I’ve been getting closer and closer to finishing up the metal fabrication for the trunk. One big step in that direction was to get some trunk hinges installed. I picked up a universal hinge kit and got to work.
First step was to pick up some 90 degree angled steel. This ensures that my hinges are going to be square and pointing in the right direction. I cut the steel to a length where I felt the hinges should go, clamped them close to the edge of the hatch opening and marked my positions by holding up the hinges in place.
You’ll notice from the top picture that the hinge tabs are inset slightly from the ends. More on that later 🙂
Each hinge has two tabs that you weld in place. I lined them up to be as square as possible, held them in place with some welding magnets and tacked them in place.
Before doing the finish welding on the tabs I centered and clamped them to the top of the hatch again to see if they were going to work.
Now back to the “why” the hinges are inset…. You’ll notice that the hatch area is very curved at the top which actually worked to my advantage. When you clamp the straight piece of steel in place it comes in contact with the body shell at both ends. This is obviously not good because you wouldn’t want steel rubbing on the fiberglass as the chassis moves/twists when driving.
But it is also a good thing because since it comes in contact at the ends, it provides space as an arc above the rest of the steel. This means I can clamp it in place, weld it to the cage and then cut off the extra steel at the ends which will then give me the desired space between the steel and the fiberglass.
When I had the steel clamped in space, I used some bristol board to create templates of a couple of tabs to go between the angle steel and the rear bar on the cage. I made the tabs out of 1/8″ steel, for structural strength, and welded them in place.
Once the tabs were welded in place I could release the clamps. Here you can see just how close the ends of the steel are to the body. I’ll be cutting off the ends to give more room as soon as I pull the body shell back off.
I also finished up the small pieces in the trunk to finish off the side walls and welded in 6 more anchor points to the frame. I “think” all I have left to do in the trunk is create a couple more anchor points in some tabs above the frame and create some little boxes around the shock towers to seal water out of the hatch.