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First off I have to say your doing a great job.

I have installed the R&C MII and plan on installing the MTF kit. I figured it would be more help than not. What I have also thought about doing is adding a square tube under the cowl lip in the engine bay and run it from end to end and tie into it as well. I just read a post that showed reinforcing the door post area and outer kick panel area was a key point to stiffen up.

As for the fixed point of failure I would have to think that adding the torque boxes and frame connectors helps spread this point throughout the car more than what one would think, I could be wrong.

I have frame ties, added front torque boxes and undecided on a roll bar or not. Would like to add the flat panel and weld in it that goes behind the back seat trunk area. When I made my frame connectors I added in two 1/2 inserts into the connector so I have a strong through mounting point. Thinking of building my own X brace like the TCP one. I may even add the vert inner rockers but unsure at this point in time how far I should take it.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
@Black Gold 380R . You'll get varying view points on the Mustang II suspension. I have installed mustang II type suspension on various mustangs. What I will say is based on experience from building my brother's 66 mustang using the mustang II suspension. His goals are almost exactly like yours, but he daily drives his. A few things I'd like to say before I give my $.02 on the debate.
  • I'd like to think all the suspension companies did their stress analysis on the suspension kits
  • All companies out there have their following/followers.
  • Some of the said companies have great success using their product in the racing world, but sometimes not all racing stuff translates to the real world
With that said here is my $.02 or just a FYI.
  • As mentioned earlier, the mustang II does add torsional stiffness, but it subtracts bending stiffness. The shock towers, export brace, monte carlo bars, etc act as a truss for the sheet metal frames. Even though some of these connections are bolted together, they do help provide bending stiffness. What you will also notice, is that none of them are flat. They have a height to them which increases bending stiffness. But making them one piece increases the stifness even more. Your example of the front subframe used on gen 1 camaros and later is not really accurate. The front suspension that more closely mimics the mustang front suspension is the 62-67 novas which will bring me to my next bullet. Ironically Hotchkiss makes down bars now that tie the upper control arms to the firewall for the Chevy crowd.
  • Definitely install the down bars from the firewall to the frame rails. This part is based from personal experience. The fender aprons were not designed to take the suspension load and/or vehicle weight cycling up and down. You will eventually start to see cracking/separation in the cowl area where the fender apron is attached as well as where the front and rear fender aprons are welded together. The time it took for the cracks to appear on my brother's car took about 7-10 years of daily driving and they progressively got worse. As a side note, many aftermarket manufactures of the Nova suspension incorporate the down bars in their kits to try and replace the strength loss from removing the shock towers.
  • I do have analysis to back this up. This is of a simply supported beam with the fixed point mimicking the firewall as an infinitely strong fix point. Similar to the mustang/nova. The first 2 pictures are the stress and deflection without the down bars. The last 2 are with. Notice how much stress and deflection decreased just by adding the down bars. Just remember, this is overly simplified. Numbers will change when you add fender aprons and cross members.
  • Even if all the companies have done their due diligence, real world is all that counts. What I haven't seen from any is daily driving experience for an extended period of time which I think is the key. Even with the stress analysis I did, there is no guarantee the down bars will eliminate cracking, or if my brother's particular instance was even a one off, but I do have a better understanding of how it could happen.
Conclusion - In my opinion add as much back that you can. Down bars, torque boxes, etc. I'd tie the down bars across to mimic a monte carlo bar and even tie that back into the firewall to mimic the export brace. Just FYI, I too have eliminated my shock towers on my coyote swapped 67 cougar, but I have added the aforementioned parts. I wanted a stiff chassis because I wanted the car to handle. If I had to do it all over again, I'd notch my shock towers and mimic a boss 429 setup to fit the coyote in. Everything is my opinion based on my personal experience and just wanted to give you my insight. You're doing a great job on the car.
WOW!!! Thank you 1bad68cat! This is exactly the type of post/response I was hoping to get when I started my build thread. Your feedback, experience and point of view is invaluable. I have ordered the torque boxes and the MTF frame stiffeners. I know I could do more, but these items WILL be added and I will continue to analyze my build to see if I can make it better.

