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Has anyone replaced the panel between the rear window and the trunk on a 65 or 66 Fastback?

The car I am working on has had a history of leaking into the trunk causing extensive damage that I have repaired.

I just pulled the rear window and found the damage there was much worse than I had expected. Essentially the lower edge is gone, with damage extending a bit up on the drivers side, and some small damage at each upper corner.

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So I am going to have to replace the panel between the rear window and trunk to properly repair the area (as opposed to the last person to do “repairs” that just covered th rust with bondo”.

NPD has the panel for $109. Has anyone worked with these repro panels, are they a decent fit? I’d consider a NOS panel if I could find one.

How tough is this panel to replace? Any tips or secrets to doing it?
 

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I've heard that panel called the "filler panel" but I don't know if that's Ford's name for it or not.
25 years ago, before it was repopped, a guy came and cut it out of my '66 parts car to put in a K code that somebody left a couple of bags of leaves sitting on for a few years and rusted it out. I assume there's some lead involved at each end but everybody uses metal filler instead of lead now. And probably a couple of hundred spot welds to drill out!
 

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You expect it to actually fit?

I needed to replace a part of my filler panel and I had to, of course, make it fit. If you find a part that fits I would consider that to be a bit of a miracle. The real question is how hard is it going to be and how much work will it take to make it fit. I had to notch mine as you can see in the photo below and also had to do some hammer/dolly work and bending, cussing and throwing tools to get mine to fit and that was just the right 1/3rd. I think the corners are the biggest issue though and mine was mostly corner. You may think if you are replacing the whole panel that you won't have to do this. Well, maybe or not. The corner contours of the panel still have to fit your glass and your stainless channels. Mine didn't which is why I had to notch and beat on it repeatedly.

The other thing you have to deal with is that the quarter mates up with that thing in a channel that is filled with factory lead. I still haven't re-filled the channel on my car. I'm planning to use aluminized filler to fill it back in. Nobody I know knows anybody around that can still lead properly. Maybe it might be better to just cut out that right angle channel and graft a new on onto your existing filler if that is possible.

one of many trial fits using screws to hold it in place. obviously still wasn't fitting yet

 

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I don't know if I'd replace the panel (or part of it), or run some pieces through the brake and shrinker/stretcher and just piece in the "L" shapes, and whatever tiny other patches are needed, cutting the damaged pieces out only.
 

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I haven't installed one on a running vehicle but I did on my rebuild. If the rest of it is solid I would consider Woodchucks suggestion to fab some replacement pieces to repair the channel. I had a heck of a time getting mine to follow contours of back glass frame: had to slightly wrinkle metal, then heat and shrink, hammer etc to get it right. Then the bottom edge contour didn't quite match the decklid. And as mentioned, you have leaded seams to address.
 

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1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
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Flade, this one looks like it fits very well. Personally it's not an expensive panel so I'd buy it and see how it fits. At the very least it should save a lot of time if you can use it as a patch panel to fix what you have. But looking at the pics that Rusty posted, it doesn't say that they had to modify the panel. Usually if they do he posts pics of the work.

65 Fastback by Gillis Restorations
 

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I would keep the OEM panel and replace the pinchweld. Takes a lot of careful welding. The pinchweld could be fabricated or cut from the repro panel. This was shorter than yours, but worse.

 

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1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
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Lead filler on both side comes off nice and Easy with a blow torch and a hand held wire brush. When I did mine it was welded up to some sort of “grid” frame work underneath and id say close to maybe and this is just ball park a million or so spot welds.
 
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