1970 Charger: What is the purpose of this panel?

Exterior Body, Paint, Trim, Chrome

  1. Kern Dog

    Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Inside the trunk below the "Dutchman" panel is this structure with the square holes in it.

    XH 220.jpg XH 221.JPG XH 223.jpg

    This bulky thing looks like a suitcase. Both of my 1970 Chargers have this. I cannot understand why this is here. It takes up space and seems to serve no function but there must be a reason for it, right?
     
  2. Kern Dog

    Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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  3. Demonic

    Demonic Well-Known Member

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    Support for the dutchan panel and the 'flying buttress" C pillar that give the 2nd gens their style and beauty. There is a bit of weight there.

    I'm totally guessing. :rolleyes:
     
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    • Aeronet

      Aeronet Well-Known Member

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      Does it enhance the sound of the speaker?
       
    • Jessejames

      Jessejames Well-Known Member

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      Structural support
       
    • Big Bad Dad

      Big Bad Dad FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Don't some of these have a fan blown rear window defroster? Probably where the fan motor goes.
       
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      • odcics2

        odcics2 Well-Known Member

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        See my answer on dodgecharger.com
         
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        • Kern Dog

          Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          It still makes no sense to me. The Dutchman could have been supported by a strap similar to what supports the trunk floor. I don't think that the engineers or bean counters would have chosen this for no reason.
          I agree that it acts as a rust collector. Both of my cars had rusty rear window channels due to the vinyl tops. I tapped on the edge of the one in this car and rust flakes keep dropping out. I shot compressed air up in there to try to get it all out but I remember that my red car took about a year of driving it to rattle loose all of the rust scale. I had to vacuum the trunk every few months.
          I'd like to remove this and just install some gussets or something.
           
        • Kern Dog

          Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          I did. I didn't see an explanation, just that the race cars didn't have them.
           
        • odcics2

          odcics2 Well-Known Member

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          Exactly. You'd think a race car would need more strength and body rigidity, leading to less torsional flex, especially being a unibody car.

          And they cut them off!
           
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          • Billccm

            Billccm Well-Known Member

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            junkerup on YouTube described it as a anti rattle plenum.
             
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            • YY1

              YY1 Well-Known Member

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              did 68 and 69 have them?
               
            • odcics2

              odcics2 Well-Known Member

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              yes.
               
            • SSmoothie

              SSmoothie Well-Known Member

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              Here is a pic of my 68 Charger with the Dutchman off.

              F48158F1-B71E-4181-8638-425F936694DD.jpeg 0BE0D953-CC48-472B-9CE4-AB3E762C2C0F.jpeg
               
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              • Kern Dog

                Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Maybe it is just an elaborate way to support the Dutchman and to provide support for the trunk lid.
                Ssmoothie...That picture does help. Thank you to you and everyone else.
                 
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                • eldubb440

                  eldubb440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  the other B's only have 2 little supports (except convertibles which are boxed, but not like that)


                  dutchman.jpg
                   
                • Kern Dog

                  Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  I now think that since the Dutchman is flat, it probably has less strength on it's own. This "suitcase" probably provides support for both the Dutchman and the trunk lid and hinges/torsion rods.
                   
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                  • dsd1967

                    dsd1967 Well-Known Member

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                    Kern, I think you are on to something there.

                    If you look at a standard B Dutchman, it is short and has a curvature.....somewhat self supporting. Those two braces on a belvedere or coronet are enough to give a little triangulation support in the middle by going back to the speaker tray. The charger is long and flat and needs a little triangulation and boxing to get the support.

                    Just think of it if you grabbed the trunk gutter in the middle of the Dutchman and put your full body weight on it. Without the bracing they would all buckle. For the coronet and belvedere, those two braces are enough to triangulate back to the speaker panel area to provide sufficient support. If the charger simply used those two supports....it would still buckle. If they built the supports to be triangulated like the sides only (without boxing) then the support braces would splay outward and the braces would still not prevent the gutter from buckling. By triangulating and boxing they keep it from buckling in the middle and bending downward from the window.

                    At least that's my theory.

                    Dave
                     
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                    • HALIFAXHOPS

                      HALIFAXHOPS hops farmer and MOPAR only distributor rebuilder! FBBO Gold Member

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                      That's the long rectangular slot is for.
                       
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                      • odcics2

                        odcics2 Well-Known Member

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                        KD -
                        Maybe you can remove yours and try some gussets going to the back edge?
                        May need a cross piece, channel shaped, across the trunk lip, below the panel.

                        Should be strong enough as long as you don't stand on it. :thumbsup:
                         
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