Friday, November 22, 2013

Right frame rail, digging in.

Last post I am afraid I may have overreacted a little bit, I may not really need to do the whole rail.  I am trying to listen to that voice of reason that keeps telling me to save as much as possible and not spend unnecessary money.  That being said, I decided to start digging into the rail and truly finding out what needs to be replaced.  I started out by trimming back the toe board for more access to the rail, pulled off the floor extension, and proceeded to remove what must have been half an inch of nasty rubberized undercoating.

What I found actually meant that I didn't need to do the whole rail.  The plan at this point is to cut out the spots where it is obvious that there is rust problems and then patch it as best I can.  I am also planning on treating as much of the interior as I can with ospho and painting it with Zero Rust.  Hopefully this will be enough to make it last another 40+ years.  In we go!

I can see the rust poking out from the extension, how far does it really go?

Bulging seams, I'll have to cut some metal away and find out how much is still good.

The ugly, yep it goes all the way through.

Doesn't seem so bad on this side, we'll have to wait and see.

After cutting the toe board back a little further, I can now a get a good look inside.  It actually doesn't seem as bad as I originally thought.

Undercoating removed.

Extension off.  That is really ugly.

Yep, ugly here as well.

Not as bad, but I will still replace this side as well.

The rejects, may you rust in peace.

Cleaned off a ton of undercoating.  I think the previous owner was trying to see if it would bounce.  I am happy to see that there is original red oxide primer under all that crud.

Inner side cleaned up better.  It still had the factory undercoating in place.

Found a stamp on the outside of the rail.  I'm thinking that I should try and save it.

The remains of the undercoating.  What a mess.

On to the dessicated bumper mounting point.

Removed the outer piece, what a disaster.  The spot welds on the bottom were just about the only things not rusted through. 

Cleaned up and ready for several coats of phosphoric prep and etch.

More rust for the junk pile.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Here we go again....

With the completion of the seat riser, I was calling the floor on the driver's side done.  There are more things to be accomplished, but the hard part is finished.  With that being said, I proceeded to rip out the nasty mess that was the passenger side floor.  Why someone would want to rivet in untreated metal, sandwich what seems like roofing tar between the pieces, patch the corners with bondo, give it the lightest coat of paint (I think there might be some paint, it's hard to tell it from the rust as they seem to have been the same color), and call it a repair is beyond me.

So after drilling out what seems to be about a hundred rusted rivets, and three separate pieces of metal, I was able to peel out the rusted floor.  It's a good thing I wasn't under the car trying to do this as I think I left as much rust in dusty little piles, as metal that actually came out.  Ugh.

Now came the moment of truth, what is going to be the fate of the passenger side frame rail.  It was not good.  I had originally assumed that I would have to replace the whole thing based on how it looked from the outside.  After closer inspection, and much prodding it with a screwdriver, I had hopes that I would be able to patch it and save most of the rail.  This does not appear to be the case.  Now I will say that there is a good portion of the rail that could be saved if I really wanted to do that much work cutting and patching and fabbing and welding and ......well you get the idea.

I would have to patch most of the outer rail starting at the bumper bolts (they are about to fall out of the rail), the underside, and the back end of it.  In the long run, and I think most people would agree with me, it will actually take me less time and effort to cut the spot welds and install a brand new, shiny rail that is already welded and solid.    With the frame under the car, it's a simple matter to install a couple extra pieces to help align the new rail once I get the old one out.  This one should be much easier than the driver's side was.  While I am down here, I will need to pull the rocker apart and see if it is salvageable, replace the inner portion if it is, replace the front rocker piece and fit a torque box onto this side of the car.  Essentially it will be the same process as the driver's side was.  Looks like I need to get an order for parts placed soon.  Oh, the excitement!

Anyway, here is what I was looking at.

Back side of floor.

Front of floor.  I had cut out a piece in order to get access to the transmission tunnel crossmember.

First piece removed.

Second piece removed.

Everything out, backside.

Everything out, frontside.

Look at all that rust piled in there, and the rat nest that has been sitting in the bottom of the rail.  This is after cleaning out one nest already. 

Here we are looking at the inside of the rail.  It is really difficult to see in the picture, but there is another nest up behind the bracket.  It is also pretty much rusted through the bracket in a few places.  I couldn't get a very good pic of that stuff.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Seat riser and other stuff

I know updates have been kinda slow lately, but real life has a tendency to do that.  After being out of town, working, yard work, and various other things, I finally managed to get something done on the mustang.

I fit and installed the driver side seat riser without any real trouble, and proceeded to finish something that I have wanted to do for a while.  I built a frame to hold up the car.  Couple of reasons for doing it.  I wanted it higher than the jack stands were going to let me have it sit, I wanted a reliable way to level the car front to back and side to side, and I wanted to be able to have all the measurements for the underside of the car integrated into the frame.

I made the frame from wood for a few reasons.  First, I wanted it to be high up off the ground.  That means a lot of more expensive steel than I was willing to pay for.  I would rather spend that money for the steel to build a rotisserie.  (Hopefully that will be coming here in the future.)  Second, I like the ability to cut and install the wood with minimal tools and effort.  It also made it very easy to come up with a way of leveling the frame without too much trouble.  Finally, I am expecting the work with the frame rails to be done sometime next year, and since I am not planning on restoring any more mustangs in the near future, that means I don't need the frame for an extended period of time.  When I'm done it will be easy to then make the frame disappear in any number of ways.

And now just a few pics for your enjoyment.

Prepping the underside.  I cleaned it up, masked the welding surfaces, and painted it with Zero Rust.  

Painted!  I finished up the welding surfaces with weld through primer.

Here it is being fitted into place.

Zapped it solidly to car.  Bzzzzzt!

Ground the welds, cleaned it up, and painted it.

Here is the front of the frame.  It is very sturdy, and easy to work under.

Here is the backside.  If you look close on the left side of the picture, you can see the bolts that I put in to level the frame.  It actually works really well and gives me a very fine adjustment.

Looking back from just under the torque boxes.

Now I mentioned that I was out of town.  While I was a away, I visited a museum of classic cars from the 20's and 30's.  Thought I might share the pics for all you guys.  All the cars are concourse restorations and are numbers matching.