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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive been working on some repairs in my trunk, so I have been in and out of the trunk about 100 times lately. Anyway, when I bought the car a few weeks ago, the trunk was full of parts and the trunk lid was held closed with a bungee, so I didnt really think too much about it. Anyway, my son walked by one time and closed the trunk (I was not in the trunk at the time) and it closed with a nice click as it should have. At that time I noticed that the lines do not look good and the trunk sticks out past the sides of the quarter panels. Also, the quarter panels and the panel behind the rear window stick up almost 1/4 of an inch. I originally thought that maybe I could just adjust the hinges, or put a washer or two behind the hinges and adjust it that way. After messing with it, I dont think this is a simple adjustment. Also, looking at the panel below where the taillight housings would go, there is a definite crease there. Also, the tail panel itself does have some old bondo where the PONTIAC letters go. The quarter panels look very straight. The frame underneath is not bent as far as I can tell. Other than the trunk not lining up, the trunk closes and opens perfectly. Here are some pics:


Pic of rear panel, other than rust holes and filler in center, doesnt show any massive damage that might indicate a hit.:

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Drivers side trunk lid and quarter panel:
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Passenger side trunk lid and quarter panel:

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Panel standing proud of trunk lid:

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Drivers side gap about 18 inches from rear of car (passenger side is similar)
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Trunk closed, gap between hinge side of trunk and panel:

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Filler in center of panel:
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Bent panel in rear of trunk beneath where the taillight housing goes:
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I would say the car has been love-tapped from the back at some point, but I don't think that is why the trunk deck sticks out past the quarters or sits low towards the front. My 67 does the same thing. I have not been in the trunk yet to look it over, but I suspect that the hinges have worn out or been tweaked by a surprise wind gust. My first thought was to shim the trunk deck up in the front by adding shims between the deck and the hinges. This would raise the deck and possibly allow it to move forward a bit and correct the overhang in the back (given the needed amount of slot or hole slop). Another thing might be that the old trunk seal is collapsed where it originally would have held the forward section a bit higher.

I will be removing the torsion springs, positioning the truck deck where it looks right (somehow, duct tape...bailing wire...IDK), and then getting in the trunk to see if the hinges will suite the proper position of the deck. If not, hinge mods will be made if possible. Anyway, I'm in the same situation as you and will be watching for other's comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Another thing might be that the old trunk seal is collapsed where it originally would have held the forward section a bit higher.
Currently there are no seals in the trunk. I was also thinking that maybe the trunk lid is a repro, but I dont think it is. The car was media blasted many years ago, and there is sand or some kind of media that falls out of the holes every time I open it. I dont know that repro deck lids were made 30 years ago. But even with the deck lid basically touching the body panel near the rear window, it still overhangs quite a bit. I may just remove it from the hinges completely and see if it even fits in the trunk opening without any torque or influence from the hinges.
 

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Beware the bungee on the trunk lid. I was prepared for some tweaking on my trunk lid. I was going to adjust that and get it closed. Turns out the package tray was removed under the filler panel and they only installed a new filler panel. So my hinge braces was swinging in the wind with no top attachment.
 

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Your hinges are bent I believe. While trunk is open place some vertical 2x4 between the bottom of each hinge and the another piece of 2x4 laying on the trunk floor to distribute force to not dimple trunk floor.

Once wood is in place gently start pulling the trunk lid down gently. It won’t take much force so go a little at a time. You should see the rear of your trunk lid start to come up closer to the level of filler panel and hopefully the side seams also. See if your gap at the rear improves or maybe readjust the trunk lid.

I also placed a 2x4 between the lip of filler panel and rear of trunk lid. Using the trunk lid as a lever again it’s possible to tweak the filler panel down a bit.

What your picture shows is what happens when someone pushes up on the trunk lid past the open position which pivots the rear of the trunk lid lower
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After re-reading my post, I think the first picture I posted might be deceptive. In this picture the trunk lid is not shut. It is slightly open, i just took the picture showing that there was no evident damage.

Heres the pic with the trunk slightly ajar:

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And a couple with it closed. The trunk closes and opens fine.

