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Discussion Starter #121
After pretty much taking my car apart piece by piece like you are doing, I’ve found a lot of times it’s easier and faster to just use a 4.5” angle grinder as opposed to drilling out spot welds. Cut everything out just as you did until it’s just the strip of metal with the spot welds left. Then just start grinding the strip of metal you want to remove with a flap wheel or grinding disc. The metal will get thin and start getting blue hot. Once it’s paper thin it will just break off at the spot weld with light prying with a screwdriver or maybe the twist of a pliers. If it doesn’t break off easily, you didn’t grind it thin enough. Careful, it’s hot.
I tried that method...but found it was faster to drill the spot welds...that particular strip is a PITA no matter how you do it. It always tears at least a little on that lip...tedious to repair it before installing the inner wheel house as well...but hey, tedious seems to be the name of the game when replacing all the sheet metal, not too much left to go at this point...just finish the wheelhouses and quarter, also got to examining the trunk floor closer...looks like I am going to have to patch the lower portion where the tank sits(at least on one side) and a couple other small parts...then the tail light panel, and all the rot will finally be gone though I will still have a lot of misc metal work to do afterwards most of it will fall under the modification category rather than resoration
 

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Discussion Starter #122 (Edited)
Well, I guess I am going backward for the next week or so. I decided to order a new trunk floor(the 4 pieces surrounding the gas tank anyway) rather than trying to patch what I have. After climbing under the car and examining the surface rust, in that area I found pitting...and one thing I have learned is moderate-to-heavy pitting is just rot by a different name...so I have decided to cut it away...wont take much longer to replace...but it will delay me while I wait for the parts to arrive, and I will have to undo about 16 spot welds for the Driver's side quarter to pull out that side...no big deal but I would rather do it now than have it crop up as an issue down the road when the rest of the car is virtually new and painted....as a bonus I will get new trunk drop offs....I never was the biggest fan of the installation method of the PO on those drop offs he replaced...they should have been butt welded in instead of his spot welding....just like all the other patches they did on the car, it was the wrong method to look correct for that area.
 

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Discussion Starter #123


Just like the driver side, the Dynacorn inner wheel house for the passenger side is an almost perfect fit



Unlike the driver side, my unknown brand outer wheel house looks like it will be a good fit....but quarter panel fitment will tell the real story. It is fitting much better than the other side though so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #124








The passenger side quarter looks like its going to fit better than the driver side(though the driver side fit well too, it just took a lot of tweaking). I am actually glad I cut above the sail panel seam rather than below it like most people do...it was starting to actually rot where the factory quarter is spot welded to the inner roof structure, but only the roof skin and the quarter, not the actual structure. It makes me wonder how many people who have replaced quarters have hidden rot under that lead seam
 

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Discussion Starter #125


After test fitting the quarter I found that this outer wheelhouse, just like the other was too wide...but just like the other side it was only at the back bottom portion:



But I know just what to do this time...cut like so:





Also had to re-shape the front edge where it drops into the rocker to allow me to clock the outer wheelhousing just the 3/8" I needed



Essentially this reshaping just moves the end radius up 3/8"...anyway, I welded all this up(didnt bother to take a picture of that since the other side is virtually identical to this side.



Also installed the inner wheel housing...then realized that the 7 welds at the back were a mistake because I have to take the trunk floor out...oops...oh well, didnt weld them all anyway.

What I didnt take pictures of today were the final test fitting of the outer wheelhouse and the quarter...but everything looks like it will now fit without issue, I should have this quarter finished up within a couple days and be able to move on to the trunk floor and tail light panel.
 

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I am contemplating adding some type of extra over-the-hump reinforcement like convertible risers have to add a bit of extra strength, but not sure exactly how best to fabricate that
Based on your fab work so far, sectioning in the hump from a convertible seat riser shouldn't be too difficult for you. And since you're this deep down the rabbit hole I'd suggest adding convertible inner rockers. The combination of the seat riser hump and inner rockers really stiffened my chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Based on your fab work so far, sectioning in the hump from a convertible seat riser shouldn't be too difficult for you. And since you're this deep down the rabbit hole I'd suggest adding convertible inner rockers. The combination of the seat riser hump and inner rockers really stiffened my chassis.
Too late for that...floors and torque boxes are long since in...besides...stiffness is doing good so far...front wheel comes off the ground before the rear wheel when jacking up the car at the rear torque box as it is...of course, no engine and tranny in it at the moment so that doesnt tell the whole story, but I still have a few more chassis strengthening mods to go before chassis work is done
 

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Discussion Starter #128 (Edited)


Outer wheel house installed











Final quarter panel fitment...and yes, I cut the tail light panel to make fitment easier...its just there as a reference point...it will soon be replaced, the only thing I am keeping in this area is the trunk corners and frame rails
 

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Discussion Starter #129


Today I am just working on finishing up the quarter panel install. I should be able to finish this up today and start on the trunk floor tomorrow. I hope to have the trunk fllor and tail light panel installed by the end of the weekend...we will see if I can manage to meet that hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #130




In preparation for engine fitment, I started modifying the oil pan, I cut it down into the basic extreme rear sump shape I need. I will be adding some side sumps to gain back the lost volume...happily I should be able to pull this modification off myself, though it will take me awhile.





