Jeremy Webster takes us through the deck lid fabrication
In the current season of Fast N’ Loud, the guys here at Gas Monkey Garage took on the heavy task of removing a 351 Ford motor from a 1972 Pantera and replacing it with a 3.5 liter twin turbo Ford Ecoboost motor. As with any complex project, other considerations needed to be dealt with, and one of the major decisions that needed to be made was what to do about the deck lid. Gas Monkey fabricator Jeremy Webster took us through the process of how they went from a stock deck lid to one that not only looked great, but functioned perfectly with the new Ecoboost motor.
Many steps needed to be taken before the deck lid modification, but the most important one was installing the new motor in the vehicle. Jeremy used a straight edge to measure the distance between the deck lid’s seal and the top of the intake. He then flipped the deck lid over and made the same measurements to ensure engine clearance.
The next task was to redesign the support structure to ensure the stability of the sheet metal and to create clearance for the intercooler port. In order to do so, Jeremy used a contour gauge to copy the support structure’s factory shape. That helped in figuring out the exact dimensions to recreate. According to Jeremy, it’s always best make your initial cut ½ inch longer and then trim to fit for better accuracy.
The skeleton was shaped from 20ga cold-rolled steel in our Baileigh Industrial power hammer. Jeremy made two dies to create the desired shape and ran the piece through the power hammer four times at four different depth settings to refine the piece to desired the look. Being that we cannot weld to a painted surface (or you’ll see the welds on the painted surface) we placed ¾ inch foam tape to support the sheet metal. The skeleton is welded to the outer lying frame, but supported by the foam tape throughout the deck lid’s center areas.
One of the finer features of the finished car and something that really contributes to setting this car apart from other modified Panteras is the newly designed scoop. The scoop was a collaboration between Aaron Kaufman and Jeremy Webster and it needed to not only look great, but function by feeding air to the intercooler. It was created from 20 ga cold-rolled steel, and as with any project, the fabrication team (which consists of Aaron Kaufman, Jeremy Webster and Jeremy Cheatham) works together to ensures high-quality work on the deadline given. They also try to make Mike Coy’s and Tony Cano’s job in the paint shop that much easier.
With projects that involve this level of fabrication and sheet metal work, there are many ways to approach it. Bolting the skeleton and scoop on is another approach that could have been explored, but as with many builds at Gas Monkey Garage, time is always a factor. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and if there are any questions – Jeremy Webster can jump on to discuss more.