I do understand everyone will have a point of view and an opinion on the execution of my build. I'm okay with all feedback and points of view as long as people are respectful about it. So far everyone has been very respectful and providing both positive and negative points of view on my build. I think the feedback is awesome as it gives me other things to think about or provides me with another point of view that I may not have thought of.

Thank you for your compliments on my build and thank you for your help. It's appreciated more than you know sir!

First off I have to say your doing a great job.

I have installed the R&C MII and plan on installing the MTF kit. I figured it would be more help than not. What I have also thought about doing is adding a square tube under the cowl lip in the engine bay and run it from end to end and tie into it as well. I just read a post that showed reinforcing the door post area and outer kick panel area was a key point to stiffen up.

As for the fixed point of failure I would have to think that adding the torque boxes and frame connectors helps spread this point throughout the car more than what one would think, I could be wrong.

I have frame ties, added front torque boxes and undecided on a roll bar or not. Would like to add the flat panel and weld in it that goes behind the back seat trunk area. When I made my frame connectors I added in two 1/2 inserts into the connector so I have a strong through mounting point. Thinking of building my own X brace like the TCP one. I may even add the vert inner rockers but unsure at this point in time how far I should take it.
Thank you RTM! Really appreciate you taking the time to view my build thread and provide insight on what you are doing and what you have purchased and installed on your car.

Really appreciate you guys. I've had my 65 since 1989, but have never done any modifications to this level. So, all feedback is welcomed and appreciated!!!

Thank you !!! (y)
 

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WOW!!! Thank you 1bad68cat! This is exactly the type of post/response I was hoping to get when I started my build thread. Your feedback, experience and point of view is invaluable. I have ordered the torque boxes and the MTF frame stiffeners. I know I could do more, but these items WILL be added and I will continue to analyze my build to see if I can make it better.

I do understand everyone will have a point of view and an opinion on the execution of my build. I'm okay with all feedback and points of view as long as people are respectful about it. So far everyone has been very respectful and providing both positive and negative points of view on my build. I think the feedback is awesome as it gives me other things to think about or provides me with another point of view that I may not have thought of.

Thank you for your compliments on my build and thank you for your help. It's appreciated more than you know sir!



Thank you RTM! Really appreciate you taking the time to view my build thread and provide insight on what you are doing and what you have purchased and installed on your car.

Really appreciate you guys. I've had my 65 since 1989, but have never done any modifications to this level. So, all feedback is welcomed and appreciated!!!

Thank you !!! (y)
@Black Gold 380R , just to give you an idea of what I did to my brother's latest 66 mustang and my 67 cougar. You'll see where I tie the down bars to the frame and the firewall. These points to me are crucial because the mounting point at the firewall now transmits the loads into the B-pillar and the frame mount is as close to the upper control arm as I could get it creating less of a bending moment/effect.

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Discussion Starter #44
@Black Gold 380R , just to give you an idea of what I did to my brother's latest 66 mustang and my 67 cougar. You'll see where I tie the down bars to the frame and the firewall. These points to me are crucial because the mounting point at the firewall now transmits the loads into the B-pillar and the frame mount is as close to the upper control arm as I could get it creating less of a bending moment/effect.
As always, thank you 1bad68cat. I appreciate the pictures and showing me what you did. Problem is I'm just doing this in my garage. My only advanced tools are my air compressor/air tools and my welder. I do not have access to a tube bender in order to make those tubes. So, I'm kind of at the mercy of whichever company has decided to make this stuff. This is why I went with the MTF frame stiffeners kit.

My car is mainly going to be a weekend cruiser/car show participant. So, based on the information you have provided I think my car will hold up, with the understanding it could be better.

Thanks again. You have been a great help!
 

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As always, thank you 1bad68cat. I appreciate the pictures and showing me what you did. Problem is I'm just doing this in my garage. My only advanced tools are my air compressor/air tools and my welder. I do not have access to a tube bender in order to make those tubes. So, I'm kind of at the mercy of whichever company has decided to make this stuff. This is why I went with the MTF frame stiffeners kit.

