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Discussion Starter #81
Another productive day in the shop. I did a few planning things in the morning then spent time in the afternoon prepping the one-piece floor to go in. Since the transmission crossmember is final welded in place, I put the floor back in the car to see how it fit up to the crossmember. Not too bad but it seems to push the floor up a little at the firewall tunnel by a little but it isn't too much. Nothing clamps can't take care of.

I marked the outline of the crossmember on the floor and checked the rest of the fit. I've had this darn floor nearly ready to weld in for over 2 years (yikes!), which is why 80% of the plug weld holes were already drilled and ready to go. Just had to do the front portion. Here I'm marking out the holes using the W&S manual for locations. Over 90 holes, just for this front section... Really wish I had a humongous spot welder and a Ford manufacturing line. I previously sprayed some spray-can VHT epoxy primer on these areas.
20191227_142236 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's the floor after all the holes were drilled and two coats of weld thru primer. I didn't take a picture of it but I DA sanded all the areas needing primer. Also sanded away about a 1" radius around all the holes in the middle of the black paint, so the weld thru primer would have room to take the heat and not affect the black paint.
20191227_170301 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's the chassis after two coats of weld thru primer. I sprayed some Eastwood internal frame coating on my welds from yesterday on the transmission crossmember and frame rail extensions, since they will never see the light of day again. I clamped on a couple 1" square tubes on the rocker panels, at the pinch weld. These will allow me to put the floor at the perfect height and to clamp against. I spaced the whole thing 1" the entire way (tube flush to bottom of pinch weld), even though it gets a little shorter in the back at the rear torque boxes, because I can almost imagine welding in a tube along here to use as a point to weld cross braces from the subframe connectors to. It only pushes the rear of the floor up by maybe 3/16", which isn't an issue at all since I'll just push the floor downward at the rear to meet up with the rear torque boxes.
20191227_170336 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Tomorrow I plan to weld this sucker in! Two years in the making...........
 

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Discussion Starter #82
The floor is in! The floor is in! I'm going to be sore tomorrow for sure as this was about 7 hours of clamping, hammering and welding while bent over in precarious positions to get at the 200 plug welds I did today.

Wow, I can't tell you how big of a milestone this feels like. It really feels like there is an end in sight now. I just counted up that I've welded on 13 parts/panels over the last week. I still have four more days of my vacation, so stay tuned for more to come. After two years of solving alignment puzzle after alignment puzzle, things are really flying. It actually feels a little weird...

I started by devising a way to get the floor into the car without scraping off all the primer I applied last night. I started by wrapping the B-Pillars in cardboard. I put a movers blanket of the rear floor section. Then I put a couple long levels across the rockers to suspend the floor. If you look closely, you can see hooks in the forward seat holes. I put a ratchet strap across from side to side and slightly "taco-ed" the floor so that it was easier to slide in from the back. The front is wider than the rear of the floor, so the floor will scrape the B-pillars. I then took out the levels and the floor dropped into place.
20191228_092634 by 7T02S, on Flickr

If you read my previous posts, I clamped 1" square tube to the pinch welds for the floor to sit and and to provide a straight surface for the floor to sit on. Here I used some clamps to pull the floor against the rocker and to lock it in place for welding.
20191228_094643 by 7T02S, on Flickr

With the floor pulled outward on both sides to the rockers, I started plug welding at the center, on the trans tunnel.
20191228_100916 by 7T02S, on Flickr

After the front and top of the were welded, I welded along the firewall.
20191228_110957 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The sheet metal around the tunnel proved to be the most challenging because of sides didn't really match up well between the firewall and the floor tunnel. My clamps and vise grips only could do so much though the shifter hole, so I had to resort to pushing up from the bottom on some of them. The right side was the most difficult.
20191228_110957 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's the right side after various angles of jacking from below and hammering from above. I also used some push clamps to push down from the top. This was needed to close the gaps before plug welding.
20191228_122637 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Another angle from the bottom.
20191228_122701 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Pushing from another angle.
20191228_121432 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's the front section completely welded it! I had to use a various forms of push bars/clamps to push the floor down onto the frame rails. This front section took about 5 hours due to all the clamping, jacking, hammering, etc.
20191228_145909 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Getting ready to weld the right side. I highly suggest an auto dimming weld hood, btw.
20191228_150312 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's the forward section of the right side welded in. As I went, I made sure the floor was pulled/clamped outward against the rocker and down against the square tube clamped below to the pinch weld. That's a push clamp on the right.
20191228_154001 by 7T02S, on Flickr

