Sunday, April 13, 2014

Frame is now solid!

So it has been a while since my last post.  I would update more often, but it seems like the things I am working on take some time to get where I need them, and the weather has not been cooperating.  It also doesn't make much sense to drone on about them, since things like prepping the frame rail, has been explained pretty well when I did the last one.  I do have some good things to talk about so let's get to the content.

When we last left off, I had test fit the inner side rocker panel.  I treated the inside of the rocker and applied some paint.  Much better than when it left the factory.  I drilled all my holes for the rosette welds and fit the panel for the final time.  I made sure to jump around on the welds in order to make sure it stayed tight and straight everywhere.  After several hours of welding and grinding, it was what I can consider part of the car.  I cleaned it up and painted it.  I have to admit that the new weld through coating on the Dynacorn parts seems to work very well.  I didn't have much trouble with burn throughs, excess spatter, and weld adhesion.  I don't think they should be charging more for the parts, but overall I am pleased with the quality and result.

With that done it was time to prep the new rail that I had purchased during CJP's 20% off sale.  I won't go into detail, since it was pretty much the same stuff as the other side.  I was just able to complete it faster now that I new what needed to be done.  If you need a reminder of what was done, here is the link to that post.  Previous frame rail prep.

With that done, I fit the rail using the measurements I had taken previously, the official data sheet, and my body frame.  The frame made it go up much quicker and easier than the other side.  I should have done it that way to begin with.  Oh well, silly me.  You have to learn somehow.  So for anyone else trying to do the frame (especially the back) make a frame jig of some kind.

With everything where I wanted it, I pulled it out and drilled my holes to attach the torque box to the rocker.  I shoved it back up in it's new home, double checked my measurements, made sure the frame was square with the other side and zap, bzzzzt, zap, it was in.  When I do the trunk area, it should be pretty simple to ensure that the back ends of the frame rail stay where they need to be.

With the rail finally finished, I can call the car ready for all the rest of the rust to come out.  This was a pretty big accomplishment for me and the car.  There are quite a few things that should start to get finished rather quickly now (I hope).

I moved up to the front rail and fit the floor extension and the new torque box on the passenger side.  For those people who may not know this, Ford did not make the passenger side torque box standard in the coupes and fastbacks until 1968.  If you are wanting a concourse restoration, you would not add it in.  For me I want more structural support, so in it goes.

I had to clear out some more of the toeboard, and get rid of the flange that is welded to the rocker/cowl side panel in order to make space for the box.  Now it isn't as easy as sliding it in the space and welding it up.  Over the years, and with the lack of a box to support the area, there is some sagging of the metal.  So to get the torque box in I had to use a jack to spread the rail and rocker just enough to squeeze it into place.  Even then it didn't quite match up with the old sheet metal.  I had to bend the inner side of the box out a little further and trim some of the excess.  It now fits the way it should.  With any luck it will be welded in pretty soon.  With that in, the floor should not be too far behind.

Drilled, fit, and ready for welding.

Welded in tight (front).

Welded in tight (rear).

Cleaned up and painted.

Frame rail prepped.  The gray is weld through primer.

Fitting up front.

Fitting in the back.


Ground and painted (top side).

Ground and painted (bottom side).

Torque box fitting.  You can see all the marks from adjusting the fit.

From the inside, the fit looks good.

Top part of the box fits well.