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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello

I have been looking at purchasing the car I have wanted since I was 16...

I found a 1968 Coupe recently that fits my current budget. It needs work but I'm ok with taking the time and getting it there. I'm not looking for a show car. I want something I can enjoy and is structurally and mechanically sound.

The tag expired in 2014 and I was told the car was last started about 2 years ago. The owner told me what happened when he tried to shut it down the last time he started it and I'm pretty sure it's the starter solenoid so I'm going back Saturday with a battery, solenoid, cash and a trailer. My hope is that after I crawl around under the car that I don't see any major problems and that I can get it running after sitting for 2 years.


I have a few questions as far as when I'm looking over the car for rust issues. The owner said floors were replaced a couple years ago. What other areas are know for rust issues on the 68?


I am attaching pictures of body rust issues I saw the other day. None of these seem any more than surface rust. They are not soft or spongy when you press on them. I am a little concerned about the cracks I saw on fender and roof. Is this a big issue? I know it's hard to tell from pictures what might be going on but I'm figuring if it's a red flag someone might chime in.

Thanks
Joe


 

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Check the cowl for leaks. Seeing the cowl cover could be an indicator that it leaks. Simple test - remove the cover in front of the windshield. pour a glass of water on the driver side and one on the passenger side. If the water comes out from underneath the car (under fenders) you are good. If the water comes into the interior floorboard, the cowl will need to be repaired/replaced. It also looks like the drip rails were removed. Those are typically not removed unless there was serious rust. Hope this helps
 

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The missing roof rails are a big problem. It's possible that was done only for style, but unless it was done properly it weakens the roof structure. The row of rust blisters tells me it was not done properly. That's a problem with the floors, by the way. If done properly, a big plus. If done badly, it's worse that if it were not done at all.
 

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The floors rot out because the cowl or windshield (or both) leak. From the fact that it has a cowl cover, the cowl leaks. This sheet metal is available, but it is a major operation to replace. Paint will be damaged in the process. In the 67/68, the cowl cover is only a slight temporary solution as the holes for the wiper posts allow for water to get in the cowl. I see plenty of 'restored' cars with the cowl cover on them. To me, they are confusing 'restored' with 'painted.' Cowl leak can lead to structural issues in the front frame members. Look very carefully at the torque boxes and the frame rails for any damage. Check the shock towers for holes being gnawed into them so they could access the grease zerks. This, when done improperly, which is most of them, can lead to running cracks in the towers. This is bad news. If you see that, then the towers need to be replaced. Another major operation. At some point, the drip rails were shaved. This is where the bubbling rust over the windows is coming from. If that's crunchy, that's a problem.
Not trying to be a total downer here, just realistic. It is far better to start with something solid than to dive into a major resto unless you already knew that was what you were going to do and have the experience.
Watch out for what appears to be 'pretty paint' and what it can hide.
If you share your budget, skill set and desires I'm sure a suitable car can be found. Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The floors rot out because the cowl or windshield (or both) leak. From the fact that it has a cowl cover, the cowl leaks. This sheet metal is available, but it is a major operation to replace. Paint will be damaged in the process. In the 67/68, the cowl cover is only a slight temporary solution as the holes for the wiper posts allow for water to get in the cowl. I see plenty of 'restored' cars with the cowl cover on them. To me, they are confusing 'restored' with 'painted.' Cowl leak can lead to structural issues in the front frame members. Look very carefully at the torque boxes and the frame rails for any damage. Check the shock towers for holes being gnawed into them so they could access the grease zerks. This, when done improperly, which is most of them, can lead to running cracks in the towers. This is bad news. If you see that, then the towers need to be replaced. Another major operation. At some point, the drip rails were shaved. This is where the bubbling rust over the windows is coming from. If that's crunchy, that's a problem.
Not trying to be a total downer here, just realistic. It is far better to start with something solid than to dive into a major resto unless you already knew that was what you were going to do and have the experience.
Watch out for what appears to be 'pretty paint' and what it can hide.
If you share your budget, skill set and desires I'm sure a suitable car can be found. Where are you located?
Thank You ylexot

I have 8k to get started. Again not looking for a show car just something sound that my wife and I can take out for a ride and have some fun with. The owner is asking 6k for this car. I was not going to go over 4500 if and only if I could get it running on Saturday after crawling all around and making sure no rust issues underneath. I'm fairly new to this. My only other experience is a 82 corvette I picked up years ago for a steal got running good and had repainted. We enjoyed it for a few years then life happened and i had to sell it. Honestly have been looking at a 78 corvette for same price that is in much better condition but the 68 mustang has always been on my mind, as I was born in 68 would be cool to have a birthyear car.


