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Discussion Starter #1
Working on a 65 mustang. Have a lot of rust, so doing a full tear down, pulling the engine and transmission soon to eventually media blast it. I plan on getting a rotisserie, as this would allow me to get everything with the media blaster much easier, and then allow me to do some of the bodywork without having to strain my neck. I have an old neck injury that really makes it difficult to work in tight or awkward spaces (like underneath a car). While this is a one-off project for me anything that helps with that is worth the extra cost.

However, not having any prior experience, and what I have learned through research thus far, I am worried about body stress. Tentatively planning on bolting to the front rail and back bumper mounts. So... few questions for the wise...
  1. What can I do while on the rotisserie? Floor replacement, cowl, quarter panels, rear frame rails?
  2. What can't I do while on the rotisserie? Front rails, Floor replacement?
  3. Plan on taking lots of measurements but thought of welding cross braces throughout for additional stability. Is there any advice or additional research out there in terms of where to place additional supports?
It seems going the rotisserie route on a car that needs structural repairs is a multistep process. If I want to have it blasted (and I do), then I can put it on the rotisserie for that and have a clean car to start working on. Then take it off the rotisserie for structural repairs...then back on to finish up the other issues and prime the underside. Am I missing something here? Have others done it this way, or am I off?

Always appreciate the collective wisdom of the group. Especially for someone who is learning all this as I go! Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The front or rear rails are the attachment points for supporting the car. If these are rotten, you must repair them BEFORE mounting on the rotisserie.
Rails seem ok. Was asking in general terms.
 

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It seems going the rotisserie route on a car that needs structural repairs is a multistep process. If I want to have it blasted (and I do), then I can put it on the rotisserie for that and have a clean car to start working on. Then take it off the rotisserie for structural repairs...then back on to finish up the other issues and prime the underside. Am I missing something here? Have others done it this way, or am I off?
First off, get this book. It’s the reproduction of the factory body assembly manual. It’s not a step by step but the actual drawings of how the cars were assembled.

How something like a full body/metal project goes...

Strip to bare metal. Dip, blast, chemical, mechanical whatever your budget, preference and ability allow. Blast is probably going to be the most accessible and affordable once you factor in time and consumables. I think dip is best but it’s the most expensive and more difficult to find.

After bare metal inspect, note the damaged areas and cover the car with some sort of epoxy primer. That will save you from getting surface rust on your freshly bare steel. I don’t need to prime where I am but in many areas of the country you can surface rust pretty quickly.

The primary structural members are typically done on a chassis table. If your rails and basic structure is good you can skip this part. The table doesn’t have to be mega or expensive. It has to be sturdy enough for the shell and square and level. I’d at least tack the floors, rails and rockers on the table and finish them on the rotisserie.

Brace the shell before you put it on the rotisserie. Sticks of 1” tubing work well. The location will depend on what you’re replacing and the type of shell. In a perfect world you want to do it so you don’t have to move or replace any during this phase of the project. Depending on what’s damaged you may have to move and/or replace some bracing as the project progresses. You should be able to do most any of the metal as long as you plan a step or two ahead. Make sure to put new members in before you cut the old ones out and double check the alignment. This is a place where the fairly inexpensive construction lasers come in handy.

That’s the basics, Others may chime in with what brace locations worked best on their projects and other handy tips. You’re heading in the right direction.

Here’s a build thread from a pro shop that pretty much replaced every bit of metal on a classic Mustang. It should give you an idea of what’s involved even if you aren’t replacing this much metal.
 

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Imo you can NOT replace sheet metal on a rotisserie. You need a body/frame jig to make sure the car is straight then after metal is replaced put it on a rotisserie for primer/sealer/paint.
 

