Body Panels Installed

Made a big change in the look of the car today. I installed all of the body panels and for most of them they will not be coming back off again. I forgot to put the hood latch cable in so I will have to take the drivers front fender off and drill a hole for the cable to go through but other than that it should be done. I also found out that the drivers door upper door hinge is the same as the passenger lower hinge and also passenger upper and drivers lower. So if you have a bad upper hinge you can find a good lower hinge off the opposite side much easier and use it instead. Most of these cars wear out the upper hinge but there should be plenty of lower hinges in junkyards.

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I cut away all the bracing in the trunk to lighten it as much as possible. The gas struts were weak and not able to hold it up at the factory weight. Stock it was right at 30lbs. After cutting all the extra bracing away it is now 23lbs. Probably half of that is the thick layer of bondo the factory put on the panel. I will sand most of it away so hopefully it will be 15lbs or so when done and the struts will have no problems holding it up. The hood is pretty weak as is so I don’t think it would be a good idea to cut any bracing out of it, but there might be some bondo on the top of it I can remove to lighten it.

I have the old XFi shell basically stripped down now except for the suspension. Here are some pictures of what the interior of it looks like. click to zoom them in to see a good detail on the rust.

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In the second picture  of the passenger side floor you can see where the entire floor has came away from the side. It is like that all the way to the back on both sides. In the drivers side rear of the door opening that rust hole goes all the way through the car and the only part good is the metal in the door sill itself, the bracing and outer parts are all rusted away.

Updated: May 20, 2008 — 4:17 pm

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