Sunday, September 19, 2010

Post #24 9/19/10 Left Floor Pan

65 Mustang Restoration

This week we concentrated on the driver's side floor. Brent got all of the excess metal ground down & out of the way, but before we could start the fitting process of the new floor pan, we had to also remove & install the new floor support. Once that was done, the exciting process of fitting the new floor was started. This can be a pretty time consuming process, but a little time here, will make a big difference when it's time to weld it in.
Once we thought we were ready for the final fit & install of the floor, we once again removed it, cleaned out the frame & transmission cross member, and gave them a healthy coating of Eastwood's Rust Enhancer.  

Before we did the final install of the floor,, we figured that it would be a good time to patch in a small section of metal on top of the LR torque box (which is under the rear seat). This is located in kind of a tight spot, but I got it cut out, and made a patch panel, welded it in, and ground off the excess welds, and,,,,

Vwola, it was done!  One less rusty panel.

Finally it was time for the floor's final fitting. It takes a lot of time and a bit of persuading to get everything to fit like it needs to. For this side of the floor, we opted to install the floor by overlapping the edges 1/4"-1/2" instead of the extremely tedious butt-welding that we did on the passenger's side floor pan. 

I was a bit hesitant on doing it this way, since the previous, floor install had been overlapped when it was done, but in that case, they had as much as 3" of overlap,,, and it was just a terrible job. However,,, with the small overlap that we have this time,,, both the seams/edges on both, the top & bottom sides of the floor, look great. 

We used several self-tapping screws to hold the panel in place. This worked extremely well, especially in the areas where the floor needed to be securely held against the floor supports. The screws will be removed once the panel is welded into place & the holes will be tacked shut. Sounds like a good project for this coming week. 

Till next time,,,, 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Post #23 9/13/10 Shock Tower Mods

65 Mustang Restoration

I think I finally got all of the welds ground down on the passenger floor pan(on the top side). There were a lot of welds up there,,, the bottom side should be much simpler,,, if I can keep the filings out of my eyes.
I think we pretty much completed all of the metal work on the front end of the car. I started by fitting the battery box,,, surprise,,, it actually fit pretty well. We had saved the old battery apron(RF fender section) & were able to save & re-use the battery box reinforcement plate that goes under the new panel we just installed. It's a little tricky making sure that the holes in the plate & battery box will line up together once you drill the new holes through the apron,,, not too tough though if you make a dimple with an awl & make the small adjustments you might need.

Once the hole locations were marked, drilled, the plate test fitted, and then bolted on,,, I welded it in place with 2 small welds,, just like the factory did. Once all that was squared away,, it was time to fit the new RF fender bracket, that also welds to the outside of the new apron. (Maybe it's just me,,, but it seems that every time I get a new metal part that isn't coated,,, it takes a lot more time to get it to fit properly). Once I did finally get it to fit properly,, it too was welded into place. 

The pic shows both of the brackets that we installed on the RF corner of the car. It's these little items that need installing, that makes me glad I kept the old apron that we cut off, just so I knew where to locate the new parts.

The next area that we did was the shock/spring towers. Two things were done to them,, a bit of strengthening & a bit of Shelby modifying. First, on the outside of the towers, at the bottom, where it hooks to the frame,,, the metal was showing signs of getting thin. This area is prone to rusting a lot, due to the little built-in catch-all that the factory was nice enough to build into the car. Since the metal wasn't too bad(all rotted out), we decided to just add a nice piece of 1/8" steel strap to the area,,, weld it into place,,, therefore creating a much stronger area.

The area was already clean, so I made a nice little pattern out of card stock, transferred it to the metal, cut the metal to size, and Bam, she was ready for welding. I sprayed the two areas of the metal that would be touching each other with weldable primer before I welded the plates in.

The second modification to the towers was to relocate the upper control arm holes for better handling. I was recently in Green Bay, and the "Shelby Expert" that Clint & I went to see, gave me this plate that that helps to properly relocate the mounting holes. This is one of the big improvements that Shelby did to his cars for better handling,, and is an easy fix to any Mustang, that costs Nothing! If you enlarge the pic and look carefully below the two bolts, you'll see the two 3/16" holes that are already drilled through the plate. We just drilled the holes, removed the plate, enlarged the holes to 9/16", and then went to the other side and repeated the process.

