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1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y’all, I’ve been searching on here haven’t really seen anything about the one piece front frame rail/aprons. I think I want to use those when putting my car back together....anyway has anyone use those, and if so do you have any advice as to how to weld those up or any other advice about them, seems like it’s gonna be much more difficult than just the frame rails.
thanks guys. -Burnie
 

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Hey Bernnstang,
I used the one piece, big block frame rail and inner fender assemblies from Dynacorn when I replaced the entire front end on my 67. My line of thinking was, it would be easier to fit the assemblies in , than it would be to weld and fit everything up in individual pieces. At the same time I replaced those components, I also replaced both underfloor supports and torque boxes on each side. I replaced the radiator core support as well.
To start with, I drilled the spot welds out of the old floor supports, when removing them,then drilled/punched new holes in the replacement floor supports to match the original...so that everything went back in to the exact position.
I fitted my new Frame rail/inner fender assemblies into my newly installed floor supports, checking for fitment in all directions to ensure they were level and square. Next up, my radiator support -I squared both frame rails with the radiator support and measured both diagonally and lengthwise of the car at every known dimension that I could find. ( I had also built a full frame jig and fitted my frame rails into my known frame hole locations). When I was sure that the entire front end was both square, and in the floor supports properly, I began to tack weld things up while constantly checking all dimensions.
I then fitted my three piece torque boxes,(on each side), and assured they were seated properly and square within the frame rails as well as the rockers.
I slowly plug welded everything that I had replaced, making sure to duplicate the original weld /spot weld locations on all components. I also replaced the lower cowl while I had everything torn apart.
I’m not exactly sure that was the proper sequence...but it seemed the most logical way to replace the entire front end with fewest chances for error. My car aligned and the sheet metal fit decent. I hope this helps give you an idea so that you can possibly plot a course.
 

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1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Bernnstang,
I used the one piece, big block frame rail and inner fender assemblies from Dynacorn when I replaced the entire front end on my 67. My line of thinking was, it would be easier to fit the assemblies in , than it would be to weld and fit everything up in individual pieces. At the same time I replaced those components, I also replaced both underfloor supports and torque boxes on each side. I replaced the radiator core support as well.
To start with, I drilled the spot welds out of the old floor supports, when removing them,then drilled/punched new holes in the replacement floor supports to match the original...so that everything went back in to the exact position.
I fitted my new Frame rail/inner fender assemblies into my newly installed floor supports, checking for fitment in all directions to ensure they were level and square. Next up, my radiator support -I squared both frame rails with the radiator support and measured both diagonally and lengthwise of the car at every known dimension that I could find. ( I had also built a full frame jig and fitted my frame rails into my known frame hole locations). When I was sure that the entire front end was both square, and in the floor supports properly, I began to tack weld things up while constantly checking all dimensions.
I then fitted my three piece torque boxes,(on each side), and assured they were seated properly and square within the frame rails as well as the rockers.
I slowly plug welded everything that I had replaced, making sure to duplicate the original weld /spot weld locations on all components. I also replaced the lower cowl while I had everything torn apart.
I’m not exactly sure that was the proper sequence...but it seemed the most logical way to replace the entire front end with fewest chances for error. My car aligned and the sheet metal fit decent. I hope this helps give you an idea so that you can possibly plot a course.
. That’s exactly what I plan on doing the only problem is my car was so rusted when I got it the floor supports weren’t there! So I have some supports in the car now and I have no floor in the car, no firewall, no cowl, no front clip, and no torque boxes so I have no clue where to start!
 

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So I have some supports in the car now and I have no floor in the car, no firewall, no cowl, no front clip, and no torque boxes so I have no clue where to start!
@Bernnstang You've got quite the project ahead of you! You might check out the threads in the Build forum on this site. Several others have taken things down to that level, including me. Check out my Build Thread (link in my signature), I've tried to detail my thoughts as much as I could so that it could be a good reference, or at least a story of how I get myself in trouble! Good luck!!!

Don't forget to look through other's builds as well. There are also several videos on youtube from Jo Daddy's Garage (good reference but I don't agree with all of his conclusions) and Strokers Garage (he looks to be a member on here), as they have some decent videos of these things too. There's also a blog, 67fastbackproject.blogspot.com/ and he has a really nice thread on frame dimensions that mostly match up with what I used.
 

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1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
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Discussion Starter #5
@Bernnstang You've got quite the project ahead of you! You might check out the threads in the Build forum on this site. Several others have taken things down to that level, including me. Check out my Build Thread (link in my signature), I've tried to detail my thoughts as much as I could so that it could be a good reference, or at least a story of how I get myself in trouble! Good luck!!!

Don't forget to look through other's builds as well. There are also several videos on youtube from Jo Daddy's Garage (good reference but I don't agree with all of his conclusions) and Strokers Garage (he looks to be a member on here), as they have some decent videos of these things too. There's also a blog, 67fastbackproject.blogspot.com/ and he has a really nice thread on frame dimensions that mostly match up with what I used.
appreciate the insight I will definetly be using all the resources at my deposal (VMF) ...I look forward to tackling this project it’ll be one for the books!
 

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I am replacing everything forward of the firewall including the floor supports. I would have gone with the assembled units but with the amount this car needs you gotta cut costs somewhere or the costs go to the point that you have too much invested in it.

I have not used or seen the assembled units in person so I can't say anything of how accurately they are assembled etc. But I have the same parts in hand and there are issues with getting those 3 parts to line up right...Frame rails have their issues the fender aprons have their issues and don't line up well with the firewall and who knows how accurate the shock towers are.

