1969 Dodge Polara
California Highway Patrol

 

Tension Builds

January 29, 2012

The plan was simple, reinstall the pieces that were removed. Well first up more rust was discovered where one of the fender braces connects to the car, then the hinge supports were too rusty. First up was to replace the lower portion of the second hinge support that turned out to be rusty as well and would facilitate installing the replacement hinge support, I removed the bracket in the same manner that I did on the previous one and while I was fitting the replacement it occurred to me that I could have just removed the bracket and not cut into the wheel well (this side was not rusted through like the other side), oh well itís out now. That was put in exactly where the original one was and I moved on to the passenger side fender brace, fortunately for me it was cut so I could overlap the joint, it was flanged and installed. On to the other side, real simple just weld in the piece that was removed, not so easy it is now 1/2" short? Well, in working on the window section I put a brace in that position the fender at the same height from the floor as the other side, so I removed the temp brace and fit the trunk lid. With the lid in place I moved the fender up and down to see how it impacted the trunk lid and it was decided to fit the original brace in as-is

On to the hinges, in theory they should go right in as they were cut away from the bottoms that are now in the car, again not so simple. Apparently the factory had designed some slip joints to make up for the differences as they went together. At least they were overlapping a little and I worked with them. With everything screwed in I made one last check of measurements and fired up the welder.

With everything secured I moved on to the trunk lid torsion rods. At first I tried all sorts of different tools trying to get the first one in, finally I went to the interior and reached through a speaker opening with a screw driver and had the leverage to push it in place. One would think the other side would be just as simple, I couldnít keep the screw driver from slipping off, needless to say I got it in.

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