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145012
 

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Are the factory numbers stamped on top of the quarters, next to and along the top of the trunk rubber? If not most likely had quarters replaced.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

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With your newly posted picture I would start by giving the drivers side hinge the treatment I mentioned. Its still sitting low on that side.

Your going to have to massage things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With your newly posted picture I would start by giving the drivers side hinge the treatment I mentioned. Its still sitting low on that side.

Your going to have to massage things.
I am hoping that you are correct, and it is just a matter of massaging this to fit. I was concerned that the car had been hit hard enough from the rear that it maybe buckled the quarters in, just enough to misalign everything. But other than the slight buckling below the taillight housing, the quarters look very straight. And since the car had been sandblasted years ago, its pretty easy to see where there is body filler.
 

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Your hinges are bent I believe. While trunk is open place some vertical 2x4 between the bottom of each hinge and the another piece of 2x4 laying on the trunk floor to distribute force to not dimple trunk floor.

Once wood is in place gently start pulling the trunk lid down gently. It won’t take much force so go a little at a time. You should see the rear of your trunk lid start to come up closer to the level of filler panel and hopefully the side seams also. See if your gap at the rear improves or maybe readjust the trunk lid.

I also placed a 2x4 between the lip of filler panel and rear of trunk lid. Using the trunk lid as a lever again it’s possible to tweak the filler panel down a bit.

What your picture shows is what happens when someone pushes up on the trunk lid past the open position which pivots the rear of the trunk lid lower
I looked at my truck deck last night and I am betting that Gremlin is on the mark. If you push forward on the trunk deck, when it's open all the way, you can see how a our problem could be caused. The leading edge of the deck wants to flex towards the back (in that opened position). If enough force is put on it, I can see how it would permanently deform the hinges or more likely the lower shell of the trunk deck. I did not block any of it up a try to tweak it back, but I can see that it would work. Another option would be to shim between the hinge and the truck deck with bit more shim on the forward hole/s. This might require slotting the hinge holes some, but the blocking method may as well depending on if it tweaks back exactly where it came from.

Gremlin...can you explain ththe following statement better?...

"I also placed a 2x4 between the lip of filler panel and rear of trunk lid. Using the trunk lid as a lever again it’s possible to tweak the filler panel down a bit. "

I can see how securing the filler panel would be very important, but can't seem to visualize what you are suggesting.
 

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if you just use a vertical 2x4 between hinge and trunk floor you can create enough force to dimple the trunk pan with the end of the 2x4. Laying a piece of wood across the trunk floor between the vertical 2x4 and pan will distribute the load across the surface area of the board laying on the trunk pan-no dimpled trunk pan.

You can create a lot of force with the lever action and can dimple the pan. Doesn’t take much to make the hinges/trunk move
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sick, Id love to see some before and after pics if you do this. It makes sense to me. Im just too far into other projects to worry about this right now, but I could absolutely see how this could work.
 

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As I said, my trunk had a similar look. Tried shimming hinges but shims were excessive. After this procedure I have no shims and good fit
 

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Fit & finish sucked back then. GM wasn't in business to build show cars, they were in business to make MONEY.

GTO's were never meant to be "perfect show cars". They were meant to be beat on and rule the streets.

It also doesn't help that there is no weatherstrip that always effects alignment.
 

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if you just use a vertical 2x4 between hinge and trunk floor you can create enough force to dimple the trunk pan with the end of the 2x4. Laying a piece of wood across the trunk floor between the vertical 2x4 and pan will distribute the load across the surface area of the board laying on the trunk pan-no dimpled trunk pan.

You can create a lot of force with the lever action and can dimple the pan. Doesn’t take much to make the hinges/trunk move
I can see how you could dimple the trunk floor without spreading out the forces from the vertical 2x4 with a horizontal one. I am more concerned about pushing the flat body panel up that is directly behind the rear glass (filler panel???), or dimpling it up where the hinges are attached.

Drew - like you, I am into some other have-to-do projects and will not be tweaking my trunk deck too soon. I'll race you to it however!
 

