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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
I can't quite envision the light configuration from the description. But while I may lack imagination, I do have an abundance of curiosity.

It will be more apparent through pictures when I put it together. Basically, I am looking for an easy way to maintain the light bulbs given their non accessible position out in the fins.
 

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I am not sure if the light setup you are installing are DOT approved but I guess the lens that you used is. I just would worry about state inspections on the lights and even the modifications you did.. Do yu need a reconstructed or prototype title? I don't know, similar to kit cars I guess?
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
I am not sure if the light setup you are installing are DOT approved but I guess the lens that you used is. I just would worry about state inspections on the lights and even the modifications you did.. Do yu need a reconstructed or prototype title? I don't know, similar to kit cars I guess?

I don't know if I will need any special permits (or not). The LED lights are advertised as auto lights and the lenses are stock of of certain Honda Civics. I have driven my 'modified' Crown Victoria for many years without any special permits. I don't know if I have just been lucky (or not).
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
After making some final trims to fit metal to metal, and preping the joining surfaces, I have tack welded the fins in place (just along the top joint and the front edge). Here are pictures. I want to study them for a while before welding them entirely in place.
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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Well, at least I have somewhere to place the tail lights now.


While it still looks like it is going to be a bit of a challenge to ‘marry’ the fins into the car’s side body lines (thank God for body filler), I think I am going to go ahead with what I have. After all I don’t intend to spend forever on this project.


Once I weld the “fins” on, I will test Automender12345’s suggestions of placing a 4-6” concave radius at the base of the fins (to better flow the fins into the car’s body). I am a bit concerned for making it look too thick in profile, but for the sake of a few pieces of cardboad (to mock it up and test the idea) and the fact that Automender12345 probably knows alot more about car bodys than me, I would be a fool not to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
On each side of the car I decided to mount the rear light sockets to tabs which I welded to a 1/2” round steel bar (picture). At the inner end of these round steel bars I welded a flat bar (picture) which, in turn, mounts to a flat steel plate on each side of the car (picture) which is welded to the inside of the fin where it joins the trunk lid on each side. Here are pictures of the mounting plates installed and the final setup. This arrangement makes these light holding brackets easily removeable for changing lights up in the “fins” (if necessary).


Moving on to filling the areas under the ‘fins’ (for better flow into the car’s body lines): After investigating the areas under the fins more closely, I found that there really isn’t too much area that can actually be filled. This fact, simplified my experiment of testing out different radii of filler panels. It also makes it much easier to place a flat panel in that position instead of a compound curve (which would be much more difficult to form).


In the interest of minimizing body filler (which will be necessary in the long run), I formed a cardboard flat pattern that will make an 18 gauge sheet (basically flat - no radius) to fill the area just under the ‘fins’ on each side. Pictured is the flat patern taped under the fins, and the 18 gauge sheets cut from it.


Next, I will weld these filler strips in place.



More to follow…..

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Here are pictures of the ‘underfin’ flats tack welded in place. Note that I did bend them around to the insides at their rear ends to fill in the gaps that they created at the rear of the fins. This bend at their rear ends was possible because the panels were flat, so all worked out well.


Now that I have the two rear sides of the car roughed in, I can finish the rear center section between the trunk lid and top of the bumper.


On a side note (and dealing with the rear end of the car), I “tweeked” (put a slight twist in) my trunk lid when I tried to remove it in the junk yard. While trying to straighten it out by puting blocks at opposite corners and applying pressure to the two other corners, I managed to put a dent in it at the back edge (at the supporting block) which will force me to get another trunk lid in order to get a good fit at the back of the car.


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I like the new addition. You may get a little lift at highway speeds. LOL It would be interesting to see if you could blend the fin into the rear door ridge where the door handles reside. However it would be difficult and require to modify the gas door. That would make it seem like the fin starts from the front of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
I like the new addition. You may get a little lift at highway speeds. LOL It would be interesting to see if you could blend the fin into the rear door ridge where the door handles reside. However it would be difficult and require to modify the gas door. That would make it seem like the fin starts from the front of the car.
That is actually one of my objectives (to make the 'fins' look like they are an extension of the body ridges on the sides of the car). The gas tank filler door is a problem (as you mentioned). It so happens that the gas tank filler door is located in a position at a wide point on the car's body. If I had extended the fins outward from the car's body at this point it would make the car look even wider. This is a reason that I decided to to flow the 'fins' into this wide point in the car's body from behind, just like the horizontal ridges on the sides of the car flow into this wide point from the front. This also allows me to keep the gas filler door where it is (even though body filler will be required in that area later).

It is unfortunate, as I do like the full (front to back) fins on the cars out of the early 60's, but this car body doesn't lend itself to that. "Fins" weren't even in my plans originally, I incorporated them as a solution to where to place my rear lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
Well, after looking up which local pick-your-part had a matching trunk deck, I went there with a socket set to remove the four nuts that hold it to its hinges, only to find out that the car’s trunk was closed (lucky me). Not having brought any tools except the socket set that I knew would detach the trunk lid, I had to pay someone there an additional $20 so he could take his screwdriver and “jimmy” the trunk latch. With the new trunk deck (silver), I can now lay out the back section of the car.



In order to fill the ‘gap’ at the rear of the car (where the Buick’s rear light bar used to be), I decided to simply cut out two 1’ square .06 wall tubes to form the upper and lower borders of this new section. I formed the lower one to match a profile approximately 3.5” in from the rear of the bumper and basically parallel with it, and the upper one to match the lower end of the back of the trunk lid (pictures).



After forming these two tubes I weled them to the rear of the car. I weled the lower one in place using four short sections of the 1” square tubing which join it to the transom at the rear of the trunk (pictures). I tacked the upper one in place at its two outside ends in a position where it matched the line at the lower back of the trunk lid (picture).



My intent at this point is to cutout a flat 18 gauge panel which will join between these two tubes.



More to follow…..


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