Monday, March 14, 2022

Rear Valance Repair

In this week's episode, I tackled some truly ugly repairs to the rear valance.

When I pulled all this apart, I knew there would be something to do...

You can see a really poor repair both to the upper and lower portion of the valance.  That... couldn't be left alone.

So I ripped it apart.

Oh, man.

I also took off a pound of filler all along the bottom of the valance to reveal the true contour.  I spent MAYBE 15 minutes with a body hammer to straighten it out.  Now, it's close - and will need a light coat of filler for cosmetics - but nothing like what was there before.  And the dimple for the exhaust pipe is in the correct spot - I was able to save the metal and not have to remanufacture it.

On to the repair work - First, I cut out the really bad stuff in the upper part of the valance, and pulled the metal out to an approximately correct shape. From there, I made a patch and welded it in place.  It's nothing terribly exciting, so I only have an 'after' photo - but the result is a lot better and the profile is pretty close.  It's not perfect - it will take some filler - but not the 1/4" that was there before.

I also removed all the old filler that caked the entire upper part of the valance and spent another 10-15 minutes restoring the shape.  It just isn't that hard, and once again stirs up disappointment in the PO's shop for such lazy work.

Doesn't that look better?

With the upper part repaired, it was time to fix the lower half.  I made a template, than a panel, and made it fit nicely with the correct contour.

The holes are to let me weld through to the structural members behind the patch panel.

Then, I welded it in place, closed up the holes, and voila!

I drilled holes for the bumper mount and test-fit it.  It fits nicely and with a little work I can now adjust the bumper to fit symmetrically against the valance.  I welded up a few small holes, and can now call the back of the car complete (aside from a little more dent removal with a dent puller).

I mean, look at the difference...

I know which one I'd rather have.

Now, it's on to the driver's side.  I already know there's bad juju lurking under a couple of areas, and just hope it doesn't become the slog the passenger's side was.

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