Vintage Mustang Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 124 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased this car from ebay in March 2015 after my wife said I needed a project to keep me busy. Who am I to argue.
I looked at a few cars and this one seemed interesting. It was in Arkansas and I am in Massachusetts so after phone conversations and receiving photos my son and I flew into Little Rock, rented a Penske truck and trailer to view/ pickup the car. The car was basically in an ok condition and partially assembled as a rolling shell. The owner had many receipts, dyno'd rebuilt 302, March serpentine pulley system, rebuilt AOD with shift kit and higher stall converter, 9" rear axle with 3.55 ratio locker, TCI pro-touring front suspension and torque arm rear suspension, Vintage Air a/c, Ididit steering column, new upholstery, carpet, convertible roof, new wheels and tires, Ford stamping front fenders, doors, hood and trunk lids in good condition etc etc..
Driving to MA with just driver swaps, food and bathroom breaks, trying to beat a winter storm sweeping into the NE, not really successful, truck windscreen kept icing up. No damage though.
The car loaded on a trailer in Arkansas where we pickup up some tarps and straps to cover the car. They did not last long.
771228
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The brakes were seized possibly from the snow / ice / salt so we had to tow the car into the garage.
Once in the garage and truck unloaded started looking at the work to do.
771232


First issues, hood only barely cleared the air filter - possibly touching, doors would not open without rubbing on fenders, the trunk and rear area had been filled with expanded foam and the trunk had an MDF board also stuck in place. In this picture I had already cut the board out.
771231
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Once I scraped the foam out, I found the gas tank fill hose clamp was not even tightened and you could never get to it with the board or foam in place. Also the mount plates for the torque arm suspension are in the trunk and were loose. da..
The area behind the rear seat was also filled with foam and that is where the roof motor lives, also parts of the rear quarters were filled. Not sure that is a good idea for a convertible. That had to all come out.
771236


Peeling back the silver sound deadening exposed holes in the floor that were not welded, that all had to come out also. You might also notice the inner rear wheelhouse is not correct for a convertible. It does not have the flattened area so the convertible roof can lay flat when retracted. The other side was correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
Nice project. Good god, who sprays foam in their car?????

Keep us posted as you find more about the condition. Interested to hear how the cowl looks along with other potentially rusty parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,378 Posts
A lot of people have the incorrect belief that the foam is waterproof. While it is to the extent that inner cells will retain air and buoyancy for some time, the foam will actually slowly absorb water....and hold that water and rust any metal around it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
A lot of people have the incorrect belief that the foam is waterproof. While it is to the extent that inner cells will retain air and buoyancy for some time, the foam will actually slowly absorb water....and hold that water and rust any metal around it.
Based on the fact that there are still audio cables in the trunk, it looks like the foam may have been for sound 'quality' purposes. that blue power cable is a what? 6, 8ga? Looks like a good sized amp was in there at one time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Based on the fact that there are still audio cables in the trunk, it looks like the foam may have been for sound 'quality' purposes. that blue power cable is a what? 6, 8ga? Looks like a good sized amp was in there at one time.
I am am sure that was the PO's intention. There was a fuse block for that blue cable in the engine bay next to the battery.

After I cleaned up the foam the trunk had solid metal with chassis rails etc had been replaced along with rockers, torque boxes and measured straight.
771287


The rear suspension was another matter. On one side the coil of the shock absorber was hitting the bolt of the panhard rod, it was angled badly. Measuring one side to the other it was due to the mounting brackets being installed incorrectly.

771290


The brackets could not move back to the correct position due to the shape of the chassis rails which were new.
I resolved this but cutting the brackets and mounting them in the correct position, using tubes welded inside the rails to strengthen them. The metal was prepped and coated with weld-thru primer and fully welded. The outside parts of the brackets I left loose as I wanted to check tire / wheel & brake caliper clearance as that was also a problem.

771293
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I started moving forward correcting some of the horrors. It shows what is possible with a drill and a file. A large brace coming from the front for the torque arm suspension attaches to the front mounting bolt of the rear leaf spring. It was misaligned because the brace also attaches to the lower seat platform which had been incorrectly installed and in the process multiple captive nuts were stripped. Oh well, gives me an opportunity to reinforce that area.
771330


All cleaned up and new reinforcing spacers fitted.
771331


Similar work was done on the other side and on the front chassis rail. A mounting plate is bolted in place which joins the braces which serves as a mounting point for the rear axle links. I chose to weld it in after spraying it with weld thru primer.