Though it's hard to tell by the pic,, the holes are directly under the original holes. We then prepped the inside of the towers, (where we just drilled the holes.) There's a lip by the new holes that needs some attention. I just cut a slit in the lip & pounded the lips flat so they wouldn't interfere with the nuts & washers,,,, a very simple part of the mod. 

Now that the front is done,, we moved to the driver's side floor pan. We borrowed the plasma cutter and cut it right out. Brent got started with the lovely task of removing the top edges of the previously replaced pan,,, he got a good start on it, but it'll take some grinding. I guess that'll be this weeks project.

Till next time,,,,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Post #22, 9/6/10 RF apron, Rad Support install, Custom Seat Pans

65 Mustang Restoration

It's Labor Day Weekend 2010, and we spent most of it prepping the front end & sheet metal for final installation. Our biggest concern with the front end, was making sure that everything was where it was suppose to be,,, that all of the measurements came out right, before we welded it together. Problem is,, it's next to impossible to find any info on what those measurements Should Be,,, so what do you do????  You go out and get another 65 Mustang(Fastback) and measure the living daylights out of it, and cross reference it against what you are working on. 

I was a bit concerned at first, since this car was built in San Jose, CA,,, and the new Fastback, was built in Dearborn, MI.  But all is good,,, all of the measurements were within 1/4" of each other. It was also suggested to me, to use a factory, 1-piece, export brace to double check the alignment of the shock towers, and make sure they're where they're suppose to be. Luckily, our friend Clint H. let me borrow his, off of his 66 Shelby GT350, along with the Monte Carlo bar. Everything lined up just great! 

After seeing & feeling how beefy that Shelby export brace was, compared to the 2 wimpy factory braces on our car,, it was instantly decide that our mounts would be removed before we welded in the front sheet metal. So here's before & after shots of that area.

The other added advantage to going with the 1-piece brace (besides the much greater strength) is,, you have 2 less obstacles that seem to constantly be in your way.

In the midst of removing those 2 braces,,, our air compressor decided to start making funny noises. After tearing it apart, we found a very bad sealing ring on the piston,,, and that the jug(cylinder), was super badly scored,,, Crap,, now what do we do???  
One of the advantages of getting older is,,, that when Christmas or your birthday comes around,,, nobody knows what to get you. So for me,,, everybody has been told,,, that you can never go wrong with a Menards Card. So, for the last couple of years,, those cards have been piling up & today, they finally got put to good use! Since we don't have 220v in our garage,,, we got the biggest 110v compressor they had. So once again,, Thanks to all of my friends & family members who helped get me something good that I actually needed!

Once all of that was finished, we finally got the front metal prepped, fitted, measured, clamped, measured 2 more times, and then spot welded into place.

I have to say,,, I sure do like the new spot welder! What a time-saver that has been,,, and the more we used it,,, the better we got with it. I know we definitely used more spot welds that what the factory used,, but why not,,, sometimes more is actually better.

We're very happy with how well the front metal came out,, it's very sturdy & the measurements are still good. About the only things left to get put on the front end is, the battery tray & support, and the RF fender bracket, which I started to get fitted today. 

I also dug out the 65 seat platform today so that I could show you the actual difference between it and the 69-70 platforms that we're going to be installing. 

As you can see, there's definitely a big difference between the different years. The 69-70 platform is the one with the black coating already on it. There's approximately, 1"- 1 1/4" difference in the height(height as it sits on the car floor,, Not as it is in the picture, the black one is leaning,, they're actually the same width),, which may not seem like a lot to some of you,,, but to a taller person, it can make a very big difference. Plus as I stated before,, the 69-70 platforms actually fit my floor better than the 65 platforms did. They will take just a minor amount of straightening along the lower edges to make them fit even better. 

Till next time,,,  oh yeah, by the way,,, the new compressor works twice as well as the old one did,, and is Super Quiet,,, Much Better!