View Single Post
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-20, 05:22 AM
californiabristol californiabristol is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 57
Default 411 Body Panel Removal from Frame

Hello Larry,
several years ago, inspired by photos of Per Blomquist's 408(or 409) I removed the body from my 411. The condition of my car's panels are poor from bad repairs from an unkown number of collisions. Per had a professional shop work on his car. An amature on my own, I did the best I could. Removal of the flush rivets went smoothly using the advised procedure from a coachbuilder(Tinmantech in California).

With the rivets removed, 2 issues needed resolving: cutting the body, and unfolding the flanges. Please take the following as a description rather than advice. Hopefully you can find a specialist who can verify any plans.


I decided to separate the front fenders by cutting the front valence below the bumper in the center, and cutting the cowl area on the left and right side just inside the plan-shape radius(actually cut them mid-radius for some reason). Finally, I made a horizontal cut across the lower part of the A-post. I used a saw blade appropriate for aluminum.

I used a heat gun to soften the front fender flange folded onto the A-post frame, and gently pried the flange open as needed using a thin stainless pry bar.


Unlike Per, I decided to cut the rear fender vertically in the middle of the rear opening.
I wasn't concerned about cutting through a pristine panel because my rear fenders were mangled from an accident, and then poorly repaired. Cutting the fender into 2 parts this way allowed me to not have to unfold the body flange at the B-post frame. Like Per, I cut the roof C-post horizontally above the fuel filler. After the cuts on the rear were completed, a great deal of back-and-forth prying was required under the car where the aluminum is attached to the boot floor frame. There was a lot of mastic sealer in this area. I may have wedged some thin boards in gaps to keep the body work from slipping back into place as I worked my way around. You will likely have to wedge some boards between the wheel opening/wheel well and the adjacent aluminum. The rear body came off in one piece with the exception of the forward pieces of the rear fenders.


The roof flange on the cant rail frame needed to be pried on one side, which was relatively easy, but demands some care to ensure the roof is splaying open rather than distorting. My roof panel has a big opening for a Webasto roof, but I don't think a solid roof panel will behave differently when prying the flange off the frame.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BRISTOL_BODY_CUT5a.pdf (1.67 MB, 43 views)
File Type: pdf BRISTOL_BODY_CUT5b.pdf (1.76 MB, 37 views)
File Type: pdf BRISTOL_BODY_CUT5c.pdf (642.0 KB, 34 views)
Reply With Quote