Over the years, there have been many innovations of bolt on items from a number of companies for the customization of the ‘air ducts’ (qter panel louvers) on Fastback Stangs. Now, you have the option of modifying this part by yourself with a modern smooth flowing look, with the help of this detailed guide.
First of all, begin by preparing some 20 gauge steel and mark out a couple of strips the size of 20x2.5 inches to be used as supports for the interior of the louver. After that, using the foot shear, make short work and square cuts. Mark a centre line on the strips, as they will be bent at a 90 degrees angle later on. Move to the Tennsmith box and pen brake and bend the strips at 90 degrees.
To maintain consistency, you can keep the strips at your desired angle using a gauge. After that, mark the length you need when holding them up to the surface.
You will notice a quarter inch gap if you hold the strips to the top of the qter panels. Hence, some shrinking needs to be done, especially at the bottom (approximately 1 inch off). The edge of the bottom needs shrinking as well. If you place another section against the front edge, you will notice that they are quite far off. You will need to make a more aggressive bend.
To achieve the above alterations, you can use a Mittler power stretcher or a hand operated unit. For a smoother shrink, you are advised to limit the aggressiveness while shrinking by not pushing the metal in exceeding three quarters of an inch. Instead, bend the part over the longest area possible gradually, getting it to fit.
Once all the parts are shrunk nicely, hold the top piece against the body, then mark the back using a bent scribe. For a proper scribe line, spray some dark coloured paint beforehand. Snip the scribed section for an exact fit, and file it a little to achieve a perfect fit. Then, hammer down the edge over a t-dolly so that it’ll turn a nice concave shape. A slight roll is needed in the front part.
Following that, you ought to draw a line using a marker to indicate the area needed to be trimmed. Once installed, the part needs to be recessed by 3/8 of an inch. Then, snip the excess inside wall off so that it will have the depth of 3/8th. With an angle grinder, remove the last bit to the line.
Then, tack the front part in with the 3/8th recession. Then, you are required to trim the top length so that it would fit the 3/8th depth in the front as well as the panel level in the rear. Clamp it to the side part just tacked then hold it at a slant to the very brink at the back so that the panel can be recessed in the front down to level with the rear. After that, scribe the location you want to trim and then trim and tack the pieces in place.
After that, lay out a template for the main body panel or cover and apply tape to stabilize it to fit. Subsequently, cut the steel out and wheel it a little for a radical contour fit. Then, check the rubber tubing on the large top wheel. It allows extra movement, for a faster stretch. Finally, when all the tacks are in place, fully weld it and grind for a smoother surface. Prime and paint your hot rods roof louver surface to the desired color and there you have it!