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#1 2021-03-21 13:31:17

Neo1
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
User Number: 46701
Posts: 15

Reinstalling hatch panel after handle replacement - Pop!

I have read that it's possible to replace the rear hatch handle without removing the plastic panel on the outside of the car, but in my case, it was necessary.  One of the two license plate lights (the only one that worked, actually) was hanging down, and my zip-tie fix wasn't too trustworthy

Opening up the interior panel went smoothly (well, as smoothly as things go when you "pull" and hear things pop - always a scary situation).  Thanks to some of your sage advice, I found all the bolts to undo, and only had to "pop" the outside panel off (the one above the license plate).  Well, it "popped" alright (more like several pops), and then I realized the plastic was so dried/brittle, that more than half of the clips holding the pink nubs that hold the panel to the hatch had broken clean off!!  It was also why the light had been dangling - large sections of the plastic "frame" that held the light in place was missing.

After panicking a bit (though why would I - this always happens to me), I proceeded to glue the clips back on (3M yellow trim/gasket glue - it's what I had), as well as fabricate some of the missing parts.  This included the frame for the dangling light - you'll see the white pieces I used (nothing like repurposing the curvy part of a Cool Whip container to save the environment AND justify to my wife that I need to keep buying it).

I also added some double-sided 3m adhesive tape (some below the gasket material already there, some in place of it along the sides), and put in new license plate light bulbs (now both sides work!).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f7s3JA … sp=sharing


I had let the glue sit overnight to dry, and put on the tape and attached the panel today.  I tightened it up snug and my glued clips held (I had to put pressure on one bolt coming through a Cool Whip brace so I could get the nut to grab, but even that one snugged up!).

You can see how dusty it is under the panel, but not a speck of rust - wish I could say the same for my wheel wells (this summer I will pull out the back to see what the towers look like).  The painter's tape was to hold up a sheet of plastic overnight in case it rained (it didn't).

You can also see my 4EAT facing it.  I ordered another handle for that one; however, I'm going to attempt to do it without removing the exterior panel.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gbb3Lq … sp=sharing

Last edited by Neo1 (2021-03-21 15:47:40)


2005 Black Aero, 5MT
2005 Silver Aero, 4EAT

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#2 2021-03-21 14:04:05

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 117

Re: Reinstalling hatch panel after handle replacement - Pop!

Awesome job reconstructing the plastic clips to reattach the garnish plate and the Cool Whip justification!

I went through a similar experience but didn’t have enough pieces left to reassemble anything. What few that were left were so brittle they wouldn’t have lasted anyway, so I just replaced the whole hatch LOL.  If it happens again I’ll probably resort to some “creative reconstruction , possibly with beer can tabs to use your Cool Whip angle with my wife.


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
05 Aero | ~Satin Gray Metallic Matte Blue Metallic | 5MT | 2.5 hybrid | Delicious FlexFuel | Pro tuned Stage III  | Invidia Q300

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#3 2021-03-22 08:31:44

saabroo
Not Moderater
From: Yardley PA
Registered: 2015-07-02
User Number: 31977
Posts: 380

Re: Reinstalling hatch panel after handle replacement - Pop!

I wonder if kitty hair putty would help on the back of that panel? Or better yet a layer of thin fiberglass mat over the whole thing and then kitty hair around the tabs.


2019 Audi A4 Quattro
2008 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Avant
2005 Saab 9-2x 4EAT. SOLD
2010 Camaro V8 2SS/RS 6MT with Maggie. 513whp, 480tq. SOLD

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#4 2021-03-22 10:05:16

thejameshimself
Member
From: Texas
Registered: 2013-12-26
User Number: 13280
Posts: 120

Re: Reinstalling hatch panel after handle replacement - Pop!

The Texas sun has roasted the plastic trim on my hatch. the first time i took it off i had a similar experience so i glued and epoxied all the mounting points. the second time the damn thing snapped on the outside and i had to glue the two pieces back together and body filler it.

i have picked up a spare for when the original disintegrates.


US Production # 1936

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#5 2021-04-10 21:56:31

Neo1
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
User Number: 46701
Posts: 15

Re: Reinstalling hatch panel after handle replacement - Pop!

AND...I swapped out the handle on my other 92x today in no time flat.  I learned from my first try to not remove the back outer panel.  Instead, I only needed to loosen the five bolts (not all the way - nuts still on) and I could get the old handle out and put the new latch in (even though the bolts extended longer than the original).  It took longer to tack the inside rear felt panel in place (carefully, very carefully).

ADDITIONALLY, I finally got my Accessport (evilbay) and initialization thingie (shipping was more than the item), and for the first time ever went Stage 1 today.  My wife came out and sat in the car when I did it (she'd actually shown an interest in the process, ever since I' tried explaining why I needed to spend all that cash), and once it was complete, we took off for a short drive - my wife reading off the gauges, and I showing her the nice smooth, FAST acceleration (only up to 85 before she suggested I slow down).  I'm as happy as a  banana

Last edited by Neo1 (2021-04-10 22:02:27)


2005 Black Aero, 5MT
2005 Silver Aero, 4EAT

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#6 2021-04-11 11:11:41

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 117

Re: Reinstalling hatch panel after handle replacement - Pop!

Neo1 wrote:

AND...I swapped out the handle on my other 92x today in no time flat.  I learned from my first try to not remove the back outer panel.  Instead, I only needed to loosen the five bolts (not all the way - nuts still on) and I could get the old handle out and put the new latch in (even though the bolts extended longer than the original).  It took longer to tack the inside rear felt panel in place (carefully, very carefully).

ADDITIONALLY, I finally got my Accessport (evilbay) and initialization thingie (shipping was more than the item), and for the first time ever went Stage 1 today.  My wife came out and sat in the car when I did it (she'd actually shown an interest in the process, ever since I' tried explaining why I needed to spend all that cash), and once it was complete, we took off for a short drive - my wife reading off the gauges, and I showing her the nice smooth, FAST acceleration (only up to 85 before she suggested I slow down).  I'm as happy as a  banana

Congrats on all three of those things!

New handle
New tune
Happy wife

Trifecta!  driving


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
05 Aero | ~Satin Gray Metallic Matte Blue Metallic | 5MT | 2.5 hybrid | Delicious FlexFuel | Pro tuned Stage III  | Invidia Q300

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