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TR2/3/3A TR3A Spare Tire Well Bondo-fest


Jedi Trainee
The spare tire cover on the TR3A was covered in about 1/8-3/8 in. of bondo. It appears as though this might have been done by a previous owner to cover up the holes for the escutcheons. A later owner must have ground down the bondo to open up the holes again, probably out of curiosity.

We blasted off all the bondo, and the panel is perfect. Placing the panel on the car, I see that it's counter sunk about 1/4 inch, and doesn't sit flush with the rest of the car now that it's bondo free. What's the recommended fix to bring the two into alignment? Should we shim the latches or try to adjust the latch catches inside the well?


Jedi Knight
Yes, I think when you put the rubber seal in place, you will find that it fits perfectly.


Jedi Trainee
That's probably it then, since I don't have the rubber seal installed. I thought about that as I held it up there, but it still seemed deeper than I wanted.

I'll wait until the rubber is installed before doing anything.
I just thought it was weird that there was so much bondo on thing that it took the better part of half an hour to sand blast it all off.

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
When you test the new rubber seal, you may find that it's too thick and now the cover door stands proud (too far out) and it isn't flush with the body panels. Or you can't compress the seal far enough in to turn the latches that hold the cover door tight. I had to carve my rubber seal all the way around to get a flush fit. The carving was not even. Some places, I had to remove a bit of the thickness of the seal while in other areas, I had to remove more. Then I used contact cement to secure the seal into the groove for the seal with the join at the bottom center.

It's been fine since I did that 18 years ago and I've driven my 1958 TR3A 98,000 miles since then with no further problems with this seal.

Oh yes ! I had to re-glue it in twice at the bottom where it started to come loose. But it's fine now.
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