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As others have said, get a welder and learn or shell out big bucks. I had a little welding experience with thick stuff. Just hobby. Sheet metal is a different animal. Took me some practice to figure it out but after that it really isn't that difficult. Time consuming but not terribly difficult. This board got me through my complete teardown. Incredible people on here willing to offer more opinions than you probably want. Plus now if I need something welded, I just do it :)
 

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When the local owner of a vintage body shop came to my house to inspect the mustang he was very clear that if he fixed the rust that I could not afford him @$125/hour. So I purchased a Miller mig and started practicing. When all was said and done I took the mustang to him and he squirted it with paint. His comment; great job at welding the panels in. I saved a bunch of money, acquired new tools and skills.
If an old guy can learn new tricks a 17 yo can learn them better. Utube is your friend when it comes to learning.
 

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I'll quickly grab some more pics, and yeah, the rust is gonna be difficult to figure out. I highly appreciate all the feedback on here, I have been looking at diagrams and all of that to try and figure it out, but this seems much more helpful. Thank yall kindly. Here's pictures of the drop offs. And as regards to doing myself, I'd hate to do it as I learn to weld, I don't want her to be filled with mistakes caused by me. I know I should strip her to the bate frame and do rust restoration from there before anything, but I'm on a budget for now, and I'm not to knowledgeable on cars in general
I’ll bet dollars to donuts you’ve got serious structural issues with the car just based on the few pics you’ve posted.

If you’re going to drive it at the very minimum...

Get it up in the air even on jackstands and have a look at where the frame rails attach to the unibody and the condition of where they attach the suspension, front and rear. Take pics, post here for feedback. If those are too damaged you shouldn’t drive the car. We can help guide you.

If you can’t weld you can’t do those rear quarters. Period. It’s a welding job no matter how you look at it.

Wire wheel off all the rust you can see and treat it with something like Ospho or Eastwood Etch. After that shoot those parts with a rattle can preventative primer/paint like Eastwood rust protector. That will abate the rust at least for the time being. Rust is a chemical reaction and unless you stop it it’s going to keep eating and damaging the metal.

Get more pics, post back and we should be able to tell you if your ride is safe while you deal with a long term strategy. If it’s safe you can start on the easy parts removing the rust and either treating or replacing the rot. Better to drive a car with some temporary protective primer spots than have it eat itself to death.
 

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You have a perfect car to learn all the skills of the trade on beginning with welding. Focus on one major area at a time. In your case - sheet metal. Save for a Millermatic welder and practice on scrap metal. Realistically - disassembly, sheet metal, and reassembly will be a year process. But when finished ( as others have said) you have a valuable skill for the hobby and there will not be a part on that car you cannot identify and knows how it fits. However, many have attempted this feat and given up shortly after tear down because the process is tedious, dirty and so time consuming. There are so many on this forum willing to help, but you must decide for yourself if you have the time and money to invest and after six months you still have dirty hands, dirty parts and nothing shinny to show for it! Oh, and a non-op radio! LoL! Best of luck. Go for it!
Ron
 

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By all means, buy that welder and have at it! You are at the perfect age and have the perfect car to work on.
I don’t agree with the “tear it down” crew. If your frame rails and rockers and rockers are good..,then most of the rest is cosmetic... drive it while you fix it...in stages. Save up for a Hobart 140 and break the work down in small pieces. I’m from the rust belt.
That rust ain’t nuttin...lol
 
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