771332


To correctly space that brace going to the front, I welded an 1/8" plate on each side so it fitted nicely.
Here is a picture of the front of that brace which has a driveshaft hoop and mounts the front of the rear torque arm.
The Hedman headers hang too low in this setup and will need to go.

771335
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another great example of the work performed was this deformed power steering pipe, which had been crushed. TCI recommend a oil pan which should be used in these installs, as it needs to be a rear / dual sump. This oil pan has the drain on the rear on the front sump so it flattens the tubing. It has had the wrong fitting for the Lokar dipstick that was installed and it was just loose. Never mind, an excuse to weld it at the front of the pan and get it powder coated.
771338


The cowl had been patched so that had to go. I also wanted to weld up the many holes that existed in the bulkhead and inner fenders. It looked like a machine gun had been spraying in there. I also did not like the bolt in plates above the front suspension and did not like the fact you see the wheels and suspension at the bottom.
771342


The front rh inner fender with the battery tray had a fair amount of rust and body filler that had to be replaced. Looking closer at the welding of the front suspension and that was terrible. It looked like they may have used an arc welder but covered it up with black mastic and body filler. I tried many methods to get the welds clean for re-welding, this was when I rolled the car out and used a friends shot gun, mixed results.

771343


In the end it took a lot of work to weld the engine bay and suspension but it worked out well. Here is my design of the inner fender panels butt welded in. I made each sides embosses at different angles because that seemed to fit in better with the factory shapes. The holes at the bottom are large enough so the lower suspension arms can be removed with the pivot still in place.
771345


I then made up some covers for the holes at the bottom of the plates I welded in. This gave me an excuse to buy a bead roller, you can never have too many tools. I also welded in a thicker plate for the brake mount on the bulkhead.

771350
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was then talking to a friend about what a pain it is to work and weld on the car upside down even on a lift, I know but I am getting old. He said he has a rotisserie that he bought from a Mustang restorer that went out of business and I could borrow it.. Oh yes... It was in his yard and had a nice selection of acorns inside the tubes but it had all the brackets for a 66. The wheels were old old and rusted and welded on, he had bought some Harbor Freight inflatable wheels to put on but they were dry rotted. I had some very heavy wheels that I removed from some tool chests that I mounted to the wall, so I welded some plates to the frame so the wheels can be removed when it is stored outside. The main tube which the car would spin on was deeply gouged as it seems the previous owner would use the locking bolt and not the locating pins to hold the car at an angle, re welded. Using the pin you could only lock the car in only 4 orientations. I drilled more holes in the shaft so it could lock in 8.

771354



Located new bolts and made up some brace bars for the car. and put the car on, this will make working sooo much better.

771356
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The cowl was coated with rust preventer and the flanges sprayed with weld-thru paint. Parts of the bulkhead were repaired as necessary. I intend to smooth out the cowl grill as I will be using Vintage Air a/c which does not have a cold air intake.
I then started work on replacing the 2 rear wheelhouses and making room for the tire / wheel / brake combination as they were rubbing in there present state. I also started stitch welding some parts of the body and added additional welding to the rear chassis rails.
771375


The rear suspension has 3 locations for shock absorber mounting to get the stance you want. I checked droop and full compression in all scenarios with both and individual wheels. Would have been easier if the rear quarters were also being replaced but they were new though they require some work. I also started work on replacing the panel between the trunk lid and rear window, that had some rust damage. I also replaced sections of the drip channel that runs under the rear of the roof.

771377


The front of the wheelhouses required a pie-cut and piece welded in, the rest needed stretching further inwards.
Metal was replaced on the outside floor sections and the emergency brake cable channel was reconstructed and welded in.

771378


In the rear 2 new floor panels had been welded in but they had just lap-welded them and that would not do.
I cut through a small section of where the floor sections were welded, removed the overlapping metal and butt welded them up. The transmission tunnel was original and was next. Measurements taken to ensure it was correctly positioned.

771380


And then it was gone..

771381


Formed from either 16 or 18GA cant remember but it was not easy. Used the Argon welding tank as a former.
More stitch welding and additional welding on chassis rails.

