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Discussion Starter #1
So I took out my rusted rear taillight panel (daunting task lots of spot welds to cut around, took about 4 hrs)

Now when i test fit the new panel there are fairly large gaps at each end between trunk lid and panel. Most 74's I see have those gaps even from factory.

Im a little picky and want an even gap whats my best bet? Im pretty good with tig welding and mig.

Or should i live with it
 

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Is the new panel NOS or reproduction ?.

On my 74 I put on an NOS and did not have any issues I can remember but it was 15 years ago ?.

What you might want to try is putting some spacers under the bottom bent out lip of the taillight panel to raise it up and see how it fits then. If this works with spacers, then on the bent out bottom lip, put some slices in the bent out section to where you can flatten it to take out the 90 degree bend, then mark so much down from that (the thickness of the spacer) and then bend the lip back to the 90 degree angle and now the whole taillight panel would be raised. You would have to do this to the whole bottom bent out panel lip.

Who knows it might require some slicing and adding in metal. You might also have to get out some hammers and dollies to work some area's.

It's up to you but I would try and get a nice even gap and also nice panel to panel levels.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is the new panel NOS or reproduction ?.

On my 74 I put on an NOS and did not have any issues I can remember but it was 15 years ago ?.

What you might want to try is putting some spacers under the bottom bent out lip of the taillight panel to raise it up and see how it fits then. If this works with spacers, then on the bent out bottom lip, put some slices in the bent out section to where you can flatten it to take out the 90 degree bend, then mark so much down from that (the thickness of the spacer) and then bend the lip back to the 90 degree angle and now the whole taillight panel would be raised. You would have to do this to the whole bottom bent out panel lip.

Who knows it might require some slicing and adding in metal. You might also have to get out some hammers and dollies to work some area's.

It's up to you but I would try and get a nice even gap and also nice panel to panel levels.

Jim
Its an AMD panel are they reputable? im new to doing sheetmetal on a car and I knew for sure that there would be dolly work and spot welding and I dont mind slicing up the panel to get the gaps perfect im just a little afraid of overheating the panel if i add in material i dont want to warp it. My original panel had a gap but only on one side, and i know that was due to damage from a trailer hitch on box truck that backed into my grandfather my father did the straightening of it but it was not perfect the pabel should have been changed back then. I took reference measurements on the original and the reproduction and both seem to be pretty much exact. I think this is going to be a challenge but im up for it
 

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your left side looks low at the 1/4. Try pushing the bottom in a little more and the top back a little. Sheetmetal alignment is a series of give and takes. If you try to make one line perfect you might not be able to get other perfect. A few that are slightly off (not ugly bad)will allow other lines to also be slightly off. You are dealing with a mass produced car that is 45 yrs old. To get every line perfect like a show car will require slice and weld.
It's hard to tell without being at the car, but I don't see anything there that makes me want a saw.
 

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Its an AMD panel are they reputable? im new to doing sheetmetal on a car and I knew for sure that there would be dolly work and spot welding and I dont mind slicing up the panel to get the gaps perfect im just a little afraid of overheating the panel if i add in material i dont want to warp it. My original panel had a gap but only on one side, and i know that was due to damage from a trailer hitch on box truck that backed into my grandfather my father did the straightening of it but it was not perfect the panel should have been changed back then. I took reference measurements on the original and the reproduction and both seem to be pretty much exact. I think this is going to be a challenge but im up for it
Years ago when I was doing metal replacement on my 74 hatchback I bought NOS quarters and an NOS taillight panel and reproduction outer wheel housings from a company I cannot remember the name of.
Even with the NOS quarters the one side I had to section an area out back by the taillight seam as the quarter was let's say 1/4" too long. I planned my cuts, got it fitted and welded in and then was able to dress and finish both sides to where you cannot tell where the work was done.

I am curious as to how well the one is from AMD you have. Not that this area is of concern with your original question, but below is an area on a reproduction taillight panel and how it compares to an NOS one. The reproduction has creased/ripples present while the NOS one is better formed and stamped and is smooth in the transitions.



It's going to be one of those things, how much you want to work on it.

Jim
 

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I had a similar issue last fall. In my case, I couldn't get the panel lifted up to where I needed it without forcing the quarter panel out. The radius I highlighted in red was to big so it didn't interface with the quarter panel well. I cut along the red line, then bent the corner down so it filled the gap I had cut out. The green line exaggerates what I did to give a better visual. Once the corner met the panel better, I had an easier time sorting out the rest of the gaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Its an AMD panel are they reputable? im new to doing sheetmetal on a car and I knew for sure that there would be dolly work and spot welding and I dont mind slicing up the panel to get the gaps perfect im just a little afraid of overheating the panel if i add in material i dont want to warp it. My original panel had a gap but only on one side, and i know that was due to damage from a trailer hitch on box truck that backed into my grandfather my father did the straightening of it but it was not perfect the panel should have been changed back then. I took reference measurements on the original and the reproduction and both seem to be pretty much exact. I think this is going to be a challenge but im up for it
Years ago when I was doing metal replacement on my 74 hatchback I bought NOS quarters and an NOS taillight panel and reproduction outer wheel housings from a company I cannot remember the name of.
Even with the NOS quarters the one side I had to section an area out back by the taillight seam as the quarter was let's say 1/4" too long. I planned my cuts, got it fitted and welded in and then was able to dress and finish both sides to where you cannot tell where the work was done.

I am curious as to how well the one is from AMD you have. Not that this area is of concern with your original question, but below is an area on a reproduction taillight panel and how it compares to an NOS one. The reproduction has creased/ripples present while the NOS one is better formed and stamped and is smooth in the transitions.



It's going to be one of those things, how much you want to work on it.

Jim
There is difinitive signs where the tooling made ridges and 2 areas that have ripples, not as bad as in your pic but enough where I will have to stretch them out and file them flat. Thanks for the replies all the feedback will help me out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had a similar issue last fall. In my case, I couldn't get the panel lifted up to where I needed it without forcing the quarter panel out. The radius I highlighted in red was to big so it didn't interface with the quarter panel well. I cut along the red line, then bent the corner down so it filled the gap I had cut out. The green line exaggerates what I did to give a better visual. Once the corner met the panel better, I had an easier time sorting out the rest of the gaps.
Yup looks pretty similar to how mine is fitting. Do you have a current pic looking at the back of the car about eye level? I have all winter to work on the car to get it right. Its not a show car but i don't want to paint it and then be disappointed in myself for not going the extra kile to get it right.
 
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