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Repro taillight panel fit
#1
Question:

Most of the problems I encountered with end cap fit on my car - following a temporarily failed attempt at taillight panel replacement - was caused by the lens flange of the panel sitting too far upwards, causing the end cap to run into it.

Most of this issue was tracked to the corner filler panel that holds the weatherstripping channel, but part of the contribution was the way the panel fit - the left hand flange of the taillamp panel kept interfering with the left-hand quarter panel. I had to grind a bit to make it fit, and even then, I felt the panel sat too far right.

That said, I'd been a bit concerned about this problem - and whether the rear quarters were sitting narrower than they should. That was before I cut up a '73 Sportsroof recently, which had been the recipient of a replacement taillight panel.

Poorly-installed panel on top, my salvaged repop on the bottom:
[Image: 6ekzfs.jpg]

Said '73 Sportsroof was hacked pretty badly, but it still retained enough of the original quarters to assure that the distance between them remained stock. Imagine my surprise when I found out the PO had chopped a good 1/8" - if not more - of metal from the LH taillight panel flange.

It is with this said that I'd like to ask: Have others that have replaced the taillight panel on a Sportsroof/Mach 1 found it equally necessary to grind off part of the left-hand side mounting flange? Is this generally acceptable with the repop taillight panels?

I'm tempted to say yes, seeing the amount of massaging I've seen repop panels go through, but I'm curious to hear it from those who've done it.

-Kurt

[Image: satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png]
How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:
Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.
Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.
Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.
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#2
Mine seemed to go in without to much trouble, it required a little "fitting" but nothing to extreme.

351w - Ford racing GT40X 178 cc aluminum heads - Ford racing(crane) 1.7 roller rockers - Comp Cams 280H magnum cam .544" / .544" lift - ARP fasteners - hedman longtubes - magnaflow exhaust with X pipe -  MSD digital 6al box - MSD coil - optima red top battery - tuff stuff 140 amp alternator - ported weiand stealth intake  - edelbrock 1406 600 carb  - edelbrock rpm fuel pump - march pullies and brackets - Be cool fan controller - derale electric fan - FMX trans - motive 3.50 gears - traction lok - competition engineering subframe connectors - lakewood traction bars.                                            










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#3
Mikes73;172756 Wrote:Mine seemed to go in without to much trouble, it required a little "fitting" but nothing to extreme.

What type of "fitting," may I ask? Near as I can figure it, only left-right adjustment is easily attainable after shaving the edges of the taillight panel. Otherwise, the weatherstripping channels force you into a fixed vertical alignment.

-Kurt

[Image: satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png]
How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:
Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.
Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.
Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.
  Reply
#4
cudak888;172752 Wrote:Question:

Most of the problems I encountered with end cap fit on my car - following a temporarily failed attempt at taillight panel replacement - was caused by the lens flange of the panel sitting too far upwards, causing the end cap to run into it.

Most of this issue was tracked to the corner filler panel that holds the weatherstripping channel, but part of the contribution was the way the panel fit - the left hand flange of the taillamp panel kept interfering with the left-hand quarter panel. I had to grind a bit to make it fit, and even then, I felt the panel sat too far right.

That said, I'd been a bit concerned about this problem - and whether the rear quarters were sitting narrower than they should. That was before I cut up a '73 Sportsroof recently, which had been the recipient of a replacement taillight panel.

Poorly-installed panel on top, my salvaged repop on the bottom:
[Image: 6ekzfs.jpg]

Said '73 Sportsroof was hacked pretty badly, but it still retained enough of the original quarters to assure that the distance between them remained stock. Imagine my surprise when I found out the PO had chopped a good 1/8" - if not more - of metal from the LH taillight panel flange.

It is with this said that I'd like to ask: Have others that have replaced the taillight panel on a Sportsroof/Mach 1 found it equally necessary to grind off part of the left-hand side mounting flange? Is this generally acceptable with the repop taillight panels?

I'm tempted to say yes, seeing the amount of massaging I've seen repop panels go through, but I'm curious to hear it from those who've done it.

