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Discussion Starter #21
Nice work. I'm probably going to be doing the mod on the front end of my car for a 24" radiator. Any tips you can pass along from doing it on your car?
Measure five times, question your measurement, have your wife come out and check your measurements another four times, argue a little bit, measure three more times and then cut :grin2:

I found the center of the radiator and then measure out to the edge of the air portion. Then I did the same measurement on the car and marked with chalk in the center, top, and bottom. I then measured diagonally from the top corners to the bottom corners to make sure they were both equal. Use a known straight edge (like a level) to finish drawing out your lines. Check the measurements from top and bottom as well as side to side again at every point. When satisfied...measure again. When you're sure you have it right...measure one more time. After everything is certain let the cutting being. Cut the inside of the line. I used a plasma cutter but a cutoff wheel or body saw would also do the trick. Take your time cause it's real hard to get a do-over on this. After you're done cutting, smooth out any rough edges.

For the radiator, this one has dowels welded in the bottom that sit down into the frame rail. I used white out on the bottoms of the dowls to find the drill point. From there drill a small pilot hole and then work your way up to the proper size. Sit the radiator down in to verify everything's cool and go pour some whiskey.

Quick word of caution...dont set the radiator flat against the support when you get ready to do your holes. I did that and noticed it didnt want to sit the in the opening very well. Setting it back about 1/4-3/8 inch did the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
It's been a bit since I've posted so I wanted to provide an update (sadly no pic's yet).

I have smoothed out the crap quarter panel welding as best I can. I think it's smooth enough to not warrant a crap ton of body putty...at least not as much as what was on there. I've also cut out and patched the rip job on the drivers side. I still need to smooth out the welds there and probably do some touch up welding. Same with the wind sail rusting and a few other spots I've discovered. I've decided to keep the drip rails so I'm working on patching them up and splicing them back in. After I'm done with that stuff I'll be going over the repairs with dynaglass.

I started repairing the wheel wells...and think I did a pretty bang up job with cutting the bad crap out and welding in the good stuff. Then I got it in my head that I want to clearance the front and rear a little more to accommodate larger tires in the future. So i have cut a slit of each corner and am reshaping the wheel houses. I also took a stab at rolling one of the rear fenders and did a pretty terrible job of it that I'm going to have to fix now. It's kind of embarrassing how horrible a job it was so I'm going to keep that to myself :-D

On a lighter note...I had a great conversation with Shaun from SoT this morning about the front suspension, spindles, brakes, wheels, and lots of other things. Dudes pretty cool and I look forward to speaking with him again in the future. It'd be tough to find someone more passionate about these old cars and making them better than that guy.

I put in an order for their Stage 5 suspension kit. That's tubular uca / lca, performance springs, roller perches, and adjustable strut rods. Upgrading to the big bearing spindles for peace of mind. I also put in for the 13" 1.25 rotor disc brakes system. That's all very exciting!!

....and after that order I put in with Summit for 2 torque thrust ii wheels, 4.75 backspacing, 8" wide and a set of Sport Comp 2 wheels in 245/40-r17. I'm going to see if I can get them under the front fenders. If not, i'll run them in the rear and order a 235 set for the front. The plan is to eventually get another 4 rims and outfit them with dedicated racing wheels.

I've also contacted my Ford racing machine shop to begin work on the 408 block. It'll be a full roller w/ Scat cast crank, H-beam rods, and flat top pistons. I'm going to top it with AFR205 72cc heads, an edelbrock air-gap, quickfuel 750 carb and a set of 1 3/4 accufab headers in February when it's done...and I have money again :-D They are also going to setup a custom ground cam to work with a TKO600 w/ race gear (.82 overdrive) and 3.70 gears on 25.5" tires.
 

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It's been a bit since I've posted so I wanted to provide an update (sadly no pic's yet).

I started repairing the wheel wells...and think I did a pretty bang up job with cutting the bad crap out and welding in the good stuff. Then I got it in my head that I want to clearance the front and rear a little more to accommodate larger tires in the future. So i have cut a slit of each corner and am reshaping the wheel houses. I also took a stab at rolling one of the rear fenders and did a pretty terrible job of it that I'm going to have to fix now. It's kind of embarrassing how horrible a job it was so I'm going to keep that to myself :-D
opened up the wheel wells myself. I did a roll job while installing the quarters, got one side finished, still have to put polish on the other side but looks pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Did you roll them prior to putting them in I take it?