I have put the front together and taken it apart many many times test fitting measuring and fixing issues here and there. Every time it goes back together it gets closer to where it should be. So if the budget allows definitely go with the preassembled ones but find those that have used it to make sure it is assembled right or close enough...

Like mentioned above Jodaddys garage is an excellent reference. Lots of good angles of fitment of panels and more importantly measurements which few seem to want to share. But I agree that there are times that I would go a different route than he did. Sometimes he makes more work for himself than is needed. If you want to see what not to do check my build thread...
 

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1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
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Discussion Starter #7
I am replacing everything forward of the firewall including the floor supports. I would have gone with the assembled units but with the amount this car needs you gotta cut costs somewhere or the costs go to the point that you have too much invested in it.

I have not used or seen the assembled units in person so I can't say anything of how accurately they are assembled etc. But I have the same parts in hand and there are issues with getting those 3 parts to line up right...Frame rails have their issues the fender aprons have their issues and don't line up well with the firewall and who knows how accurate the shock towers are.

I have put the front together and taken it apart many many times test fitting measuring and fixing issues here and there. Every time it goes back together it gets closer to where it should be. So if the budget allows definitely go with the preassembled ones but find those that have used it to make sure it is assembled right or close enough...

Like mentioned above Jodaddys garage is an excellent reference. Lots of good angles of fitment of panels and more importantly measurements which few seem to want to share. But I agree that there are times that I would go a different route than he did. Sometimes he makes more work for himself than is needed. If you want to see what not to do check my build thread...
Appreciate it.... I know they’re a little more expensive but I think I’ll hopefully save a lot more work. I’ve been planing on doing the one piece the whole time so I’ve been cutting some other costs to be able to do those, nothing serious they’re actually not as expensive as you might think, about $400 each.
 

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1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
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Discussion Starter #9
Don't forget that they are truck shipped unless you happen to live near one of the parts warehouses. That truck shipping fee can be quite high.
$230 about for both of those and full floor pan
 

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I used them on my resto and would again if I had to. Was very easy to install (once you wrapped your head around cutting the front of the car off) as long as you build a jig around the existing section so you know where to set the new one. I did both drivers and pass side.

740485
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Looks good. I had no frame of reference to start with because mine was bent up so no measurements were usable. I am still having some alignment issues mainly the pass side of the rad support. I can get the apron where it needs to be but the rad support needs to move back to line up with it. Will figure it out and it seems 90% of the issues I have like that are due to oddities in the replacement parts.
The biggest issue is making sure the shock towers are in the right place so the suspension parts all line up right.
 

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You can use the export brace, monte carlo bar and lower engine support bar, which all span the correct upper and lower distances between the two frame rails and shock towers, to get it about 90% where you need. Don't forget to cut out and transfer your VIN number to the new apron. Also, clamp/screw the sections in place before welding, then set on all the front end sheetmetal (hood, venders, valance etc) and adjust. Would really suck to have it all welded up only to find out the fenders or hood don't fit. It takes time and prob two people but a necessary step.
 

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I also highly suggest investing in an auto leveling laser level. I used this one for the horizontal plane and it's a fantastic device.

If you want to really make sure things are centered, get a three plane version and align one of the vertical planes with the centerline if your car. I have this one and it's also fantastic.

I used the second one to suspend above the car to keep it on center. I used the second one to move around a lot to check all the points side to side to make sure things were leveled. You can also make reference marks to the wall of your shop to reference back to. I did this with several points at different heights and labeled then with individual letters on the wall and corresponding marks on the car. Make one plane be asking the original frame rails, make your marks, then when you install the new rail, make the marks in the rail at the same height from the top of the rail, then align it to your reference on the wall and/or opposite rail.

A side benefit to buying two is that you can place one on each side of the car and align then to each other, then you can level the body panels side to side.

Cheers
 

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Yessir , that would have made lining up both frame rails a whole lot easier. My methods were a lot more antiquated.
 

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I have a laser I use but it was before the brighter green ones were affordable... Works well for centerline. My issue is getting the frame rails in place front to rear since the front oval holes in the new parts are way off from the originals and cannot be used.
I just make my mods for parts to fit and then mock it all up and see what;s still off. Then take it apart and fine tune and repeat. Better and more measurements would be nice to have but also you can't rely on hole placement etc of aftermarket parts so you take those numbers with a mine full of salt and go more by where does everything fit and like to be and the body panels line up.
I do recommend when mocking up to have a slightly larger gap at the top of the fender to door as that will slightly close when the car is back on the ground. I have made that fit perfect on cars then when it is put under it's own weight that gap closes a little.
 

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I used them to replace both sides on my 65. I bought them about a month apart from NPD and one of each style. One is a single piece apron, the other a 2 piece like the original style. Single piece will avoid the overlapping rust issues the originals had, but i suspect it wont matter since anyone doing this kind of work wont be leaving it outside for years. That just leaves the visual difference. I would personally ask to make sure you get the single piece apron.

As for installing, I had a new floor and firewall, and was not the one doing the welding, so I cant speak to how difficult or easy it was. The welder did have me get one piece assemblies to make it take less time though, so that's a clue.
 

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The framerail on pass side replacement section was about 1/2" short of meeting up with the toe board just under the firewall. I had to extend and reinforce it a tad so it would be close enough to weld. Other than that everything fit really well. Haven't dropped the engine in yet but confident the way suspension and all other items bolted up fine that engine will also.
 
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