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My next project ... rear hatch replacement


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A few of you who have been around a long time may remember the beginnings of my restoration when my car got smashed by a fallen tree.  (If you're interested I think there's pics in my resto thread).  At the time, the hatch got totally smashed to bits.  My car is a Starion, so it "had" the TURBO hatch.  I found a hatch locally at the time from a conquest and bought it b/c I just figured my chances of finding the correct TURBO hatch where slim.  Fast forward 11 years later to Thanksgiving of 21 and kev reaches out to me to tell he has a friend who was a club member here parting out a car and has a TURBO hatch.  Long story short, he put me in touch with him, we connected and I got myself the car-correct TURBO hatch.

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Unfortunately, there is a dent in the urethane of the yellow spoiler, so rather than try to have it repaired I'm going to try to swap my spoiler from my current hatch onto this one.  I'm a bit nervous about it thought b/c ironically years ago I tried to remove the spoiler from my original hatch that got smashed to keep it as as spare.  I ended up tossing it b/c I could not get them to separate - the adhesive was just too great even after removing all the hardware.   So, we'll see if I can get mine off or not.  Plus, I don't want to damage it since it's been repainted and perfect.

For practice, I separated the spoiler from this hatch the other week and didn't have near the trouble I did last time, but I'm starting to doubt whether this spoiler was original to the hatch since the spoiler is yellow and the hatch is black, and it came off without too much trouble.  (If you look to the right of the 3rd brake light about 1/2 way down you can see the slight dent in the yellow spoiler).

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I already contacted the place that painted my car originally and told them what I'm planning.  I'm hoping to take the hatch down for paint in the next week or two.  I want to try and get my spoiler off before I drop this hatch off just in case I need to give them the yellow spoiler too.  We'll see how it all works out ...

 

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Glad to hear that Brett made it out there to drop it off.   That yellow hatch was pulled off a car at Harry's U-Pull-It in Bethlehem years back.  We had another starion hatch that was on an olive 86 parts car that we jointly bought in 2003 but it went to Steve when Brett offloaded all of the parts.   Unfortunately, that one was in better shape.  But yes, I believe you are correct in that the spoiler has been off of that hatch prior.   

The spoilers are a real pain to get off without damaging them but, if you take your time, they do come off.   I'm had success with cheap putty knives/5in1 tools which I purposely broke off the plastic handles so they stay nice and flat against the window. 

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I know exactly which 5 in 1 tool your talking about. Thanks for the tip kev.

Kinda funny how this hatch made it back to within 10 miles of where you guys originally picked it from.

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It's been that long since your tree incident .. man we are getting old. I have a hatch with a good spoiler and bad glass that I'd love to swap over to the white car. Keep us posted on the removal process. Always been told it's near impossible so never tried myself. 

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8 hours ago, psu_Crash said:

It's been that long since your tree incident .. man we are getting old. I have a hatch with a good spoiler and bad glass that I'd love to swap over to the white car. Keep us posted on the removal process. Always been told it's near impossible so never tried myself. 

If it proves to be much of a pain in the butt the last thing I want to do is ruin the good spoiler I have on my current hatch, I'll just leave it on there and take the other hatch and spoiler down for paint.  I just know there's going to be added cost b/c they are going to have to repair the dent in the spoiler.  I'll keep you guys posted on which route I go.

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So today I had some time, so I decided I would give removing this spoiler a whirl.  I stood right here and stared at this for a while trying to decide if I really wanted to attempt this....

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First thing to remove is the hex heads on each corner.  If you've ever tried to remove one of these before and had trouble it might be b/c you didn't even know these existed.

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The FSM states that you need to cut down a 5mm Hex in order to get this bolt out.

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So that's what I did.

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They were pretty easy to get to then.

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Didn't have too much trouble getting them out, even though I'm guessing they've never been removed.

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Next, I tapped off my trunk so I didn't damage the paint.  This is only piece of tape, but at one point I had 3 pieces on there.

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Then I just slowly used a 5 in 1 tool like kev suggested above and worked my way all the way across punching through the adhesive.

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At some point in the process I took a break and removed the 6 nuts that are on the underside.  There are 3 closest to you when you're standing behind the car, and 3 closer to the glass.  If they've never been removed, there will be a silvery tape over the holes you have to cut through (I used an Xacto blade) to access the nuts.   I was hoping that I could just force the spoiler up and rotate it 180 to break the adhesive on the top, but no such luck.  I had to tape and come from the other side too.  Same process with the 5 in 1 tool.

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Once I did that, which probably took me and hour or more, being very careful, I was able to remove the spoiler.

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Here's a close up of the adhesive residue.  It was funny seeing the red again after the car being paint for several years now.

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Here's a shot of the whole thing.

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After dinner and went out and used some Goo-Be-Gone and a razor blade to remove all the adhesive residue.  Reason being is I'm going to put the spoiler right back on and I don't want it to re-stick.  I just wanted to see if I could even get it off so I knew what all I had to take to paint.  I have a few car shows coming up I'd like to attend before the new natch would be painted, so I need to put the spoiler back on.

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I forgot to take a pic of it all cleaned up, but I'll take one tomorrow and post it.

The pics and write-up make it look pretty quick and easy, but I assure it was not.  I'd much rather do this on a car that would still need to be painted, not one that's already been painted.  Proceed with caution is my advice.