As I went, I used two body hammers to hammer the flange of the floor into the rocker.
20191228_155138 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Right side done!!!
20191228_161453 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Left side done!!!
20191228_171548 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's how far I got today from a bird's eye view.
20191228_171619 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get the one-piece floor pan welded in.
20191228_172408 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Cheers
 

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Congratulations on your milestones! You have got to be proud of all the work that’s been done,And you still have a few days of vacation left. You can’t stop now – the end is in sight. Looks great !
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Wow, very comprehensive build. Looks good....where did you acquire your skills?
Thanks!

Skills... We'll, I've been picking them up as I go over the last two or three decades. As funny as it sounds, it probably started with building models and fixing my bicycles way back when in grade school. I already knew how to rebuild a small block chevy by the time I was 16 because I absorbed Hot Rod magazine's How-it-works articles back in the day and was confident I could just do it. I took four years of Auto Shop in high school while I restored my 1968 C10 (shown in a previous post in this thread if you're interested), learning all sorts of things about mechanical systems and rebuilding them as part of the class. At one point, I actually did rebuild that SBC in my C10. I also worked in a body shop in high school and learned how to do body work and paint. Then of course is having a hot rod in high school and all the hot rodding a teenager does to their ride!

I then went off to engineering school and worked in the machine shop as a helper in the mechanical engineering building where I learned how to machine. I was also involved in the Formula SAE program where we designed and built open wheel race cars.

Then my first job out of University was as a Race Engineer, Pit Crew, and Mechanic for a professional drag racing team. It's hard to list all the things I learned over those three years but learned to build and repair all the parts on a racecar, including the engine, clutch, transmission, rear end, brakes, wire harnesses, turbos, etc. That was the time period that I installed an LS1 into my C10, which was around 2004. That was quite the learning experience too since that was on the forefront of swapping LS's into vehicles since LS's came out in late 90's.

Then from there I've picked up welding skills, mostly self taught but at my last job went to a one day hands-on course about MIG welding from a company that makes the weldments used on freight train axles, so was bit on the heavy duty side of things. Sheet metal welding I've just learned as I went. I had a little flux core MIG back in high school welding on my C10 making a mess of things. Now I've got a really nice Miller MIG and a Miller TIG. I haven't played much with the TIG but the MIG skills are really just learning as I go each day. Sheet metal fabrication I'm just learning as I go on this project and building a little on what I did on my C10. The C10 was easy though compared to this stang. Once I get to body work phase on this car, all the other things that go in the car like suspension, steering, engine, drivetrain, electronics; I've got a decent hold on those things. This is the first time diving into a unibody car, so that comes with all sorts of learning opportunities (this is technically only the second vehicle I've restored).

Then of course, there's all sorts of things picked up from my engineering jobs.

Long story short, I usually just learn as I go by jumping straight into the deep end, sometimes without the water :ROFLMAO:
 

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Well I'd say that's some pretty good experience! And agree, sometimes you just have to jump right in! I like just a little water though...lol! Did you hand drill all those holes for your spot/filler welds? I've been drilling but thinking I may purchase a pneumatic flange/hole punch.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
Well I'd say that's some pretty good experience! And agree, sometimes you just have to jump right in! I like just a little water though...lol! Did you hand drill all those holes for your spot/filler welds? I've been drilling but thinking I may purchase a pneumatic flange/hole punch.
Haha, thanks. I'd have to say I'd prefer a little water in there too!

Yeah, those are all hand drilled. I have a small M12 drill with an 1/8" bit to start on all the holes. I then have a step drill unibit in an M18 drill.

I have a have punch that works in some situations. I also have a HF pneumatic punch but it puts the hole to close to the edge and is too small. I did actually use that on the rear inner fender apron flanges against the firewall then chased the hole out to the next size with the unibit but only because the flange was narrow. I think the HF air punch could be modified by grinding a deeper pocket in it but the hole side would still be too small for plug welding.
 

