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Removing rear portion of body



Can the rear portion of the C3 body be removed from the birdcage without cutting fiberglass?

I am trying to figure out how to repair the pillars in the rear. It looks as if the fiberglass will lift off the metal but I'm sure there are some glued or riveted parts. The AIM I have isn't clear on this.

I see some catalogs have inserts for the pillars and even the sill channel. Can these be place without removing the fiberglass?

Watch my thread on the Free Hookers. I am going to rebond a 1971 coupe rear clip over the next couple of days with plenty of pics.

You really might want to call me direct to discuss this procedure because it is hard to describe in text only.

To basically answer your questions, yes the rear clip can be removed. No, it can not be done without cutting the fiberglass. There are many ways to do it, but I prefer actually seperating the factory seams with a heat gun. You end up cutting out the upper fiberglass rocker panels, cutting the firewall off the car, cutting the rear inner door jambs out, then popping the rivits that hold the large metal pan between the b pillars to the rear fiberglass clip. This is with the body off the frame.

You will find some ugly things underneath there. The rocker channel insert can be done with the body on, but you would have to leave a large portion of the old rusty "bird cage" as you call it, or Body frame as I call it still in there.

This is a MAJOR job and basically requires breaking the car down to the most basic form. You may find yours is so rotten that you have to buy a complete newer model body frame firewall back section to replace with yours. That is what we have done to this 71 as it was too rotten to try to patch.

You can call me at

(904) 723-2414 Days
(904) 298-3017 Nights.
Thanks for the answer and phone number. I'll be sure to use them in the future. In the meantime I'll watch your post on this weekends job. I guessed it would be harder than it looks.

Does anyone have a layout of the panels and where they are bonded together. I can see a joint just ahead of the little chrome deflector at the rear of the doors. GM must have had a way to install this body frame.

Interesting comment about using a heat gun. I assume this softens the bonding material. I had only read about people using chisels to seperate panels but this sounds much better.

All the steel panels were there long before the body; the birdcage was welded up, then all the body panels were bonded to it. Requires lots of patience to separate the outer skin from the birdcage, as there are bonds everywhere. Good luck!

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