We're rebuilding and refinishing this '66 Mustang one piece at a time, and this month, it's the trunk's turn. The most important thing was to make the trunk as functional as possible, while giving it a polished look. We were lucky to start out with a rust-free floor that didn't need a whole lot of prep work to get it ready for paint. Dupli-Color's spray-bomb truck bedliner was designed perfectly to take the beating that a truck bed sees, making it perfect for our trunk application. Simply put: We'd like to throw caution to the wind when throwing parts and track supplies in there. Although the trunk was relatively clean, there was some prep work to be done. The process was quick and simple, so no need to worry.
After the cleanup was complete, we moved on to the fun stuff. Too many times we've seen our fellow hot rodders just one half-inch wrench away from getting back on the road. This is something that won't happen to project Street Fighter. Our goal was to have a fully equipped, rigidly mounted budget toolbox in the trunk at all times. It would need to be removable for quarter-mile passes or hot laps, but put together to live in the car most of the time for emergency repairs.
Choosing the tools is an important task that we will cover at a later date-but let's simply say that we found some really great tools at a price even thrifty hot rodders can afford. They need to be tough, because a broken tool is more frustrating than no tool at all. Since this isn't our primary set of tools, there's no need to go overboard. We picked up an affordable set that covered our needs. Our advice if you do the same thing is to include a set of metric sockets and wrenches to go with the standard sets; more metric hardware is finding its way into our domestic rides.
The toolbox itself can come from many places. The important thing is that it fits your application. You can buy a new or used tool box in metal or plastic, as long as it's sturdy enough. We used a used metal box that a hammer and dolly set originally came in. It came with a pull-out tray to divide the tools. This tool box wasn't in the nicest condition aesthetically, so we sprayed it with Dupli-Color's textured metallic silver paint; it's very sturdy and attractive, plus it's made for a variety of surfaces, including toolboxes.
After finding the toolbox, we needed a way to mount it to the floor that would allow for easy removal. With simple materials purchased at a hardware store, we fabricated a custom frame, bolted it to the floor, and strapped the toolbox in.
Our wide selection of tools was designed to work on many parts of the car, and it's easy to get at, too. Our toolbox location was also designed to balance the car better over the open road-it's in the right rear corner of the trunk on the opposite side from our Optima battery box. It's a great addition to any car that actually gets driven.
|WHERE THE MONEY WENT |
|Item description: ||Part number: ||Price: |
|Dupli-Color truck bedliner ||TR250 ||$8.99 |
|Dupli-Color textured metallic ||MX102 ||$9.49 |
|3M body seam sealer ||8405 ||$12.00 |
|Dumpster toolbox ||n/c |
|Angle iron ||$10.00 |
|Total ||$40.48 |
This is the official "before"...
This is the official "before" picture. Prior to paint prep, do a pre-assembly installation of all the components you wish to use. This way, when you're ready for paint, you only need to clean it once.
There is very little prep...
There is very little prep work involved when using Dupli-Color's truck bedliner spray paint. If there's any rust to be repaired, this is the time to do it. Other than that, use a putty knife to scrape off any excess "gunk," and remove all debris from the trunk. Now is also the time to repair any body sealant that has detached itself as pictured above. We used some 3M body seam sealer applied with a caulking gun.
The paint we used was made...
The paint we used was made as a truck bedliner by Dupli-Color. It's more scratch-resistant than the standard splatter-type trunk paint, which was very important to us. It's almost impossible to spray wrong, even in the dark trunk environment. We let it sit overnight, and returned to a tougher-than-expected finish.
Masking is very important....
Masking is very important. A little extra time with this step can save you hours of cleanup later. Use a low-adhesive painter's tape to avoid the risk of pulling up paint you wish to keep. Apply the paint around the trunk lip where you may spray adjacent to. To mask the back of the seat, place a sheet of cardboard in front of it. While you spray the areas close to the trunk lip, place a piece of cardboard above it to minimize overspray
The tool box would need a...
The tool box would need a frame to sit in, since it would be in the car while driving. All you need for this project is a stick of angle iron, cutoff wheel or chop saw, T-square, a handheld drill, and an MIG welder. The frame should capture the bottom of the toolbox with next to no gap. Leave a little fudge room (no more than 1/8 inch) to compensate for any warping, and for paint thickness.
We used a Miller 110-volt...
We used a Miller 110-volt MIG welder to weld the frame. Weld on the outside edge of the frame instead of the inside, so that the toolbox can still slide into the frame. Metal-finish the outside edges for a seamless look.
The next step is to refinish...
The next step is to refinish the toolbox. This freebie dumpster toolbox needed a little TLC before it could be placed in this newly polished trunk. A quick hit of 220-grit sandpaper on a sanding block knocked down the scratches enough to keep them from showing under paint. The Dupli-Color textured metallic paint doesn't require a primer coat, and comes in three lovely shades of silver. The finished toolbox is shown in our opening shot.
As with any aerosol, spay...
As with any aerosol, spay outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Spray a light coat first to give the later, thicker coats something to adhere to. Spray the bottom first so that you are guaranteed to have a nice finish on the top if you have to flip it before it's completely dry.
This is the toolbox frame,...
This is the toolbox frame, installed. A portion of the bumper support had to be removed to allow the box to sit flat on the floor. All trimming and fitting should be done before the paint is applied. Note the nice texture and appearance of the truck bedliner inside our trunk.
The toolbox is retained by...
The toolbox is retained by two heavy-duty rubber straps connected to tabs I welded to the angle-iron frame. The hooks were pinched together to ensure they wouldn't let the strap slip out. The front ones need to stay unpinched to hook into the front tab. I used two Grade 8 bolts with a flat washer on top and a lock washer on the underside to attach it to the body.