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I'm glad you brought that Harbor Freight punch up, I'd been actually looking at it earlier today but felt like the 3/16 hole was too small. Speaking of, saw your Harbor Freight body hammers and laughed as I have the same set. I'm no tool snob. I also have their $10.00 pneumatic cut off tool and it has been great!!! I've cut a lot of metal with that dude on my project...lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #91
I'm glad you brought that Harbor Freight punch up, I'd been actually looking at it earlier today but felt like the 3/16 hole was too small. Speaking of, saw your Harbor Freight body hammers and laughed as I have the same set. I'm no tool snob. I also have their $10.00 pneumatic cut off tool and it has been great!!! I've cut a lot of metal with that dude on my project...lol!
Yeah, that HF hammer and dolly is actually really good. I'm all for buying expensive tools if it's justified but sometimes the HF tools work really really great. Sometimes not so much, like the HF pneumatic body saw, wow, that one just constantly stalls out. Anyways, you might want to check out the Ridgid carbide cutting wheel for the electric grinder. They are like $15 but will last forever, stay the same diameter, and with the electric power behind it, they work a thousand times better then a typical pneumatic cut-off tool with abrasive blades.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
More work being done. I sort of stalled out on progress getting the seat riser in due to a couple reasons but it'll eventually get in there.

This is the one-piece seat riser/platform that CJ sells. It generally fits pretty well and is made of thick steel and has the internal braces in it too. This one is supposed to beef up the structure of the fastback or couple with the design of the convertible, where it has the extra bracing over the hump. Unfortunately, this version cheaped out on the structure on the sides of the tunnel, where it goes down to single thickness sheet, whereas the convertible has those two ribs continue down all the way to the platforms. I should have ordered this part from another source because there are coupe/fastback versions that have the proper ribbing. I'll go ahead and weld in some extra "U" sections to make up for the lack of strength but after I get it welded to the floor pan.
20191228_172408 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I started by welding in the back of the trans tunnel to make sure my weight inside the car wasn't pushing the floor downward. You can see the six plug welds in the rear of the tunnel.
20191229_141506 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I am having problems getting the front flange to be flush with the floor on the one-piece platform, I've got 1/8" and 3/16" gaps that won't flex that need to be addressed. This might be because of not pushing the floor down far enough on the outside edges before I welded it but it is what it is now. I've decided the platforms need to be level first and foremost, and matching slant angle, so that the seats sit right. So I'll eventually get that set then figure out the gaps than need to be corrected. For comparison, I put these Canadian versions into place but I don't really like them for various reasons and decided to stay the course on the one-piece.
20191229_160326 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I strapped a 4x4 to the door frame so that I could push against it with a push clamp. That push clamp is a HF clamp that can be pull or push by reversing the ends. It's been a really great tool since it is long and has infinite positions.
20191229_141513 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #93
So today's progress was finishing welding in the back of the floor and making flanges to fit my "widened" stock wheel wells. See my previous post about the wheel well mods for more info on how I made more room for wider tires. One thing I hadn't done yet was replace the flange I cut away on the floor. My plan was to create some flanges and spot weld them into place. I started by cutting some 90 degree pieces of sheet metal, one for each side. The sharpie marks on the angle part are to indicate which areas need more bend, so that I could stretch it to the right curve quicker, longer lines mean more curve.
20191231_095548 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Using my HF shrinker/stretcher set, I turned that piece into this:
20191231_100257 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here are both after about an hour of stretching the upper flange to create the curve I needed to match the wheels wells.
20191231_122820 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Before spot welding them into place, I need to finish plug welding in the rear of the floor in. Once again, I used the push clamp to push the floor down and close up the gaps before I welded each plug weld.
20191231_130318 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Both sides welded in after a couple hours.
20191231_152350 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Once the floor was in place, I sprayed some weld thru primer onto the interfaces with the flanges I made and clamped them in place, ready for spot welding. Note that I spot welded them in on the top of the floor, after seam sealing, this will make for less flanges to seal on the underside of the car and make it less obvious, actually, from under the car it should look unmodified.
20191231_165626 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here is the final result, both sides spot welded into place:
20191231_172519 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20191231_172530 by 7T02S, on Flickr

With the wheel wells clamped into place, the new flanges will work out nicely!
20191231_173548 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Next steps, I think will be welding in the trunk floor pieces, rear tail-light crossmember, and the wheel wells.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
I was finally able to get the trunk floor and rear crossmember in place. It took me way longer than I thought it would. There sure are a LOT of holes to drill! Over 130. During the week, I assembled the back of the car (quarters, trunk, wheel wells) to ensure the conform the location of the floor pieces and draw outlines of where the flanges were so I could draw out the hole locations.