My car is mainly going to be a weekend cruiser/car show participant. So, based on the information you have provided I think my car will hold up, with the understanding it could be better.

Thanks again. You have been a great help!
No problem @Black Gold 380R. My tool arsenal is the same as yours. I too just have a garage. Wish I could have a small shop though, but don't we all. What I did for the tubing was buy from the local metal supply store and found a shop that could bend the tubing for me. Cost me $85 total ($35 material and $50 labor) and I just provided the shop with a template made out of welding wire to bend the tube to.
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Well, I left off with trying to clean up the outer firewall area in order to prep it for my torque box installation. Well, that's what I got completed this weekend.

Some of you may be thinking that's all I got done in two days. LOL, well all I can say is I'm new to this and I take a methodical approach to the job. I need to make sure I cut the metal properly in order to make sure it fits snug and correct.

Remember I'm a rookie when it comes to metal work. So, I'm going slow and steady and will get there eventually LOL.

Torque boxes come welded together. I seen a guy on YouTube (Jo Daddy's garage) and he separated the boxes prior to install. After doing this I don't see how these can be installed without separating them.
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Got the outer firewall area all cleaned up. Man, that undercoating is a B!T(# to get off LOL.
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Got the area sprayed with weld thru primer to protect the metal.
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Got the backing plate trimmed and mocked up.
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Got the backing plate welded in place and covered with weld thru primer.
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Got the outer box trimmed and mocked up.
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Outer box welded into place.
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It was the same process for the passenger side, so here is a picture of the final result.
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Discussion Starter #47
Okay everyone,

Made some good progress this weekend. Got my firewall and rear fender aprons finished by smoothing out the remaining holes I wanted filled on Saturday.

Fender Apron holes.
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Wire harness pass through on fire wall I'm moving.
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I decided instead of trying to cut circles/plugs I would just cut out squares as they are easier for me to work with.
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The patches are made, welded in and ground smooth.
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Discussion Starter #48
Then on Sunday I decided to start mudding the firewall. Again, this is the first time I have attempted body work, so it will probably go slow and l'll probably have to do it a few times in order to get it straight LOL.

Based on my research this is what I'm doing:

I'm using a fiberglass filler to fill in areas I feel are a little deeper than I'm comfortable with. I feel the fiberglass filler will be less susceptible to cracking than regular body filler. Then I'm using body filler to smooth out the rest of the area. Then I'm using 40 grit to knock everything down. Then I'm using 80 grit to shape it. Then I'm using 180 to finalize the area and to prep it for a 2K primer.

This was my progress on Sunday.

(NOTE: I'm not plugging this product. I'm just showing what I'm using).
This is the fiberglass filler I'm using.
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This is the body filler I'm using.
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Here is the firewall after all the metal work. You will notice on the top portion of the firewall, where I had to weld, is not the smoothest. Those are the areas I feel I need to use fiberglass filler instead of body filler.
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Here is my initial skim. The areas in green are fiberglass and the tan area is normal body filler.
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My initial knock down with 40 grit. Although this process does go quick, when you have to sand and sand and sand it gets tiering LOL.
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Another skim of body filler as low spots were showing.
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I put a little more body filler on the passenger side of the firewall and worked it all the way through on the entire firewall (i.e. 40, 80 then 180 grit). This is where I stopped Sunday afternoon as I was tired from all the sanding. I still have way more body work to do, but it's a start :).
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Discussion Starter #49
I was applying the body filler and trying to fill in low spots, but when I would sand it down I could still feel a transition from body filer to bare metal. So, I was watching Bitchin Rides and noticed that even though their metal work is pretty straight they skim "ALL" the metal and then shape the body filler.

Once I seen that I tried it myself. I'm not as good as they are, but noticed their technique worked better for me. So, I'm happy with how the body work is coming out.

