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-   -   Access holes in the trunk? (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=17110)

Tbird1044 06-06-2014 11:28 PM

Access holes in the trunk?
2 Attachment(s)
Okay, some of you veteran (I was going to use old, but changed my mind) Ford guys, there are 2 holes in my trunk right behind the back side of the rear wheel wheel. I thought these might have been for the convertible models when the top wouldn't go up. When I looked closer, it does not appear that they go through to the bottom of the car. There was no metal plate covering the hole. Only a piece of tape to seal it and then the sound deadening blanket went over the tape. Just curious what they were for.

jopizz 06-07-2014 11:21 AM

I know on my convertible when the top folds down in the trunk the brackets sort of depress into those holes. I'm not sure if that's why they are there or whether they're just casting holes.


Tbird1044 06-07-2014 03:27 PM

I thought they might have to do with a convertible top, but wasn't sure. The service manual talks about access plates if your top won't activate or gets stuck, but since I have a HT, I never pursued it.

jopizz 06-07-2014 03:30 PM

The access plates are small round holes in the inner wheel well so you can unbolt the screw locks and open the trunk manually.


simplyconnected 06-07-2014 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by Tbird1044 (Post 84376)
...Just curious what they were for.

Back in the day, we dipped cars in primer. The holes are drain holes, so paint cannot pool.

Today, we electro-coat using the same dipping process. The entire body submerges and if a part tends to float, we wire it down. Again, the electro-coat solution must properly drain before the body goes into the curing oven. (Yes, E-coat eventually gets baked a few times; after the sealer deck, prime, and base/clear-coat.)

Some holes are 'manufacturing holes' such as Locating Holes (for engine stuffing), or Skid Holes (in the floor pans). Before a Ford body gets welded, the subassemblies (side apertures and roof rails) are 'Toy-tabbed' together to the floor pans, where a few flags of steel fit into slots on the next panel, then hammered over. The body rolls down the line like a drunken sailor on skids before going into the Bucks (a locating fixture that holds the body square while dozens of strategic spot welds are placed. All the rest are re-spot welds, and there are thousands. - Dave

Tbird1044 06-07-2014 09:58 PM

thanks Dave. That makes sense when you think about it. I was wondering why all the small holes appeared in every low valley, not only in the trunk, but also in the floor pan. I always wondered if these were drain holes in case water got in to the car. Now I understand they are for drainage when dipping the pieces. Guess I'll go over the car and plug all these small holes before I put her back together.

Dakota Boy 06-08-2014 08:20 AM

My trunk had some sort of putty over each of those little drain holes. It had to be from the factory because it was some really old-looking stuff.

tmjsong1aolcom 06-09-2014 11:06 PM

Rectangular Holes in Trunk Floor
I have to respectively disagree with Dave. The 58-60 birds were never dipped in any primer vat. There are raw steel places on most of the inner sides of the panels except where the undercoating was sprayed.

I do not know what these holes are for but all the 58's I have messed with have these holes and they have been a curiosity. Seem to remember that the convert. top needs this additional space to completely retract into the trunk but remember that the 58 convert. was a very late year introduction.

We may never know why they were there but they were there for some reason.

Good Luck
Sun Prairie, Wi

simplyconnected 06-10-2014 03:16 AM

Alright, let's put it this way...
In order to paint steel, all the dried draw compound, weld junk, handprints, bits of gloves and airborne oils and dirt need to be removed. If we sprayed primer on 'bare, body in white' steel, it would fall off in oily areas and rust in areas where previously exposed to water (like weld guns use for cooling the points).

The process is called Bonderite and it is a type of phosphate that strips the metal clean without brushes or rags touching it. This process uses deionized water and other special liquids.

Squarebird metal, like ALL Ford cars had to be 'stripped' and dried before any paint was applied.

Did you ever wonder why a factory paint job is so much better than a repair job? How many times have you found a professional aftermarket repair job rusts in a short few years! It's not because our ovens bake paint at 250 degrees. It's because we NEVER paint on bare metal. The Bonderite process etches and adheres to the steel leaving an irregular crystalline surface that primer sticks to. Let me quote...
"A unique feature of the autodeposition process is the formation of a uniform film over the entire surface of the work piece, even in difficult-to-reach areas. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) photos show a uniform, tight, autodeposited wet film before coalescence/curing, and consistent coating thickness around edge of razor blade. This allows the coating dispersion to flow into and around the most complex shapes." 'Autodeposited' means no electrical charge is used and when the body comes out of Bonderite, it is still NOT painted. BTW, GM also used the same process.

Squarebirds are not the only bodys that have floorpan holes, ALL Ford cars do and it's for the purpose of draining for faster drying. The stamping plant makes little oblong (galvanized steel) plates that fit those holes, company wide. This business of piercing floor pan holes and then covering them up again is purposeful and expensive.

Whether primer was sprayed or dipped makes little difference because it happens after the Bonderite process. The "bare" steel you see on inner panels would be a mess in the rust belt and sea-salt coastal areas, in no time, if it were truly bare steel.

Sorry to disagree with you Fuzz, but I worked in Body and Assembly General Office (formerly, 'the Pilot Plant'), and in Manufacturing Development, Staff. - Dave

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