68 Headlight Bucket Removal

Does anyone recall off hand if the headlight bucket on a 68 (i.e., the sheetmetal part that the headlight assembly bolts to) can be removed and replaced with the fender in place?

I disassembled my 67 grille without removing the fenders, but that was 1994 and I can’t tell you how I did it. The car went to the paint shop with no chrome, trim or ornaments and was shot with all the major panels in place. As a caution, six months later the trunk lid and several other panels had the paint shrink and showed bad surface prep, much like my current 69 that was repainted by a previous owner. Sometimes tearing down to the last part is a good idea.

Sure no problem. I would remove the center grille piece, the vacuum tank, the splash shields, and the fender extensions first.

Thanks guys. Just wanted to know if this was going to be more than a one-evening project.

While I’m at it, has anyone had success repairing cracks in the pot metal housing? The passenger side on my 68 is cracked beyond repair, but I have an extra that has either the start of a small crack along a casting line or maybe a casting defect? Anyway, I’d like to close it up if possible before installing it. Searching these forums last night I ran across an old thread talking about using low-temp aluminum alloy rods to solder the crack but I haven’t found anything to confirm whether or not that worked.

I’ve used these low temp rods in the past; not on Cougar parts but cast aluminum A/C components.


In the past I repaired these sort of cracks with multiple .036" steel reinforcements riveted in place with BF Goodrich epoxy beneath the steel plates. I used MS20470 AD 4 rivets. It’s time consuming but permanent.

Lately I’ve been sourcing un-cracked ones because that’s cleaner than repairing them. I do not believe any sort of weld repair is going to hold for long.

Royce: did you put a plate on both sides, I.e. sandwich the pot metal in between two plates?

Went with Royce’s suggestion. Seems solid enough. Smeared the extra epoxy over the rivets just for kicks- nobody’s going to see it anyway.

Sorry been away from the computer all day but looks like you did a repair that should last forever. I used harder rivets but yours ought to be fine.

Thanks for the help. Everything is back together and working fine. FYI, if you want to spare your future self or someone else the joy of removing frozen actuator pins years from now, instead of replacing the steel pins, you can do as I did and slip a 1.25” section of 3/8 OD x 1/4 ID poly tubing slipped over a 1.75” long 1/4” carriage bolt and use that instead.