Needing a fix for too wide gaps

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by lapedr, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. lapedr

    lapedr Veteran Member Gold Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Pembroke, GA
    I recently replaced the quarter panels, wheelhouses, cross rail, outer rockers, and tail panel on my 72 Camaro. I left both doors and trunk side gutters in place to use as guides, but I never though to leave the trunk lid (stupid mistake). Now that everything is finished, I laid the trunk lid down to check the gaps, and both sides are between 1/8" and 3/16", which looks like too much to me. What are some ways that I can use to decrease the gaps?
     
  2. ULTM8Z

    ULTM8Z Veteran Member

    Messages:
    9,863
    Likes Received:
    778
    Joined:
    May 19, 2000
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Actually I think 3/16" is what the pros usually shoot for on gaps.
     
    krabben1 likes this.
  3. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    29,021
    Likes Received:
    2,104
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    That's isn't a bad fit, in my opinion.

    For wide gaps... You can weld a steel rod to the edge of the body panel and use a grinder and file to get a better gap.
    (It's not unusual to need this step for after-market fender fitment at the door edge.)

    As close as you are right now... You can weld a bead along the trunk lid edge and reshape the edge to fit until you have it exactly where you want it.

    It can be done with body filler but it's very easy to chip the built-up edge and leave an ugly spot.
    Personally, I would use the welder
     
  4. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,531
    Likes Received:
    1,155
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Location:
    Canada
    I have done this many many times in my career, and had to do it on my '72 Z during the final metal-fitting phase (pic incl.), even with all GM original panels, the trunk to quarter gaps needed to be tweaked as well.

    My "goal gaps" are .125 after everything is said and done, this includes all mil build of primer/sealers base coats and clear coats. If your in the bare metal stage, or just the E coat now, you need to add the mil thickness to your final gaps. I have found that using a quality masking tape, like 3M's bright green 233+ works well as it's 6-7 mils thick, and taping your gaps with this adds 7 mils on both sides, and gives a bright contrast to really see the "final gaps" will look like and what you will end up with.

    So, if your at .125 already (1/8th) without any paint materials, you will be around the .110 or less mark. If you can adjust the trunk by splitting the 1/8 and 3/16ths, you will be at the .131 range, add in 7-10 mils of material, and your right in the sweet spot.

    If you need to close the gap on one side, a thin cut (1/2-3/4" away) and pry on the quarter works well, set the gap, then a mig fill or round rod& fill in and grind flush works well. Round rod works if adding on a trunk lid, door skin as well, it's what your comfortable with.

    Hope I worded this right, and it makes sense to you.

    IMG_0688.jpg
     
  5. lapedr

    lapedr Veteran Member Gold Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Pembroke, GA
    Yes thanks
     
  6. ChevyReb

    ChevyReb Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,142
    Likes Received:
    135
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    SC
    I'll need to measure mine but I think I had 3/16" each side of the deck lid to 1/4 gaps. The gap in the tulip panel (panel between the deck lid and rear widow) to 1/4 gaps are much closer probably less that 1/8". Ill check in a bit after work and let you know. To me the gaps are like buildimg a motor, a little looser is better than too tight.
     
  7. lapedr

    lapedr Veteran Member Gold Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Pembroke, GA
    Yea mannn, agree
     
  8. ChevyReb

    ChevyReb Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,142
    Likes Received:
    135
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    SC
    Here are pic's of the trunk to 1/4 and tulip panel on my car. I am guessing they were closer to 1/4" before primer and paint. But I do know there is minimal mils of primer, paint and clear as car was striped to bare metal to refinish. I hope this helps, sorry I forgot yesterday.
    upload_2021-1-7_13-18-44.png upload_2021-1-7_13-18-44.png
    upload_2021-1-7_13-19-14.png
    upload_2021-1-7_13-19-28.png
    upload_2021-1-7_13-19-51.png
    upload_2021-1-7_13-20-9.png
    upload_2021-1-7_13-20-24.png
     
    krabben1 likes this.

Share This Page