How to Salvage a Trap Door

 

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So none of us avid Mustang enthusiasts have ever, ever, ever, cut or drilled speaker holes into a trap door or fiberglass trim panel, it was always the previous owner who did that heinous deed, right?

Well, whomever it was who drilled your trap door, you can save it depending on how bad the damage is.

 

I start by media blasting the trap door so I know what I am working with.  Don't actually use sand on this grain, it is too abrasive.  In this case I got lucky and the trap door only had holes through the front side.  I say lucky because they didn't go through the back too.  If I had my choice, the holes would be in the back side only, but who puts speakers in the trunk, right?

For this I use a drill bit to cut the hole slightly larger, just enough to cut down the metal ridges that were sticking out from the surface of the door.  Then I took a center punch and lightly tapped in to give a small depression I could fill.

Then I fill the depression with fiberglass resin.  I suppose any kind of quality filler would work, this is what I had on hand at the time.  Don't put too much in or you will unnecessarily fill in the grain around the hole.

I sand as carefully as I can to remove only the filler and not cut the grain around it.  You also don't want to leave a high spot either. 

Once it is sanded smooth, I go back over the filler with a scribe, and drag the scribe through the filler attempting to reproduce the grain pattern in the filler.  You don't need to push too hard to get the result you want.

Next I prime and paint the same way I do the other panels, ie, primer coat, Krylon 1613, and the final coat of Charcoal.

Here is the finished results.  Can you find 4 screw holes in this picture?  Neither can I, and I did the repair.

 

In fairness, I got lucky, with only 4 holes to repair.  If you have a trap door with many more than that, plus holes through the back side, well then you have your work cut out for you.  If you really want to save the door, I think you can.  If its not worth the time, have no fear, reproduction metal trap doors are now available for all 65-66. 67-68, and recently 69-70 model years.

   

 

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Copyright 2007 Sam Griffith