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Conrad W Peden's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Victoria,BC,Canada
Posts: 675
Holes in firewall and trunk

Ok, '73 2.0, I've taken out the engine sound-mat and the interior apholstery and found holes in the firewall on both sides. No big deal the car was cheap. But I am wandering if just welding any old thing in there is ok or is this a place where there "has" to be a good job of repairing it, ya know strength and all.
The holes are above the seam that is about 6-8in. from the floor.

The rear trunk is also rusted along the back below the tail-lights and along the piece that the trany mounts to not the actual mounts but the little extra piece that is welded into the trunk. Is there a replacement piece for that or can I just make a piece piece to fit. This aint no concourse car and don't intend to make it one.

Thanks CWP

The holes are about the size of my fist.

[This message has been edited by Conrad W Peden (edited 10-17-1999).]
Old 10-12-1999, 03:28 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Metairie, LA
Posts: 44
I had similiar holes in my car. I bought a fiberglass repair kit and used it instead. If you try this be sure you get the fiberglass mat not the cloth. The mat is alot thicker. I also used this on a severely rusted out passenger floorpan. I then installed a 400lbs friend of mine. It held up wonderfully. And the fiberglass can't rust. Nice inexpensive fix that will hold up a long time. Let us know how it turns out.

Gr8 Dane
Old 10-12-1999, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Dade County, FL.
Posts: 1,145
Send a message via AIM to JP Noonan
Fiberglass should do O.K. for the firewall, if you're talking about a bunch of small perforations. You're not talking about a large hole or so many little holes that the wall looks like swiss cheese. Just make real sure that you treat the rust first or it will get worse under the fiberglass. Use a grinder or at least a wire wheel, then use POR-15 or some other rust treatment. I've used "Extend" spray and brush on with good results.

The rear tranny mounts are a little more worrisome, they should be fixed "properly". Talk to Pelican, they might have a rear trunk floor patch (I know that it is made, I just don't know if they carry it) should run $125-$150 and goes all the way across the trunk and covers the last 12"-14". Just make sure you line everything up correctly or the tranny won't shift right if it's out of alignment. I'de say if there is enough good metal left, just weld in some reinforcement for the tranny mount.

If the firewall is rusted, then look to see if the rear window is loose, and if there is a rubber seal where the engine lid meets the window. A new seal is $40 but you need it. The trunk leaks because of the tail light seal failure. There isn't a replacement, you have to make one with silicone.

Also look under the battery and in the front corners of the engine compartment. If the firewall and trunk rusted these places probably rusted too. Of special importance is the suspensoin console, the point at which the passenger trailing arm bolts up. If it has holes in it from rust, the rear suspension can colapse.
Old 10-13-1999, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Quilcene, WA, USA
Posts: 123
I just finished the same repair job in the corners of the engine compartment. Mine not only went through into the passenger compartment, but sideways into the wheel well and down into the lower engine compartment.

For that repair, I just used sheet metal patches. Most of the original metal is about 22 ga., but I learned that using 16 ga. was easier to weld in without blowing through. Be sure to cut out ALL of the rusted junk before welding.

In your situation, you should also check the bottom of the inner firewall in the passenger compartment as well as the corners of the outer firewall where your heater ducts go through and along the bottom seam. Use a screwdriver since the paint may look OK, but be totally rotten underneath.

If that water was getting into your passenger compartment through those holes, check your floorpan and seat brackets too. I've got a how to article for fabricating new brackets on this site if you need it.

Good luck, if you have some specific questions during the job don't hesitate to email me. I can also send you some gory before and after pictures

Old 10-13-1999, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 105
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In my car I used some seam sealent from Eastwood to plug up a few small holes. The holes were no bigger than 5/8". I filled them with the sealent (it comes in a tube) let it dry for 24hrs, sanded it a bit and painted over it. Cant even tell they were there. Eastwood also sells a good rust over paint called Corless. I have used it, and really like it. It coats well and you can paint over it easy.

You can find this stuff, and many other good body stuff at:

[This message has been edited by 72_914 (edited 10-15-1999).]

[This message has been edited by 72_914 (edited 10-15-1999).]
Old 10-15-1999, 06:06 PM
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