Here are the floor pieces with holes drilled and paint removed from around the holes.
20200104_161355 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I also had to go along and weld-fill the partial holes that were left from the spot weld cutter. Then ground down the welds and prepped with 80 grit DA and scotchbrite.
20200104_094951 by 7T02S, on Flickr

After weld thru primer.
20200104_174310 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200104_174328 by 7T02S, on Flickr

This morning, started by installing the rear crossmember with 2 clecos into existing holes.
20200105_085757 by 7T02S, on Flickr

After plug and stitch welding to the frame rails, cleaned, masked and coated with internal frame coating.
20200105_095551 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200105_100150 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Installed the floor pieces and the gas tank to align everything. This helped pull the panel to the front of the tank into position.
20200105_103204 by 7T02S, on Flickr

These holes for the LH tank screws didn't align even though everything else on the LH floor piece lines up.
I'll take care of the holes later.
20200105_103331 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then started welding the floor pieces starting at the back with it clamped into position.
20200105_105550 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Lots of clamps were used in the making of this essay.
20200105_121938 by 7T02S, on Flickr

All welds complete!!!
20200105_132026 by 7T02S, on Flickr

To get those three pieces welded in took five straight hours.
 

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You have been on quite a journey so far. I will be following your progress.

Question, what brand weld through primer are you using and are you happy with it? That is, is it really weld through?
 

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Discussion Starter #96
You have been on quite a journey so far. I will be following your progress.

Question, what brand weld through primer are you using and are you happy with it? That is, is it really weld through?
Agreed, it HAS been quite a journey!

I've been using Cobre weld thru primer. I didn't find much information on it online but my local paint supply store carries it and they say the primer has a cult following. I also called the manufacturer and talked to their tech guy to get some more details. I've been overall pretty happy with it. And YES it is extremely weld through. It's like it's not even there. Might as well be welding perfectly prepped clean metal. I don't scrape any of it off before welding. The tech guy said that the copper and zinc in it will get sucked into the weld puddle and protect the weld from corrosion. The tech guy also said a body shop that used it on a restoration, had to tear back into the car years later after a wreck and the seams where the Cobre was used were rust free.

Here's an initial view at a corrosion test that I did, with this picture being after about a week outside with condensation in the mornings back in October. I plug welded on top of various weld thru primers and paints. The paint I scraped a little bit of paint away to allow the weld to start. The left is an original inner fender apron with SPI epoxy. Many people said this was the way to go but it clearly it rusted up quickly (although they usually say to drip the SPI epoxy into the seams to cover weld affected areas back up which this doesn't simulate). On most of the seams that these would be applied on, there would be seam sealer keeping water at bay but that doesn't help lap joints, like inside frame rails and torque boxes that can't be sealed as well, but in those cases hopefully cavity wax could be used. Anyways, the second piece looks pretty decent but can't remember which black spray paint I used. The third is the Cobre. I thought it looked pretty darn nice. The fourth is Dynacorn silver weld thru. It doesn't look too bad and welds okay. The last sheet has two types of VHT paint, epoxy and high temp. The also rusted up quickly.

2020-01-10_06-29-22 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here are some of the pieces tonight after being outside for about three months.

2020-01-10_06-46-00 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Unfortunately, I brought the Cobre piece inside last month and can't find it. I think I'll run another test on Cobre. I recall it looked pretty similar to how it looked after a week.

Here's another look at the inner fender piece. Not in the first photo, I later added the grey SEM weld through primer. It was nearly impossible to weld through and popped and sputtered and cause black soot when welding. After I welded that, I left this piece outside for about 1.5 months after applying the SEM. I won't use that one because it welds so bad and doesn't protect the weld area very well. The SPI plug welds continues to rust. Also in the lower left are two welds on top of a wash of a phosphoric acid coating. The coating itself protects the metal really well in the weather but definitely burns away at the welds and where weld spatter hit it.

