aligning trunk lid - Vintage Mustang Forums
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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aligning trunk lid

My trunk lid is curved more than my fenders and rises 1/4" higher than it should in the middle. Having no bodywork experience, I'm wondering if I can bring it into alignment by laying a 2x8 across the highpoint (with padding beneath it to protect the paint) and loading it up with weight (maybe some concrete blocks) to change its curve. Would this reset the shape of the steel longterm or is it more likely to spring back as soon as i take the weight off? Is it likely to cause damage to the top panel(or the frame beneath it) or stress and crack the paint? For info, there hadn't been a trunk gasket on it since it was painted 20 years ago so I put one on two years ago. I could never get it to fit right however (even after cutting sections out) so I've taken it off again and I'm waiting to order a new one so if I load the trunk lid up, the weight will essentially be taken by the hinges and the rubber bumpers.

Sounds a bit crude but might be worth a shot. I can take it to a bodyshop if that is my best bet, but there are other things for the car I want to spend the money on so doing this myself would help. Don't want to screw up my trunk to save a few bucks however so any advice would be appreciated.

Glenn
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:48 PM
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Mine is not as bad as that. But it is up a little. I put new seals on the car after having it painted. I don't think it was that bad with the old seal on it. I am hoping that with a little time, the seal will soften up and it will give a little and close up the gap. I don't think it is a good idea trying to bend the lid. Might cause more problems.

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Old 09-04-2019, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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yeah, my gut tells me you are probably right. I wonder if the seal I put in and had trouble getting to fit made it worse than it was and over the two years set the greater curve into the trunk lid. I'll maybe go back and see if I can find an old photo that shows how it was before. Thanks for you input.

Glenn
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:45 AM
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I’m by no means a professional body worker, but if you can weld this is what I would do: I would make a couple strategic cut into the deck lid support frame that will allow the lid to flatten. Keep in mind that angle of the back edge will rotate upwards at the same time, so don’t over-do it. When you have reached the desired alignment, slowly weld the frame closed using steel rod from Home Depot to fill the gap. Reminder: I am not a professional.

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Old 09-04-2019, 04:30 AM
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The reproduction trunk lid on my coupe did the same thing, just on the driver side. I was able to adjust some of it out by working with the hinges (believe it or not) and putting a new soft seal on the correct way but I'm just gonna hafta live with a little of it until I get around to painting the car with an original lid. Repro stuff is largely crap.

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Old 09-04-2019, 04:32 AM
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You’re problem is likely more due to poorly shaped quarter panels. They are too flat on top. The trunk lid is supposed to have that curve. Aftermarket quarters are known to be too flat at the top.


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Old 09-04-2019, 06:29 AM
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Some of the repro seals out there seem way too firm also..
Which one did you fit? Does anyone know the best out there?

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Old 09-04-2019, 09:10 AM
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At this stage in the game, I'd probably do as follows...

1. Make a "contour gauge" of the top of the quarter panel from a scrap of cardboard.
2. Remove the deck lid.
3. Using a panel knife or wide chisel/scraper, break the bond (adhesive) between the trunk panel and inner structure.
4. Place the deck lid top down on some terry cloth towels on a hard surface. Load some weight on the inside structure about 9 inches apart, centered front to back on the inside of the deck lid.... maybe start with 2 concrete blocks on each side.... after a day, check against your contour gauge. If it hasn't shifted, add another block outside of the existing ones. Continue to check. If you have to add another block, stack across the 2 existing ones.
5. When you've obtained the proper bend, use some Lord FUSOR to bond the outer panel to the inner frame.

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Old 09-04-2019, 09:49 AM
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To re-arch that you would have to bend the skeletal structure which is going to ripple the top unless you loosen the top skin from the skeleton. If you loosen the skin and remove it you can then re-arch the skeleton and get it right. After that you should be able to put the skin back on(either front to back or back to front so you are essentially wrapping it back on the skeleton evenly) and not create any big bubbles or pop dents in the skin. Otherwise, the other way to fix that is reset the top line of the rear quarter panel.


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Last edited by macstang; 09-04-2019 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:24 AM
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Now I need to take a look at mine and see how it sits. It can't be really bad or I'm sure I woulda noticed it by now. And I'm probably looking for new seals, cuz mine seems to be leaking into the trunk (and the windshield as well).
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:36 PM
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@DrHawkeye it sounds like your issue may be the old "I need Bedding and Glazing compound with a new rear window gasket" routine.

If the quarter is too flat (gauge by the other one) I was wondering if marking the highest part of the lid curve on the quarter, putting a thick steel plate on the trunk floor, a bottle jack and a smaller plate under the quarter and rail, then a little gentle jacking after being in the hot sun a while might bring the contour of the quarter up a little...

My 1st car...
'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
•289 / 4100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Quick Manual Steering
•Rally Pac •Console •Deluxe Belts
•LOTS of Rotunda accessories

Older son's 1st car...
'66 Emberglo / Parchment deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Dual Exhaust •Power Steering
•Dealer A/C •Console

Younger son's 1st car...
'66 Nightmist / Blue & white deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Factory A/C •Console
WAITING FOR RESTORATION

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Old 09-04-2019, 01:59 PM
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Is that the factory deck lid? Mine is not nearly as curved as that one. I just used a Scott Drake trunk seal and it was very soft and worked perfectly. I have used the stiff ones in the past and they can do all kinds of things to the alignment.

Cliff
1966 Blue Hardtop. 200 CID with 3 Speed Trans
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. Lots of good info. When the bodywork was done 20 years ago, we replaced the quarters with offshore ones (I was assured they were a very good reproduction-lesson learned) but to the best of my knowledge we kept my original deck lid. If the fenders are the problem and the deck lid is correct, I don't want to start messing with it. My goal is to replace the fenders with better quality ones in the next few years so I can live with the gap till then if it means not re-contouring the original trunk lid. I just realized last night the reason I'm noticing it so much now is because the trunk never had rubber bumpers to sit on before i put some on this spring so the end of the lid sat down further than it does now (and consequently the top sat down lower as well). I do like the idea of recontouring the tops of the fenders if that will work and if I can do it without causing any other damage. I like '66s suggestion as to how to attack it. Has anybody else tried it? Any success?
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:56 PM
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FWIW, my original trunk lid shows the same fitment issue on the driver's side. The body shop supposedly did what they could to correct the fit issue, but I'm still not satisfied. Unfortunately, they went ahead and painted the car before getting it right, so now I've got to live with it. Maybe when I run out of other things to do on the car I'll mess with it.

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Last edited by Garth66; 09-04-2019 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:07 PM
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If it wasn't like that before you added seals, I had to deal with this too. My 67 had tons of issues with warping because of the new seals. The doors had to be slammed to shut and the bottom of them would be out 1/4" while the top was in 1/4". They're just too hard from most manufacturers. I ended up switching all mine out for a brand called Steel Rubber. They fixed everything. I'll never buy another brand again.
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