Hood, Doors, and Trunk

Summer and Fall 2002

In order to make room in my garage, I decided the hood, trunk, and doors all needed to go into storage. Before I could do that, everything needed some body work and epoxy primer. When I'm ready to work on these pieces again, all they'll need is to be block sanded with 220 grit paper before receiving a coat of primer surfacer.


The doors being used for this project are a pair of 1600 doors that I picked up a few years back for $30. These doors were rust-free where it counts, but they still required a fair amount of work. The tii's original doors were rusting in the corners. They probably could be reskinned, but I've decided not to use them.

Prior to mid-1971, '02s had no lower trim. The lower trim continues the lines from the front to rear bumpers, and it also helps to prevent door dings. 1600s did not have this trim, so I had to drill holes in my doors. Ironically, many '02ers want to remove this trim and filling the lower trim holes is a common practice. I, however, want to maintain the original appearce of my car, and that means keeping the trim. I used the Macartney 2002 Restoration Guide for information on hole placement.

The following sequence of photos illustrates the auto-body processes that I am following.

doors 1

My brother-in-law Eric (on the right) gives me some hammer and dolly lessons. Eric worked very carefully, delivering precise hammer blows.

doors 2

With the dents removed, it was time for some skim coats of body filler. The surface was first roughed up with a 24-grit disc to give the metal some "tooth." The filler will level the surface of the panel, and require less use of primer surfacer later on. Body filler is a lot cheaper than primer surfacer.

doors 3

Filler was applied to one panel segment at a time. The tape provides a boundary so that the contour of the panel will stay clearly defined.

doors 4

Just as the filler started to harden, Eric began removing it with a "cheese grater" in a diagonal crisscross pattern to avoid cutting gouges. Knowing when to start removing the body filler takes some practice. If you wait too long, sanding it can be quite time consuming.

doors 5

While the filler was still setting up, Eric switched to the air file with 36-grit paper. He stopped from time to time to clean the paper with a wire brush.

doors 6

Eric carefully taps down a high spot. Only a thin layer of filler now remains. This process was then repeated—each segment of the door received two skim coats of filler.

doors 7

Before applying epoxy primer I relocated the mirror holes and drilled holes for the lower trim. Note the difference in mirror placement between a 1600 and a 2002. The blue door is the original from my tii.

doors 8

I filled the original mirror holes by enlarging the rear hole and making a patch. A patch was made for the front hole too, then both holes were MIG welded closed. The new mirror holes were created by first drilling the holes with a Unibit, and then using a Dremel tool to make the notches. See the Macartney 2002 Restoration Guide for the locations of the holes. I made holes for mirrors in both passenger and driver doors.

doors 9

The doors in PPG DPLF epoxy primer. Before priming, I coated the interiors with POR-15.


The trunk lid being used was left over from my first '02—an early 1971 Nevada car. The tii's original trunk had the same problem as the original hood—lot's of rust bubbling up around the beltline trim.

trunk 1

Both the hood and the trunk were developing surface rust where the original anti-flutter foam had soaked up moisture from the dipping process. The foam was removed with a putty knife and many razor blades, then I sanded off the surface rust as best I could. POR-15 was sloshed around the inside of the trunk lid. Then, at the suggestion of my local paint store, I used spray foam to replace the original foam. I used this foam on the hood as well.

trunk 2

The excess foam was trimmed of with a razor blade. The trunk then received two skim coats of body filler (just like the doors) and a coat PPG DPLF epoxy primer.


The hood being used is a freebie that I picked up about a year earlier. Considering the price, nuthin', it was in pretty good shape, although it looked as if someone had sat in the middle of it at some point. The original tii hood had a good deal of rust bubbling around the beltline, so I decided not to use it.

hood 1

Like the trunk, the original anti-flutter foam had absorbed moisture and was starting to cause some surface rust. All of the surface rust was removed. A Dremel tool was used in the tight spots.

hood 2

The foam is removed with a putty knife and razor blades. I also had to remove the paint from the inside of the panel. The guys at A-1 Metal Stripping did not blast the insides of any panel for fear of warping it. The remaining paint was removed with a DA using 80 grit paper. I did this very carefully to avoid warping the panel myself.

hood 3

To guard against future rust, Barry (on the left) is helping me slosh POR-15 around the inside of the hood. Tape is being used to help keep the POR-15 contained. At this point the foam, rust, and paint have been all been removed. Eric had also helped straighten out a dent in the middle of the hood as well by this point. The hood then received two skim coats of body filler and a coat of PPG DPLF epoxy primer.

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