Sunday, December 5, 2010

Front Suspension 4

To complete the reinforcement frame rail boxing, the bottom plates are added. They are curved to fit the profile of the existing frame rail and are aligned using the bolt hole from the original cross member bar. For the plate to lay in flat and straight, the old cross member's built-in threaded nut had to be cut and ground flush with the surface since it was protruding above the surface.

Once the smoothing was done, I clamped the plate in making sure it was parallel and square with the other reinforcement plate.  I tack welded and began to complete the perimeter welds with the MIG... crap! Out of MIG wire for now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Front Suspension 3

The Total Cost Involved front suspension comes with frame boxing plates that need to be welded in.  Its important that these plates are parallel to the surfaces and square to each other since the rest of the suspension welds to them.  

The surfaces of the passenger side frame rails were pitted and wavy so it took a little extra massaging and grinding to get the reinforcement plates to sit where they need to be.  The top edge of the side piece and the outer edge of the top piece need to be parallel.  I also used a cut-off and sanding disc to get the top outer corner nice and straight. 

It took a few clamps to keep the edges lined up for welding. The edges are supposed to parallel while leaving a small gap so you can include the old frame rail in the weld but my rail was a little too narrow.  

I tack welded around the edges on all sides and left room to drill holes in the top outer edge to reveal some of the old frame rail.  This allows me tie the old metal to the plates for extra strength.

These plates are completely welded but there is still one more plate to weld in on the bottom then a little more trimming.

Then its time to move on to the drivers side.

Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, Tough-Strips, Extra Large (1.75-Inch Wide), 10-Count Bandages (Pack of 6)    

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Front Suspension 2

A small piece of metal still needing to be trimmed is seen at the forward
edge of the plates

With the extra metal removed and ground smooth, I welded the side piece of the factory rail back on to the frame rail box at the original seam then ground smooth again.

The Total Cost Involved front suspension kit comes with chunky frame rail reinforcement plates.  I can now install these.  They line up with old steering hardware holes in the existing frame rail and are bolted together using supplied bolts before welding.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Front Suspension 1

While waiting to get the new pieces for the rear suspension, I decided to start the front suspension. A while back I bought a Total Cost Involved coil-front suspension to install in place of the incomplete, non-original, worn out front end that came with the car.  The original shock towers also had already been removed by a previous owner.

The first step is to remove any remaining old suspension parts. On mine I just needed to remove the sway bar and the old strut bars with my impact.

The next task is to remove the flanged piece of steel where the frame rail is spot welded to side plate.
This seam is then welded back together and the area is ground and paint is stripped clean for welding the new crossmember.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rear Springs 1

The part tucks into the corner behind the torque box
as seen below

I found some more repair work that I had actually seen before but forgot about.  The drivers side leaf spring mount behind the rear torque box is missing.  I looked around and cant find a replacement piece.  I can get a complete rear torque box/frame rail with that part already welded in and extract the mount to make the repair but spending $130 just for the mount is crazy.  I'll have to fabricate one.  The part I need to make is shown in highlighted in blue.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Floors 2

The passenger area floors are finally done.  I completed the welds on the seat risers and the rear seat brackets.  The 3M floor seam sealer is on and the floors are primed and ready for paint.
The metal repairs are not done yet though. I'm currently in to welding the new floor to gas tank drop-off.  Once that is in, I can complete the seam sealing in the entire rear of the car and get a coat of primer in the trunk.
This muggy weather really sucks!  Its only 71deg but with a dew point of 70deg (thats nearly 100% humidity) and glowing hot metal in my face, I can really only work an hour at a time. I may try an AC in the garage window.

Here is the seam sealer I use.  Its really gummy, stinky stuff but it looks factory.
(BTW, If you shop through my links/images, it supports my site ;) )

Advanced Tool Design Model ATD-8235 Auto Acid Brush - Box of 144Brushable Seam Sealer 3M-08656, 1 Quart

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Floors 1

The floors were not as bad as some I've heard about. There were large patches over older patches. Most of the other areas were pitted and had pin holes.  There was also some evidence of possible accident repairs.

