Restoring Rear Side Vent Shutters

The fastback has unique louvers on the side, with functioning fresh air vents. They came in one of the boxes when I bought the project. While I am on lockdown, I have been going through the boxes, looking for small projects. This one is pretty straight forward and needs to be done before its finished, so might as well do it now.

It is just a stamped metal frame with a plastic window on rails. There is a chrome handle for the interior facing side so it can be operated. My frames were pitted in some spots, and just surface rust in others. I had a few screws missing, and the ones that were still there were covered in surface rust.

The rails themselves were stainless steel, so I just wiped them down with solvent to remove the old buildup, then washed them off. I didn’t see a need to replace them, but I also didn’t find reproduced replacements.

The one part I did find that was reproduced was the handle. The Scott Drake repro looked excellent. The only difference is the Ford part number was replaced with the Scott Drake name. The one down side to that part is the installation hardware. The screws that attach the handle to the shutter were too short, making them worthless. I re-used the originals for now. Once I can go to the hardware store again, I will buy correct clean, new replacements. Same story for the shutter rail screws, particularly since a couple are missing. I didn’t find an AMK kit for those either.

After blasting the frames, then priming and painting them, they look good as new. I used some solvent to wipe down the plastic shutter, but it still didn’t clean up very well. I blasted the rust off the tension clips which are permanently attached to the shutter. Also note, the clips are for adding tension to the rails, not for going over the rail to hold it in place. The rails do that.

In the end, they don’t look too bad. When I get the new screws, I may spray some trim black on the plastic shutter to try to get it back to a more original look, and not be so obvious now that the frame looks new. As is, they slide good and are clean, so good enough to go back on the shelf until I start test fitting the interior.

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