Poor fitting replacement panels

After cutting the front end off of the little Fiat, I started on preparing the remaining panels. I got the two replacement panels in and started on cutting the battery tray panel out of the car. It’s my first time doing such a project and every cut was measured four times.

“The inner fenders are convex when looking at them from inside the luggage compartment, the replacement panel was shaped concave on those two corners. “

I had already heard the rumours of varying quality of the available replacement panels that can be ordered all over the internet, now I can finally contribute to this. The front panel fits nearly perfect and I am very happy with it. The battery tray panel however doesn’t fit that well at all. Both panels are ordered from (one of) the largest web shop for Fiats that I know and were the same as I’d get from other web shops.

I had already figured that the battery tray panel wouldn’t fit straight away because it already hit in places where it shouldn’t when laying it on top of the one that was still in the car. I started on measuring from a distinct fold in the panel and cut out the old panel along a straight line. The inner fenders are convex when looking at them from inside the luggage compartment, the replacement panel was shaped concave on those two corners.

DSC_8446

1970 Fiat 500 – Replacement panel in position

I’d understand if the panels were a little bit off. I am quite sure that the panels didn’t fit that great from the factory to begin with. Those classics are often not as perfect as we like to think they are. It is just very hard for me to understand that a replacement panel that is (obviously) made for a specific model contains such flaws.

At first I figured it’d be best to try and bash the panel in the correct shape, but it then came to mind that this would probably make the fitment of the rest of the panel even worse. I then decided to cut out the two corners as can be seen on the photo. The remainder of the panel now fits perfectly inside the luggage compartment and the front end fits on it nicely as well.

Before putting all the panels on the car, I will need to make two corners that fit onto the battery tray panel and work with the inner fenders as well. The shape is not very difficult to achieve. It will just take a lot of time because I have never done anything like this before.

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