-Kurt
I had to grind some of the left side on a N.O.S. panel & I also had to grind some of the upper right corner (for level) Do what ever it takes to get the taillights centered in the opening & LEVEL to the frame..you can measure from one corner of the qtr end cap to the INNER edge of the tailight panel..

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART
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#5
Qcode351mach;172772 Wrote:I had to grind some of the left side on a N.O.S. panel & I also had to grind some of the upper right corner (for level) Do what ever it takes to get the taillights centered in the opening & LEVEL to the frame..you can measure from one corner of the qtr end cap to the INNER edge of the tailight panel..

That's good enough for me - so much for the fear of hacking into replacement panels for fit.

One thing though: You mention getting the panel level to the frame, and to the end cap corners - but what if one levels the panel to the cap corners, only for the panel to match up with the frame crossmember 3mm higher or lower on one side than the other? At present, my panel is more or less aligned with the crossmember, but the RH lamp opening is too high up - but it's also too far to the right.

I'd have no problem getting the panel to fit farther to the left, but getting it down (ignoring the weatherstripping channel's present position, which is questionable) would place the panel about 3-4mm lower in respect to the crossmember than the other side.

I've purposely stuck my fingers under the valance of all the '71-73 Mustangs I've come across since (or looked in the trunk to check the mating height between taillight panel and trunk), and I've found that I'm not alone either - and most cars with replacement panels have the bumper mount reinforcement depressions sitting a bit lower than factory. We can't all have bent frames.

Shitty factory workmanship?

As always, thanks for the assist, Q.

-Kurt

[Image: satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png]
How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:
Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.
Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.
Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.
  Reply
#6
cudak888;172771 Wrote:
Mikes73;172756 Wrote:Mine seemed to go in without to much trouble, it required a little "fitting" but nothing to extreme.

What type of "fitting," may I ask? Near as I can figure it, only left-right adjustment is easily attainable after shaving the edges of the taillight panel. Otherwise, the weatherstripping channels force you into a fixed vertical alignment.

-Kurt

It's been a couple of years since I installed it but seem to recall a very minimal amount of grinding was required to get everything to fit flush and even.

351w - Ford racing GT40X 178 cc aluminum heads - Ford racing(crane) 1.7 roller rockers - Comp Cams 280H magnum cam .544" / .544" lift - ARP fasteners - hedman longtubes - magnaflow exhaust with X pipe -  MSD digital 6al box - MSD coil - optima red top battery - tuff stuff 140 amp alternator - ported weiand stealth intake  - edelbrock 1406 600 carb  - edelbrock rpm fuel pump - march pullies and brackets - Be cool fan controller - derale electric fan - FMX trans - motive 3.50 gears - traction lok - competition engineering subframe connectors - lakewood traction bars.                                            










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#7
Heres what you can do with out a frame machine to level the chassis..Its the driveway method..Put a level under the front suspension motor mount crossmember..get the car level..leave that level attached at the front..drop the gas tank..get a 4foot level at the rear as close as possible to the rear shackle mounts spanning the 2 frame rails..that should read level same as the front..if not..then jack shim etc..so that both levels match..you are now ready to install the rear body panel LEVEL TO THE OTHER LEVELS..Thats where it has to go..there will be some PLAY movement in the rear crossmember just make sure if you move it, it doesn't affect the level of the frame rails..clamp it screw it..install lights & rear bumper to check..doesn't mater how much space there is at the lower flange edge from side to side..the panel should be level to the other levels..& centered left to right in the opening..You may also need to adjust the trunk lid rear weatherstrip rain channel..this why you screw clamp fit EVERYTHING FIRST

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART
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#8
I used a cheap repro panel on mine, and it fit very well...no issues.
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#9
I used a repop tail light panel as well - and it went in with hardly any adjustment weirdness whatsoever. I guess I got lucky in that the river mine was found in must've been somehow stayed level. Wink Big Grin

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#10
here are the posts from when I changed out my panel last year.
it was a cheap repop, and it went together perfect, I guess I got lucky.
http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-work-...ast-update
http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-car-i...ate?page=3

[Image: 2zem9nk.jpg]
Iyman
1972 Mustang convertible run_horse  
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