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Old 11-19-2005, 07:09 PM
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Tailpanel repair

Ive included some pictures (hopefully they come out OK) of the 68 Firebird tailpanel I am working on. The car was rearended by a Honda about 14 years ago and was repaired in some body shop. THe large hole areas are where the bumper brackets bolt to the tailpanel...these areas were smashed in and were not completely pulled out or repaired.....and so now thhe surface is not completely flat and smooth. So the bumper brackets dont fit completely flush to a nice flat surface. As you can see from the pictures, there is a bunch of bondo spots that I think the body shop drilled to pull that section of the tailpanel out.....I know they did spot weld these tailpanels in this area at the factory but I dont think there were that many spot welds. Anyway, where all these "spots" are the metal is not very straight and full of dents where the bondo spots are located. I am wondering how to go about fixing this area especially where the bumper brackets bolt up. I dont really want to put alot of filler around where the bumper brackets mount....so I am wondering If I should cut out the punched in area and weld a new metal piece in where the bumper bracket holes are? You cant really reach the backside of the panel from the trunk, because there are tailpanel supports welded in some areas making it hard to pund out all those small dents.

In one picture of the seam of the tailpanel and the quarter...the end side of the tailpanel was also punched way in.....I managed to hammer some of it back out but was not able to get at that one dent......which is quite deep....would it be OK to fill that with filler?....its almost 1/4 inch deep.

Anyway, Im not an expert and dont have a whole lot of experience in body work so I was looking for some ideas from you guys on how to go about fixing this up the best I can. These bad areas are mostly covered up when the bumper is installed (hence the reason the body shop probably left them in OK shape)...but I would like to work them out as best I can. THanks for any ideas.
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:44 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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As I remember you have full access to the area where the bumper bolts. You should be able to push that all out.

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Old 11-21-2005, 12:40 PM
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I can identify somewhat with this problem. My '64 Corvair had been hit from behind in an earlier life, and I found a lot of repair, but also a lot of rippled metal in the the tailpanel. some of the area had been brazed and is pretty ugly---even beginning to rust out in some of those areas. My problem is that it is hard to get replacement panels for my 'vair in this area. Is it best to remove all the brazed metal and maybe find some junkyard donor pieces to weld in? It is hard to reach a lot of the areas to beat out because the engine compartment is in the back and there is "double-walled" sheetmetal in this area.

Last edited by cruzinTLT; 11-26-2005 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Wanted response from any metal workers out there
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