Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spare Tire Well Replacement

The spare tire well of the car initially looked pretty decent. But as with the rest of the car, a little poking and prodding proved me wrong. This was really no surprise. I had looked at replacement panels for this application, but being that I am on a very tight budget, I opted to make one and spend mostly my time instead of money.
Here is a picture of the old panel. Much rust. After cutting it out, it was bout as strong as cereal box cardboard.

Cutting it out was the easy part. fabricating the new insert, proved itself to be a very trying task. There were indentations that needed to be put into the new panel to provide strength, rigidity and to keep the spare tire from sitting too much on the bottom and allowing water to be trapped under it.

It took me roughly 3 hours of pounding and smoothing with various tools that were clearly not designed for the job. I accomplished this by laying the cut piece of sheet metal on a 2 inch thick piece of roofing foam and pounding away with different pieces of heavy steel blocks until I achieved the proper indents. Note that the two outer indents are towards the bottom of the car, and the middle one is towards the top. This picture was during the fitting of the panel and before welding.

The panel turned out very nice and is alot stronger than I thought it would be. This will last a very long time. This next picture is after welding and seam sealer.

Now that this is done, I can clean up and primer the trunk area. That will be on the next post.

Bye for now!

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