Making a new trunk lid for my 1930 Ford coupe
On other pages, I mentioned that my coupe came without a trunk lid and I would have to make my own. I planned to do this using a frame made of steel tube covered with a steel skin made from 0.8mm sheet. This has been rolled in an English wheel to obtain the correct curvature. Lacking an English wheel, a skin could be made from a wrecking yard body section. Older model cars and some vans, often have suitable panels that can be used.

This part of the rod has had to wait a while until the body has welded and the internal steelwork carried out.



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Updated August 13, 2010
On the left is part of the trunk hinge. This is the left side. A piece of 1" sq tube runs across the body. The hinges (not shown) will be attached to this tube. The location of the pivot point for the hinges is important, as it must allow the lid to open fully.
The 25mm cross tube is mounted to the body join using a fabricated slotted bracket for front to rear adjustment, if necessary later for setting the trunk to body gaps. The actual hinges used were taken from a Nissan rear hatch. They were not modified, but the curved tube fastens to them with existing hardware. Picture soon. The trunk lid frame is 3/4' tube and the curved hinge section is 5/8", 1/16" wall thickness.

Dec 29 2000

I have made a lot of progress on the trunk lid. The basic frame and skin was made some time ago but the problem of how to shape the edges of the skin eluded me for some time. What i ended up doing was adding a 3mm x 40mm steel flat to the frame shaping as I went about 5 mm smaller all round than the opening. A grinder was used to true up any irregular areas.

The skin was then carefully clamped to the frame and a 20mm edge bent over, all round, by carefully hammering the skin over the edge of the frame. A lot of distortion results on the curved edge (sides) sections and this area was shrunk using oxy/acet and a hammer and dolly while hot. Only about 50mm at a time was shrunk.

The result so far is very pleasing for me, and sure beats that big hole in the back !

A little careful dolly work around the edges will see the skin ready for fitting to the frame.

Here is the final, round tube, frame under construction. It was made in four pieces.

A central vertical tube will be added later as the skin is fitted, to maintain the crown.

The trunk latch is from a small Mazda car and was slightly modified by adding a arm to enable a remote cable release.

Details soon.

Jan 2001 This is the inside edge of the new trunk lid. This pic. shows the side of the panel which has had a 15mm edge turned over at 90 degrees, then an internal right angled piece has been welded to the edge also. This is repeated for both sides. The wider section has been split in 3 places then welded again to allow it to fit the slight curve of the trunk edge. The three dark spots are where the splits have been welded up. The other darks spots are where the strip has been welded to the edge of the trunk lid.

To be honest, this has taken much longer than i thought and is probably the hardest part (after the sunroof) of the car I have tackled so far. It can be done, but is a lot of work.

The wider section will be welded to the tube frame later, to secure the skin. Before welding, I might prime the inside area first to reduce possible rust problems.

On the right you can see the front edge has had a right angled piece inserted and the edge folded over it.

The inserted piece has been curved to match the front edge body opening. A similar piece was inserted at the rear edge also as in left hand picture. These pieces stiffen the edges considerably.

The internal pieces fitted on the sides (pic. above) were MIG welded to the tube frame. The angle pieces were also MIG welded to the frame.

APRIL 2001, UPDATED August 13, 2010