This is a project that’s been been waiting for me to get to it for a very long time. The boot area has always been open with just two smaller panels either side.
One of the side panels shown here with plenty of Cat Aided Design help.
With the old side panels out I created a template out of cardboard.
Fine tuning of the cardboard template.
I’ve had this large piece of 1.5mm aluminium sat in storage for more than a year now!
Stuck the cardboard on the aluminium sheet, drew around the cardboard with a silver pen.
Using a mix of sheers and a nibbler I cut out the aluminium sheet. Wear gloves when using the nibbler, I didn’t have holes in my skin now ;o)
Using the nibbler always leaves you with a nice pile of aluminium curls.
The part is rough cut here, it’s taller than it needs to be.
Couple of loose bends based on the old side panels.
Used masking tape to protect the paint on the tub while test fitting this, it’s a couple cm above the height of the tub, so the next step is to mark up the final cuts.
This does a great job sealing the boot area, but it’s not very practical to get stuff into the boot!
Drawing up a lid/door for the boot area, the inner blue line show the opening, the outer line represents the overlap.
I will create the overlap using a tool you’d normally use for overlap welding two metal sheets on bodywork repair. It does an excellent job putting a clean bend into the metal, as long as you make sure it’s placed square to the work piece. Here’s the test piece. I got mine from Frost and is listed as a joggler / joddler or flanger! It also has a hole punch which can be useful but is a really good way to pinch your palms in the tool if you’re not careful!
Opening for the lid cut out – the aluminium was pretty floppy without the bends added. It’s much better now, but will also give the lid something to rest into.
The flanger only gets you so far into a corner leaving a square that needed to be shaped in a different way.
For this I used my vice and a sheet metal hammer.
Test fitted it in the car with the opening – the rivnuts holding this area have been in the tub since before it was painted! Note the boot floor is also new, it’s a little thinner than the original and no longer has holes for the 3 point harnesses I had before the new seat belts.
Next up, need something to close the opening up again. This is a fresh sheet of 2mm aluminium – just about managed to cut it with the sheer. I tried some test cuts with the angle grinder using a disk specifically for aluminium. It works fine but it leaves a rolled over flashing that takes quite a bit of clean up. The cut with the sheer is clean. It can add some light bends to the metal but those are not too bad to get out.
Square hole for the lock.
I got a new hinge, the brass one that I was using for mockup was too bulky (It was originally for the bonnet before I replace with stainless during the original build).
The wood floor is not thick enough to use wood screws to hold in the hinge, due to not being able to go buy stuff I custom made some ‘t nuts’ from some metal flat bar fixings I had in the parts bin. Drilled holes and tapped them for some M4 screws. Then used the router to add some recesses in the bottom of the floor.
I’ve also had a roll of carpet / speaker cloth sitting on top of a cupboard for ages, time to apply it to all the parts! Used impact spray glue. A bit of WD40 in a cloth is an easy way to get rid of overspray.
For the lid I’ve only applied carpet to one side, the intension is to add a brushed finish on the inside.
Luckily I had a tin of varnish in the cupboard to seal up the boot floor, gives it a fancy shade of oak for when I next look at the car from underneath – plus it give the MOT tester something nice too look at 😀
Added a block to the top side – this will be for mounting the sheet metal at the bottom. Cut the carpet around it, the only visible side is shown in this shot so I made sure the carpet covers it.
I think these brackets are from Ikea furniture, they were in the parts bin, combined them with some captive nuts.
Brackets in place holding the bottom of the sheet metal.
Here it is with everything in place, the inside of the lid still has the protective sheet on it, that’s something I’ll look at later.
Ordered some new stainless cup washers and bolts to match
I plan to add more panels inside the boot to stop small items disappearing and closing up more gaps where exhaust gas could come in.