer... getting rid of this thing is a lot of work for you.

You're going to have to do a reverse Johnny Cash to stuff it into the garbage can every week.

It's rustier than I remember too. My memory had the rear end being mostly rust free, but I can see the fenders are even more gone than on my orange one. Maybe I'm just remembering the disparity between the heavily-rusted front and the only lightly-rusted rear.

I've since removed both the brake booster and the right headlight bucket on my car, so I should know how to do those. Only thing I recall funky about the booster was how tight a fit it was to get off once all the bolts were off, just wiggling it out of place through the metal was tough.

I did film the headlight removal, for purposes of teaching others, I'll go through my footage here soon and see if I can stitch it together into something coherent.
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