Mine were already installed and I misunderstood the process for rolling. I sliced the whole lip every 5 inches or so and proceeded to start dollying them flat. However, because I cut the slits in the whole thing, it knocked the lip out of adjustment on the flare. I got the flare reset but still have some more hammering to fix some of the lipping. I'm planning on getting an Eastwood roller and am going to heat that lip, roll it, and try and get it reshaped proper. The passenger side was left in tact so I can use it or measurements and balancing.
 

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Did you roll them prior to putting them in I take it?

Mine were already installed and I misunderstood the process for rolling. I sliced the whole lip every 5 inches or so and proceeded to start dollying them flat. However, because I cut the slits in the whole thing, it knocked the lip out of adjustment on the flare. I got the flare reset but still have some more hammering to fix some of the lipping. I'm planning on getting an Eastwood roller and am going to heat that lip, roll it, and try and get it reshaped proper. The passenger side was left in tact so I can use it or measurements and balancing.
Yes, I started the roll before installing. I also did some slits on the INNER lip with mixed results. They made it easier to hammer the metal but did cause the lip to want to "hunch" out at the slits, probably the same thing you saw. If I did it again, I am not sure I would use the slits. I had to do a lot of massaging with the mallet as I went. I got them welded into place, but it was VERY hot and humid back when I was doing it and I had to come back out of the fender, wipe my helmet lens clear and try to weld the next bead on EVERY SINGLE tact. Now that it is cooler and I have the car back up on it's side (I had it flat and level for installing the quarters), I am finishing hammering, welding and grinding the inner lips.
The first pic is from the other night when I was about finished. The second one is pretty ugly but from when I had just finished tacking them together.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Christmas came early!!

Rolling rear fenders complete. I was able to get slits cut in the wheel house lip and beat it flat with 'the persuader' (aka, a 4lb mallet). The outer lip was cake after that. Also did more metal work. Honestly...the metal work is getting a little old...and tedious. I managed to get both drip rails 'repaired' and I think I'm about 85% done with all the known repairs. I'll snap some photos of those in the next few days when I can make them look a little prettier. I'm SOOOOO ready to be done working metal...

In other news...Santa in the brown sleigh has made several trips to the house effectively delivering the 1st - 7th days of Christmas for me!!

Delivered one set of TTii wheels (4.75 backsapce, 8" wide) with 245/40-r17 Sport Comp2 tires. I'm going to try and get these on the front when the front end is back together. If they dont fit I'll get the next set with 235/45-r17 tires. Shaun (SoT) seemed fairly confident I could get them under there with some fender rolling and creative wheel alignment specs:


What could be in these boxes...are they labeled Street or Track?! I believe they are!! I think my bike is starting to get a little jealous...


Oh look! A menu to order more tasty bits from!! We'll be saving this for later :-D


Those rotors are ginormous!!


The rest of the boxes opened and laid out!!



I need a break from metal work so I think i'll play with the front suspension and brakes a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks but the credit should go to Shaun at SoT. I was thoroughly impressed by the fit and finish of his stuff. Plus he's great people to talk to.

Over the weekend I went through a wire cup brush stripping more paint off. I have more brushes coming. I'm hoping by the end of the weekend I'll have the car devoid of paint. I was on the fence about buying new front fenders vs fixing them but, since it's cold out and I cant spray primer, I'm going to spend some time saving them. I dont think it'll be too bad. I have a stud welder and can pull out the shaping the previous owner messed up. The line behind the fender was done purely with body filler...the underside was flat. I'm pretty sure the previous owner was a sculpture artist with how well they'd hidden the shoddy body work.

Anyway, for a change of pace I mocked up the front suspensions and brakes. Also threw on the wheels to check clearance and fit. I think they'll do fine. I will be pulling it back off though so install the lower camber kit.

Pic's:


going to have to mash the fender lips flat but they'll fit


\

This was a little while ago...it's a little more stripped down but still looks pretty close to this...
 

