Got a little carried away and hit "add" before I added the pictures. Anyways...
PIC 1: The piece that was cut out is now fully welded back to the main piece. I'm committed now.
PIC 2: The first set of plug welds. I temporarily hung the replacement quarter panels on both the drivers and passenger sides to make sure the quarter filler panels were angled correctly and would meet up the the flange on the quarters. I had to make a couple of minor adjustments to get those to line up.
PIC 3: All plug welds complete. I'm REALLY committed now. If stuff doesn't line up, its going be to a LOT of work to fix it.
PIC 4: close up of a couple of the plug welds.
PIC 5: I'm leaving these plug weld locations unwelded on both sides for the time being until I get the lamp panels and tail panel welded in place. With this not welded, I still have a little bit of flex in the trunk floor so I can move things around if I need to tweak for fitting.
PIC 6: Looking down towards the front of the car, under the trunk. The trunk lip is plug welded to the wheelhouse and the front of the quarter filler is in turn welded to both the trunk lip and the wheelhouse. Its all pretty solid now.
With the surrounding sheet metal looking like it was going to fit without a whole lot of messing around, its time to start welding the stuff in. I primed the seams that were going to get plug welded with some SPI epoxy. I had marked the cans with the date I received them, May 2008. Been away for a long time. I was a little concerned that this stuff was not any good. So, I mixed up a batch (2 oz) and grabbed a piece of scrap and painted it up with a brush. The stuff set up as if it was new. Good stuff. So I painted up all the seams, let them sit for a couple of hours to set up and cleaned up the areas that were going to get plug welded.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've spent tweaking, bending and this past weekend finally decided it was time to shoot the engineer and start production. In my last post, I mentioned that the cage nuts were not the correct ones, so I cut the bottom of the rear brace and replaced them with the correct size and thread.
PIC 1: cutting the bottom of the brace to get access to the cage nut. Before welding this in, I coated everything with 3m zinc weld thru primer.
PIC 2: welded back up and ready to go
With the correct cage nuts in the brace, I put the trunk floor back in and tack welded the piece of the floor that I cut out so I could get the floor in between the quarters. From there I started hanging the quarter filler panels with clecos. Now that those are in, time to rough fit the tail lamp panels and the tail panel to see where everything is sitting.
PIC 3: Drivers side. It actually fit pretty well. Still needs some tweaking, but not nearly what would have been required had I not purchased this new trunk floor.
PIC 4: Tail panel. This piece seemed to have a pretty bad bow to it. Not sure why, but a bunch of vice grips straightens it right out.
PIC 5: Better check to see if the deck lid closes. I grabbed the new deck lid latch, transferred the hardware from the original that I cut out when I removed the trunk. Took a wild guess to for its placement. I closed the deck lid and VOILA!!!. It closed and latched. The deck lid was still lifting up because the latch wasn't secured in place. But I was able to confirm that I'm just about ready to start welding the trunk floor in place.
After a little bit of a wait, I got my quarter panel fillers from Restoration Performance. I've unpacked them and have begun fitting everything together. My first order of business, was to cut the rear corner of the trunk floor so I could fit it between the rear quarter panels. Nothing like taking a cut-off wheel to a brand new piece of sheet metal.
PIC 1: The cut. Cutting this corner off gave me JUST enough clearance to shoehorn this puppy in.
PIC 2: Shot of the driver's side corner. the panel fits up pretty close to the quarter panel. I won't have to tweak a whole lot to make this work. The quarter filler panels mate up almost perfectly to the trunk. Again, minor tweaks to the flanges for final fitment, but they are really close right out of the box
PIC 3: Just for grins, I put the tail lamp panel in, to compare the fit with the new trunk floor as compared to how it it with my original trunk floor that I bought 4-5 years ago. It fits almost perfectly.
PIC 4: Same panel shot from the inside. This trunk floor was well worth the investment.
I need to make some small patches for the front of the trunk floor to mate up with my wheel houses. I had pretty bad rust around the box braces and had to wing it when rebuilding the wheel houses. So the trunk floor doesn't quite fit up. I'll rough fit the patches in and finish welding them in with the floor out of the car. Once that's done, a little bit of SPI epoxy where the flanges are going to be plug welded and it will go back in and hopefully won't have to come back out.
The only thing that was strange about this trunk floor were the body mount nuts on the rear cross brace. The thread on these were 3/8-16. The other cross brace that I had was a 7/16 bolt. Not sure why the would be different.