This is them working on an F-100. They even removed the front section to get better access the the firewall area. This is why I started on the body work before completing the engine bay. I didn't want to be climbing in and out to do body work. Seems to be working so far.

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Discussion Starter #50
Well, just like metal work (which is obviously not finished LOL), body work is the same process. Apply body filler, sand, shape and smooth and sand some more LOL.

This weekend I got the top portion of the firewall completed. Started working on the bottom part of the firewall (transmission tunnel) and the frame rails.

Still got a long way to go, but I am making progress every weekend.

This is where I started back on the project.
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Doing work on the rear drivers side apron.
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Had some low spots and needed a little more filler.
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Driver's side rear apron finished up.
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This is actually the second coat of filler in the transmission tunnel.
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This is the finished tunnel. I know it is not perfect, but this is not a show car and you really won't see this once the car is back together. So, I'm good with this. Trying to focus more and areas that will be seen.
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Got started on the driver's side frame rail.
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Rear portion of driver's side frame rail about 90%.
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Got started on the passenger side frame rail. Initial skim and knock down with 40 grit.
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And this is where I ended this weekend. Man, now I know why it is so expensive to have a car built. This is a "TON" of work. However, it will be well worth it when it's all said and done......
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Discussion Starter #51
Hello everyone,

Well this weekend I had a minor set back. When I went outside to work I had noticed that every where I did work last weekend had cracks in the body filler. I'm not sure if it was hardener to product ratio, if I put too much, but I was well within the recommended thickness or if it was the heat. With it being up to 104 outside my garage gets pretty hot during the week. The funny thing is my firewall does not have any cracks in it and I'm pretty sure I did everything the same. So, I'm baffled.

Anyway, I fixed everything and the got some other stuff done as well.

(Disclaimer: I'm trying to show everything as they happened so those who may be trying this can avoid my mistakes. Not trying to only take pictures of the good stuff. I want to show the good, the bad and the ugly
:)
).

Here you can see the driver's side and passenger side frame rails had to be sanded back down to bare metal in spots. Also, had to take the transmission tunnels back down.
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Okay time to start the process all over again. Some of you may notice the notch in this frame rail from the picture above. I did fill that with fiberglass filler prior to this layer of body filler.
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The frame rails are pretty straight, but the transmission tunnel has some pretty serious wrinkles from the factory stamping process. So, this time I decided to fill the wrinkles with the fiberglass filler since it is stronger. Then I'll lay body filler over it to smooth it out a bit.
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Okay got everything smoothed back out. I still need to go over some areas with the glazing putty to fill pin holes or minor low spots (That's what those black circles are. Areas I marked with a sharpie that need some attention). It's a lot of work, but as long as I make progress I won't complain too much LOL.
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Okay, got up to this point on Saturday. The final sanding of the fiberglass filler. I left it rough to give the body filler something to "bite" on to.
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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
Okay, on Sunday I got the transmission tunnel and the lower side of the passenger side firewall done. Then I did the top part of the passenger side frame rail and got started on the motor mount portion of the frame rails and then finally I did the inside front portion of the driver's side frame rail.

Transmission tunnel redone.
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Got the lower passenger side of the firewall about 95%. Still need to add some glazing putty to finish it off.
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Top portion of the passenger side frame rail. Again need to finish it off with glazing putty.
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Got started on the motor mount areas on both sides.
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Here is the inside of the front driver's side frame rail. It needs one more skim coat of body filler to level it out. I'm only doing the inside because I still need to weld in the engine panels and I don't want welding slag to fall on top of my body work.
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And this is where I ended on Sunday. Hopefully no cracks show up this week. I want to complete this portion of the body work (firewall and frame rails) next weekend so I can get back on the metal work. I need to mount the Mustangs to Fear frame rail supports, radiator support and engine panels. Then I'll complete the body work and finally lay down some primer. That's the plan anyway. We will see how it gets executed lol.
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Discussion Starter #53
Okay Everyone,

On Saturday I finished up the body work on the firewall, transmission tunnel and about 90% of the frame rails (left some bare metal near areas I still need to weld). I know in the pictures it's hard to tell, but there were a lot of little imperfections that I needed to go over with glazing putty. This is the final step in body work to fill pin holes, minor low spots and blemishes.

