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So, first thread in a bit, so for a bit of background, I've had my vert since 1994. It wasn't even a 20-20 car when I bought it, as it didn't look all that good at any distance or any speed. Essentially it had been a used car at one point and then likely sat unloved for a few years, then someone had brought it back with new rear quarters and some shiny paint.

I've spent years working on the car, but the mechanical end has always been what interested me...not body work...so as long as I could bolt parts to it...I've been able to ignore the patching here and there and the heavy undercoating hiding God knows what under the car. There have been some exceptions. Not long after I bought the car I went to change the leaf springs and the driver's side frame rail was rusted so bad at the rear bushing that the bushing wasn't even attached to the frame any more. I ended up replacing the entire frame rail, torque box and the under seat convertible brace. When I looked at the passenger frame rail after all that...I was kind of like "Well...the bushing looks fine and I don't see any holes...so I'm not going to mess with that heavy undercoating and I'm putting this car back together.

That frame rail kept on keeping on for another, what, 20+ years without causing me a bit of lost sleep UNTIL LAST NIGHT, when I laid awake from 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM worrying about it.

Essentially what happened is I had the car up on the lift over the weekend installing some tubular LCA's to replace my old boxed stock ones I built myself many years ago. That job finished up so fast that I took a little extra time just looking under the car. When I got to the rear passenger side frame rail (which has had one of the 28-inch replacement sections installed at some point)...the replacement section looked a little funky so I started tapping away on it and finally decided it needed work. The rust appeared to be mostly confined to an 8-inch section ending just in front of the rear frame rail bushing. Well...the car was already up on the lift...so I took off the rear bumper, rear valence, and pulled the leaf spring on that side. Last night I started grinding out the rust.

An hour later I was still grinding.

Good news was I found some good steel by removing the bottom inch of the frame rail from the back of the car forwards for about 16-inches.

Bad news is....my sheet metal skills are not going to be up to making a patch out of 13 gauge for that. When I started, I was picturing just being able to work on the bottom of the frame rail. I had no idea I'd have to remove 25% of the sides of it too.

So I ordered a 28-inch "Canadian Made" patch section from NPD. Looks like I have some work ahead of me. I guess it's a plus that the thing was already replaced sometime in the past and the guy just tack welded it in about 20 places on the edges. Last time I went through this I had to drill out a million spot welds. Of course I was like 30 back then. I really am getting too old for this stuff.

Oh well....at least this time I have a lift and a heated garage. 25 years ago it was in an unheated barn in the middle of a cold winter working on my back under jack stands.

Phil
 

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Everytime I get convertible fever, I remember a 65-66 that came into the school body shop when I was in college that had folded in half on some railroad tracks. It had frame rails that had been patched with angle iron.
 

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Everytime I get convertible fever, I remember a 65-66 that came into the school body shop when I was in college that had folded in half on some railroad tracks. It had frame rails that had been patched with angle iron.
And that quells your fever?
 
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