I started with the rear passenger seat area.  It seemed to have the most rust damage.  It probably would have been a good idea to replace the whole right side floor pan but I went with a 2 piece set up.

With the rotted floor out of the way, I can clean up the frame rail and torque box areas.  They were in pretty good shape.  

Moving on to the passenger's feet floor area, I encountered an old rusted out patch, held in with screws and few tack welds. There is supposed to be a drain plug there somewhere.

The front passenger floor wasn't much better.  To replace the whole passenger side floor, I have to remove the seat riser first since I will be reusing it.  Underneath that there was even worse rust.

I roughly cut out the floor in a few small pieces and laid in the new pan to mark the edges.  I will be butt welding the new pan in place.  Since the floor pan is so large, I decided to leave some extra metal behind.  The pan wouldn't lay down in on the frame rails enough to make precise cuts for butt welding.
With a little persuasion and coaxing, the new steel will fit nicely.

Tail light panel and quarter welding

With the quarter panels in place, I can now button up the rest of the back end metal.  These are the remaining welds for the trunk dropoffs and tail light panel.
I installed the trunk lid to make sure everything still lined up before welding.

Everything still lines up and its starting to look like a car again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quarter Panels 2

Passenger door alignment still looks good. The door bumpers and seals are not on so I wedged a rag in to take up the space.  The old hinges were letting the door sag too much.
Looking at the drivers side quarter, I can see that it was replaced some time in the past. It has to go too. Its really beat up.
With the quarter panel out of the way, I could make the repairs to the wheel house.  After the old metal was removed, it was clear that the quarter was replaced at least twice in the past.  There were some really ugly scars in the area.

I removed some the old pitted metal so I could install the new lower wheel well patch.

Tacked in and ready to weld.
The new quarter panel lined up nicely and was welded in.  The metal around the side vents was pretty distorted from multiple quarter repairs so I decided to replace it.  I would have much rather replaced the quarter and vent as one piece but it didn't work out that way. 

The lead was melted away and factory spot weld were drilled out in preparation to remove the vent opening metal. It was obvious to me that this was not going to be easy.

Cleaned up and primed. Ready to go.

Lined up well and ready to plug weld in place.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quarter Panels 1

The quarter panels had a lot of dings, cut outs, and old attempted repairs.  I had initially thought that I could use patch panels to fix them but I didn't like the idea of filling the joints and the patch panels didn't look right. I opted to replace the quarters with new repro metal.  I would get a nice new surface too instead of the old nasty pitted one -- less body work.
I started by melting the body lead with a torch. You should do this with plenty of ventilation and eye protection. Drilling holes in the bad quarter helped drain the liquid metal and break the factory tack welds. 

While the metal was still hot, I wiped the excess lead off with a damp rag.  Then using a reciprocating saw to cut away the majority of the metal, leaving just small strips around the areas of the factory spot welds of the door jamb/pillar and wheel wells.  Its easier to pry off the small metal strips without disturbing the good metal that remains behind.

After some cleanup and priming, I set the new quarter panel in place and clamped it to the old metal.  Its really important to install the door to check alignment before welding the new metal. I did an alignment check before cutting out the old metal as well.  The trunk lid and tail light panel should also be lined up, if not already installed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Digging in

Its not a pretty sight.  I removed the tail light panel and mounts since they were damaged. The rest of the work was already done by a previous owner.

I installed the trunk floors, gas tank, and frame rail to check alignment.
If at all possible, I would recommend having the leaf springs in place for welding since it will help with frame rail spacing and centering.  To make sure the springs end up spaced right, you may want the rear end installed too.
Its really important to dry fit everything before welding to make sure the new stuff is in the right place because it may not line up with the old parts. Some repro parts aren't perfect and will need tweaking. With these new parts in place, I welded the floor to the frame rails and the old floor.  Its beginning to resemble a Mustang again.

I drilled holes for plug welds to line up with the rear frame rails and welded away. Later I primed the smoothed welds.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We used a truck to bring home this 65 Mustang body and all of the parts in one shot.

The Mustang came with lots of parts.

I highly recommend the Millermatic 140.   Its working out great for all the welding I have needed to do so far.