Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board

Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board (
-   Body - Exterior (
-   -   Trunk lip and roll pan matching (

gegcorp2012 05-22-2019 07:21 PM

Trunk lip and roll pan matching
I have a trunk lid with some body damage on one corner (patch work by previous owner) and it has some severe rust damage on the inner structure. The part around the latch is totally rusted out. It is so bad, I would have to find a good picture of another one or get some kind ofpattern to rebuild it.

There was no roll pan in the car when I got it, so I decided to make one out of a section of pickup truck bed. It is not perfectly shaped because I am working with basic tools, and I was trying to use the marginal trunk lid as a target, so I am sure I can make it look better than it is today.

So I could buy new parts for over $1000 or invest in metal working skills. I would be willing to get a shrinker/stretcher set or a larger brake press or other tools I can use for additional rusty rocker repairs on this project.

I have a 36" brake and a bead roller, but only one set of rolls (1/4" bead). The trunk is about 41" wide at the tail end.

So I would like to use (free) parts from a body shop to fix the trunk and maybe add a recessed license plate or third brake light or a better trunk latch arrangement as long as it looks good on the car and works better.

Seems like I could make a teplate out of 1/4" plywood to fit in the gap between the trunk lid and roll pan and get the proper curve established, then get the roll pan to match the proper shape (since it is pretty solid). Then I can use any ideas and suggestions on the trunk frame and re-skinning below the blue line.

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-22-2019 08:45 PM

This may seem like a lot to take in all at once, so take your time absorbing it. :) To save time, I am going to skip proofreading so bear that in mind if you have questions.

Here is a plan off the top of my head.

You have enough tools. Shrinker jaws would be nice but pie cuts are already used on the roll pan and can they can work if need be. Forget salvaging old body parts on this, get a half sheet (4x5" where we buy) of 18 gauge cold rolled steel. If that isn't possible and you must use metal with bends already in it, well you are at your own risk (of extra work) but the principles will apply either way.

Carefully separate the overlapped patch, leaving the original skin unhurt.

Determine the very lowest point on the skin above which you think you can straighten and clean up. For example, say two inches. Mark it there.

Lay masking paper over the skin, taping on that line. Now hold that against the face of the skin and trace the outline of the lid on the paper, from behind. Now carefully peel off your pattern and set aside.

On the sides of the lid, grind off just the edge of the skin up two inches from the bottom.

Slice off the bottom 1 1/2" of just the skin. It should pull right off whats left of the lid's shell.

On fresh sheetmetal, mark two 22 x 3" pieces and cut them.

With your brake, make a 90 bend in both pieces 3/4" from one long edge. When done, tack these together at the butted ends for a 44" long L shape.

Lay this over the trimmed bottom of the lid and make pie cuts on the 3/4" side until it lays over the bottom of the shell and / or matches the curve of the roll pan. Tack cuts

Center that on the lid, with the top edge at your previous line you made the paper pattern from. Mark the sides of the lid on the backside of the new piece.

On the bench, trim the ends of the new piece 3/4" out past those marks. Now cut the excess squares at the corners of the 3/4" side and bend the ends of the new piece to a 90 angle like the bottom.

Now you have your outer skin. Lay it over the old skin and determine the exact height needed for best fit. It will end up above the 2" high line you made but you can lay tape above that line and mark above the tape as reference for keeping it straight.

Drill pilot holes and use screws to attach it there. Reference the paper pattern if needed, for height.

Now unscrew the new lower skin.

Now make two 3 x22" strips and bend those to 90 down the middle lengthwise. Butt ends and tack as with skin patch.

Pie cut one side to curve that angled strip until, with the uncut side pointing down, it fits inside the skin patch. Again, center the piece, make same pie cuts on each half, and trim ends to fit closely but this time inside the new patch.

Screw the skin patch back on and clamp the shell patch inside it, laid over the old. Trim across the bottom, vertical edge of the new shell bottom edge patch until the height of the latch area is lowered to the approximately original height.

Make two more angled strips, butted and tacked, centered and trimmed as before. No pie cuts, just lay them on the cut and bent horizontal top edge of the second piece and scoot them in above it until they lay against the old shell. Mark it there, at top of new piece #3.

