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391 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

Some of you old timers may remember me. I initially built my 65 Mustang back in 2010/11. However, in 2015 I blew my motor. I had a thread here, but due to the photo bucket fiasco all the links to my pictures were broken. Here is the link in case you want to read some postings/comments.

Anyway, the time has come for me to rebuild the car and do some things I could not afford to do before. Not to mention I did not have the time, skill or tools to do this either.

So, I'm starting this thread to share my experience with fellow vintage Mustang enthusiast.

The car's paint and interior is already completed. So, this time I want to focus on the engine bay and complete drive train. The plan is to install a Mustangs to Fear independent front suspension (IFS), remove the shock towers and install a 427 stroker motor, TKO 600 and Ford 9 inch rear end.

Here is a picture to show where the car originally started in 2010 and where I got it to in 2011.






I started working in the car again about a month ago. So, I will post pictures of my progress. I'm hoping to have this build completed this time next year.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my build. I look forward to your comments and suggestions during the build process.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So away we go...……

Here is the car as it has sat for the past 4 years. I built my own home made dolly so I can move the car around easily.

I moved the 65 sideways to fit in the garage in order to give me 360 degree access to work on the car.



Once the car was positioned, I removed the front end, fenders, and hood. Next will be the removal of the front suspension and items in the engine bay (i.e. master cylinder, brake lines, and radiator overflow. Once that's done I will cut out the shock towers to make room for the Mustangs to Fear front suspension.



391 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Okay, keep making progress. I need to replace the front part of the passenger side frame rail. However, before I cut any more I want to get some parts for mock up and tack them in place before removing any more metal.

And yes I took all my measurements before cutting. So, I know where everything goes back once the new metal is in.

Next weekend I'll most likely focus on sanding the area to bare metal while I'm waiting on parts.



391 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Made more progress. Mainly got the last bits of metal off the frame rails and then started sanding everything down to bare metal.

I received my new passenger side front frame rail and the radiator support (I tried to take some close ups of the original frame rail so you can see why I'm replacing a portion of it). I'm also waiting on my Mustangs to Fear front suspension and a couple other items and then the welding process will begin.

The good thing is progression takes place every weekend.









391 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Was waiting on the new passenger side frame rail. The one I had did not fit as it was too wide.

Made some progress by wrapping the car in spark resistant paper. I wrapped almost the whole car to protect the paint while I'm working around it since I'm in a limited space. Don't want to accidently nick the paint as I'm walking by with a tool or metal part.

I also got a magnetic laser level to help me ensure I line up new metal in the correct place.





391 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I was on vacation for a few days, so I was able to make some serious progress. I would like to say that this is the "FIRST" time I have ever done anything like this. I have no formal training or experience with welding or metal fabrication. However, I have been watching car shows and YouTube videos for years and have a "general" knowledge of the concept. So, I am learning from my mistakes and as I go. Causes me to do some things twice, but I'd rather do it twice and be right than leaving it messed up LOL.

I finally received my new frame rail. Here you can see the differences in the bad one vs. the new one. The bad one is the mini rail and you can see it is wider than the new one. The bad one is actually so wide it fits over the new one that is the correct size. I decided to keep the bad one to use as patch metal.

New full frame rail (However, I'll only be using the front half)

Side by side comparison. If you look close you can see there is more material below the holes on the bad rail (Short one on the bottom)

The bad one is so wide it actually fits over the new one.

Here you can see how much wider the bad one is.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Okay, let the major surgery begin LOL. I cut out the bad piece and prepped the rail to receive the new metal. Got everything measured and lined up with my laser level and then took the cutting wheel to it. Too late to turn back now...……..

Okay got everything measured and marked where I want to make my cuts. I want the inner rail cut short and the outer rail cut longer so the welds are not lined up and are not in the same place. This "should" make the rail stronger than one continuous weld.

Here you can see the outer rail cut lines are outside the inner rail.

Then I lined up my laser level to ensure I put the new rail back exactly where the old one was.

Then I took the cutting wheel to it and hoped I got it right LOL.

Look at all the dirt on the floor. I think that is dirt from 1965 LOL.

Then I mocked up the new metal and got everything lined up and clamped in and ready to weld up. Some of you professional welders may notice the gap (remember I'm new and learning). I'm not too worried about it because I can fill it with weld and it will be supported by thicker metal that will be attached to the rail for support at a later date.

Even though the laser says it's right, I placed a level on it just to make sure. Level says it is dead on.


391 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Then I got it welded in and mocked up my Mustangs to Fear cross member to ensure it fit.

Here you can see the cross member does fit between the rails.

If you look at where I welded on the passenger side you can see the plate on the cross member goes across the weld and will be welded to the new metal and old metal making my repair even stronger.

Again I used my laser level and used the top corners of my engine mounts as a guide to make sure it was in the right place.

Passenger side engine mount location.

Drivers side engine mount location (Matches passenger side).

Again, even though the laser says it's right I used the level and again it is dead on.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
After I made sure it fit I removed it and finished up the inner frame rail. I want to smooth out the engine bay. So, no unnecessary holes. So, time to patch things up.

This is the drivers side. Got it marked up and ready to cut out the metal.

Here you can see the patch panel in place. I'm getting much better my cutting and fitting has gotten....

