Finishing the posterior

The mother-load of parts has arrived this week. I just finished installing the fuel tank, so now I can continue on to the reverse lights, rear valance, and finally the rear bumper.  This project will finish my exterior assembly behind the rear window, leaving fuel lines and electrical, plus the cosmetics inside the trunk.

As I started setting things together to see if I had everything to make this work, I realized I had a problem. There are no holes in the rear valance where the bumper guards are supposed to mount. Since everything is painted up real nice, I figure the best I could do would be to ruin the paint. Call me an optimist.

As I started looking into the hole issue, I built up the courage to get the job done. As I was looking at how the new bumper guards would mount, I realized I had another problem. There are no holes for the top of the mounting location either. Doing some reading, I realized the replacement sheet metal leaves the decision of including bumper guards to the purchaser, thus the task of finding the hole location and drilling it yourself.

At this point, I decided I didn’t want to mess with it. The brackets for the lower guard attachment behind the valance are about a finger width in too far and would need to be tuned. Then I need to get the holes in just the right location, and finally I need to drill into the fresh new body panel under the new light panel.  If I really need this done, I figure I will leave it to the experts and have Randy’s guys do it. Maybe experience will keep the paint intact too. Sounds like it should net out cheaper to me.

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The chrome replacements would look real good. I may still have to get back to this.  You can see that the originals took some damage and did their job for at least the low impact things. Though looking at the old valance, they didn’t protect it, just more things bent.

So, getting past that, the first step is to get the reverse lights mounted in the valance. I chose to replace them as the original chrome was pretty spiderwebed and the wiring was in rough shape. With reverse lights, I didn’t see any indication the chrome and wiring would come apart, or be purchases separately, so the bad wiring sealed the deal.

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Of all of this, the only original parts are the lenses and the screws. The screws are something strange, so I just polished off the age with the dremel and reused them. The lenses look fine. All new gaskets and mounting hardware. I am not a fan of the valance to light body gasket as its slightly too big and fits loose. Plus, the color just doesn’t look right, but I guess I have never seen one that wasn’t poorly painted over.  Pro tip here, there is a left and right side reverse light assembly. They have a very slight angle on the base to address the curve of the valance. If you get it wrong, you will notice by looking down on them from the top and see the face is not parallel with the bumper line.

As you can see in the top picture, things went together fine. The little half globe caps were a neat engineering idea. Make sure you order those if you’re doing this project. They allow a stable surface for the light assembly to mount to since the valance is angled and the bolt would only make contact on the far edge. Not a great contact otherwise.  With those in place, they have a central surface to snug up to.

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Things went together well. The holes for the 11 screws across the top were well tapped since this has gone on and off several times during the body and paint work. The bolts on either end were attached better than what I had read up on due to a metal flange applying a little pressure to keep the square end in place while it was being mounted.  Those are the 2 threaded ends that go into the body for nuts to be applied from inside the trunk.

From there, the bumper went on pretty easy. It’s not perfectly aligned, but it is the best I could convince it to do. I am learning to adjust to less than perfect with this 50 year old Lego kit. I didn’t take pictures of the license plate light, but I put that in the bumper too. Just a couple of screws to hold it inside the bumper itself.  Being electric, I just got a new one.

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When I first put the bumper on and cleaned off the oil left over from shipping, I had a hard time focusing on where the bumper stopped and what was reflection. The whole thing shines so much its hard to look right at it and tell what I am looking at.

My son wants to get the mustang letters on the trunk. I kind of like that idea myself. Randy says he has a template from an original factory drilled trunk lid. I may have to get him to drill that when he drills for the bumper guards.  Thinking they are going to have to take all this apart for that drilling may mean the guards stay in my garage on a shelf for a while.

Parts List

Valance/Lighting

Bumper

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