I also started replacing the trunk floor...the trunk floor, along with the tail light panel, and bumper brackets will be the last of the metal work before I move on to driveline fitment
 

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Discussion Starter #131


Today I was too busy to do more than just cut away the tail light panel...still need to cut away the rest of the trunk floor tomorrow.






I did test fit the tail light panel though...and it doesn't fit AT ALL...it seems to be a reverse fitment...not sure what they were thinking. I am going to order a new one rather than trying to fix the top lip so it actually fits correctly...a lot less time involved that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #132


I removed the passenger side trunk floor today...left the driver side where it was for the moment in the interest of having another reference point while fitting the new passenger side floor...



...which shockingly fits surprisingly good, no real tweaking needed at all for this piece that I can see.
 

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Discussion Starter #133


Removed the other side...this one took a bit longer ince the drop off was already welded to the quarter



The entire trunk floor test-fit. Its not 100% perfect, but it is easily workable. The piece giving me the most trouble is the "front" piece I welded in...because the angle at the bottom is too sharp, its wanting to hold one of the corners just about 1/8" too far forward...I think I will be able to work around that easily enough though...what is really odd though is none of the holes line up with the tank...wondering if there is a bolt pattern difference between tanks of different years...or maybe my tank is from some other car entirely like a Falcon or a Cougar...who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter #134


A little more fitment tweaking, but really, this is as far as I go until I receive in my tail light panel. I think the back piece needs a bit more tweaking judging by where the holes are ending up, but have to have the tail light panel to know exactly what I need to do. I honestly think I am better off filling in the holes in this thing that came pre-drilled and drilling my own instead...wish they weren't pre drilled to begin with for this area truth be told.
 

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Discussion Starter #135


Got the final tweaking of the trunk floor done and rosette welded it in place...the only thing really worth mentioning here is that in the corners of the gas tank hole I welded in some little corner pieces I cut from some 2x2x1/8 angle iron similar to what the factory had in there...not sure what the real purpose is...but since the factory did it, so did I. In any case, I also drilled out all the gas tank holes larger since whatever came in the replacement panels could hardly even be called holes...everything lines up now that I can see. I did end up with some slight warpage of the trunk floor where I welded it to the frame rail, but I guess I will just live with it since its going to be under a trunk mat or carpet anyway...some days I am a better welder than others.
 

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Making me feel like I am not working on mine enough, actually I'm not working on mine enough. I haven't gone back through the post and I can't recall if you welded in your seat pans or not. If you haven't I saw a one piece seat pan for non convertible cars on the NPD web site but you will need to have a custom carpet made. I may go this route and not install the vert inner rockers and seat pan, only because I already welded in regular torque boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #137
Making me feel like I am not working on mine enough, actually I'm not working on mine enough. I haven't gone back through the post and I can't recall if you welded in your seat pans or not. If you haven't I saw a one piece seat pan for non convertible cars on the NPD web site but you will need to have a custom carpet made. I may go this route and not install the vert inner rockers and seat pan, only because I already welded in regular torque boxes.
Well, I am not making huge strides at the moment, just trying to make constant progress more than anything, at this point I am on track to have finished the restoration aspect of the metal work though by the end of next week(Just have the tail light panel left as far as I know...haven't checked under the steering box yet...but even if there is rot there, it will just be a couple hours work to patch)...then its down to misc metal work mods like SFC-to-floor pan tie ins, rear seat divider install, and modifications from the Boss 302 manual?(shock tower welding and the like).

As for the non-convertible one piece pan...no...I haven't seen it, would have been one of those things like the convertible rockers that would have been nice to know beforehand...but since my seat pans are already in place(and chopped down 1.5") it wont be happening now...I will likely make some type of x-brace instead that will double as a transmission crossmember since the MT82 has a really weird mount that wont work with anything else on the market.
 

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Discussion Starter #138






The new Tail light panel came in today...the initial fit is 10x better on this one if that is possible(and yes, the tail light panel inwards to some degree, looks like it follows the trunk lid bend fairly ok). Looks like there will be little to no tweaking here...except maybe for the bumper bracket holes...not sure why they are so far off:









Suggestions on aligning the trunk brackets? Should I just re-shape the holes to match the brackets once installed?
 

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Discussion Starter #139


Don't you love it when you need to modify a brand new piece? I test fit the OEM bumper and it line up perfectly with the tail light panel holes, so I cut and dropped the bracket about 3/8" instead. In this case this bracket was a duplicate of the OEM piece, neither fit worth anything(or rather they both fit exactly the same). It just goes to show the differences in the assembly process, in this case, the trunk floor ended up being about 1/4-3/8 too short front to back...I chose to keep the floor tucked tightly against the wheel housings and made up the difference at the back with the trunk brace piece...the effect of that was that the section of floor where the front of the bracket sits ended up around 3/16 lower...which made these holes mis-align by that much...and since the panel is aftermarket and the panels are usually off by that much, those 2 factors combined to make a significant difference...modifying the bracket fixed it though...looks like the other side is off enough to make me modify that side as well....oh the joys of putting the puzzle together.

 

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Discussion Starter #140 (Edited)




I did a little bit better job on the passenger side...I am considering adding some gussets to these though, the "wings" that the bolts go through seem like they would easily bend in the event of a rear end collision.
tomorrow I should be able to get this panel finally installed.
 
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