2020-01-10_06-53-04 by 7T02S, on Flickr

As for the Cobre, even though it showed signs of rusting, it was much reduced over the others after that first week. On top of that, it welds like it wasn't there. The other thing is you can apply the first coat, then a second coat in 2-5 minutes, then weld in another 15. It's about $34 a can and doesn't last terribly fair. One downside is it scrapes off easily while fitting the mating parts together, especially if you only wait 15 minutes. I've been mostly waiting overnight for it to dry and it seems to be more resilient to the scraping. It makes me feel much better than doing nothing. I try to not slide parts too much between priming and welding when I use it. I could go the SPI route but is another level of messy and smelly, like all automotive epoxies I suppose. It off gasses a lot overnight, so you have to vent the shop a lot more than the Cobre. The upside to the SPI is it is very tough to scraping off as the parts are assembled and adjusted but it obviously needs to be completely scraped out of the plug weld hole area to weld. I chose the Cobre route due to the initial week corrosion result, quickness of application, and impressive weld thru ease.

Not extremely scientific but that's what I got...
 

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Discussion Starter #97
After all of this, I don't really think there is a magic bullet to weld corrosion protection other than seam sealing and cavity wax afterwards. I just picked up a tube of Fusor 2098 Crash Durable Structural adhesive that I'm going to use for several joints, like the upper cowl because you can spot weld through it when wet, it's extremely strong and tough, and it doubles as a seam sealer. I'm also planning to use that for my wheel well seams and rear deck filler piece below the rear window. I'll probably use it in the lower corners of the quarter panels at the lower, rear corners of the rear window. I'll probably remove the cowl hats and reattach them with structural adhesive as well to get rid of the un-protected spot weld joint unless that e-coated part look like it was dipped and not sprayed.
 

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I greatly appreciate your experience with different weld through primers as it will save me time and frustration. I have two areas of interest for its use, my replacement cowl panels and my Spintech subframe connectors which are welded on unlike many that bolt into place.

When welding in the lower and upper cowl panels, are you using some type of weldable seam sealer between layers? When I removed my cowl panels, it was obvious the Ford had some kind of sealer between the layers before spot welding. I would like to replicate what Ford did as best I can. If necessary, I would use the weld through primer around the plug holes and a seam sealer some distance away from the holes as a filler.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
I greatly appreciate your experience with different weld through primers as it will save me time and frustration. I have two areas of interest for its use, my replacement cowl panels and my Spintech subframe connectors which are welded on unlike many that bolt into place.
I purchased a set a spintech's and decided to not use them. One reason was all the overlapping areas at the frame rail extension that I wasn't sure how to protect from rust. They also don't seem setup to drain water very well. They didn't really seem to follow the floor contour as well as I liked. I also thought the section height just in front of the rear torque box wasn't tall enough to be effective. Just my opinion though.

When welding in the lower and upper cowl panels, are you using some type of weldable seam sealer between layers? When I removed my cowl panels, it was obvious the Ford had some kind of sealer between the layers before spot welding. I would like to replicate what Ford did as best I can. If necessary, I would use the weld through primer around the plug holes and a seam sealer some distance away from the holes as a filler.
Good question as I'm still deciding. I think I'm going to use Cobre to weld down the lower cowl and MIG plug weld it. Then I'm planning to use the Fusor 2098 to glue the upper cowl down and place a few spot welds around the perimeter while it's wet. End result will be a completely seam sealed and tough structural seam. The only other way I can see sealing this joint with plug welding is to try and spray cavity wax into the grills and hoping it gets around the perimeter but I don't want to rely on that, plus it won't look as good what I'm planing because I'm also planning to paint the top of the lower cowl piece body color before gluing down upper cowl. I'll place some plastic on top of the lower cowl before gluing the top in place. That should protect it from overspray of primer during body work. Then I'll pull the plastic out through the hats.

I can't bring myself to plug weld the upper cowl because of the difficulty sealing after welding and that weld through primer doesn't really completely stop rust. Capillary action suggests this seam will suck in water if not sealed.

Side note is that Fusor can't be applied within 2 inches of a plug weld due to the heat.
 

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I found this YouTube video on Combining Seam Sealing and Welding In Collision Repair. The process is what I would expect with the exception we will be plug welding instead of spot welding. I was thinking of following the procedure shown with the exception of leaving space around the plug weld holes. Once clamped, the excess seam sealer would be removed from the spot weld holes prior to MIG welding. I would hope, with most of the seam sealer removed, that good plug weld quality could be achieved, what do you think?

 
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