 

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Great job!   I can tell that was very tedious.   I'd be so nervous to chip or crack the paint.   But I guess worst case is that you'd have to paint the spoiler too.  The hatch will be replaced.  

 

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Thank you for this write-up! I need to do this on my car someday. My rear spoiler is bulging from rust underneath and I have a clean one to put on, I've just been scared...

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21 hours ago, kev said:

Great job!   I can tell that was very tedious.   I'd be so nervous to chip or crack the paint.   But I guess worst case is that you'd have to paint the spoiler too.  The hatch will be replaced.  

 

 

18 hours ago, obsolete said:

Thank you for this write-up! I need to do this on my car someday. My rear spoiler is bulging from rust underneath and I have a clean one to put on, I've just been scared...

Thanks both of you.

There was a ton of dirt and rust that was falling out as I was trying to pry this thing off.

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Here's that "all done" picture I forgot to post the other day.

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The other hatch is missing some of the holes it needs to mount a spoiler, so I want to drill them before I send it for paint.  So, I took a piece of paper and made a template of all the hole locations.

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After that, I was just a matter of putting my spoiler back on.

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Hopefully late this week I'll some time to turn my attention to the other hatch.

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7 hours ago, BlueCuda said:

Bold that you took the good spoiler off first!  Looks like it went OK.  Would heating up the blade help with the tape?  

That's a really good idea. Didn't think of that. I bet it would help.

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Posted (edited)

So I have a little bit of a dilemma with this hatch project I need to run by you guys and get some input.  My suspicions that this hatch was from a non-spoiler car have been confirmed after closer look.  It must be off of an early flatbody car.  In cars with a spoiler there are 8 holes that hold the spoiler to the car, along with some adhesive.   This only has three.  There are 5 holes that need to be drilled.  The solution seems easy, drill the rest of the holes using the template I made.  But here's the problem - the glass.  The holes in the glass from the factory are not present in this early model hatch.  So I can drill through the hatch no problem but can't access the holes due to the glass on the underside.  I need to drill through the glass too - which normally wouldn't be a problem either.  But this is tempered glass and everything I'm reading online says you can't drill through tempered glass b/c it just shatters.  The way I see it, I have a few options:

  • Abandon project, leave on my current hatch and wait until I find another hatch that is time period correct and will have the factory holes in the glass.
  • Get the appropriate sized glass bits and try to drill through it anyway and see what happens.  If it breaks, I got the hatch for cheap.
  • Proceed anyway - send the hatch to paint and just mount my spoiler on with the 3 holes that are there and adhesive tape and call it a day.
  • Buy some color match spray-paint online and paint the hatch myself (much cheaper) and put my spoiler on as a temporary solution until I find another TURBO hatch and swap later.

There are 4 hatch bolt holes missing and a 5th hole for the 3rd brake light wiring.  Anyone ever drill through tempered glass before?

Edited by techboy
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12 hours ago, techboy said:

Proceed anyway - send the hatch to paint and just mount my spoiler on with the 3 holes that are there and adhesive tape and call it a day.

That's what I would do instead of risking drilling through the glass. Instead of tape, I would use this, 3M 8001: https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c/3m/3m-5-ounce-weatherstrip-adhesive/mmm0/08001?q=3m+8001&pos=0. The only compromise is that the spoiler will probably never come off the hatch again.

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1 hour ago, BKB94 said:

I think I have a turbo hatch in my basement, maybe we can work something out. 

Really ... ??? I like that idea since your about 20 minutes away. Do you know what year car it came off?

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  • 1 month later...

Well, BKB94 hooked me and came through with the hatch he offered up.  We're gonna trade, but he was kind enough to give me his ahead of time so I could have it painted, and then take my off and take it back over to him.  There's gap of about a month in this thread b/c it took me that long to have a minute to get over to his place and pick it up.

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Time to get to work. 

This is my 3rd spoiler removal in about a month. I'm getting pretty good at this.  Took me about an hour to get this off.

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Anybody on here ever buy a red 87 from this place in Allentown PA ... LOL!

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Cleaned up as best I could to make it easy for paint.  Hey look!, this hatch all the necessary bolt holes!!

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Dropped it off at paint shop yesterday - same place that painted my car initially.  They said they would be calling soon ... stay tuned.

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When it's ready to go back on, you can get reproduction hinge bushings from Schiemann Composites/Kyle Schiemann, in case you weren't aware. Not sure how many he has right now, but I got a set from him back in February. Now I can actually adjust the hatch to get all of the spoiler pieces flush.

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32 minutes ago, GoldStar said:

When it's ready to go back on, you can get reproduction hinge bushings from Schiemann Composites/Kyle Schiemann, in case you weren't aware. Not sure how many he has right now, but I got a set from him back in February. Now I can actually adjust the hatch to get all of the spoiler pieces flush.

I was not aware.  I will have to look into that.  Thanks for the heads up.

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Yeah, the shop that painted my car back in 2016 is one of the best in area. They came to me highly recommended. They have painted parts of my Eclipse, accessories for my FJ, repaired a few of wife's vehicles after hitting deer, and work to my friends Supra.  I've been using them for years.  As a thank you for doing such awesome work I actually gave the owner a full size poster of my car that they framed and have hanging in their office. Pretty cool. Unfortunately the owner is retiring and the shop is currently for sale so this might be the last job they ever do for me. Sucks cuz I have a VR4 that's gonna need paint after I'm done restoring it. Maybe time to learn to do it myself ... ???

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