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Gas Sending Unit Trunk Access Cover - Material Construction

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  • Body / Glass: Gas Sending Unit Trunk Access Cover - Material Construction

    I am putting the final touches on my 1966 Commander 2 door sedan restoration.
    One issue is the circular cover (289710) which covers the gas sending unit access hole in the trunk floor. The cover there now is a tar paper(ish) material held in with a few dabs of body sealer. I believe it to be original - the covers I find online however are stamped metal.
    From a previous restoration 20 years ago, I recall having the same discrepancy and (if I remember correctly) ended up going to roofing company, finding a similar material/thickness, and installing an authentic (albeit make-shift) cover.

    Does anyone know if a composite material replacement is out there for purchase? ...or am I relegated to either finding a preserved one or another cooperative roofing company?
    Last edited by dhodak; 10-04-2020, 10:44 AM.

  • #2
    The 289710 shows as the correct cover with three screw for that model. If you look around the lip you will see the three screw holes. I would say that a PO had lost the cover and fabricated a tar paper type cover. I don't think it was ever "original" that is just the way you received it. Clean the lip real well and find the screw holes, if they are full of rust and dirt use a small punch and open them up. The cover on my 54 looked like it was tar paper when removed, it was completely covered with undercoating and I had to chip it free, nothing was visible. Only after I removed the undercoating and determined the cover was truly metal and the three screws appeared I removed the cover, cleaned and painted it and put in new screws. The entire floor of the trunk was covered with a thick coat of undercoating and the sending access hole was barley visible and had the appearance of heavy tar/roofing paper. If the screws were missing or chosen not be replaced then the undercoating was most likely used to stick it down.


    • #3
      It is likely that David (altair) is correct on Older cars, but I have never found a '59 to '66 with a Metal Cover unless it was owner installed, usually my me, after the Sending Unit was replaced and the Cover destroyed.

      They were originally Tar Paper, but I am not sure what year that changed.

      I believe 1955 may have been the last Year for the Tar Undercoating on the Floors and Trunk, and also it is different in the 2 U.S. Plants, all of our Calif. Built Cars do have that.
      But we rarely see a South Bend Built Pre-1957 Car here on the Left Coast, so I am not sure, maybe it was just the Body Color Floor Paint over the Tar that was Plant specific.

      That could be WHEN the Fuel Sender Cover Change happened.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 10-04-2020, 01:18 PM.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        I've used cowl board as a replacement , Ed


        • #5
          I simply cut a disc of sheet metal and glue heavy cork or tractor inner tube to the bottom of it. Drill holes and use short screws to install it. Had cars where it was missing, but never have seen a cardboard one. I think CE sells them.


          • #6
            Thank you for replying.
            After reading your feedback, I called Tom Karkiewicz to ask him what he thought. He confirmed that, starting in ‘59, they started using the cardboard like material to presumably cut material cost. He went on to confirm the material eventually sagged and disintegrated over time which is exactly what’s happened to mine.
            He has had past demand for the part and ended up using heavy black card board material that backs mirrors - as in side view mirrors he was junking (i’ll be darn).
            I’m going to pay his $2 price tag and likely undercoat both sides before installing. We’ll see.


            • #7
              A leftover piece of roofing shingle would also work; the un-granuled end that tucks under the lap of the row above.



              • #8
                I used a Tuna Fish can perfectly...


                • #9
                  I like that! And you got a nice tuna sandwich too!


                  • #10
                    My '66 Commander had the same tar covered cardboard fuel sender access cover described above, It was still sealed in place. Have seen it on many others since.