Tail Light Panel Repair? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Tail Light Panel Repair?

While my clutch pedal is off being upgraded, I thought I'd finally fix the trunk lid.

I had the original one from the PO and you can see it fits much better.

I now have to do something with the holes that were there for the black grills.

Do I
A) weld them up with a copper spoon;
B) put in a small disk of sheet metal and weld around that; or
C) glue a larger disk of metal behind and fill the hole with body filler

I have a MIG welder but I'm not very experienced/good.

Any advice is appreciated and let me know if anyone wants a lime green fiberglass trunk lid on the cheap.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:52 PM
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Well I would just weld them shut with nothing else needed, however, in your case a copper backer would probably be best.
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:01 PM
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What I do for these is take my matching sheet metal and use my spot weld popper. It's like a hole punch for doing spot welds. I then save the little circle that comes out and use a magnet to hold it in place. Tack it, Grind, tack etc. Then hammer and dolly as needed.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:38 PM
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You gonna be using body filler anyway....put a backer over the hole(fiberglasscloth works) and fill'em in.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:53 PM
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YouhVe the welder, do it right. Grind the welds carefully and you won't need more than ask coat of filler.

Any idea what brand that trunk lid was? It appears to be seriously warped.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:08 PM
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First a little science.

Every time you take metal up past the plastic point it shrinks.

You correct shinks with hammer on dolly work to stretch the metal the has shrunk.

Mig welding can be tough. You really need to get settings right to lay a thin bead. To correct for shrinkage you need to grind smooth and hammer on dolly. Copper shaped to the surface can help reduce work, but does little correct for shrinkage.

Small holes can be filled using a MIG and getting TIG rods of the same material as the wire. You back the hole with copper. Lay the TIG rod into the hole (touching) and start the arc on the tig rod and feeding in the tig rod to control heat from the arc. This prevents the burn back you can get at the edge of metal from too much heat.

You will want some small wheels to get the metal sort of level before you correct for shrink. You might also be better off welding on the inside as you will need to do more grinding on the side you are welding.

Larger holes or even smaller holes it would be good to have some premade rounds. I think there is a low cost tool you can get at harbor freight. Look up on youtube for making a ring out of a coin. They show this low cost punch you can get that may be a good thing for you.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I'll do some more practicing and see if I'm brave enough to use the welder. I won't learn if I don't try.

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