771382


Well that was basically it for 2015, Happy New Year!! Just 5 more years to catch up on..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Welcome to 2016...
The ultimate goal for the car would be a driver, look good, something that has some nice features, be practical and still look like a 66 Mustang. To the practical goal I wanted to add a tow hitch. I have one on my last few cars and have a utility trailer that is great for picking up sheetrock, leaves to the dump, moving engines and I also have a bike rack that fits in a hitch. I looked at the factory tow hitch and I did not want that, hangs down too low, shows from the back and would not be strong enough for my intentions. I had an Audi Allroad with a factory hitch that was truly hidden, even the wiring connector swung out of view when not in use. It used an adapter that mounted vertically down with the receiver at 90 degrees so was used as a regular hitch. I modified a Focus hitch for my Focus ST the same way and when the adapter is not bolted in, nothing is visible. This is what I decided to use on the Mustang. The rear lamp panel was in a poor state with multiple dents. I practiced heat shrinking on it but the inevitable machine gun holes were getting me down, that panel had to go and it would make it easier to install the heavy brace I needed. I had already reinforced the brackets for the rear bumper as this is where the rotisserie was mounted. Lots of measurements.. The car was off the rotisserie for this step.
771397


Then here it is..
771398


The square tubing is 2 1/2" 3/16" thick and is welded to each chassis rail with additional bracing on those rails. Substantially stronger that was there previous. Additional protection for the gas tank for rear end shunts?

771399


On the inside / gas tank side a strip is welded on for the gas tank rear flange. The lower lip of that receiver pointing down, will sit level with the bottom of the rear valance. The rear valance will require a small bump out that will be mostly hidden by the number plate. Loops for chains and mount for the electrical hook up will be added later when the valance is in place.

771400
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Body panels were fitted for gaps. Welded metal on front outside lip to match headlamp extensions and mirror its curvature.
771413


Lower front valance required a lot of cutting and welding to match the fenders at each end. Door gaps corrected. At least I can open the doors without them catching on the fenders. The rear quarters needed quite a bit of work also.

Engine was installed and plumbing planned out. I want to not have any wires or hoses ran on either side of the engine, nothing mounted either. The heater hoses will connect via bulkhead connectors and the hoses to the compressor will come from radiator support area.
771420


In the picture below I made a small bracket so the power steering tank will live right over the pump. Just below in between the oil filter and engine is an oil cooler / heater that plumbs in via the heater hoses, I think this one came from a Crown Vic. This was with Doug's Headers which fit great and dont hang low and are a 4-2-1. My suspension cover is not bolted in but clears nicely.
771417


Brake master in..
771418


Work begins on the cabin. Those holes in the floor and around the gear shifter were left and covered with the mastic mat. The a/c is mounted in the recommended position here but I did move it up and over to the passenger side so it was not so visible. I had to drill the hole out again for the throttle pedal after I had welded it up, oops.
This is also an Ididit tilt able steering column and I did not like the idea of the wires coming out straight down. That might be as stock. I drilled a hole on the top of the tube so the wires were unseen.
771421


Where am I going to fit all the electronics / electrics I have planned for this car? I know...
771422


A few hours later..
771424


Here is some of the electrical mounted. Dakota Digital gauge electronics, cruise control, gear indicator, fuse and relay blocks + others. These are all mounted to a powder coated plate so the original kick cover can be used. I had sold the Painless Wiring loom that came with the car when it came apparent it would not work for me.
771425
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The car came with aluminized exhaust that was partially welded in place with 2 glass pack mufflers. I would like the car to be quiet when cruising so I chose to use 2 1/4" stainless tubing with Dynomax Turbo mufflers. This required I purchased another tool, a TIG welder. I had used one many years ago when I took a welding class and it required practicing for me before I wanted to start on the exhaust. At the collectors I used a flexible hose which then went to a H pipe. V-band connectors were used to connect the pipe that went to the muffler at the rear. I had purchased an aluminum driveshaft so I could check for clearance, it was tight.
771460


The exhaust that came on the car looped under the rear axle, I did not want that. It was difficult snaking it through past the panhard rod and rear sway bar and took time ensuring it cleared everything at all the suspension settings.
771461


As you might be able to see in the above pictures, I had welded almost everything up where 2 bits of metal came together, either stitch or full seam. I also fully welded in place the tubular suspension / subframe connectors to the floor along their length.
 
1 - 20 of 124 Posts
Top