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Well, I've done all the repairs to Midlife except for patching the driver's side shock tower. I left the worst for last, so I could gain experience and knowledge with welding.

The shock tower is rusted just above the frame rail. The top of the frame rail is also rotted, as is a small section on the engine compartment side where the shock tower covers the rail. I have a repro shock tower, but it doesn't come with the motor mount frame/bracket. To cut the existing shock tower as a patch, I'll have to remove the flange that sits on the engine compartment side of the frame rail, which lies between the motor mount bracket and the frame rail. It does not look easy.

I'm debating to remove the entire shock tower/motor mount bracketry with a repro version ($89 via VA Mustang or $112 via NPD). Replacing the entire assembly looks somewhat easier: just drill out a number of spot welds and "lift and separate". To do that means removing the export brace and the crossbrace, the two major supporting members to the engine compartment. Once the shock tower is out, repairing the frame rail would be easier.

I'm just leery of not having any structural support on that side for a week or two until I can get my shock tower. Am I worrying too much? The frame rails will still be attached to the radiator support, and I suppose I can install the cross brace to the frame rail.
 

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Is the engine installed? If not, then leaving the car on jacks with no shock tower is no bid deal; otherwise, I'm not sure.

If you're worried about the frame shifting around on you, you can keep the monte carlo bar and the bar that connects underneath the engine (the bar with the two funny-looking big bolts) on the car to kepp it in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Engine is out; car is completely stripped, although the doors are still installed. No Monte Carlo bar. It's supported on my lift on the front and rear frame rails. There's not a whole lot of weight up front.
 

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IIRC you have the cleveland out of it ..right? With no motor sitting in it, I dont think I would worry too much...Make sure the car is well supported on the frame rails and radiator support and of course you are going to take MANY measurments before you do anything, and if there is any movement at all, just make sure it is back where it should be before starting any welding.This is what was told to me by my brother (body man) if thats what I decide to do instead of repair mine.Mine has some rust that the repair piece would take care of, but it also has the holes "blown" in them by a po to make greasing easier...keep us posted on how it goes..I havent decided if Im repairing, or replacing...your success (or failure :eek:) might help me decide. :p

Joe
 

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Sounds like you have an interesting job ahead of you. I would lean towards removing the whole tower as a unit and replacing it...there are several advantages to it that you have already stated. You could tak weld some l-bar steel across on either side of the shock tower from the other side and maybe weld a bar from the front and rear inner fender wells, just to hold everthing perfectly in place while you do the work. I know when I cut the front off my car I am going to be tack welding a bar from shock tower to shock tower for that very reason.
 

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I don't think you'll have any problems with removing the shock towers. The export brace (or the std issue) does indeed help strengthen the front, but sitting statically it's no problem removing it (and the monte carlo).
Think of this...the people that convert to MII front ends do away with the shock towers and just replace the vacated area with sheet metal. The MII suspension places the entire load into the frame. The vertical loads in the original shock tower is carried entirely by the front frames.
If it can handle that load it can handle your jack stands (which I would place under the cowl).
 
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