Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This will be an attempt to create a thread to showcase how one may modify and install the aftermarket rear bumper filler panel for a 73-74 nova from replica plastics.

I was told by several not to use this panel it wont work at all, well this thread shows that it can work.

Out of the box the panel will not work the fitment is terrible and there is absolutley no way of mounting it.

Below is pics of the horrendous gaps
20190523_174710 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr
20190523_174717 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

20190523_174728 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

20190620_215614 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

I failed to get a pic of the way the panel followed the countour of the "liscence plate dip" that was also a major issue. It was lifted way off the trunk extension lip and there would have been no way of opening the gas cap door.

The panel is made of fiberglass, I dont have a whole lot of experience with working fiberglass but the learning curve was fast.

First step was to cut the panel in two this has to be done to get the panel to follow the dip whre the liscence plate is.
20190624_120849 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

You can see this makes a 1 inch gap between the two panels this will be addressed later.

After the two pieces are easier to manuver. The Next steps require not a whole lot of skill just patience.

With the use of 40 grit sand paper on a block and sometimes on an orbital and an assortment of files I slowly filed away material, basically you fit the panel and mark where it makes contact with the body and file that down. This will require time remember its easier to take material off then add so work slowly.

With enough patience you can get the panel to seat and follow the body lines perfectly.

20190620_215350 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

20190620_215621 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr


20190621_112912 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

20190621_112934 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

Now to rejoin the panels I marked off where I had to fiberglass in new material, I wanted it to be strong so i went back about 5 inches on each side with the use of a die grinder and sanding disc i removed some material from the top of the panel so i could "counter sink" some fiberglass mat and keep the top surface flat. I also reinforced the undetside with a couple layers of mat. I did this with the panel clamped to the car to keep its shape and fit.

20190624_132620 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

You can see that I didnt fiberglass right to the outside edge the reason being my bumpers are tucked so the panel will be trimmed down later on.

Next we move onto the mounting mods. The first thing I did was find some large washers and some 1/4-20 x 1inch set screws. I welded the set screws to the washers

20190630_192616 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr


20190630_192606 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

I then cut some material off the washers so when on the panel they can be positioned near the edge.

20190630_214400 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

Next I measured out on the trunk extension lip and marked 5 evenly spaced holes I drilled the holes 1/4 inch and then with a carbide tip on a die grinder I "slotted the holes" this will give me adjustment to make sure the panel when mounted seats against the rear tail light panel.


20190630_212046 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

Next i fit the panel in place and made transfer markings with a sharpie to the precise location I needed the washers fiberglassed into the panel. Then proceeded to doing that.

20190630_215456 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr


With the washers fiberglassed in the panel can be held down with standard 1/4-20 nuts and washers.

The other place the panel needs mounting provisions is the ends. Unfortunately I dont have many pics of how i did these steps:no:

I still had part of my old panel (just the ends) I cut off the original mounts that made use of large clips kinda like a giant bobby pin that clipped them to the lip on the quarter panel. The parts I removed I J-B welded onto the new panel and reinforced it with fiberglass. This mount could be made out of 1/8 thick abs plastic and mounted in the same way.

In this pic you can see the panel clipped to the rear quarter (This is a finished pic of the panel sorry for the fast forward)


20190930_190729 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

Next I cut down the panel to the size I needed for my application and sanded down the fiberglass reinforcement so it was flat.


20190713_222152 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

20190714_155733 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

This is how it looks with the bumper mocked up

20190714_161524 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

Next I filled any pin holes or imprefections with body filler, sanded it down to 320 grit and layed down primer.

20190810_161714 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

And then sprayed on base and clear

20190813_192605 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

And here she is mounted in all her glory

20190816_001512 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr



20190814_192356 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr


20190814_190331 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr

Here is what the car looks like now from the rear with a nice new tail light panel installed and bumper filler. I hope this thread can help somone else out.


20190825_181038 by Justin Rennie, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
rennova, Great write-up... along with the detailed photos :thumbsup:

The 73/74 Novas don't have the benefit of the selection of aftermarket parts like the earlier year Novas, so we do our best to make what is available fit the best we can. Your post should be very helpful to any 73/74 Nova owners that are undertaking this project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
Awesome job, thank you! I may be having to do this.
You wouldn't happen to be working on one for your tail light panel replacement would you? Doing mine (73 also) here soon and it's always helpful to see pictures of it being done. Yours came out great.
These 73/74 write ups on here have been awesome, thanks again

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Awesome job, thank you! I may be having to do this.
You wouldn't happen to be working on one for your tail light panel replacement would you? Doing mine (73 also) here soon and it's always helpful to see pictures of it being done. Yours came out great.
These 73/74 write ups on here have been awesome, thanks again

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Well I am actually off work at the moment because I injured my hand so I have a lot of free time. I will try to do a write up on replacing the rear panel, it was a long process hard to get the gaps perfect. I also "restored" my taillight housings and re-surfaced the interior of the trunk ill add that in tge same thread
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
Well I am actually off work at the moment because I injured my hand so I have a lot of free time. I will try to do a write up on replacing the rear panel, it was a long process hard to get the gaps perfect. I also "restored" my taillight housings and re-surfaced the interior of the trunk ill add that in tge same thread
That would be much appreciated, I know that panel is going to be a pita. Cheers

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well I am actually off work at the moment because I injured my hand so I have a lot of free time. I will try to do a write up on replacing the rear panel, it was a long process hard to get the gaps perfect. I also "restored" my taillight housings and re-surfaced the interior of the trunk ill add that in tge same thread
That would be much appreciated, I know that panel is going to be a pita. Cheers

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
Ramportin1 the link for the new thread I made on how to install a rear tail light panel can be found here

https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5852993#/topics/667873?page=1
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top