A labour of love

Rear wing removal

I ended the last post mentioning that I hadn’t been able to mock-up the new rear wing fitment to help check sill alignment, so today’s task was to try to get the old rear wing out of the way to help that happen.

The picture above is of the infamous area where the C-post of the wing joins the roof panel. My car was made shortly before the introduction of the ‘GT’ badge to cover this join, hence it still has the original lead loading concealing it. I sanded it back just to get a better look at it, but I still couldn’t see the join 🙂

I went ahead and cut out the bulk of what remained of the rear wing, leaving only the metal adjoining other panels, some of which needs to be treated more carefully. With that out of the way I could get a better look at the C-post to roof join from inside.

That run of spot welds needs to be drilled out and then hopefully that last slice of the wing will break away fairly cleanly on the other side. Probably one of the trickiest joins on the whole car I think, honestly not looking forward to trying to get the new panel welded in here!

Take note that the bracket for the tailgate stay on the edge of the C-post is not part of either of the Heritage replacement panels which form this section, so I marked its position on the new panels, and then carefully cut it out to re-use later on.

2 spots on the front, 2 on the back and a bit of seam welding to remove.

With most of the wing off it became clear that the rear valance was probably not going to be salvageable after all. It was very thin and badly holed in this area where it meets the wing, and had already been victim to another dodgy repair job by yours truly in the past, so I added it to my shopping list. With that decision made, I didn’t need to be too gentle cutting the wing from the valance, but I’ll be leaving the old valance in place for now for general positioning reasons.

The boot floor corner panel had also been repaired in the past, but it’s pretty rotten and I’ve already bought the replacement panel, so it will be coming out soon. Strategically I think it’s a good one to replace next: since its profile matches that of the chassis leg it’s attached to, it seems difficult to mis-fit it, making it a good reference point for the other panels that adjoin it.

The more I see of that wheel arch, the more I want to replace it. It’s basically sound, and it looks like a really fiddly panel to replace, but those old repair patches just make me sad!

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