Tack, clamp, or screw piece #3 to #2 then remove them from the lid as a unit.

You will then have the pieces to work with and can fit and trim, bend and splice into the shell and your cut area is defined. From there, you would patch in piece 2 and 3 to the shell, establish your latch and striker positions, and when satisfied then install your skin patch.

Hope this helps. I will sketch what I mean and post a pic to illustrate. Stand by for that. All it is, is making three angled strips and curving two of them and arranging them correctly.

idrivejunk 05-22-2019 09:10 PM

John long 05-22-2019 09:18 PM

While my deck lid may have been a little straighter than yours it was very similar as far as being rusty on both the inner and order areas at the bottom.

Here is a link to the repair I made. My repair included making the complete bottom of the deck lid both inside and out. Hopefully it will give you some ideas.

While my car is a '53 Chevy, I think the basic proceedure will be very similar.


MARTINSR 05-22-2019 11:39 PM


Originally Posted by idrivejunk (Post 4673975)

Good stuff! Thanks for taking the time to do that as you have for me, thanks so much.


gegcorp2012 05-23-2019 01:01 AM

@idrivejunk : Thanks for taking the time to explain the process. The drawing really helps !

@John Long : I do not have permissions to use that link, but will keep trying. I searched in the My Rides section, but did not find there.

Regards, Gary

idrivejunk 05-23-2019 05:42 AM


Originally Posted by gegcorp2012 (Post 4673995)
@idrivejunk : Thanks for taking the time to explain the process. The drawing really helps !

@John Long : I do not have permissions to use that link, but will keep trying. I searched in the My Rides section, but did not find there.

Regards, Gary

You are welcome, really helping is my favorite forum thing to do. I know thats not all there is to it but angle strips are the launching pad for the rest. Latch mounting is another matter but a rule of thumb with a curved lid like that is to point the striker at an imaginary line between the hinge pins. I went through that recently on the Model A but couldn't say what page it is on.

John's thread is in the body section and he is directing you to page 178. If when you tap or click the link, it doesn't go there... try right-clicking it or a long press rather than tap. Select open in new tab from the options that should then appear. Then switch to that tab. This forum's links are odd like that for me, but no special permission is required here to view pics and such. You don't even have to log in to see.

If using a mobile device, tapping the three stacked dots icon at upper right then selecting desktop site, for me, makes the site work as expected.

Remember that making pieces in poster board first is a good way to know much more about the shape needed before cutting any steel. You can even bend it in the brake. And that with practice and some tips from John's thread you may be able to make more complex pieces with less seams. How to do the seams (butted vs overlapped and plug welded) is a matter of what you feel comfortable with.

I certainly haven't covered it all here but do hope its the boost you need to envision the parts. Feel free to question us further should the need arise. Most of all, enjoy the project and the improvements you can make.

Have fun.


idrivejunk 05-23-2019 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by MARTINSR (Post 4673991)
Good stuff! Thanks for taking the time to do that as you have for me, thanks so much.


Even in person, I don't hesitate to draw things out for speed in conveying an idea because as above, using words almost always takes longer than the due attention span. Being a slow starter myself, I know that having instructions or a list of steps is often most helpful to get someone through to a point where the theory is evident and they can take off running and dismiss the "book learning" and begin replacing that with experience.

gegcorp2012 05-23-2019 09:41 AM

I have always considered doing something different with the trunk lid, especially right after I stand up near it and gash my head on one of the sharp corners.

My first thought at that point is "I want to JUST CUT THIS THING OFF !"

Rounded corners would be a functional safety mod since I will be in the area... probably more of a challenge is where to make the rounded inside corner shapes on the lower parts where the roll pan ties into the body. Would have to noodle on that and see some pics if you know of any.

So I also thought about a rumble seat, it would be cool to ride in, but I dont see that happening because I will be driving all the time.

So I was looking at the recessed license plate on the @idrivejunk model A work in progress and really like that.

I have a backup camera and would like to integrate the backup camera and some good LED backup lights in the trunk lid somewhere without making those items too noticable. (they are currently on the bolt on license plate light/bracket)

Today, I was thinking about what kind of vehicles have a shape where I could use parts 80% of the part or shape, and I thought of an El Camino tailgate.

