A few months ago, we showed how to rebuild the rear window channel and weatherstripping areas in this '68 Road Runner. The car had been improperly stored for years and required a substantial amount of metal replacement to the rear half. Owner Ed Blankenship chose Wize Guy Rod & Custom of Jonesborough, Tennessee, to apply their considerable metal-working talents to the car.
One area that often gets rotted out due to poor storage is the rear filler tray or Dutchman panel, which fits in between the rear window support and the upper rim lip of the trunk opening. The replacement panel, available from YearOne, fits well in this B-Body application, and we are going to show you the right tricks to remove the old version and install the replacement so it looks good as new. Taking the time to do this right will help ensure that the trunk seals well and the rear window area is not misshapen.
The rear filler tray of our '68 was rotten from the rear window's weatherstripping leakage
The rear quarter-panels had been removed, which made work on the under-part of the new panel easier. Also, the trunk pan was previously replaced. Having the firm, steady work platform of a fresh trunk floor will make the rest of the bodywork go easier. It would be very unlikely that rust or damage serious enough to require rear filler tray replacement would not also necessitate these others steps. Just don't hang those quarters before doing this part of the job.
Somebody with decent welding skills, common air and hand tools, and patience should be able to get this part of the restoration done without a great deal of hassle or additional mechanical support. Note that this part of the process was done as the window channel areas were being rebuilt to ensure straightness and alignment.
As you will see, the primary factor in achieving excellent bodywork results is preparation and patience.
Tools MiG welder with .035 wire Air or electric rotary tool (grinder, cut-off wheels, drill) Air or electric drill with bits Body hammer and dollies Vise-grip-style locking clamps
The first step is to make sure all the weatherstripping rubber is out of the rear window o
With a cut-off wheel and a reciprocating air saw, the old tray is cut out approximately 1/
This shot gives you a better idea of what we were talking about in the last image.
This image shows the edges left on the car. These will need to have the welds drilled out
Next, the inside edges of the old tray lip are cleaned to reveal the location of the facto
After drilling the spot welds, it's time to test fit our new piece. We'll tell you right n