Ahhh...Nirvana. A tidy butt!
The one thing that will make me feel like real progress has been made with this car, will be when the back is in one piece, primed and ready for paint. It's a mile off, but getting there. In September 2009 Norm and I made a start.
Step 1: Fuel tank out (took about 4 hours), we'll deal with that later.
Step 2: Cut away all the excess material from the damaged rear, and from the large boot floor replacement section. Removing the old fibreglass back to the steel section over the differential, allowed us to place the new section on the rear chassis members and provide a positive location.
Step 3: Bolt the new 'glass section to the lip along the edge of the steel panel (finding the rusted remains of bolts in the fibreglass, this was obviously how they did it in production too), and then through two bolt holes on the chassis members.
Done. Note the 'hatched' areas - these are the be ground clean to allow 'glass strips to be laid along the edges of the panel joints. With this section in place, we could trim and line up the two new rear corners.
Step 4: First the left, clamped in place with aluminium brackets, screwed into the bodywork.
Step 5: Now for the right. This was a lot more troublesome - firstly the replacement panel was a little short, secondly, there was some truly awful previous repair attempts to contend with. In addition to this, the impact on the right side had pushed the bottom corner of the steel reinforced gutter downward, causing some alignment issues - this will need to be bent upward back into position. Tricky.
After about 5 hours work, we finally had what appeared to be a complete rear end - amazing. Norm really knew what he was doing and made the solution sound so simple. Not so easy (or clean) though, the next step is to grind clean the hatched areas and get out the craft glue!