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Ditto on Shaun's parts. What size rotors are they? Which springs did you go with? I bought the GT coils. With all the bearings in the suspension so much binding is removed my car actually rides softer now. You'll find a nice smooth ride over bumps and pot holes now. I haven't noticed any more noise or harshness everyone claims you get with solid bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Ditto on Shaun's parts. What size rotors are they? Which springs did you go with? I bought the GT coils. With all the bearings in the suspension so much binding is removed my car actually rides softer now. You'll find a nice smooth ride over bumps and pot holes now. I haven't noticed any more noise or harshness everyone claims you get with solid bearings.
After a pretty long conversation with Shaun I went with the 13x1.25 rotors w/ the 4 piston brakes. The springs are the performance ones which I believe are a bit softer than the GT. I also have a 1 1/8 sway bar that wasnt in stock but should be here in a few weeks.

It's getting real hard to stay patient on this thing and to not start trying to blast through things. I'm hoping to have the rack and pinion in January and should then be okay to put it on the ground and see how she sits for real. I raised the rear end up with a tire on to see how it would sit and I dont like it. I think it's sitting too high but it's hard to tell with it in the air. There is way too much gap in the between the tire and fender for my taste but I cant make a call on that until it's on the ground and I can bounce on it to get the springs to settle. In all reality...there's a good chance that by the time it's painted, on the road, and driveable...it's probably going to have Shauns full floating rear end...

There's still plenty to do while I wait on stuff. I'm probably going to pick up a couple body lamps and see about spraying the epoxy. My garage is well insulated and Missouri will have runs of 50/60 degree weather over the winter. I figure I can heat my garage up, heat the panels with the lights, open a door, spray with a fan blowing out, close up, and continue heating the panels and be in good shape.
 

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I find the GT springs are very soft with the new set up. A lot softer then stock. I weigh 170 and before I had the Bilstein Sports in, I had plain old Monroe stock replacements in. Just sitting on the front fender I would bottom the suspension out pretty much.

I'm on the fence about the inner rockers. I'm 6', I don't want to loose any head room and with the seat pan I think I would give up more then I want to. I wonder how effective the whole system would be without the seat pan or even if it was sectioned to allow the seats to fit lower how much rigidity would be given up? Did you trim the inner rockers so you could install them without cutting open the foot well and just install them from the inside I know Shaun cut his foot wells open and slid them in from the front fenders.

I'd love to do brakes too but it's no where near in the budget right now. I know Shaun and spoke about brakes. I was going to run the 13" as I was planning to go to 17" wheels but that also took a budget hit and I've resided out of need to stick with my 15" wheels for now. Shaun told me the 13" brakes outsell the 12" by quite a bit. I would think the 12" would be a pretty powerful set up as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I did cut a slot open for the inner rockers to slide through. My car did not have front torque boxes so it made more sense to just open the floor pan, slide them through, and then put the convertible torque boxes in. No muss...no fuss. On the passenger side the rear tb was fine so I did have to get a little creative with the inner rocker mating it to the tb. On the drivers side, replacing the tb with the convertible one greatly simplified that step. I also think that having them protrude through the floor and then welding them solid to the torque box would be more solid.

You will lose some rigidity if you cut up the riser. This was something I thought about a lot. I have (currently) no intention of lowering my seating position cause I'm 5'8" so it fits me well. However, I dont think you're going to lose enough to really notice. All things being equal though, to get the maximum rigidness, I'd probably do one of two things...

A) modify the vert riser lowering the seats accordingly. Then add 1/8" piece on the front and rear portions that were modified up to the hump area. That should add some of that back

B) Modify stock risers to fit with the vert rockers and then add a joining piece between the two pans

Take this with a grain of salt...i'm not a structural engineer.

Also...budgets suck...i keep blowing mine month to month :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Figured I should put in an update here. There's not a lot of 'great' things to report.

I spent a couple of weeks trying to save the front fenders from the previous owners hack job. However the patches I got from NPD were a little different in how they contoured to the wheel arch. They also didnt' match the back of the fender well either. Add that with the support being pretty well trashed and the headlight bucket openings being trashed and I decided it best to get new fenders (please dont thrash me for that).

The passenger side door was kind of the same scenario. As I was sanding it down I noticed a little spot on the underside of the door. A little sanding later and I hit a flury of body filler. The previous owner had "sculpted" the underside of the door...which was pretty well gone. He/she also managed to sculpt into the weatherstrip guide. To the point you'd really have no idea it was just filler. I mean...this dude was a master of the bondo. Regardless, it's out of my realm of capability to fix it so I added that to the order of new stuff. All of which arrived Monday!



