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65 Fastback Restomod Build- Coyote Powered

82927 Views 488 Replies 57 Participants Last post by  Kjsmitty
Ok, I am FINALLY going to start a build thread. Anyone wanting to see current progress though will probably have to wait a little bit as it will take me awhile to tell the story from the beginning and document the progress.
A little back ground: I am the second owner of this A Code 65 GT Fastback. I bought it back in 1977 right after graduating high school. It was my second Mustang, my first car being a 66 coupe, C Code Emberglow coupe. I drove the car through some college, couple jobs, marriage and divorce. Multiple other cars/truck came and went but this one stayed. It work Cragers and Keystone Klassics along the way
Unfortunately, when young, about 1981 I started working on it with no garage, limited tools and experience and no internet to research. Progress stalled and the car deteriorated some. Divorce, no money, going back to school etc and the car sat. Finally in 1985 or so I took a stab at getting it going, dropping another 289 in it and driving it around some covered in black primer. Then I graduated with my degree in electronics and moved to Texas to work in the defense industry and the car sat. It sat for several decades through job changes, a new wife and building a house. My wife asked me why I didn't go to car shows and I told her it was because I might get the bug again. Finally my sister started dating a guy who was finishing up rebuild of a 64 Impala. He had done all the work himself and I saw pictures of the rust bucket he had started out with. The bug bit and left an itch that had to be scratched!

