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1969 Mustang Mach 1
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

I removed the upper cowl panel to expose a rough lower cowl.
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Previous repairer decided to try to use some flexseal or equivalent to stop the water leak from the bottom of the cowl from the looks of it.
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I decided to remove it all and do it the right way in my eyes.
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To follow the theme of the work so far, the firewall was in rough shape at basically all mounting surfaces, so I decided a full replacement was best. I removed the firewall and, by doing so, literally cut the car in 2!
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That is alot of work. I can't wait to see how it all goes back together.

You mentioned redesigning the sheet metal of the trunk floor. You never mentioned why though, was it something to do with the 3 link? I think the 69-70 cars had to add a box on the floor for clearance on stock vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
That is alot of work. I can't wait to see how it all goes back together.

You mentioned redesigning the sheet metal of the trunk floor. You never mentioned why though, was it something to do with the 3 link? I think the 69-70 cars had to add a box on the floor for clearance on stock vehicles.
Yea, it's been a process, but an enjoyable one! Sorry for not clarifying, the posts up to now have been my quick summary of months of work up to early 2021, still trying to catch things up to today's progress.

The rear floor was redesigned for a few reasons. I am running SoT's 3 link rear, so the leaf springs won't be used. And you are correct there is a box that had to be added forward of the tank up on the floor for the top link to have clearance. That has been installed, but later in the process so I'll show that in a future update.

I wanted to re-utilize that space on either side of the tank both in the trunk and under the floor . By changing some of the shape near the frame rails, I gave myself clearance for the rear exhaust to tuck up between the frame rail and the tank (with heat shielding as needed) all the way back. Additionally, I narrowed the overall width of the floor between the pockets at the rear side of the quarter panels so that I can make those a little larger and functional, hopefully housing some electronics on the passenger side and an emergency kit on the driver side. This plan will require future fab of the pockets on either side, but that should be a pretty straight forward project when the time comes.

Hopefully my explanation of my plan made sense to others. I think it makes sense in the noggin, but I'm more visual so sometimes putting the plan to paper/text is convoluted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
“Rust never sleeps”
- In this case not for 54 years anyway..😜 But you are doing a great job of putting it to bed!!

Nice jig and I totally respect your PVC action for your window storage..👍

Welcome! Great project and future restomod. Following!
Might have to print that quote out and and hang it in the garage... Every time I think I've finished all of the repairs, I find a little more.

Thank you! The PVC had been sitting in the garage from our wedding when my wife used it to make a starry light wall. I was glad to find a new use for it.

Save the tunnel area you cut out. If you intend on installing a larger than stock transmission, it can be very useful.
Hi Alan, that would have been a smart move for sure... It found it's way to the scrap yard before moving to a new state this year for work. I didn't consider saving the old tunnel for future use. I have a full floor ready to go in, I just assumed I would have to modify it as needed for the trans.
 

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Might have to print that quote out and and hang it in the garage... Every time I think I've finished all of the repairs, I find a little more.

Thank you! The PVC had been sitting in the garage from our wedding when my wife used it to make a starry light wall. I was glad to find a new use for it.



Hi Alan, that would have been a smart move for sure... It found it's way to the scrap yard before moving to a new state this year for work. I didn't consider saving the old tunnel for future use. I have a full floor ready to go in, I just assumed I would have to modify it as needed for the trans.
In case you aren't aware, a TKO 600 and a TKX will bolt right in with no mods to the trans tunnel. If you want a 6-speed, that will require some cutting.
 

