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78 GT JOURNEY

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kcsamc View Drop Down
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Joined: Sep/03/2011
Location: Denver, PA
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Points: 1808
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kcsamc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/22/2021 at 10:12pm
The two big goals for winter was to get the undercarriage completely cleaned of undercoating and to get the major metalwork/body welding projects done so that we could blast the undercarriage and engine bay on a good day in the spring.  As the dull and boring undercoating stripping continues, I decided to start some of the metal repair projects while the car was in position it was in on the rotisserie.

I decided to start in on the battery tray apron replacement and front splash pan fix.  Bob DeCosta had salvaged a clean apron panel from a junk yard donor car and had started some prep on it, so we didn't need to fabricate from scratch.



It looks like some battery leakage over the years had taken its toll and front splash panel was compromised as well.  I thought I would be just putting in a few small pieces on the splash panel but when I got to drilling out the holes where the splash panel and apron overlap for spot welds to the frame, the metal on the splash pan was paper thin from corrosion - I decided at that point the splash panel needed replaced.


I was hoping to keep moving on this once I got started so I put word out on facebook groups to see if any 1977+ NOS right splash panels were available in the wild.  I didn't get any quick hits and I was feeling like this could be a long haul search...  then I remembered that I had one or two later model panels in my swap meet for sale boxes and I went digging.  I found this panel - it is for 1980+ Eagles and upon close inspection, it had just (2) minor differences - the hole profile next to the battery - a vent?  who cares, and down at the bumper bracket - the geometry around the bracket looked different but still fit - cosmetics that can be fixed.  So with the NOS "bird-in-hand" I decided to call off the search and make use of this on this project for zero $ cost.



The above photo was taken after the panel was removed and the NOS Eagle piece was overlaid over the original 78 Gremlin piece for direct comparison.

Having decided the course of action, I got busy and drilled out the spot welds on the old apron / splash panel and got them separated from the body:




Body prep could now get started, as I began comparing the original apron to the metallic blue salvage unit.  On first glance things looked like it would be an easy transplant.  Below is the side by side (the original got hacked a bit so hard to see all comparisons).  In the next posting I will walk through the differences of an early battery tray apron panel verses a late model apron panel.  I had a bit of work to do!















Edited by kcsamc - Feb/22/2021 at 10:15pm
Kevin Shope
1964 Classic 660
1964 Amb. 990H
A-Scheme SC/Rambler
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