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I bought an auto twirler body cart , axle dolly, 4 wheel dollies, 4 off road wheels, and finally the actual rotisserie at the Carlisle Pa show years ago..First I pushed the car around on the dollies in the garage as I disassembled it, once stripped down to a bare shell I put it on the body cart and did the front right frame rail and apron sectioning and cowl. Then assembled the rotisserie to the car and took the body cart apart. Now I have cut the floor out and will get that all done, then the 1/4s and wheel houses. Rear rails, trunk floor and rear body panels were done years ago and just need sandblasted. When I get done with the metal work I will trailer it off to be blasted, then I will epoxy the whole thing. Then paint the under body, interior,and enginebay, cut it in with the body color, reassemble the car, paint it,final trim out, then give it back to the wife! I figure I can resell all the equipment for 60-75% ???? call me in a year, lol, It is alot easier to have even just a rotisserie when you need it. This car is a 65 coup. I have not used any door braces on it but may when i trailer it around. I did find one side of the rear package tray panel that comes down and is welded to the floor above the rail behind the back seat, all the lower welds broke loose!! , I heard that is torsional deflection and not uncommon, was surprised to see it on this old grocery getter. I am adding that back metal filler panel behind the seat which should help with that kind of thing. You did not say if you have coup or conv or fb?? I would only brace a convertible unless your rockers are trashed. ok, break is over, back to the garage!.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First off, get this book. It’s the reproduction of the factory body assembly manual. It’s not a step by step but the actual drawings of how the cars were assembled.
Thanks, I actually purchased this one already, along with the others in the set as I've been researching this build.

How something like a full body/metal project goes...

Strip to bare metal. Dip, blast, chemical, mechanical whatever your budget, preference and ability allow. Blast is probably going to be the most accessible and affordable once you factor in time and consumables. I think dip is best but it’s the most expensive and more difficult to find.

After bare metal inspect, note the damaged areas and cover the car with some sort of epoxy primer. That will save you from getting surface rust on your freshly bare steel. I don’t need to prime where I am but in many areas of the country you can surface rust pretty quickly.

The primary structural members are typically done on a chassis table. If your rails and basic structure is good you can skip this part. The table doesn’t have to be mega or expensive. It has to be sturdy enough for the shell and square and level. I’d at least tack the floors, rails and rockers on the table and finish them on the rotisserie.
So... I think this is where I am getting tripped up in trying to figure out the steps going forward.

My uncle did some work to the car in the 90's, which prevented a lot of the major rust. It also received a paint job, which may be hiding some additional issues. So while the rails and other structural items look ok, I wouldn't be surprised if after blasting I see something and say gosh...I'd rather fix this now while it's stripped then do it later. That part makes me a little nervous, especially if I were to put it on some sort of rotisserie without support.

Since the structural stuff needs to be done on a chassis table and everything looks ok right now, I'm thinking I should still blast it first. However, I wonder if anyone has made a chassis table that could be tipped to allow for blasting/priming underneath. I've seen some clever jigs folks have made to flip the car. Thinking maybe I could buy a cheap one and modify it, or make one that I could tack the rails/rockers too, and add some 1" tubing in areas for additional support. Tip it to blast/prime, lay it back down and make any needed repairs that arise. That would negate the need for a rotisserie at first for blasting, and minimize the risk to twisting/racking. Anyone ever heard of something like that, or make one?
 

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Making or finding a tipping stand is your best bet for DIY blasting the bottom. I recall seeing some, I think it was here but I can’t find it now. Take care with tips on the site here to blast without excessive heat buildup or damaging the panels with impact. I did a full Miata shell DIY with soda and the HF soda blaster. Was good for a rust free car. Soda is easy and easy on the car. If/when you find harder rust you could move to beads or just isolate the panel or part as it needs to come off anyway.
 

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I had some rusty sections to replace and made sure the "skeleton" was solid before putting on rotisserie.
Replaced several sections of frame rails, inner apron, radiator support, cowl and cowl ends
20160326_151434.jpg
, firewall and patched floor, trunk floor, drop offs, installed torque boxes....THEN put it on rotisserie.
While on rotisserie, blasted whole thing, replaced quarters, finished underside, installed subframe connectors, tail light panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice. I agree and have started looking into chassis table designs. I saw where some folks made a tipping component with 2x4 and plywood. I think that would work (and it's cheap), so long as the car is properly braced and secured. Onward and upward with the research. I've had this car at my house for almost 6 months now and I feel like I am finally getting close to starting something!

Really appreciate all the comments on the forum. For someone new at this, trying to sift through all the details on such an extensive job can often be overwhelming. Been trying to take it one step at a time while making sure I don't mess anything too bad as I go. Seem to learn best from my mistakes, but I think this forum is really helping me minimize those!
 
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