I also took some time to attempt a fix for the hack job on the radio slot in the dash. I'm planning on putting a few switches into this area and putting a radio under the dash in a console to be designed and built later. The switches will be things like an electric fan override, fuel pump shutoff, dump out toggles, etc.



I dont have a ton of tools at my disposal and can weld reasonably well...so i cut out a piece to a little bigger than the slot to be repaired...I then cut it in half so I could create the 90 degree rounded area to match the contour of the dash



I then welded it back together. I think it worked out pretty dang well. I still need to do some finish welding and filler in some of the welded joints but overall...i'm happy





I rebuilt the hinges this week, "repaired" the drip rails, and generally performed some more cut and splice work on the body.

Whats next...
* i'm waiting on the sway bar to finish the front suspension. I've been in contact with Shaun from SoT but it seems the bar is backordered but should be shipping soon...at least I hope
* This weekend a buddy of mine is coming over to help me dry fit panels. The expectation is that, by the end of the day Saturday, the shell should be mostly assembled so I can see how good / bad some of the fitment is. Cursory review of the door shows that it should fit pretty well. The wildcards on the panels...I'm putting an R front valance, fiberglass 67 hood, and a fiberglass spoiled deck lid. That deck lid might get abandoned because, frankly, the extensions fit TERRIBLY. The passenger side is a full half inch too long...the contours arent even really that close. So i'm probably going to put it up for sale on the local craigslist and try to get some of my money back out.
* I'll be putting in an order to TCP to get a manual rack and pinion with bump steer kit.
* Picking up the 408 short block in a few weeks as well

I was originally planning on spraying epoxy and doing most of the body work myself. However, I have an attached garage and I hear epoxy primer is especially bad for you. So I'm shooting to have this thing at my body guy early March....where he'll point out all the things I messed up :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #34
It was a pretty good weekend. I got the new panels set on the car to check for fitment. All in all...not bad. They'll need a little tweaking and fine tuning but overall, i'm pretty happy.

The fiberglass hood fit...well...like a fiberglass hood ergo, not very good but it shouldnt be hard to touch up. I also put in the radiator, hood pins, started mocking the front end, set the car on the ground and rolled it outside so she could see some sunlight.

Outside:


Front:


I know some things are crooked...nothing is bolted down hard and it'll all get taken apart over the next week anyhow to add all new hardware. I also did some fiberglass filler work on some of the welded joints. I'm not going to get too crazy with it though. I want my body guy to have the final say.

On the docket for this week:
- pull the front fenders, apron, and pretty much everything else
- add new hardware (hopefully being delivered from NPD Thursday)
- put it back together...hopefully the last time before going to the body shop
- begin replacing the tail light panel
- fit the GT rear valance

I have officially pulled the fiberglass deck lid. The extensions fit like poo and I just didnt like the look of it after it was on the car. It started to look like a bastardized Slomaro in my opinion. So if anyones in the market for one, let me know.
 

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Here's the cabin with the vert inner rockers and seat riser installed. There's a little more cleanup to do in this area but overall, i'm pleased:

Great work!

Quick question. What does the convertible seat riser do that the coupe seat riser doesn't?

Thanks!

Rusty
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Great work!

Quick question. What does the convertible seat riser do that the coupe seat riser doesn't?

Thanks!

Rusty
The convertible riser creates a rigid structure between the two inner rocker pieces. It's a single, solid piece. I'm not sure how much flexing those inner rockers do since they are heavy tubular steel, but if they were to flex at all, the convertible rocker would eliminate it.

Whereas the coupe seat risers are 2 individual pieces that wouldnt create as much (if at all) additional rigidity. Make sense?

The shorter answer is...probably nothing / not much but add piece of mind :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Progress has been slow and steady lately. I received and installed the rack and pinion from TCP. It was crazy simple to put in and bolted right up. They did have 2 clamps that were mislabeled. They had the drivers clamp labeled as the passenger and vice versa. Not a big deal. I was somewhat concerned it wasnt going to work since i put in a lower camber kit but it bolted right up with no issues. Might have actually been easier because I put in the lower camber kit I didnt have to grind the lip off the bottom of the LCA mounts. The clamp will make changing the LCA plates a little bit of a pain though. Oh well...probably just do that once or twice anyway.

