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Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:41 am
by JoeG48
What is the best tool for installing a new skin on a 27 T coupe trunk lid ...and any tips on the removal of the old one .... and the job in general.. Thanks for any help ... Joe joeg48@hotmail.com

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:34 pm
by DHarrison
I did not replace the outer skin, but split the outer and inner skins apart, fixed both of them and put it back together with the original metal. The trunk lid had been smashed down to the bottom of the trunk from chains and tools thrown on top of it during use as a farm tractor. Watch out for the inner skin and try to minimize distortion in it. I had one corner of the inner skin that required new metal and it was a challenge to get it to the correct shape and then make it fit with the outer skin. On the edges you just have to be patient and work them a little at a time, both taking it apart and putting it back together. Test fit frequently to establish the side curves. Good luck. David

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:50 pm
by Kevin Pharis
Not sure bout the coupe lids... but I’m sure they are the built the same as the roadster lids. That is, with the outer skin folded and crimped over the edge of the inner panel. Should not be welded, riveted, brazed, or the like.

If you don’t care to salvage the old skin... just hit the perimeter edge with an angle grinder till you break thru, and the skin should fall right off. The goal is to peel the skin off without distorting the inner panel too much. You should work the inner panel and skin separately to match the profile of the trunk opening before assembling. This way you won’t have to deal with trying to reshape the skin after assembly.

We’re you able to find a new skin for the coupe? I know Howell’s had the roadster lids...

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:52 pm
by Allan
Joe, Kevin is on the money. When checking the fit of the new skin, I would crimp the edge of the skin at the corners with a pair of pliers first so you can check the curvature/fit of the skin and inner panel. If you are not satisfied with the fit, corrections should be made before the lip on the skin is tapped down.
When tapping the edges down, support the skin with a dolly on the top side while tapping the edge down. This will prevent it bellying upwards. I suggest you work the edge down a bit more than 45 degrees all round and check the fit again, before tapping it down completely. On the final tap down, the dolly is essential. Even the best panel whackers may need to dress out little imperfections in the finished panel, so don't get depressed if you make the odd hammer mark.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:57 am
by Ken Buhler
The deck lids are assembled like a hand in glove. Carefully go through the spot welds with a small burr and then slip the shell out of the skin. You then have easy access to both panels. During the repair, you can slide the shell in and out to see how you are doing. When you are satisfied with the fit, be careful not to change the twist while spot tacking the two.

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:52 am
by Allan
Ken, I don't think that will work on a 26-7 deck lid. The skin is a 3 dimensional pressing. It cannot be slid back and forth over the inner like a flat skin can. It curves upwards at the front and down at the back.
If the skin is spot welded, Kevin's removal method still applies. The spot welds can then be worked upon to remove the narrow strip left on the underside of the inner panel. A better tool for this is special spot weld remover. It looks like a 1/4" hole saw. When it is centred over the spot weld, it cuts a circle around the spot, enabling the surrounding metal to be lifted off. Then the spot left is easily ground off.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:05 am
by Kevin Pharis
You can always look for (or grind you own) “Brad point” drill bits. These drill points are inverted, with a tiny raised point in the center to keep them on target, and so cut at the perimeter with nearly flat bottom. These drills will easily remove the spot weld area without sacrificing the lower panel

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:13 pm
by Ken Buhler
Thank you Allan, I see I got lucky with my roadster lid.
Kevin, good tip, thank you.

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:20 pm
by JoeG48
Thanks to all I really appreciate all the the tips ... I found new deck lid skins for a 26/27 T at Smith + Jones and at Howells Sheet Metal .... The best of the Holiday Season ..... Thanks again..... Joe

Re: Trunk lid skin replacement

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:07 pm
by Kevin Pharis
Im going to try to say this without sounding too critical of Howell’s deck lid skins...

The roadster skin I had from Howell’s was better than nothing, and I was happy to have a head start on the project. But the skin was far from ready to install. The main issue was the complete lack of compound curve in the skin. Because of this, the skin actually dipped in the center about 1/4”, rather than the required 1/2” of crown. Nothing a few hours of careful english wheel work and planishing wouldn’t fix

The coupe deck lid is far more complex than the roadster, look over the new skin real good before you cut off the old one