To show just how much there is I used my green paint pen to circle all the areas (a sharpie didn't work well for me) I needed to address.
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Discussion Starter #54
On Sunday I got back on the metal work. It's starting to come together now. I can tell you after starting with metal work and then doing body work and going back to metal work, I like metal work much better. Body work is just too labor intensive LOL. Problem is body work is the basis of the final product. So, it has to be right.

Anyway, needless to say I'm very happy with how it is progressing.

I got the radiator support welded in place, the upper fender mounts in place and the driver's side engine panel tacked in place.

Got the front area ready with weld through primer.
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Got the radiator support mocked up.
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Here I got the driver's side engine panel prepped.
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Here is the engine panel with the rear flange installed per the instructions.
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The engine panel tacked in place.
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And here is where I ended on Sunday. Got the panel tacked into place. Mustangs to Fear indicate this panel is very easy to warp if I get to excited with my welding. So, I'm taking it slow.
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Discussion Starter #56
Looking good! That is a lot of body work for areas you'll never see!

Are you using C25 or 100% Argon now? What were you using before?
Thanks Mike! Really appreciate your comments.

The only place you will never really see is the transmission tunnel. However, with the shock towers removed you will see the firewall and frame rails pretty clearly. Also, I'm a little OCD when it comes to making this thing look nice. I like it clean, straight and shinny :D……..

I never welded before and started out just MIG welding using flux core wire (very messy with a lot of slag clean up). After talking to some welding folks they recommended using gas. When I went to the welding store they recommended a 75% Argon and 25% Carbon Dioxide gas mix. So, being a rookie, I went with their recommendation and that's what I'm using now. Very happy with how things are working now.

Thanks again for providing feedback in my thread..
 
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Discussion Starter #57
Okay everyone,

Made some progress on the car this weekend. A neighbor of mine came over. He rebuilds cars and was giving me some very good constructive criticism and provided good information on some products he uses. He also provided me with a flap disk that he said would smooth out the metal more after an initial grinding. That flap disk worked great. I'm definitely going to the store to get a few more.

I was able to get the engine panels in. Next weekend I will mount the MTF frame rail supports and then I'll get back on the body work to smooth out the areas I welded the engine bay panels. Then the next thing I will do is smooth out the radiator support and then it should be time for some epoxy primer...…...

Slow and steady seems to be my pace LOL.

Passenger side mocked up. You can see the rear of the panel significantly overlaps the rear apron. Have to mark it on the rear, cut it, notch it to give it a lip and then weld it in.
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Here I got it all tack welded into place. Damn, tack welding takes forever on a piece this size...….
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Here the driver's side is all tack welded into place.
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Got the passenger side all grinded down. This "IS" after using that flap disk my neighbor gave me. (Notice the top rear corner of where I welded the panel to the fender rail? My neighbor said it look low and I should pound it out. So, I did. I'll show the result in the next post).
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Driver's side grinded down.
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Here is the backside of the engine panel spot welded to the radiator support.
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Passenger side. In the factory set up this area is normally kicked out in order to accommodate the battery. That's why there is so much over hang here.
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Here you can see the radiator support has a form to it at the bottom. So, I had to cut the engine panel and do some bending in order to get it to fit the contour.
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Then I had to trim the engine panel to align with the radiator support.
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Discussion Starter #58 (Edited)
Okay, as mentioned I tried to pound out a low spot identified by my neighbor.


Well, when I did, the thin factory metal ripped.
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Time to get out the cutting wheel and cut out the bad/weak metal.
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Got the patch panel made and welded in. You can also see the low spot is almost eliminated. Filler will take care of the rest of it.
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And this is where I ended this weekend. I took pictures of both sides to try and show you guys I got both panels in pretty straight, so it will take minimal body work to finish it off.
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And here are the overall pics...…….
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