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I have found that having the weatherstripping installed greatly affects the trunk lid alignment. Install the WS, adjust the striker to insure the WS is compressed tightly, close the lid and come back in 30 days or so to adjust. I realize this my not be an option for some, but if you have the time...
When installing the WS, do not stretch it. It will shrink as it ages. And the seam always goes to within 10" of the latch area.

I have also found a Home Depot paint stirring stick is a good tool to check the gaps. It's almost the same thickness as the factory standard
 

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I tried a few things last night and thought I'd post the preliminary results (but I've got another idea to try this evening). Here are some photos of where my trunk deck started...

Both sides - trunk deck overhanging about 1/4" beyond quarter...

Grille Vehicle Car Hood Automotive lighting


Both sides where like the next photo...

Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive design Netbook


Trunk deck leading edges sitting about 0.1" lower than the panel behind the rear glass...

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Gesture Automotive mirror


Hood Hand tool Tool Wood Automotive tire


The gaps on both forward sides look nice as shown in the next photo, but the trunk deck is too low...

Car Hood Automotive lighting Automotive design Vehicle
 

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I tried the following block positioning while pulling down on the truck deck with no visible changes...

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Vehicle registration plate


Wood Gas Bumper Hardwood Wood stain


I pulled down a little at a time and checked between each pull, maxing out at maybe 6 or 7 inches at the back of the deck. At this point things where starting to creak and pop, so I stopped for fear of reaching the point where it folded/crumpled and produced copious amounts of cussing to come from a mad man in my head. I would guess that I was putting about 50 pounds of force down on the back of the trunk deck. This attempt yielded NO visual improvement and NO ill affects. I suppose that if the deck was bending back to a more proper form that the hinges where also bending in opposite direction which may have equaled a null affect. I stopped trying to bend things and resorted to shimming between the trunk deck and the hinges. I, first, added 1/16" shims between each bolted connection on both sides...

Hood Azure Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design


This moved the trunk deck upward nicely, not quite enough, but it did allow for the deck to be moved forward a fair amount. This shift forward maxed out the slot on the driver's side, not the passengers side, and yielded the following improvements...

Automotive parking light Vehicle Car Grille Automotive lighting


Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Tire Wheel


Hood Automotive lighting Azure Automotive tire Door


Wood Tableware Cutlery Road surface Tints and shades


The gaps on both sides look like the following pic...

Automotive lighting Hood Grille Automotive design Vehicle


At this point I added another 0.012" shim to each connection and made it all a bit better, but without grinding/extending the driver's side slots forward...the rear offset could not be improved further on that side. Time was getting late and I did a quick test by moving the blocking. Instead from under the curved part of the hinge as in the previous post photos, I placed it right under the section with the bolts that go to the deck and it looked like that might be a better leverage point. I'll try that tonight and see if it does the trick. If so, the shims may become unnecessary...maybe even the grinding of the slots.

More tomorrow...
 

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Well, my second attempt at tweaking the deck/hinges did not prove to be beneficial. No damage done, but I will be shimming to make the body lines as good as they can be. I removed all the current shims and tightened the bolts good and snug thinking that the shims may change the way the deck flexed and then tried the muscle approach. After a "sneak-up on it" approach, I could not see any improvement and decided not to risk it further. Here is a photo of the different blocking arrangement that I tried (same for both sides and blocked on both sides for the attempt)...

Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Composite material


I could see the hinges and trunk deck flexing as I applied weight to the back of the deck, but once it gets to a certain point it seems to resist any further movement and I backed off for fear of ruining the build budget, if you know what I mean! I never witnessed the metal behind the back glass moving, but it's hard to watch it all at the same time. Shimming has made a great improvement and I will gradually add more until it gets as good as it can and then open the slots up on the hinges to be able to best the front-to-back fit.

I'm open to other suggestions, but, without any better ideas myself...shimming seams to be the safest way to go. I envision determining the shim pack thickness that works best and custom making a single shim for each side that fits the contour of the hinge-to-deck contact area so that it eliminates any gaps between the deck and hinge arm and look more "meant-to-be".
 
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