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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So I'm trying to get some kick panel speakers installed in the 69 and need some thoughts/advice. It took quite a while to remove the driver's seide kick panel - I had to completely unbolt the parking brake assembly and move the high beam switch, then pull it out and away to clear the vent from the body. It seems the trick was to let the bottom edge of the panel slide towards the trans hump by passing under the brake pedal. It's something I probably would not prefer to do again LOL.

However, now I have a new conondrum. I picked up the unloaded kick panel speakers from year one this morning and am a bit confused as to where I'm going next. Below are the pics of the new panel:






So, I'm not sure how I'm going to tackle this. The new panel seems to be more like a thin 'skin' with a bulge to accomodate the speaker. However, it seems to delete the vent functionality by just leaving a big slit where there was a hole, and leaves it up to the buyer to figure out how to seal the cowl against water.

Has anyone used these kick panel speaker skins, and how did you go about using them? One thought I had was to cut out only the portion I needed to accomodate the speaker, but am afraid that would both look messy and work like a turd. Second was to possibly just cover the entire old panel with this one and make a passthru for the vent control knob, then clearance anything out of the old kick panel for the back of the speaker.

Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should probably also clarify that I would really like to keep the functionality of being able to open and close the vent as needed. On hot days it's nice to open, and during cold winters it's nice to close it and turn on the heat.

I did check out some older threads but it seems most of the pics are dead links. :(
 

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I've only had the "pleasure" of working with one set of kick panels like you have and the ones I worked on were of a thin vacuum formed plastic.

In the below picture I modified of yours, I would roughen up the bumpout area in red where the plastic is formed outward for the speaker and then mix up some fiberglass matting and apply it to build the thickness up. It doesn't have to be pretty on the backside but it needs to stick and bond well to the backside of the plastic.

The next thing I would do is either use your old kick panels as donors for the vent tube and flapper door and plastic weld them together. Another option is get a junk set that the flapper and tube is still good and use them. Chances are the vent tube will be stuck pretty good on the originals but if it doesn't come apart with some heat, use a grinder to sand away what you don't need.

Before you cut the old vent tubes off, make a template so they can be put in the exact spot they need to be on the new panels.



It is up to you but years ago I got 6.5" speakers in the original kickpanels on my 73 and had to roll in some of the metal in the opening. Another option is if the original kick panels would be used and the new speakers are too deep,make some spacer rings.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply post, Jim!

You're right, it is pretty thin material so I was leaning towards returning them, and trying some 1" thick spacers with slim profile speakers. However what you suggested of building up the material can work too.

How is the original vent tube attached? I pried around there with a knife and it won't seem to catch into any kind of seam where the two might separate. I'm almost thinking of cutting out the vent itself around the factory screw holes, then take that assembly, put new caulk, and screw it back in - to keep it watertight. Then with the new panel, cut a slot for the knob and place it on top of the vent with the grille removed. Not sure how it would look though?
 

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Clean off the white caulk and you can see the flange on the oval tube with the flapper and how it is attached to the backside of the kick panel. I think GM used the high frequency plastic welding but if I were to try it, I would cut off all of the kick panel around this edge and then on the frontside, sand away the remaining front part of the kick panel leaving this flange to attach to your new kick panel.

This is the flange lip with the red arrow circled in black:



I would think you could then transfer over the control pull knob. locknut and shaft. You may though have to shorten or lengthen the cable to make it work as the diimensions between the original and replacement may be a little different. It's one of those things you need to work out.

Jim
 
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