Friday, May 3, 2013

Torque Box Gusset and Rear End Disassembly

  Not much time this week again, but I did what I could to keep moving the project along.  I started out the week by leveling the car as best I could.  It can be a little difficult finding actual flat places on these cars sometimes.  I ended up using the frame rails underneath to level the back as they "should" be the same distance from the floor.  At the front I used the radiator support and the rockers for the sides.

  After that was done, I was downstairs pulling out the new frame rail and I saw this triangular piece of metal lying in the pile of parts.  After a "what is that" moment I realized it was the torque box to frame rail gusset.  I had forgotton that it came with the torque box as 67 and earlier cars didn't have them installed.  Since I want as much support as possible for the car, as I am hopefully going to put an engine in it that gets 430 ft/lbs of torque, I decided to install it.

  Now the problem is that these cars didn't come with them and so they aren't in the assembly manual.  So where do I go to make sure I get it installed in the right place?  I just had to look up my fellow blogger's pages and I found Mr. Pruett's installation pretty easily.  My thanks to him for doing this and posting it.  It is a pretty easy install, but it was nice to have a visual of how it fits and where the welds are.

  After beating the living....I mean gently massaging it with my metal reworking tools, I got a flush fit, drilled the holes, stripped the e-coat, welded it in, ground it down, and painted it a lovely shade of black.  Every little bit of frame support helps, I suppose.

  The rear end disassembly was pretty straight forward except for a few pop rivets, and a bunch of rust.  After pulling out all the old wiring harness and deciding none of it was worth saving, I pulled the bumper, valance, and lights.  The fuel tank was already unbolted and there was no filler neck or cap.  Took a lot of pictures this week, so you can take the rustang tour with me.

Gusset fit, stripped, and drilled for welding.

Weld through primer applied at those places that will be completely inaccessible soon.

Clamped and checking final fitment.

Looks good here.

Welded and ground smooth.

Painted (top view).

Painted (bottom view).

Old wiring, get rid of it as it is a fire hazard.

This pile of rust is the old bumper.  Not worth saving.

Back end minus bumper.

Driver's side quarter and valance.  Look, more bondo, and....rivets?!  You can see part of the really horrible attempt at repairing this area of the car.

Valance removed.

Wow, look at the rust.  Good thing these parts are inexpensive.

Rusty floor and tail light panel, right side.

Rusty floor and tail light panel, left side.

Tail lights removed.


  1. Good progress Grant. That valance has seen better days huh? :-) Nice work on the gusset. Keep the old wiring because you might need the connectors off of it for some other use. Keep up the good work!

    1. Yeah, I think the whole car has seen better days. Well, things are getting better for the old girl one piece at a time. I have to keep looking at what I've accomplished and just realize that it won't be that long before the whole car looks the same way.

  2. Those gussets look great Grant. I'm with Alex. Don't throw anything away. Even if you don't use anything off the harness, it could be good for a point of reference. You're getting I dare say it..."one bite at a time." ;-D

    1. Unfortunately it won't be much good for reference, it was hacked up and about the only wires still connected to anything were the ones to the actual tail lights themselves. In fact this was pretty much the only wiring left in the car that a PO hadn't already taken out. Probably the same one who riveted in all the bad repairs. Yep, "one bite at a time." Mmmmm, rump roast. :P