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.