I was feeling the need for a little creativity so I decided to work on the rear valance exhaust cut-outs. I wanted something clean and a little custom. I saw a design I liked on the Dodge Ram trucks where they have a cut-out and subtle body accent line above it and I decided to do something similar.
The first step was to figure out where the exhaust will exit and then mark the valance accordingly. Of course I had to figure out the size and shape of the cut-out which was a bit tricky since the valance mounts at an angle. Once the height of the cut-out was determined I could then work on the proper shape. It needs to be pretty much of a semi-circle when viewed from the angle at which it is mounted to the car. Once that was figured out I made a template and marked the valence on both ends.
To do this I had to make a template and trace it on the valance (after sanding off the primer of course). Then I spread some DuraGlass according to my lines. After gaining the proper thickness I pressed the template onto the DuraGlass and smoothed around the top edge with my finger to get a nice clean shape. When the DuraGlass started to become a little firm I removed the template.
This is what it looks like presently. However, I still have more work to do on the accent lines as I’m not yet satisfied with the look. The edge is a bit sharp yet and the flat area between the top edge and the cut-out is bugging me. Keep in mind that when the valance is on the car that bottom is at a low angle so the accent line will not look that high above the cut-out. I think when I get it all sorted out it will look nice.
The next order of business was to get the fuel tank painted so I can bolt it back in and put some fuel in it.
After finishing with the fuel tank I spent way too many hours crawling around under the car getting it primed, sanded, and cleaned for a final paint. It was nasty, dirty, yucky work but it had to be done. Then, a day or so later, after I was in a better frame of mind, I got out the paint and spray gun and crawled around under the car and painted the underside. It looks pretty good. You’ll just have to take my word for it though because the pictures I took look like blackness with a few blown-out highlights. It’s very difficult to photograph the glossy, black underside of a car.
I was going to mount the fuel tank but all the original screws were too far gone to use. I’ll have to pick up some nice stainless steel screws and get it mounted this weekend.