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Hey all, my rear hatch, when bolted to on, leaves a fairly large gap which I would like to tighten up a bit. A couple of ideas that I thought of would be (1)Build up the inner 1/4 panel jamb with wear resistant epoxy putty and sand it down until I got my ideal gap width then lay a ply of fiberglass to prevent cracking in the future; (2)Do the same as (1) but using a body filler with fiberglass strands such as Evercoat Everglass or Tiger Hair; or (3)Glue strips of balsa wood, sand down to the desired width and cover with fiberglass. I'd really like to go with methods (1) or (2) and I wanted to get some opinions. I'd have to build out the jamb aproximately 1/4" but the final will be less than this. Will it work? Are there any other suggestions?
Thanks
 

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An alternative would be to use welded in sheet metal to fill in the gaps, essentially rebuilding the jambs 1/4" over.

One thing to consider; why are the gaps there in the first place?

If its a cost-cutting move by the manufacturer, then there's no problem. If, however, the design of the hatch is such that the gap was put in for other reasons (expansion, closing the hatch on a windy day, worn hatch hinges, etc.), then use caution before doing anything, or keep in mind you may not be able to close the hatch in as carefree manner as you can now.

Also, it might be easier to build up the hatch, than to build up the jamb, and you could always do it with a junkyard hatch (saving your original) so, if you screw it up badly, you can easily go back. Also, you can put the hatch on a set of sawhorses and move it where its easier to work on. Hard to do that with the car if space is tight.
 

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Shop Owner And Troll Hunter
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Babyface is right do the hatch on the table.

I made the front and rear windshield openings smaller on my 69 camaro and it changed the angle of the glass. It was hard but looks real good (see photo album) Good Luck;

Troy;
 
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Although both of your methods may fill in the gap, I doubt that either will last. I have to agree with the other posts as far as modifying the hatch itself. One way of modifying the hatch is to build it up with weld if you have access to a mig welder. Just have to take your time and watch the heat. Since we don't know what kind of car it is, it is hard to say why there is such a large gap. The gap on the top may be for clearance to open it because of the way the hinges are. I know that the Mustangs had a large gap for that reason. If you close it too much, it will hit.
 

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Shop Owner And Troll Hunter
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2,643 Posts
If you weld sheet metel in it will last. But you are talking about many hours of labor. If its a street car I would leave it, it`s there for a reason if it came that way.

Although you might try body jacks and pull the sides togeather. Like stated not knowing what kind of car it is,or where the gap is, it is hard to advise anything. Good Luck;

Troy;:confused:
 

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NYOFP4RJ3CHRIS
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My brother sometimes welds clothes hangers to the edges of doors to fill in the gaps. I don't know if this would work for you, but it works well on doors where the egdes are generally thin. :)
 
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