Sunday, 1 November 2015

Rear of the Year

After spending an hour or so reading about the rear panel on Richard L's excellent blog,  I decided to have a go.

Using just mole grips,  I found bending the tabs really simple. The jaws of the mole grips decide the line of the bend so it's just a matter of lining it up right:

Pretty good result,  if I say so myself.

Next was the crucial bending bit which I was very worried about but unless I've done something weirdly wrong,  it was quite easy. 

Firstly,  I just laid the panel on the floor,  put one hand and my weight near where the bend needs to be and pushed the panel up towards vertical. This got the panel to about a 45 degree angle. Then,  I bent the lower section out of the way and used my wet wipe dispenser (same radius as the bend needs to be) to bend the panel up past vertical so that when released,  it was roughly vertical. 

I then put a cleco in the last tab and the side piece to get the rough shape:

The bend still wasn't really tight enough as there was quite a big gap between the side and the first few tabs. I used my workmate and held the whole structure on its end,  vertically (if that makes sense). I then pushed down on the top to get the panel to push up against the tabs.  While held like this (hard work),  I drilled through the tabs and the sides.  Repeated for the other end. 

I put clecos in initially but then decided there was no reason not to rivet it as there was no adjustment possible now unless I wanted to drill more holes in the side panel:

Finally for now,  put on the car:

(actually this pic is before I riveted but it looks the same).

Having said there was no adjustment possible,  the panel is a tight fit between the chassis rail under the fuel tank and the top where the crescents start. I may need to bend that panel under the car or maybe pull the roll bar supports up more.

However,  feels great to have done such a major step as this panel which I wasn't looking forward to and thought would take me days,  not 2 hours.


  1. Great blog you have here and have just saved me a post on GBS's forum. I thought it was strange that the rear panel looked identical to the underside of the car but was a bent so it didn't fit. It seems I need to bend it a little more and then can rivet to the underside of the car too.

    1. I'm amazed and gratified that my ramblings actually helped someone - sometimes, I read them back and don't understand them myself :-)