1968 Pontiac Firebird Trunk Modification/Restoration

Ok. I definitely got a little carried away in here. Most of the muscle cars I see are restored in their trunk
compartments to just the way they were. Steel holes. I knew I wanted to do something a little different
in mine. Some of the work I have seen in import trunks I kind of liked. I knew I wanted to install a decent
stereo in my car which meant some small amps and a sub. I wanted it to look "finished" but not over the
top. I am very happy with the way it turned out. The following set of pictures will show you how
I went from this...

 

to this...

When I first started in the trunk I knew It would be a bit of work. there were a lot of fairly fresh
brush strokes of black paint on the floor and on the insides of the quarter panels. It looked like
there had been a leak around the rear window from a poor window sealing job. I took a putty
knife and made a few scrapes on the nice looking black paint and this is what I saw..

pretty much just a coating of loose rust on the trunk pan. so out comes the grinder and wire wheel.
the rust actually looked worse than it was. the pan was pretty pitted so I used a portable sandblaster
on it to make sure I had gotten all the rust out that I possibly could.

After I had removed all the rust I could I gave it a coat of the same Chassis Saver
Urethane coating as the interior.

then went after it with the same Damplifier Pro as the interior.
And yes I ended up coating the Whole thing...

after all the sound deadening was done in the interior and the trunk I did the wiring in those two places.

I powdercoated the Tail light bezel with reflective chrome on the inside and Smoke Chrome on the
outside. they ended up looking really good.

I used Painless Powerbraid wiring loom to cover all the wiring on the interior and the trunk. It is not
cheap stuff, but I like it a lot better than the original stuff or any of the "convoluted" plastic
tubing stuff you see for sale everywhere.

side marker lamps re-installed.

I used cardboard to create my templates for where the the carpeted plywood panels would fit.
lots of trim-fit, trim-fit, to get them looking just the way I wanted.

the alpine amp box you see in the middle happened to be almost exactly the right size for the sub
enclosure I needed to make, so I used it as the template for the sub box position. I chose to
mount the 10" Apine type R sub "reverse" style for several reasons. It allows me to make the
box quite a bit smaller to give the required inside cubic feet, which allowed me to put it where I
wanted, and I like the look of the sub like that. The Alpine Sub had a pretty cool housing assembly.

then a layer of the white closed cell foam for the carpet to go over. I stuck the foam down with
the same 3m77 spray adhesive as used on the interior. It followed the contours pretty good with
a few spots needing cuts and inserts to fit perfectly.

 

then the carpeting. I purchased this stuff at a upholstery shop. It is the same stuff commonly
used to cover speaker boxes. about a 1/4 " thick and follows curves very well. there is no backing
on it at all like regular carpeting.

another view of carpeting. you can see some of the stereo wiring in these shots as well.

then I used 1/2" plywood to make the actual panels . I used a table saw, band saw, and jig saw
to cut out the panels and used a small round over bit in a router to smooth over the edges the
carpet would wrap around. The holes you see on this panel are for the amp power supply ground splitter.

and voila, done. the two splitters you see are to split the 4 gauge power supply lead to 2 8 gauge
to the amps and vice versa to converge the 2 8 gauge grounds to one 4 gauge ground wire to the body frame.

I used a pair of plastic 6x9 speaker covers to seal the rear 6x9 speakers from the trunk area.

then a new trunk seal. I used the OER brand one but am not happy with how stiff it is, the force
it takes to close the trunk, and the height my trunk lid sits at when it is closed. maybe it will
soften up with some time.

I ended up replacing the OER trunk seal with a nw one from SoftSeal. It closed much better. The OER one
never softened after a year. It was a gigantic pain in the butt removing the well glued in weatherstrip but
I am glad I did. It sits much better know and closes with much less effort.

 

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