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Removing molded in parts

Q: I’m building AMT’s “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve finished the truck, trailer and stock version of the ’40 Ford Tudor. I’d like to build a third ’40 as a “barn find,” which leads to my question.

The chassis floor pan has the muffler and exhaust pipe molded in and I would like to remove them and it appears I have two options:
1. Use a Dremel rotary tool and sandpaper to remove the exhaust pipe and muffler.
2. Cut out the two floor board areas that have the front tailpipe section and hollow muffler and replace those sections with plastic, then carefully grind the back section of the tailpipe, leaving that mildly curved section intact, including the driveshaft well.

Do you have any thoughts?

-Rueben Plachy
via email

Ken: You’re on the right track, Rueben. Anyone familiar with the AMT ’40 Ford and similarly designed kits knows exactly what you’re up against when removing the stock exhaust.

Grinding away the molded-into-the-floor exhaust system within the confines of the frame will be a challenge, and you’ll still be left with a hole when the hollow muffler is removed.

Cutting out the front floor sections and replacing them with sheet styrene would be quicker and neater, but you would still have to deal with grinding away the rear section of the tail pipe.

I would suggest cutting out the entire floor and replacing the whole thing with sheet styrene. With thin styrene, you can duplicate the curved section of the floor.

After that’s installed, cut a slot out of the center and make another driveshaft hump with styrene tubing.

Here’s another thought. If you’re modeling a “barn find,” one might expect the floor to be in bad shape. How about tearing out the entire floor and replacing it with heavily weathered styrene with a lot of rust and holes?


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