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Looking at your before pictures I wouldn't have suspected you would have uncovered so much rust. It reminds me that if I find a vehicle on the internet that I want to purchase that I must have an in-person inspection done on the vehicle or have 200 plus photos of every part of the vehicle and that still may not be enough. I wish I had your skills to dissect and repair a vehicle. Will be following your build. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
In case you aren't aware, a TKO 600 and a TKX will bolt right in with no mods to the trans tunnel. If you want a 6-speed, that will require some cutting.
Yea, I have read about the same. I have a 6 spd donor I could use, so decisions need to be made in that respect on what I will need to do.
Looking at your before pictures I wouldn't have suspected you would have uncovered so much rust. It reminds me that if I find a vehicle on the internet that I want to purchase that I must have an in-person inspection done on the vehicle or have 200 plus photos of every part of the vehicle and that still may not be enough. I wish I had your skills to dissect and repair a vehicle. Will be following your build. :)
That was a surprise to me as well! Previous repairer must have been pretty good with filler! That was something I had considered, but for the price and timing, I decided to take a chance on it and have learned a lot thanks to it. Silver lining?. This is my first restoration, and have only been working with metal as a hobby for about 5ish years, about the same timeframe for more extensive vehicle work and modification. I'm definitely new to it and learning from folks with so much more talent and knowledge than I every chance I get.
 
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That was a surprise to me as well! Previous repairer must have been pretty good with filler! That was something I had considered, but for the price and timing, I decided to take a chance on it and have learned a lot thanks to it. Silver lining?. This is my first restoration, and have only been working with metal as a hobby for about 5ish years, about the same timeframe for more extensive vehicle work and modification. I'm definitely new to it and learning from folks with so much more talent and knowledge than I every chance I get.
It really bugs me that so many shops will cover up the damage rather than fix it.
I feel so fortunate that, although there was some rust and hidden damage, nothing like what you are tackling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
It really bugs me that so many shops will cover up the damage rather than fix it.
I feel so fortunate that, although there was some rust and hidden damage, nothing like what you are tackling.
Yea I agree, it was actually a big part of why I decided to start with a car I knew needed some level of metal work; I wanted to make sure it was done the best way I could do. With this one, I'm not sure who did this, if it was a shop or another guy like me working at home, but either way, things weren't done the best they could have been done. Don't worry, I still have a lot to summarize and share when it comes to rust haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

The idea of having the car cut in half was nauseating enough to make me get the new firewall in ASAP, so I modified the bottom corners to clear the convertible inner rocker and installed it.
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Next area of surprise rot was all 4 door plate mounting areas. There are multiple layers of metal here, and I couldn’t tell how much was bad.
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On the passenger side, the top door plate area was pretty bad, so 2 patches would be needed.
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The Passenger lower door plate area was much of the same story as the top, more rot.
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

After roughly finishing the passenger side, I moved to the driver side to do it all over again.
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I didn’t take many pictures of the before on the lower driver side. It was better than the rest, but still needed attention.
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Once the door plate areas were repaired, I returned to prepping the new cowl for install by painting the inside with POR 15.
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

After working in the front for a bit, I turned my attention to another one of Shaun’s write ups; the inner wheel house mini tub work. I started on the driver side by removing the inner wheel house half to do more rust repair as the entire bottom flange that welds to the floor/frame rail area was rotted away.
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Of course, had to see how a 315 Hooiser fit in the space. The quarter panel may require a small flare later on, but that’ll come later.
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After the inner house was repaired, I cut back the floor to the frame rail and placed the inner house back in place to make a template for the section needed to widen the tub.
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With the inner tub widened, the 315 ALMOST fits between the tub wall and the outer fender. That would be touching on both sides, but it shows the interior space was a large improvement.
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

After tackling the driver side, I moved to the passenger side and repeated the process.
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I also cut back the floor again and placed the inner house in to make the patch as needed to make all the space inside.
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After moving the wheel tubs inward, I wanted to make sure the stock seat would still fit, as I plan to run and use a rear seat for kids. It’s definitely close, so some slight modification might be needed, but It’ll still work.
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

The next area to address was to square up the rear of the wheel tub to allow for some wider tires to clear in compression. Plus, that area was full of patches, no surprise there.
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The rear of the tub was repaired on both sides.
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While working under the car, I had noticed that the drops for the rear seats had some bad rot underneath, but you couldn’t really tell due to the thicker plates that sit on top of that floor. The only hint from looking from the top was some rust along the edge of the plates. I had to remove them on both sides and repair the metal underneath.
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

