As gearheads, we take mechanical upgrades and repairs for granted. But, throw in some bodywork and a lot of guys freak out! Replacing sheetmetal is generally a job performed at professional shops. Metal replacement, however, does not have to be feared. If you take your time, cut twice and measure once--or vice versa--it's really not that hard.

The trunk pans in our Valiant could best be described as peppered. If we lived in the Northeast, during the winter we could have filled the trunk with salt and evenly covered the icy highways. We were fortunate that the trunk extension panels--the sheetmetal that extends from the trunk floor to the bottom edge of the quarter-panels--were in good shape. This made the repair easy, because the metal we needed to replace was basically a flat piece of tin.

There are literally hundreds of places to buy sheetmetal, but this time we contacted Year One for the necessary trunk floor, gasket, and trunk mat. Trunk pans can be ordered in separate halves or as one piece. When these cars were originally built, the trunk floors were installed before the quarter-panels were hung. In some cars, it's impossible to fit a one-piece floor into place through the trunk-lid opening. If you do not have the quarters removed, or your car's trunk-lid opening isn't large enough to accommodate a one-piece floorpan, you may want to get the two-piece trunk floor to ease installation. Our Valiant has a large trunk-lid opening, so we opted to replace the entire floor with the one-piece pan, PN M216. If you're planning such a replacement, take your time, and hopefully you'll gain confidence when you see how easy it is.