Friday, March 29, 2013

Torque box part 2

     I wasn't able to get to it right away, but I did stick the fender and door on in order to check the gaps.  As the pictures show the gap at the back of the door is really tight, and up front it is a little wide.  If I had really spent some time adjusting everything I probably could have had everything lined up better.  I was really just looking for consistency and that the gaps were at least even on the sides and bottom.

Really tight back here, needs to go forward a bit.  I don't have it closed all the way.

Gap just looks bigger than it really is due to the angle.

See, it doesn't look to bad.

Lines are straight, looks good.
     I have now fitted the torque box several times while in the process of getting the rocker installed, so I am pretty sure that it is where it needs to be.  Quick check of the fitment, pull it off, and then scuff, clean and paint the back side with Zero Rust as it will be inaccessible for the duration of its life (I hope).  I also gave the inside of the box the same treatment.

Before paint.  Ugly!

Wet paint!

Scuff a little here, scuff a little there.

Cleaned and painted.  Looks good.  To bad it will never be seen again.

  I fit it, marked my holes, pulled it off, drilled them out, and reinstalled it.  Checked fitment one more time, clecoed and clamped it into its final resting place.  Now for those of you who are wondering, the box installs over the frame rail flange.  This is how the factory did it.  There is a great diagram in the assembly manual that shows this.  If you have an earlier car with out a torque box, and you're not replacing the toe board, you may want to do a one piece box as that would be easier.  That way you can slide it under the frame rail and just drill straight through the toe board for attachment.

Drilled and ready for hot, molten metal.

Clecoed tight!

I swear that the auto darkening helmet has improved my welds  significantly.  I can't believe I didn't get one to begin with.

   Ground down the welds, scuffed the whole thing up, cleaned it off with a white cloth and alcohol (that way I can see if I got all the crud) and proceeded to paint it with the Zero Rust.  I even did inside the frame rail at this point as I plan on doing the toe board next.  I felt good during this entire process.  I could feel the car stiffen up with this part of the metal work.

   I didn't have a whole lot of time left in the day for the car, but I did want to get the process on the toe board started.  This is just a rough fit to check everything out, I have a lot of trimming of old metal and new before final fitment.  I started by cutting off that annoying flange that is on all of these replacement pieces.  Why is it there?  The answer is simple.  These parts are meant to fit a range of years.  The early cars did not have torque boxes and so the flange was necessary to hold it to the rocker.  You can check this out by looking at a 67 car on the passenger side because they only had a torque box on the drivers side.  The earlier cars didn't even have that.  It wasn't until 68 that they became standard to have them on both sides.  If you again check the assembly manual, it shows the straight line cut of the toe board against the torque box flange.
It really feels good to be able to fill this ugly hole with metal.  I have been staring at it for way to long.

Goodbye unnecessary piece of metal.


  1. Great work Grant! Good to see you getting the results you are looking for on those torque box repairs. Ain't auto-darkening helmets the best thing since pants with pockets? Send some of that sun out this way please!

    1. You've got that right Sven. I have no idea how I managed without one. My welding looked like pigeon crap and I had to grind it all down. I can't believe the difference that it makes being able to see before pulling the trigger. As for the sun, I've been trying to send it your way, just not real hard. :P

  2. Nice work Grant! It's great to put metal back instead of just cutting it out isn't? Your plug welds look great.

    1. It really is great, this spring is off to a good start.

  3. Great progress and execution. It looks like you're doing a splendid job of making sure panels fit as you progress. And you found what Sven calls "the mystery flange" on the toe board. I went through this back in 2011. If you like, you can check out what it looked like at the link below. Keep on plugging along. Soon the hard work will be a thing of the past.

    1. It was only a mystery until I started researching into it, then it was pretty clear what it was. Especially when the panel says 65-70 on it. I have looked at your blog post about it Dennis, your blog and the others have made doing this that much easier. This was the only real reference material I could find online. It was why I had to do my own blog. I felt others needed the information as badly as I did.