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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 66 convertible six cylinder has been like these photos for many years. I've decided to "re-restore" my car after nearly 30 years. California car since new. I originally bought it with the left front wheel and frame bent and had a frame shop straighten the car and replace the left inner fender apron and front radiator support with aftermarket sheet metal of the day. I finished the rest. It was so nice people though it had never been hit. Well, my VW go fast off-roading days kinda transferred to the Mustang on the streets of So-Cal. I assure you all I have slowed down plenty since those days.

I've just rebuilt the front end with new upper and lower control arms and roller perches and upgraded some of the sway bar and strut rod bushings. I purchased a Long Acre Caster Camber Gauge and set +2 degrees caster each side and 0 degrees camber each side. The toe-in done with measuring tape is a tad over 1/8 inch. The car feels great at the low speeds and distances I've driven within the confines of a storage unit complex. I haven't registered the car for about 5 years.

Now, on to the body work. What would be a plan of attack to fix the bent sheet metal at the firewall and the fender extension?
 

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I'm not sure this is all from spirited driving.... lots of these cars have been beat on from day one and I ain't never seen that. Especially in a 6 cylinder. Something else is amiss imo.

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I originally bought it with the left front wheel and frame bent and had a frame shop straighten the car and replace the left inner fender apron and front radiator support with aftermarket sheet metal of the day
Sadly, it looks like they missed some of the damage, but I like the suggestion to weld in an export-brace reinforcement panel.
 

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It would appear that the apron was not repair properly as it in flexing in. You need to remove the stock braces and use a hammer and dolly to straighten the cowl lip. It may require the aprons to be physically pushed outwards with a hydraulic ram, although sitting on blocks with weight off the tires can help. Once the lip is straight a heavy duty (not the cheap repro) export brace and Monte Carlo bar will square everything up and make it many times stronger. Be sure to install the reinforcement under the export brace at the cowl. Once everything is back square you can reweld the apron extensions to the cowl.

I feel your pain, I just removed my whole left apron which had been damaged a long time ago in an accident and poorly repaired, it was 3/4 inch out of position at the shock tower bottom. A used apron and new radiator frame, have squared right up and fit great with the export brace and Monte Carlo bar holding everything in place. The one surprise was the engine crossmember brace was also bucked in by 3/4 in and had to be replaced.
 
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Yep, that's impact damage that was never repaired. As suggested, you should get the good Drake export brace, and install it immediately, and leave it on as a guide to your repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I used to drive kinda fast over dips and rises in the road. We called them "whoop-te-doos" in off road racing. Might have gotten airborne a few times. Although its been like 20 something years I was pretty sure the damage occurred from the driving. The repair looked good when it was originally done but I'm not a Frame alignment guy. It was also a daily driver. It won't be a show car but a nice clean car for fun. I liked my cars to look as though they were just a few years old with some use on them. My thoughts were that the repair undid itself from the harsh driving.
 

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+1 on the wreck damage improperly fixed.
Back in the day, Shelbys were airborne in races, there's that famous photo of Ken Miles airborne in an early GT350R with all 4 wheels off the ground. Yes those cars had the braces, but nowhere did a welded panel break or separate on those cars. A typical" break" or sheet metal tear under really hard use might be the rear shock upper mounting panel for example, as that area is not that heavily reinforced, but even on a non Shelby braced car that rear shock upper mounting panel would deform or break before the weld on the cowl area would. My point is, if we follow the OP's hypothesis that that broken weld if from rough driving style some years ago, even under heavy duty use (abuse?) there would be other bends, tears and breaks in the car's structure IMHO before that type of separation in your photos. So my vote is for accident damage missed by the repair shop. And back in the day, repair shops were churning out these cars as fast as they brought them in. They weren't always thorough in their work. It is also possible that the repair shop years ago did weld that cowl area (where the separation is now) but did a lousy welding job and it simply worked itself apart again.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It would appear that the apron was not repair properly as it in flexing in. You need to remove the stock braces and use a hammer and dolly to straighten the cowl lip. It may require the aprons to be physically pushed outwards with a hydraulic ram, although sitting on blocks with weight off the tires can help. Once the lip is straight a heavy duty (not the cheap repro) export brace and Monte Carlo bar will square everything up and make it many times stronger. Be sure to install the reinforcement under the export brace at the cowl. Once everything is back square you can reweld the apron extensions to the cowl.

