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Bonnet slam panel

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Hi all , looking for help suggestions or pics what people have done that have come across this problem , if anyone has . So this is my project 90 300tdi which is nearly finished ,


and yesterday I fitted the bonnet so today I set about adjusting the catch which is when I hit my problem . When pushing the bonnet down the slam panel started bending , as you can see the strengthening bars from the front have been removed due to the long slim auto box oil cooler sitting in the way . Now on my 200tdi 110 I did the same when I fitted the front mount intercooler and I've had no problems at all so I think that the slam panel on the 90 is thinner than the 110 one and thinking about it now the one of the 110 felt more solid . I have had one idea of welding a piece of 10mm flat across the back where it comes up against the rad frame but before I went gung ho and did it I thought I'd ask if anyone has encountered this problem and what they did to get round it . Pic of the panel ,


you can see on the back plate where the paint has cracked off where in bent /folded .

Cheers for any help Ian .

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Quite possibly you are correct and it is made of thinner steel?

I have also removed the diagonal bracing bars to fit the autobox oilcooler but I have no problems with the strength of the slam panel on my 1986 model (I had it galvanised a few years ago and it came back perfectly straight / undistorted by the heat).

Maybe source an earlier one?



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37 minutes ago, Sigi_H said:

My bonnet rests on both sides on plastic, but not in the middle. The slam panel is not bent for this reason. Use rubber  blocks on both sides.

It's bending where the striker hits the slam panel when you push the bonnet down to lock it , if you look at the slam panel pic where the striker receiver fits the square hole behind that it bent on the return where the paint cracked , but saying that the screws with the rubber on that fit the ends to stop it coming down to far aren't fitted so that might not be helping , and the parts have been lying around for a while so might be stiff . but I think some strengthening behind the return would be the easiest . It seems very weak at the front where the striker receiver fits .

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I have just in this past week put my front end together after painting. It too has the oil cooler like yours.

By a previous owner, the diagonal braces had been spaced out at the bottom attachments. Three nuts had been used as spacers over a long bolt  and when it came to putting it back together I replaced the nuts with tube. The braces had been rubbing against the oil cooler, just a little but enough to warrant attention. I taped some neoprene tube around the braces at the two contact points. The spacer tubes are something like an inch long, maybe a bit more. You can't make them too long as it prevents the front panel from going fully on. It's a balance between the braces not being too hard up against the oil cooler and being able to get the front panel on. My braces with the neoprene touch the oil cooler but not too hard.  As for that front panel, mine had a couple or more of attachment holes turned in to slots so I slotted all of them. I don't know what the original config was. This made it easier to fit. As it is I don't think the front panel is fully home but it may just be a mm forward and not noticeable. 

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