BMW
1973
2002tii-restoration.org
Home
Overview
Projects
Tools

Trunk and Tail Panel Replacement

This is it, the last major rust repair project of the restoration! There were no hidden surprises this time. Not that I really anticipated any, but you just never know quite what to expect when you start whacking away old sheetmetal.

passenger quarter 01

I remembered to take a few "before" shots this time.

passenger quarter 01

Believe it or not, the new tail panel will be this tii's third in 34 years. The tail panel you see here was installed when the nose was replaced. Then, at some later point, it was hit again and allowed to rust.

passenger quarter 01

The same kind of damage was on the passenger side too.

passenger quarter 01

Lots of rust holes and bent metal around the gas tank opening. I think you can see why I decided to replace the trunk floor rather than attempt to repair it.

passenger quarter 01

The first step was to mark all of the spot weld and weld seam locations. There's a lot of them.

passenger quarter 01

To gain better access, I lowered the car onto the stand and disassembled the back part of the rotisserie.

passenger quarter 01

I cut the easy stuff out first with the air saw.

passenger quarter 01

The cut-off wheel was used on all those spot welds. If you're sacrificing the old panel, this is much faster than drilling them out.

passenger quarter 01

Just surface rust here.

passenger quarter 01

The cut-off wheel was used to remove the rest of the old trunk floor. I decided not to save the old tie-down anchors.

passenger quarter 01

Sparks flew until the rest of the old floor was gone. Here, I decided to cut some openings so I could pump more POR-15 into the rear frame rails. Later, I welded these openings back up.

passenger quarter 01

After applying POR-15. The excess was stripped back before welding.

passenger quarter 01

Fitting the trunk floor was a chore. It was in and out dozens of times. After a while, I got pretty good at wrestling with it.

passenger quarter 01

To help things fit, I cut these points off. I also had to relocate the floor support tab (visible between my thumb and forefinger) inboard about 1/2-inch. It took a lot of time to get a satisfactory fit.

passenger quarter 01

Once I felt the tail panel fit was getting close, I put the trunk lid on to make sure it was all going to work together.

passenger quarter 01

The contour of the new quarter panel, just above the tail light opening, wasn't right—it was too straight. I made some "pie" cuts so I could put more of a curve into the panel.

passenger quarter 01

After several hours of fitting and prep work, the trunk and tail panel were ready for welding. Here, I've already stripped any extra paint, drilled holes for plug welding, and screwed everything together with sheetmetal screws.

passenger quarter 01

Grace is checking my work.

passenger quarter 01

Inside the passenger rear fender, you can see more holes for plug welding.

passenger quarter 01

One final check for fit. You can never have too many vise-grip pliers.

passenger quarter 01

The welding is actually the easist and fastest part of the project.

passenger quarter 01

Welding the inside seams.

passenger quarter 01

Welding the outside.

passenger quarter 01

This joint was originally brazed. But I stink at brazing, so I used the MIG. I plan to smooth the joint and use a good metal-based body filler.

passenger quarter 01

Before putting the car back on the rotisserie, I drilled the holes for the badge and the roundel while I still had clear access to the tail panel. I located the position of the holes by studying pictures of other tiis.

passenger quarter 01

There were a few more welds to take care of on the bottom, so Grace helped roll the car on its side.

passenger quarter 01

Here's where the rear frame rails attach to the trunk floor.

passenger quarter 01

Welding the bottom is a lot easier when it's not the bottom.

passenger quarter 01

It felt really satisfying to put some parts back on for change.

top | back