The next big step was mocking up the new Convertible torque boxes, which unfortunately, I only could find as 1 piece. I ended up drilling out the factor spot welds to make the installation much easier. I took that time to also paint the inside of the torque boxes with POR 15.
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To mock up the torque boxes, I also had to cut down the extra length of the convertible inner rockers. I also made end caps for them so I could weld the end of the rocker to the torque box.
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Before being able to do too much with the torque boxes, I had to replace both front frame rails. I started by measuring a bunch of points so that I could verify the replacements went back in accurately. I also added extra bracing to the front aprons and radiator support to make sure those pieces didn’t move or flex during removal and install. At this time, I only had the passenger frame rail as finding the driver side in new metal was next to impossible.
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After I had the passenger frame rail in, I replaced the rear passenger apron.
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

With the frame rail and apron tacked in, I moved to the frame rail extensions. After what I know now, I would maybe done this in a different order if possible as I had a lot of headache here. The thought though was that I needed these in to set the torque boxes, so I went ahead. These were the first pieces I really had to re-work due to them not fitting well. The passenger side needed some narrowing and shortening on 1 side to match the frame rail and remain level under the floor.
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Next step was to tack in the inner side of the torque box.
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After a few months, I was finally able to track down a single driver side frame rail thanks to some fellow mustang people on Facebook answering my call for help! I followed the same process on the driver side as I did passenger.
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I should also clarify why I cut holes in the side of the old frame rail. I wanted to remove the frame rail without removing anything on the shock towers as I was supporting most of the aprons and front end with the front suspension points. That made getting to the spot welds holding the frame rail in not feasible from the outside. This also showed me just how much rust was on the inside hiding.
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As with the passenger side, I used this time to replace the rear most apron panel. It didn’t fit perfectly, so some of the flanges needed some massaging to match up to the firewall.
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Metal Fabrication/Replacement:

I then worked in the frame rail extension on the driver side, and again, this one needed modification to fit correctly. With a level across the 2 extensions, the passenger side was slightly higher than the floor would sit, and the driver side was significantly higher. I’m sure this was self inflicted somewhere and somehow, but for me, these parts can be modified to make the floor work, so I wasn’t drastically concerned about their appearance or level of modification.
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Bottom of level represents where the floor would need to be to sit on top of the extensions at either inner rocker below:
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As you can see the driver side is a lot higher than it should be. I checked again and again. Frame rails were level to the old position and each other. All measurements checked out, inner and outer rockers checked out. Doors fit fine still, I was stumped, so I decided to just make the extensions work with what I had. First, I turned the driver side extension into a puzzle…
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Passenger side didn’t need much taken out, so I didn’t seem to take any pictures of it. But instead of taking it all apart, I just cut a small bit out of it and dropped the top flange down. At that point, those were done. I did also need to slightly modify the inner section of the torque boxes, as they had some off bends, but that was straightforward and then everything was welded in.
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
New Parts!

A large delivery came in after months and months of strictly metal work and rust repair that really gave me a good spark. WAY back in my research (before I even had my car) I had planned out my suspension package based on my plans and vehicle usage. As a Dynamics test/tuning engineer, my passion lies in making a car ride and handle a specific way, so this is where I have spent my time and my savings! (Again, all planned as I have a long standing budget that has been dead on to planning so far knock on wood) I had numerous recommendations to talk with @Shaun @ Street or Track, and his full floating 3 link/ Watts link rear end was dead on what I was looking for. I opted for the 1* cambered rear and 4 piston rear brakes as well as a diff breather. I can’t speak highly enough of how much time he gave me as an individual who, up until our last few conversations, had not bought anything but instead emailed and called with endless questions. Shaun answered all of them with detail and professionalism. On top of that everything looks awesome and really gave me a kick of motivation to get the metal work moving so I could actually install some parts one day!
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As reference, left side is stock brakes from my 04 Honda civic SI. Right side is the rear brakes for the Mustang…
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So much beautiful work done so well. You must have quite a bit of metal fab equipment to make all the patch parts. You certainly won't have to worry about the integrity of the car after you are done.
 
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