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how to repair a rusty trunk super cheap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tbird37821, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    We have a 50 chevy hardtop that is as rusty as they come. i figured this would be a good time to teach my son how to hammer out a few panels with just basic tools. most of the panels we made can be bought but if i got all the ones we need for the whole car it would run into the thousands. the total cost for the job so far is less than $100 bucks. the sheet metal for the center of the trunk was $54 on ebay. very basic but cheap. the rest of the metal came from a cougar roof and tahoe hood. seam sealer was $18 , the support chanels were $8 and metal for the frame was $12. hope this helps someone else who , like us, has more time than money .




    this is what we started with, pretty nasty !
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    first thing to do is make patterns out of cardboard to the size and shape needed for the repair using whats left of the trunk as a guide.

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    after your happy with the fit of the pattern trace it out on the metal and cut. i use a nibbler, works the best and cuts clean.

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    the yellow lines are the bend guide. we put it in a regular vice , took a body hammer and bent it into the shape we needed.

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  2. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 2,077

    Jonnie King
    Member
    from St. Louis

  3. chevy3755
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    chevy3755
    Member

    very good......stay with it.......
     
  4. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    now we do a flange edge on the center floor pans. makes the pan flush across the middle.

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    we've made it this far, looking a little better

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    now to make the rear lip portion of the floor. use cardboard to make the pattern and then cut and bend.

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    you should wind up with these 2 pieces that will make the rear part

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    now it's time to remove all the rusty stuff

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    after the bad stuff has been cut out we can get to the frame section that needs repaired. most of the damage is behind the spring mount which is good. we plated it with 1/8 x 2" plate and then coated it with an undercoat.

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  5. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    next inline is replacing the damaged part of the rear trunk supports. we used 16 gauge 2 inch channel and bent the 2 side flanges in the vice.

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    now it's time to start getting things into one piece. make sure the parts are where they need to be and tack weld them in place to each other but not to the car yet.

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    when your happy with the fit weld the seam all the way.

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    next we add the lower lip to the pan. make sure the depth is where it needs to be to align with the rear tail pan.

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    carefully mark and cut out for the spare tire hole.

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  6. kopperkart
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 468

    kopperkart
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Nice work on the rusty Chevrolet. Keep the updates coming.
     
  7. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    we drilled 1/4 inch holes where we wanted to join the pan we made to the trunk supports. works like a factory spot weld.

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    now after all is welded together we have a new trunk floor for old rusty. installation is all that's left to do.

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    to install we started at the back with the 1/4 inch holes to weld it to the supports first, then just followed the seam all the way around

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    now all we have to do is seam seal it, shoot with etching primmer .

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  8. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 838

    Dan in Pasadena
    Member

    Wow Tbird, very impressive and cheap too. It's hard to tell from the photos because of the tool marks but is the metal flat like the original metal was? I'm wondering if ou're planning on brushing or rolling undercoating on either/both the underside and topside?
     
  9. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    the metal is flat and very close to the original trunk. an oem rubber trunk mat should fit good. the underside will be seam sealed and later all the bottom side will be shot with a raptor urethane coating.
     
  10. Great post! This is an inspiration - need to get started on my '49 Ford.
     
  11. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    koolkemp
    Member

    Great post ! A good example of just do it ,especially for newbies who have a rust bucket and arent sure if they can fix it...you just showed them how to do it nice work!
     
  12. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,330

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    nice job on the replacement trunk floor , looks much better ,
     
  13. cowboy1
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
    Posts: 914

    cowboy1
    Member
    from Austin TX

    Looks great! Any pics on the rest of the car?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  14. cheveey57
    Joined: Mar 11, 2010
    Posts: 677

    cheveey57
    Member

    No, I wasn't either but realized that for some reason I wasn't logged on. I never log off but for some reason I was. So log back in like I did and the pics will be there.
    Pete
     
  15. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585

    krooser
    Member

  16. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,184

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do you have any pics of the whole car?
     
  17. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    after we have the trunk pan installed we are now ready to put the tail pan on. we got lucky and found 3/4 of a pan for $70 bucks and later found an old schofield panel to finish it for $20 bucks.

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    first we need to trim the lip we built on the trunk floor to get the rear panel to align with the fenders. make sure the fender is where it needs to be and mark and cut the lip.

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    we used a c-clamp through the tail light hole to hold it in place.

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    make sure the trunk lid lines up well with the panel. these trunk lids fit like a wedge in the opening and the fit must be dead on to look right.

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    when it looks good tack the panel to the body above the tail light. we now want to align it across the bottom of the trunk lid. we used an 1/8 shim at the latch to get it where it needed to be.

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    when we have the fit the way we want it we welded this side of it up. now we want to install the small part that we have. same as the other side, get the fit and tack it in.


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    when the fit with the trunk lid looks good weld it in

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    now we are looking a lot better back here anyway. rear fenders and spare tire well are next on the list.
     
  18. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585

    krooser
    Member

    Wow... a Bel-Air HT... keep it up guys....
     
  19. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder
    Member

    great inspiration
     
  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,252

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    you are a brave'n'talented soul-bet many would have walked away from this-great tech
     
  21. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,239

    the metalsurgeon
    Member
    from Denver

  22. BBYBMR
    Joined: Apr 27, 2007
    Posts: 613

    BBYBMR
    Member

    WOW!!!! Great job and what a neat project to do with your Son. Looks real nice.
     
  23. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,321

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    Nice save! that car was toast!
     
  24. jammersspeed
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 347

    jammersspeed
    Member
    from herman mn.

    great job! cool body style !
     
  25. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,678

    pitman
    Member
    from Hampsha

    Ah...Caroling in style! Thanks Krooser.

    Nice tech there Tbird, I'm curious about the lap joint making tool.
    How is it used?
     
  26. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    the lap joint tool goes in our long stroke air hammer. hooks on the edge of the panel, pull the trigger and just move it along. i bought this from a tool supply house years ago. was't very expensive but it works great and is much better than butt welding two pieces together.
     
  27. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,330

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    wow even better with the bottom panel installed , the before and after pictures , unreal ,from rot to ready to prime , good job
     
  28. 57J2
    Joined: Dec 13, 2008
    Posts: 137

    57J2
    Member

    Nice work. Thanks for taking the time to post pictures. Low Buck, thats the way I like it !!
     
  29. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,565

    Mart
    Member

    Wow -. What a transformation!

    Great job.
     
  30. monkeyspunk79
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 553

    monkeyspunk79
    Member

    I'm impressed & inspired to tackle the swiss cheese in my 47's trunk floor. Great tech tips and photos will help a lot of us out here in the rust belt.

    Kudos for saving what's going to be a gorgeous Bel Air!
     

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