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On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it to repair the cowls aside from welding the new cowls in? And how hard was it to repair the floors, aside welding them in? I figure I can do all the prep work and then pay a welder to come to my house and weld the new parts in, saving myself a few thousand dollars. I plan on diving into this project soon since I have deemed my car unroadworthy. Thanks for the input.
-Scott
 

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how does paying someone else save money? the welding was easier than the prep!
 

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I've never done a cowl, so can't comment on it, but it sure looks like a daunting task.

Getting the old floor pan out is a piece of cake ... the hard part is getting the new one cut, fit, and welded. That part is a royal PIA.

I think your plan is a good one. You will likely save yourself a fair chunk of change, as you will save on "shop rates" to do piddly stuff like removing the interior and fenders and such.
 
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I'm doing all the work in my driveway. I have no knowledge of welding, nor does any one I know. I also don't have a welding machine. I figure I can do the hard part of tearing it down, and then I'll pay a welder to weld the new pieces in. My local resto shop wanted $2500 for the cowl work and $1400 for the floor. :: No thanks.
-Scott
 

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The cowl wasn't so much hard as it was time consuming and nerve racking. IF you were to do as you suggest you might want to get the person who would do the welding BEFORE you start ripping it apart so you know how THEY want it done.

Other than that, someone else already said it. Fitting the new metal in is the hard part. Especially if you want it butt welded back in. You have a little more flexibility if you lap weld it.

Overall, ubless you have some metalworking knowledge and the right tools it is a very big job.

Frank
 

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I just got finished with the floors in my car, and I am working on the cowls now. Like everyone else has already said, the fitting is the hardest part. I would definitely have whoever is going to do the welding come and look at everything first. You may check into how much the welder will charge, the floor pans take quite a bit of time to get welded in correctly. In the end, it may be cheaper to but a MIG welder, and do it yourself. The floors are a good place to start your welding, as the work will be hidden when it is all done. My cowls are taking a ton of time to fit correctly. The replacement pieces are really designed for 64.5 - 66 Mustangs, and the contours around the hat on the drivers side were hitting the firewall.

Mike
 

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Did the cowl, the floor the aprons the rails the quarters..... still having fun!
The cowl area: to me the hardest part was cutting all them spotwelds!! Go for it!
 

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I have replaced my floor plans. I used cut off wheel, but I needed to buy a bigger compressor, it took a lot of air. It was easy to cut out. What I did was placed my new floor pans in on top of the current ones and than I traced a line of the floor pan. Than I removed the new floor pans and placed 1/2 tape below the traced line so I used the tape as a cut line. Than I had 1/2 to over lap when I welded. It was very hard to fit the new floor pans in. In some places eventhough I had 1/2 inch to play with I ended up butt welding. The easy part was cutting and welding. I used a mig welder to do the welding. The hard part was fitting the new ones in place. It is a pretty easy project but very time consuming and a lot of patience.
I have not replaced the cowls.
 

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I hadn't done any mig welding before I started the restoration of my Mustang, but that didn't discourage me from trying. The floors are a good place to start. I would say that getting the fit of the new floors correct was the hardest part. I optioned to use an overlap/flange weld on my pans because that type of weld is more forgiving. I also knew that would give me two chances to perfect my welding. I began on the top side, and focused on making sure my welds were hot enough to fuse the metals together. That's probably the hardest thing to get right on metal as thick as the floorpans. Warping or burnthroughs aren't as much of a problem here (at least with my Lincoln 110).

Once I finished the top side, I had developed some confidence in my welding, I ran another bead on the underside.

Since my floors, I have replaced: Core support, front cross member, all front aprons, shaved heater and fan firewall holes, quarter panels, rear cross member, fuel tank front lip, both trunk drop off's, and both quarter panels, and several butt welds for rust repair.

If you are going to require more rust repair than just your floors and cowel, you would save in the long run by buying your own welder and learning yourself. Invest in a good spot weld cutter (drill bit), and a panel separator (big knife looking thing).

Best of luck!
 

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I haven't tackled the floors, torque boxes, or inner rockers yet (they're next), but I have repaired the cowls. After removing the windsheild, everything in the dash, everything from the engine bay (and I do mean everything....not that that is necessary, just the way the car was bought), and about 180 spot welds, the upper cowl cover came right out. I repaired one side at a time. I found that when I removed one side, the firewall and cowl side mounting lips were rusted pretty bad. So I cleaned all of that up, welded in the replacement cowl to the existing lower cowl 'shell', screwed it down to the lip and proceeded to the drivers side, where I found the same type of rust on the lip.

After replacing that side, I completely removed the lower cowl half and cleand up the entire mounting lip area. With this out, it made it easy to clean the toeboards/firewall and back side of the dash.....now I have to put it all back in and move on to the floor....

To make a long story short....was it difficult....NO, Time consuming....YES, especially the drivers side because I didn't want to remove the windsheild wiper mount as the metal was still good and I didn't want to go thru the hassle of measuring and trying to get it all back where it should be. As stated earlier....the contours on the drivers side don't match a '68 at all and I had to perform a little facbriaction to make it work....that's the fun part! I have pics if you need them.

Gregg
 

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Slow down on this..only a welder knows how pieces must be fitted and preped for a welder to just walk up, set up and start burning....you don't. Therefore if and when you do find a guy he will either need to refit it correctly (read chargee you more) or tell you you blew it completely and he can't make it work(read your parts are trashed now, start again)
With the fearlessness you are approaching this with you'd be miles ahead to read up on welding technics then get you own welder. With the 600-800 for the welding setup, of which you could sell for just a few hundred less than you pay for it, you will have learned to weeld, done it yourself without having to wait on the pro to come over at his convience, and do it at your own pace. Sincee you got a resto shop nearby, drop by when they are doing a welding job like yours and take a look at the fitmeent. Once you se what has to be done you can probalby handle it. Just ripping into this and thinking you got it all seet for a pro to come in rarely ever flies....
 

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You can look at my Web site to see how I did it. Click on "tech." I used a different cowl repair technique, cutting out the top of the cowl over the rusted areas instead of removing the entire panel.

I also replaced my floor pans.
 

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Just add a couple of hundred to what the welder will charge and go get a mig. With just a little practice, anyone can weld with a mig. Those floors would give you all the practice you need! Then when its all said and done, you still have a welder to patch a pinhole, build something, etc.
 
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Thank for all the great advice. It might be a good idea to invest in a welding machine. Like you guys say I need to practice so that's probably what I'll end up doing. Thanks again, I'll keep you updated.
-Scott
 

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I got lucky and found a used Lincoln gas mig for $300. It won't take you too long to get the hang of welding and trust me you'll find lots of other uses for that welder in the long run. If you've got a shop, you'll never regret buying one for yourself. And $300 or $400 doesn't buy a lot of welding.
 

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I got a lincoln 125 at a pawn shop . The shop said someone had bought it and returned it because it was jerking and they could not use it so they returned it . They originally wanted $275 but since they assumed it was wasted they sold it to me for $100 . I got it home and figured out the guide tube for the wire was messed up . The spool of wire the machine had loaded was rusty and instead of stripping the rusted wire off someone tried to weld with the rusted wire . It plugged the guide tube with rust flakes and it made the wire "jerk" when you tried to weld with it .
I bought a new guide tube and installed it myself for a cost of $15 . Now I need a mig bottle and Im welding . Total so far = $115 + tax .....
I figure if I waste $100 on a bottle and having it filled Im still $$ ahead .
Get a mig and pratice with some junk sheet metal , you'll figure out thelimits and the ease quick .
 
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