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The cars last move was from our old house where it had been sitting in a lean too. Water had leaked in, people had nosed around and left shed doors open etc. and rust had set in. I brought it in and parked it in my new shop building, in the dry at last, where it would sit for the next few years until the bug bit me again. Once I started in, it was obvious just how much the rust had damaged and what a project was ahead of me. It was very discouraging and almost tempting to sell it and move on...but I had too much sentiment in the old car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I spend many days just stripping it down, trying to take pictures and label parts as I removed them. When I finally started actually replacing stuff, my first stab at it was the front end. I had to install driver's side frame rail patch, battery apron and radiator support. First time doing anything like this. I had done a little stick welding 25-30 years before but I knew this wouldn't cut it. I did some research and bought a little Lincoln MIG, did some practice repairing some farm equipment and jumped in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Next step was to repair the Flintstone grade floor boards. I knew the cowl would require replacement and I wanted the floor to be solid to help avoid any sagging when I cut the cowl assembly out.
I was very intimidated at the thought of replacing the entire floor pan and decided to go with patches. Looking back at it now, after all the other work I've done, I realize a full floor pan replacement would have been the easiest and wouldn't have been the overwhelming job I thought it would be.
I at first installed left and right patches and a floor support and then toe boards that patched the lower part of the firewall. Afterwards, I got to looking closer at the firewall and realized I would be best off to replace it so I had to go back and cut out my newly installed toe boards. The struggle to remove them at least told me that my welds, while not pretty, were very strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone who has done the cowl assembly knows what a job it is, I think I counted 144 spot welds that I cut to remove the old one. In the first picture, I have the new firewall welded in, the new cowl attached with a couple clamps and a bunch of sheet metal screws. I was so nervous about it, I set the fenders in place to make sure the cowl was positioned right and everything would line back up once I got it in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here are a couple more pictures of the firewall install. The new firewall wouldn't slide under the floorpan and transmission hump so I ended up having to make slits in the hump on the floor pan and pry it out. Then I had to make slits on the hump section of the new firewall and hammer them in to allow everything to slide together. Then of course once I got it slid back in, hammer everything back into place and weld up the cuts I had made. Also had to take the metal brake and make some end pieces for the firewall. It was just a little short of meeting on each end.
Along the way, I also installed the torque boxes, which required some application of a BIG hammer and some stitch welding.
During torque box work I also found a rusted area in drivers floor support and had to make a patch for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I moved towards the back of the car and started working on the rear wheel wells. The outer wheel housings required replacement, and since I wanted the option to run wider tires, the inner wheel housings required modification. At the time, the only mini-tub kits available caused interference with the interior pieces, particulary the fold down rear seat. So...I decided to modify mine. I started with the rear of the housing and the trunk floor. I cut trimmed the trunk floor edge where it met the wheel house and then fabbed a new edge to weld on. I then cut slits in the housing and opened them up to meet the new edges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The front of the wheel wells is where you really need room so I tackled them. I measured over to where the mounting brackets were to hold the interior trim on and used that as my maximum. I then cut a large slit up the front of the fender well that I could open up. The pictures don't show it, but I also cut a horizontal one at the top of these slits to allow it to fully expand at the tightest point. I cut the floor out and again made a new edge and welded it on. After getting it all tacked together, it was obvious that I had picked up some nice tire clearance. Just had to finish welding and grinding down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Along the way, I found a heavy duty rotisserie on Craigs List. Guy had bought it to restore a Mustang and his health to a downturn so it had never been used. It had the pneumatic tires on it which made it a lot easier to roll outside on the gravel. I fabbed up front mounts to bolt into the bumper brackets. For the rear brackets, I used the eye ends off the original leaf strings and bolted them into their original locations. It stayed on that rotisserie for 4 or 5 years. Used it to roll outside for sandblasting. I know a lot of guys cringe at sandblasting due to the danger of warping metal. The only exterior metal left on mine at the time though was the roof and I took it very slow and never left the blast of sand in one place for more than a second. I guess the difference between your own work and a production shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I decided to add some strength where I could along the way. So as mentioned in an earlier post, I added torque boxes. I also added subframe connectors. After looking at a number of them I settled on Spintechs because of their factory appearance, they look like they came there all along. And I liked they way they attache to the floor, giving added strength all along their length, along with connecting to the torque boxes which are in turn connected to the rockers. In the first picture you can see where I have one side almost installed and it makes the other side look down right flimsy in comparison. One thing though is that the rear of the connectors are left open for the user to finish off. I thought about it and ended up cutting slits and kind of folding them in the close them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I finally got to a point of feeling ready to roll it outside and do some sand blasting. Pretty frustrating at first because I had several grades of media and I started out with the coarse and had to stop every few minutes to unclog it. Finally figured out that with the medium and fine media it worked pretty good. I ended up using the coarse in the bottom of a Smokers Outpost..ha ha
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ok, a little out of sequence but one thing I worked on before the sand blasting was the panel below the rear glass. I ended up cutting it out and found the brace below it was eat up. I decided to try and repair it, and the repair turned pretty good but for reasons that will be revealed later, I almost wish I had replaced it.
To make a patch, I flipped the old panel over and cut out a section that mirrored the area I needed to replace and then went through the process of cutting, bending and hammering it into the shape I needed. By the time I got through, I had a very nice patch panel fabbed up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
One other step I took was to remove most of the transmission hump support to make room for T56. I cut it out then came back and hammered the raw ends flat and welded them up. I also decided to go with a convertible type one piece seat platform to help add rigidity to the area AND to give some additional head room since this platform is an inch or so lower than original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Along the way, I had to repair the rear frame rails. I really ran into some frustration because I ordered two frame rail patches. I cut the bad section out of the first one and then got to comparing it to the patch. I am not sure that the old rusty original wasn't stronger than the patch! Especially the internal support bracket. It looked flimsy compared to the original. I ended up using the original bracket with the new patch. I didn't even bother to use the patch on the other side. I decided to send it back and made my own patches and repaired it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
The rockers were pretty solid but I did fine a couple places that required repair. One was towards the front on the right...just a very small pin hole...yeah right! I cut out an exploratory hole much bigger than the pin hole and sure enough, still needed to cut more. By the time I got past the rusty area, I had a place almost 2x3 inches. I spent a long time cutting a patch just the right size and got just the right curve to it. Then started welding and immediately the heat induced some metal memory and it flattened back out. Oh well. I will either use a little filler or lead over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
In the first picture below, you can see where I finally got to closing up the rear section, installing outer wheel houses. In the left of the picture is visible one of several patches I had to put in the floor.
I coated everything with Rust Bullet before installing the quarters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Jumping into replacing the quarters was something I dreaded doing but looked forward to getting done. Over all the Dynacorn replacements fit fairly good but they did require some massaging to get to work. I hung the doors, clamped into place the filler panel below the back glass, the tail light panel and set the deck lid and quarter extensions to check the alignment of everything before I started welding. As you can see in the pictures, I had to rework the areas where the quarters met the filler panel to get them to work.
The two most difficult areas though were:
The quarters fit fine around the quarter vents but they didn't quite extend far enough down to reach the rockers, probably a 1/4 inch gap. I ended up setting sandbags along the top edges and used pipe clamps to force them down. Then I screwed it together inside to help pull and hold it while welding. I also had to use tack welds inside the seam between the quarter and rockers. Later on I will be grinding them down and might lead the seam in.
The other pain was the filler panel. I detailed in an earlier post how I repaired the panel support but bought a new panel. The problem is that the new panel didn't quite follow the contours of the of old support. I am thinking I should have replaced both. I ended up having to heat, mallet, and force the panel to fit, then had to go back and use a shrinking hammer in spots where it bulged out. I suspect I will have to use some filler along that area to level it.
I finally got everything lined up, tacked together and welded up. One picture shows my hi-tech way or adjusting the trunk opening. I cut and notched a board exactly the length I wanted and duck taped it to a house jack, set it in and cranked on the jack until the board dropped in place.
At the end of everything, I also installed new drip rails and finally went old school and leaded the seams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Finally came the big day to start on the front suspension. The boxes arrived from Griggs and I started measuring. The shortcoming with installing Griggs is that they figure either they or their re-sellers will be installing and the instructions are pretty sparse. The expectation is that you really know what you are doing...ha ha. I did a lot of viewing pictures, reading specs and white papers and talking to the seller, Mustang Don Rositch before ever starting. I measured, measured again and.....measured again. I also used plum-bobs and marks on the floor to double check my square during installation. The K member uses existing bolt holes to locate. Once bolted in place you go to welding. It is attached at four locations, is very strong and changes the geometry quite a bit. It is similar to layout I saw of a Ferrari and of C4 Corvettes. The way the new shock tower is attached is somewhat sacrificial, it is strong but designed for racing and will bend or break in case of impact, meaning you can weld a replacement in and get back in business quickly. I decided to build it stronger. In a couple pictures you can see a triangular piece at the top of the tower, I deleted it and went with a piece that would close up the opening and give it more point of contact.
Also, I took some 1/8 inch steel and boxed in around the base of the tower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
There was no cover made that really fit so I ordered one made for another kit and modified it. I had to cut it to fit around the tower and allow insertion of the top shock bolt. I decided to close it up and add additional strength by buying a piece of steel pipe, cutting it lengthwise and welding it in place. Once I got it all welded in place, it turned out looking pretty good and strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
While working on the front suspension, I wanted to add a little triangulation to add strength and stability AND add a jack point. I added small brace between torque box and frame, nothing serious, just a little additional stabilization. I ordered the combination jackpad/support/tie down from Mustangs To Fear. It is a real solid piece. Before welding it on, I welded a series of holes in the top to shave a little weight off. These holes are completely closed off as they are under the radiator support and sealer was applied all around.
 

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