Even though the responses are not what I wanted to hear they ARE what I needed to hear and that is why I decided to post up and ask those who know. I really don't want to get into a money pit that would defeat the purpose.

I am on the eastern shore of MD in Easton about 30 min east of Annapolis.
 

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I would run away from that car as fast as possible. The blisters in the paint above the side windows tell me that car is rotting away from the inside.
For your $8K budget you can find a very nice 6 cylinder coupe and a nice V8 coupe. Fastbacks and convertibles are a completely different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Is there a number that providing I could get it started up and there were no major rust issues underneath that would make it a project worth doing?


If I was to convince the guy the car is just rotting away and better to get X today or watch it rust away to nothing in your yard and leave me X to start working on the body issues would there be any value there? I have a buddy that does body work as a profession and he has agreed to help me out so I would have some professional guidance and help. If I could get it for a price that If I had 4,5,6K left in my budget would that make sense?
 

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The cars awhtx brings up shows the problem in that thinking. The first two are good looking. One can easily dump another $4k into those improving suspension and all the little things to fix, and there will be plenty of that to find post purchase. Suspension, brakes (disc conversion), interior pieces, dash pieces. It adds up quickly. They have the advantage that the bodies look good from the few pictures shown, but they need to be investigated further. There's lots of 'nice paint on basically just an old car' out there. The third one from College Station is the best example of the issue. If you dump 4k into that one, you will probably have the nice body and paint of the other two, but still have a 6 cylinder. I've seen better quality cars in the 8k range than the third one. Be patient. Use Searchtempest. Check out www.estatesales.net or whatever is used close to you for that function. A fairly nice 68 came up here about a month ago and was going in the 9k range. Just needed to have the 'been sitting a while' stuff done to it. Sometimes just driving around the countryside can yield some nice results. The car you show looks like the paint is thicker than a Frito corn chip. The cracks are because there's bondo (or something) underneath that expands at a different rate. That one really needs to be completely stripped down to be solid again. It's a biiiiiig project. Easiest way to get discouraged is to get one like that, strip it down to the shell, realize how much work still needs to be done and end up selling it for pennies on the dollar just to get it out of the garage. You want a driver, but a solid driver. Look for minimal body work, as in nothing needed in the unibody. Paint will probably be faded. Interior will be serviceable and drive train should be solid. Beware of fresh paint and pretty wheels with a clapped out engine bay and collapsed suspension. I see plenty of clapped out cars with new wheels and tires. That's the first clue...
 

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Consider that car needs to be a) stripped to metal and painted correctly, when you do you are likely to find major damage in the front fender and the drip rails will have to be dealt with, unfortunately, the metal is going to be thin to weld to with the rust so it will be another major repair. b) you could clean it up, seal the cracks and enjoy driving it. 4500 is not a bad car for plan b. if the interior is presentable and the drive train is at least mid-life.



I always check teh wiring especially under the dash. If it looks original and to be in good shape, that is a major plus, otherwise they can become a can o worms. Get underneath and do a serious examination of the front and rear frame rails. Poke around with a solild knife or better yet ice pick. Surface rust and paint can cover a lot of major damage. If the bottom of the car has thich rust everywhere, its likely it sat in long grass and that requires a serious inspection, car in the air kind of inspection to understand what you are getting. Bad cowl is major repair, do some you tube visits for Mustang cowl repair and decide if you are up for it.



If they all check out 4500 isn't bad IMHO. Having a friend that can do paint is a major plus, don't let the pretty paint fool you, when you look at that car see a rusty car that's been sitting for 20 years, they both will cost the same to square away.
 

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Is there a number that providing I could get it started up and there were no major rust issues underneath that would make it a project worth doing?

Not the car you're looking at. You will end up having $30K invested in a car that's worth $10K. Most of us here are underwater or upside down meaning we have more money invested that the car is worth. That car has so many problems you will give up on it before you finish. Find a car that's in better condition to start with.


Take a look at this thread. I can guarantee you that the car you are looking at will look like this one when it's stripped.
https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/build-forum/621479-1965-mustang-rust-repair.html
 
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