I like trucks, and also like having a place to sit while hanging out or tailgating (LOL). If I were to take the most vertical section of the trunk lid off and replace that with a narrowed Elky tailgate, it would get rid of the sharp trunk edges on the part of the trunk that hooks downward When opened, and make the trunk lid lighter, while providing a place to sit and it would preserve the limited space in the trunk by eliminating the need to carry 2 chairs.

Only thing is.... the 87-ish El Camino tailgate is not bowed as much as the back of the 41. However, I do have some tubing that acts as a spreader for the rear part of the body that is sturdy enough to mount hinges to...

Other donor vehicle ideas ?

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-23-2019 05:11 PM

Minivans, SUVs. You can have tail lights with backups, too. A rear facing camera could be incorporated wherever the tag is mounted but might work better in the back window. Before you go too far with rumble seating thoughts, check to see but on the A, for that to work, the hinge pivot has to be in space occupied by the tires. As far as swapping around body parts goes, the guys here have a lot of laughs at that usually. I searched google and found a 16 gauge recessed license pocket for under twenty bucks though. Its a very easy part to make, too.

gegcorp2012 05-23-2019 08:39 PM

OK, thanks for the nudge away from getting too weird or redneck as they say around here.

I picked up a trunk lid to cut some flat pieces and some sections of support frame since the entire bottom is gone or as strong as a piece of swiss cheese.

About 4-1/2" of the trunk skin and 2"-4" of the support frame needs repair in this case.

Thanks again for the help.

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-23-2019 09:46 PM

One A thought I had but never spoke was to make the trunk lid a quick-release panel and have another one that could be installed in it's place on fairgrounds or parade days that would function kind of like a rollercoaster cart. Where if you wanted to putt around town with head and shoulders sticking out of trunk, you could. But you'd have a lap belt on and the lid would close and latch over you. Thats kinda hillbilly, right? Be fun though. Nobody says you couldn't have an attachment for the lid that would make it a chair or sunshade, too. Its when stuff like Fox Mustang front ends are put on cars or trucks your era, for example, that get folks here going. Tradition is the rule of thumb, generally speaking. Intermingling of eras gets taboo. A metric era el Camino gate pocket might not raise any eyebrows but splitting a trunk lid might until you explain the head bumping. Personally, I don't like boundaries and have many wild ideas. But as a young'un pointed out once when I wanted to put a 66 GTO scoop on my GTP... "Its your car. But acceptance is relevant."

I think we all like things that are clever and unique, but we each have our individual tastes. Stick around, be yourself and make it like you want it.:)

idrivejunk 05-24-2019 10:31 PM


I just wasn't picking up what you were laying down. Said it a hundred times... I usually do the right thing, given enough time.:rolleyes:

This do anything for ya? I get splitting the lid now, and the head injury thing too. And chair. Look-

I split it up at the body side molding height and made iffy suggestions.

The pocket from my driver was first to come to mind. You could cut it out of the plastic bumper and trim it to fit over a big hole in the lower lid. I sized it up about like this to kinda see how big. Looks like it works out. Top pic is more of a guess. Plenty of those in the junkyard.

If it grabs you right or you want a change, say so. You asked so gently I didn't realize that a simple edited pic might help you out. But there ya go.;)

gegcorp2012 05-25-2019 01:14 AM

Funny how things work out. Last night I went through about the same exercise, but using my phone to make a "photo chop" rendering.

I saw a nice 41 coupe at the Spring Rod Run in Pigeon Forge in April and took a few photos. This one is mostly original with the bumpers and stock tail lights and a trunk latch in the right pkace.

I picked the line at the top of the rear fenders, and put a horizontal strait cut there.

Also tried a curved cut to see how that looks.

My round lights are down into the bumper area, but shown a little higher here.

I rotated these to try to make them right, but they are all 90 degrees out, but you can see what I was thinking.

I think it looks ok with the stock lights but I think my 4" round lights with no bumper would be a little lower than in the drawing

gegcorp2012 05-25-2019 02:11 AM

Tried re-sizing the curved lip one to fix the rotation issue. I removed the bumper and duals, swapped the trunk latch and license plate around then dropped in the lights

Here is the stock one if you want to try some of that fancy cut and paste, I am sure it will look better.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.