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So now that the engine is out of my '66, the next order of business is replacing the RH inner fender apron. The battery tray and apron shelf are rotted through. The shelf has a square that is approx 6"x6" that I have been thinking of just patching.

I want it to be done right, so how much more effort is it to pull the fender, drill out the spot welds and put in the new apron?
Is replacing the apron the best way to go?
 

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Gone but never forgetten
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Obviously it's your call. In my son's '65 rust bucket, there were a couple holes about the same size in 2 of the flloor pans that we just pathced.

The battery apron, the radiator support and and driver's floor pan were too far gone, though, so we replaced them. The inner fender apron, IMHO, is FAR, FAR easier than the floor pans!
 

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Replacing the battery tray and apron will make a permanent repair. patching will most likely mean going back and repeating the job in a couple of years as the rust spreads.
 
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I recently replaced these same items (including eventually the floor pans, toe boards, frame extensions, etc...) and the front end was certainly the easiest of the bunch. Just recommend you take plently of dimensions and pictures prior to taking the rusted section out. Check the straight lines of the mounting "squares" on the top edge of the inner fenders and their left to right across the front. This will help you get the new panels in correctly and square in the car.
 

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As long as your patch replaces the whole rusted area and you protect the metal well, there is nothing wrong with a patch. It is far easier and less time consuming - and once the battery is back in no one will notice. good luck.
 

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I went through the same thing on the left hand fender apron on my car. I patched mine from the back side and then filled from the front so it wouldn't show. Here's the area before and after the repair:

http://home.earthlink.net/~pirateship/DSC20301.JPG
http://home.earthlink.net/~pirateship/DSC21003.JPG

Taking off the fender is a bit of an issue. The fender is adjustable forward and aft, so to avoid problems with figuring out where to put it when you put it back on, you should probably drill two tiny holes through the fender lip (between the mounting bolts) and through the inner apron. Then you can use brads or finishing nails as dowels to relocate your fender exactly where it was. This will make it a lot easier to reinstall correctly.

I talked about all of this on my More Power Webpage .

After it was all said and done with patching my inner fender, I felt like it would have been just as easy to replace it. Depending upon the rusts location, you may be looking at replacing the forward fender mounting bracket too.

If you've never done a panel replacement before, this one would be a good one to start with. Good luck with whatever you decide.

BTW...on my webpage you'll note I welded my with oxygen/accetylene. Take my word for it, MIG is a lot easier.

Phil
 

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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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I replaced mine, and some frame rail, and the radiator support. I had a rust hole you could swing your foot through from a leaking battery that sat who knows how long.
I was surprised at how well it went. I would do it over again no problem. It was a breeze compared to floorpans and other rust repairs. The repro panel I got from NPD was quite solid and fit very well. I don't think a patch can compare to solid new steel. BTW, the radiator support and frame patches were pretty easy too.
 
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