Here's the rack roughed in. I am waiting on the tie rods and bump steer kit which should be coming tomorrow.



It's pretty great being able to go lock to lock in about 2.5 turns...should get it close to a goKart like feel.
The steering column is going to come out again though. I have procured, what I believe to be, the parts to put in an EPAS. I have a Prius steering column and control module inbound from Ebay. I'm hoping to get that in this weekend so I can start prepping the dash and interior pieces for paint. I'd like to have it painted in the next couple of weeks.

I spent a good majority of yesterday replacing the tail light panel. The lower part of it, where the bumper mounts, was pretty mangled up. Looks like the PO had tried to replace it at one point and the job didnt pass muster. I'm about 90% done installing the original ford tooling one. It fits and looks a LOT better than the previous attempt. Hoping to also have that wrapped up this weekend.

Since it was a nice weekend, my dad got his car out (the one i finished September 2016) and took a couple photos for me. I still need to get up there and do a couple things (tune the carb, set timing, couple wiring things) to make it 100%.


 

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Discussion Starter #38
Received the bump steer kit...however it was missing the billet adapters. Not a big deal...a quick correspondence with TCP and they had them here within a couple days. I have them installed however they are not adjusted. I want to wait until the engine, alignment, etc is done before going through the adjusting of the bump steer stuff. I'll detail that when the time comes.

Also heard from my engine builder. The short block went into the assembly room late last week so it should be done soon. Hoping this week so I can shift gears so to speak. I've also been in contact with modern driveline about a auto to manual conversion.

Now for the bad stuff...I'm really close to being done with metal work. However the GT valance has other plans. I fit it to the car and it's nowhere near close to fitting. I'm going to have to cut the ends off and add some patches to get it to fit right. I'll play around with that if I get some time this week.

Pics of the badness:
Passenger side


Drivers side


Rear with the new tail light panel
 

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I have finally finished building a 66 convertible for my dad and can get back to working on my car. I bought this car in 2010 and, over the years, made some light fixes here and there. I've replaced the passenger back half of the frame rail, front suspension, misc hoses and gaskets to make it into a serviceable driver.

Then I decided to build the vert for my dad since he'd always wanted one (i think he was a little jealous of my coupe :smile2:) and had to store this one for the last couple years. Until now...

The plan for this car is as follows:

Chassis (first)
- measure the frame for straightness and correct as needed
- replace rear torque boxes (possibly the entire frame rails from the tb's back...will be making a jig for this)
- repair / replace front frame sections as needed
- inner rockers and seat pedestal from a 66 vert
- front tb's from a 67
- fix rust as i come across it

Steering, brakes, wheels (second)
- unisteer power rack (street or track)
- ididit steering column in an effort to try and eliminate the 'harpoon' steering box
- 13" disc brakes w/ dual bowl master cylinder...debating on going Wilwood or SoT for the calipers / kit
- rims...17" tbd on style...probably 8" wide on the rear (or 9's if i can fit them) and 7" on the front...MAYBE roll the fender lips a little

Front suspension (third)
- SoT tubular UCA / LCA and adjustable rods
- roller perches (opentracker)
---- already have done a UCA drop and have 620 1" lowering springs

This order is TBD
Transmission
- T5 conversion w/ hydraulic clutch

Rear
- Ford 9" w/ TruTrac and 3.80 gears...maybe 3.55 depending on the cam decision below
- I MIGHT add a watts link but I'll evaluate that after i can drive it

Engine
- Smedding short block
- AFR 205 - full roller rockers
- RPM Intake
- QuickFuel carb
- MSD 6AL box
- aluminum radiator w/ electric fans
- cam custom grind - tbd
- side exhaust w/ shelby skirts

That's the plan for the time being and will be done in stages. I'm estimating the total build to take about 2 years depending on how well the car cooperates with me. All of this is subject to change so...ride along with me and we'll have some fun!!

Here is how she sits now...


For inquiring minds...here are some pics of the convertible...
Before:


New interior:


I'm the ugly one in the back...

How do you insert the pictures into the post large like that? mine will not allow me to do that or to even attach them not. keeps saying its to large?
 
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