I feel your pain, I just removed my whole left apron which had been damaged a long time ago in an accident and poorly repaired, it was 3/4 inch out of position at the shock tower bottom. A used apron and new radiator frame, have squared right up and fit great with the export brace and Monte Carlo bar holding everything in place. The one surprise was the engine crossmember brace was also bucked in by 3/4 in and had to be replaced.
Flade's plan sounds like a way to go. I thought I would need a frame shop. Like I said wheel alignment is good. I will start by removing the convertible export braces and raising the car. I will jack it up at the large bar (forget the proper name) under the oil pan and leave it sitting like that a week or so. I will get the heavy duty export brace and firewall brace and check fitment et al. If I need to push the drivers shock tower out I will get the Harbor Freight Tools hydraulic ram kit. I will have to see about welding the brace at the firewall as I don't weld. Maybe I can drive carefully over to a friends shop for the weld or do it afterwards? Hammer and dolly I have and can straighten the lip. I will attack the fender extension after everything else is in place. I'm sure I'll have to do the wheel alignment again. Should I get the Monte Carlo Bar? I have the stock air cleaner so it would have to be a curved one (if they're effective). Lastly, shall I put the stock convertible export braces and tubes back on?

Appreciate everyone's input.
 

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Jacking it up in that location isn't going to help and could make it worse as it's near the point of contact where the tires are already. You need to jack it up further back and let the weight of the engine pull the front down. I'd suspect you might have floor board issues as well. That part didn't move independent of the "frame" rail going under the car.

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Discussion Starter #15
Jacking it up in that location isn't going to help and could make it worse as it's near the point of contact where the tires are already. You need to jack it up further back and let the weight of the engine pull the front down. I'd suspect you might have floor board issues as well. That part didn't move independent of the "frame" rail going under the car.

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So you're saying that will help to give me space between the cowl and out to the shock towers? okay makes sense. So I'll put jackstands behind each front wheel where the convertible double rockers and front of doors are and the front engine area should pull down over time.

I thought I was also looking to put some spread BETWEEN the shock towers? Is this where the HFT hydraulic ram comes in?
 

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So you're saying that will help to give me space between the cowl and out to the shock towers? okay makes sense. So I'll put jackstands behind each front wheel where the convertible double rockers and front of doors are and the front engine area should pull down over time.

I thought I was also looking to put some spread BETWEEN the shock towers? Is this where the HFT hydraulic ram comes in?
You won't know exactly where you have an issue until you try to install the export brace. Most likely you will have to spread the towers. The damage at the apron to cowl joint implies the front may have moved up as well. Placing the jack stands under the frame directly beneath the cowl will allow it to settle in both directions. I suggest you remove the crossbrace (the piece you could remember the name for) under the engine and measure it. The holes should be 30" apart on center. Mine was 3/4" short as a result of the side impact damage. Explains why I could never get it aligned.
 
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I used to drive kinda fast over dips and rises in the road. We called them "whoop-te-doos" in off road racing. Might have gotten airborne a few times. Although its been like 20 something years I was pretty sure the damage occurred from the driving.
If so, the doors would have been jammed, and you'd have had to climb out the window.
 

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I suspect it was both the wreck and Dukes of Hazard driving. Accident may have put a couple small waves or kinks in the metal. Everyone knows that formed metal, especially flat, will have a very slight fatigue introduced with one bend. Follow that up with jumping a couple missing bridges, power slides down a wash board gravel road and tight donuts in the barn yard and time starts taking a toll.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You won't know exactly where you have an issue until you try to install the export brace. Most likely you will have to spread the towers. The damage at the apron to cowl joint implies the front may have moved up as well. Placing the jack stands under the frame directly beneath the cowl will allow it to settle in both directions. I suggest you remove the crossbrace (the piece you could remember the name for) under the engine and measure it. The holes should be 30" apart on center. Mine was 3/4" short as a result of the side impact damage. Explains why I could never get it aligned.

Thanks Flade. I will order a heavy duty export brace and check fitment. Will a curved Monte Carlo Bar do anything? And yes Crossbrace is the word I was looking for. Appreciate. Rest of the car looks pretty straight to me.
If the front moved up is this where a frame shop comes in or do I have options?
 

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That damage appears to be from many years of flexing. What scares me is, if this is the damage you can see how much damage is there you can't see? I would tear down the front of that car and do a thorough inspection to get a really good over all assessment of what is needed to properly repair the car. I would be afraid the front frames are weakened from all the flexing.
 
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