Often times Mustang Fastback trap doors (trunk access doors) have speaker holes cut in them. Many people want to restore the trap door to it’s original condition, without speaker holes. But how do you re-skin the trap door to properly repair this modification? This guide is written to provide you with some tips for doing just this. Please remember to indicate below if this guide is helpful to you!
- Spot Weld Driller
- Door Skinning Pliers
- Felt Tip Marker
- Metal Brake (optional)
- Determine if the trap door frame has been cut.
If the frame has been cut, we do not recommend you re-skin it. Since the frame has been cut, the part is pretty much useless. However, you could obtain a reproduction trap door and replace the reproduction skin with an original skin piece. Why would you want to replace the reproduction skin? Because the reproduction trap door skin texture does not come close to matching the original texture pattern, but the frame is okay to use. If you are interested in doing this, proceed to Step 2.
If the trap door frame has not been cut, you will be able to use your original trap door frame to apply an original skin piece. Proceed to Step 2.
- Obtain an original skin piece.
Where do you find an original skin piece? Not all Mustang Fastbacks came with a trap door. Some were equipped with an attached textured metal panel (skin piece) instead of the trap door. You will want to find one of these textured metal skin pieces for use as your trap door skin. Original metal skin pieces can ONLY come from a 1967 or 1968 Fastback that did not come equipped with a trap door.
- Compare the textured metal skin piece to the trap door skin.
Lay both the trap door and the metal skin piece upside down to compare them. They should be identical, with the exception of the skin piece not having the frame around it.
- Remove the damaged trap door skin.
Using your spot weld driller, drill the few necessary spot welds that hold the skin to the frame (for more information, see our Drilling Spot Welds for a Unibody Panel Replacement guide). Now, using your hammer, chisel and pliers, separate the metal skin piece from the frame by prying the edges of the skin that hold it to the frame. This will remove the damaged metal skin piece from the trap door frame.
- Replace metal skin piece on frame.
Carefully place the frame onto the backside of the replacement skin piece. Center the frame evenly onto the skin piece. Using a felt tip marker, mark the edges of the frame onto the skin piece. You will now need to begin to bend the edges of the replacement skin piece around the edges of the frame, just like the original one used to be. This can be expedited by pre-bending the edges of the replacement skin with a metal brake (a metal bending tool). Pre-bend the edges to 90 degree angles. Place the trap door frame into the prepared skin using your door skinning tool or pliers. Completely pinch the trap door skin around the frame. If additional tightening is necessary, use your hammer and dolly (a metal block that is used in conjunction with a hammer for straightening).
- Spot weld the skin to the frame.
This step is optional, depending upon the results you want to achieve. If you choose to spot weld the skin to the frame, spot weld the folded edges of the replacement skin to the frame as necessary.
Your trap door is now ready to be stripped and refinished! Trap doors are a nice option on a Classic Mustang Fastback or Shelby. Utilizing these tips, you will be able to restore your trap door to an original condition while having a texture that matches the rest of the interior.
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