Patch panel welded in and smoothed out.

Here are the holes on the passenger side frame rail. I did not want to cut out the new metal. So, since I had access to the back of the inner frame rail I placed a plate behind the holes and filled in the holes with weld.

Here the holes have been filled and grinded smooth.

Here you can see both inner frame rails have been completed to this point. Later I will smooth them out with body filler and sanding.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Then I got started on the outside frame rail on the passenger side.

Here is the inside of the inner frame rail. I was not trying to be pretty with my welds here. Was focused more on making them strong. Then I painted the inside with weld thru primer to help with preventing rust (Note: those holes will be covered by the cross member side plate).

Got the new outer frame rail cut and drilled spot weld holes and the clamped it into place. Again, notice how much better my cutting and fitment is getting as I consider this a complex piece (well, at least it was for me).

Just another angle.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Since it was the 4th of July weekend I was able to make some pretty good progress.

First I finished up the frame rails where the new cross member and shock mounts will be mounted. I consider these pieces the main structural parts since they hold the motor and my front suspension. So, I took my time and tried to get my welds deeply penetrated to ensure it will not break or come apart.

Drivers side frame rail notched for shock mount.

Passenger side mocked up for notching.

Notch created for passenger side shock mount.

Frame rails ready for cross member and shock mounts to be mocked up.

Cross member and shock mounts mocked up. All measurements have been verified and using angle iron to ensure the shock mounts are level to the car and each other.

The camera isn't straight, but the level bubble is...…….

Here the cross member and shock mounts have been tack welded into place.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Once I got the initial spot welds done I finished welding the cross member and shock mounts in. I wasn't ready to grind the welds down yet (grinding is a lot more labor intensive than welding LOL). So, I moved on to removing the old radiator support cross bar since the new cross member is holding the frame rails in place.

Here is the old radiator support cross bar in place (you can see the welds on the cross member and shock mounts have not been cleaned up yet).

I used my plasma cutter to remove the radiator support bar.

Just another angle of the radiator support bar cut out.

Drivers side support bar getting ready to have spot welds drilled out.

Passenger side spot welds drilled out and ready for clean up.

Drivers side cleaned up.

Passenger side cleaned up.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
When I built this car the first time my brother and I notched the front of the frame rails in order to fit the radiator. When I first bought this car I ALWAYS had over heating problems. So, I bought a huge radiator from Summit to cure that problem. In order to fit the radiator I had to notch the frame rails. Back then my brother and I just winged it. Well, now that I'm a little older and wiser AND I have way better tools I wanted to check the notches for alignment.

Time to bust out the laser and see how far off we were back then.

Laser lined up with lower part of notch on passenger side (notice bolt coming through notch?).

Here you can see the lower part of notch on drivers side is almost a half inch below laser level. Time to add some metal and get it right.

Metal plate added.

Laser line marks new place that needs to be cut.

New notch created. On the drivers side I placed the back plate at an angle to make room for the bolt and to create a better support for the bottom of the radiator.

Verifying the pocket is correct.

On the passenger side I had to install an angle plate in order to match the drivers side (in this picture you can see I finally cleaned up the welds on the cross member and shock mounts).

Close up of drivers side notch (I'm not too worried about the welds on these notches as I'm going to line each notch with a rubber material to protect the radiator).

Passenger side notch.

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Once I got to this point I wanted to ensure everything would line up from this point forward. So, I mocked everything up to ensure I would not have any problems from this point forward.

So, I put everything on and used clamps to hold everything in place.

Man, to say I'm stoked is an understatement...……….

Radiator support put in place after I got the frame rails cleaned up to check fitment. I had to make some minor cuts on the drivers side, but I got it on and level.

Spot on.... SWEET...…….

Okay got everything mocked up. Looks like it's going to come together nicely and within original measurements.



I even got the sway bar mounts mocked up and the new front frame rail support/jack pad in place (after I got to this point I verified all the measurements I took off the original sheet metal. Everything lined up perfectly. Awesome!).

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I took everything back off except the sway bar mounts and front frame rail support/jack pad. I permanently welded those in place. I then removed the radiator support.

I'm leavening the radiator support off in order to give me more access to the engine bay. I need to fill a few more holes at the back of the frame rails and I want to plug some holes in the fire wall. Then I want to body work my frame rails where I will not need to weld.

So, I feel the radiator support will just be in the way at this point. So, I'm leaving it off for now.

Here I'm checking to see if the frame rail support/jack pad is level.

I was bent over the fender apron. So, picture is crocked, but jack pad is level LOL.

Here the jack pad and sway bar mounts are permanently welded in. You can see some welding slag on the sway bar mounts. I just order a mini belt sander. Once it gets here I will be able to clean those up (this is how it will stay until I get the back part of the engine bay finished up and I get some body work completed).

391 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
And now you all are up to date. I have a friend who is going to come in and help me clean up my welds. As mentioned I'm new to this and was told that if I use argon gas with my MIG welds they will come out much cleaner.

After that I'm going to start body working the firewall and the rails. Figure it will be easier to get in the engine bay without the radiator support in the way.

So, from this point forward I will provide updates on Mondays as I normally only work on the car on the weekends.

Stay tuned my friends...…….

1,901 Posts
Great post! Look forward to following your progress.
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