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ggunder

Rear Interior Panels

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I have a 1972 and the left rear interior plastic panel is missing. I have the right panel, but it is in pretty bad condition. I found two panels reportedly from a 260Z that are of a heavier and more durable plastic. The right panel fits just great, just like the original. I can't seem to get the left panel past the hatch support fitting, which cannot be removed. Does anyone know if the left 260Z panel will fit? I don't have an original panel to compare it to. If it will fit, is there a trick to fitting it? Thanks so much for your input, I don't want to break the panel or anything.

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"is there a trick to fitting it"....Not sure about a 1972, but on a Jan.71 placing the left panel is easier if you start by removing the rear (center) panel for more/better access.

Hope this helps,

George

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I don't know if the panel is different or not. I have a 73 240z and I just had my driver side rear panel out last night (fiddling with antenna). To reinstall I removed the interior tail light panel, unbolted the hatch piston (hold open hatch with piece of wood) and loosened the quarter window panel (removed upper seat belt bolt and the first few trim rivets). Pull the carpet and underlay back, put the panel in with the bottom edge in first, watch to make sure the corner clears the strut tower, and maneuver the front edge of the panel under the quarter window panel, then carefully roll the panel up into place. You will have to bend / compress the panel a bit to clear the hatch strut mounting bracket, but it should flex enough. Hope that

helps.

Cheers,

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Sean has the correct approach. Bottom first, then the panel has to be bent/rolled what feels like just a bit too much for comfort to get it to clear the strut mount bracket. I would heat that panel up as much as you dare in the sun or with a hair dryer to make it more flexible.

Note that you should not only remove the hatch strut from its mount, but then remove its bracket from the welded on bracket by removing the 12mm nut that's hiding behind it. I find a 1/4 drive short 12mm socket on a ratchet handle works best. Its kinda recessed making a box end wrench hard to get on it. This gives you a precious 1/2 in more height to play with. Also inspect the spot welds that hold that bracket to the body (look in the weatherstrip channel and from underneath) and wiggle it to see if it has started to come loose. This is a common issue. Big strain and flexing on that one bracket each time the hatch is closed, especially if you have upgraded to a modern strut replacement. This is partly why they went to two struts on 260/280.

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Heat it up like zKars said. I had to heat them close to melting point to get them to fit properly. Or maybe it just felt like that cause there was -20C outside...

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