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I am doing a complete restoration of my 1970 stepnose. After cutting out the wheel well, I found that the section behind the right rear wheel has rusted out. When cut out, there was more debris collected between these two panels, than it was in both of the entire sill sections combined. What is the purpose of this panel, other than creating a rust pocket? The opposite side of the car does not have this reinforcement, and rarely rusts out. Both RHD and LHD cars have this section on the same side, so I guess it has something to do with the wheel well/gas tank orientation? Considering leaving the inner section open.
 

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I am doing a complete restoration of my 1970 stepnose. After cutting out the wheel well, I found that the section behind the right rear wheel has rusted out. When cut out, there was more debris collected between these two panels, than it was in both of the entire sill sections combined. What is the purpose of this panel, other than creating a rust pocket? The opposite side of the car does not have this reinforcement, and rarely rusts out. Both RHD and LHD cars have this section on the same side, so I guess it has something to do with the wheel well/gas tank orientation? Considering leaving the inner section open.
If I understand correctly you are talking about the panel that helps hold up the spare wheel.

How did the debris get there? Should be impossible. Was there a hole in the wheel well that allowed the debris in?
Pete
 
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