K. Chevelle Package Tray Removal and Installation
Post date: Jan 10, 2017 5:9:17 PM
If you have a GM A Body from the 1960's - 1970's there is a good chance your package tray has suffered the fate of the rear window leak. Our 1970 Chevelle was no different so as part of the rust repair, we removed the old one and installed a new one as part of our restoration. Because we had rust repair to do we removed our rear window, but if you are only changing out the package tray this isn't necessary so much of this overview can be used as reference for your swap.
The process begins by removing the rear seat door panels and arm rests as well as the seat bottom and back. This process is not outlined here because it is very well covered in any number of places on the Internet. With these items removed, you are faced with the cardboard trunk divider. Note this is an original divider and the black surface faces the trunk. It is just hung on 2 tabs which will be shown in detail in a bit. After 47 years it is time for that to be replaced as well, but keep it for reference because the new aftermarket ones have punch outs which need to be matched for your application.
With the trunk divider removed you can now see where the original package tray is glued to the seat back panel structure. as shown in the dotted yellow area. Grab the edge of the vinyl and just pull it lose all along the top edge to free it up. Do not try to remove the old package tray just yet as the sail panels much be removed first.
A closer look also shows the rear window bottom plastic corners that are held in by Phillips head screws. Remove these to make the package tray removal a bit easier. Here you can also see how the package tray is held captive by the sail panel.
To remove each sail panel you will need to remove the plastic U channel trim that runs from the base of the quarter window up to the A Pillar. In addition, you may need to remove the U channel trim that surrounds the rear window in the inside as your sail panel may be held captured by that trim.
With the trim removed, your sail panel will be free. Do keep in mind that the sail panel may still have its original clip which is attached to the B Pillar structure.
A closer look shows how the sail panel contains the package tray. There is a "flap" on each end of the package tray which is folded up and runs behind the sail panel. With the sail panels out and the front vinyl edge free from the seat back panel the old package tray can now be slid out - it is not glued in.
A careful look at the factory original package tray shows the front vinyl edge detail as well as the jute backing that is glued to the back of it.
So now it is time to put the new parts in place. The first is to place the new trunk divider cardboard back in. This Chevelle did not have insulation from the factory, just the heavy cardboard, so this is how we are re-installing the items. The trunk divider is simply hung from two tabs that are stamped into the seat back panel. The cardboard is hung with the black side facing the trunk.
The next step is to install the jute installation under the package tray. As seen earlier, the factory package try had the jute backing glued to the package tray. We have chosen to simply place it and slide the new package tray over it. Note that the jute is slid under the lip that exists from the trunk filler panel (which should be painted flat black by the way if you have replaced it as we did).
Now it is time to slide the new package try in place. Fold the end flaps up and apply contact cement on the front edge top of the seat back divider panel as well as the vinyl flap that folds down over the leading edge of the package tray along the seat back top edge. Glue along the area shown in the red line - a strip about 1/2" wide.
Now the plastic corners can be re-installed at the bottom window corners as well as the sail panels. Of course if you have a rear deck speaker (as we do) or defrost, the package tray must be cut to accommodate these options.
And finally, with the glass in you now have a nice, new package tray!