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Old 07-28-2003, 04:49 PM
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67 Mustang Frame repair ???`s

Hi all , i am new here and have some frame questions. I thought some of you might have had this problem before and can point me in the right direction. I purchased a 1967 Mustang in fairly decent condition with the exception of the frame. i have attatched a pic of the damage and was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts on how to repair this? The frame is straight , just has huge rot holes in it , what i need to know is basically this; What is the best way to repair this damage? what type of material schould i use (guage steel)? How do i remove the existing frame rotted places and replace with new steel and at the same time make sure everything is still straight? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-28-2003, 06:18 PM
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I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you found it now instead of after you hit something. The bad news is it has to be fixed. If that is the only place it is like that, and I doubt that it is, you may be lucky. That section can be cut out and replaced with the same part from another car, if you can find one where you are at. You need to check the whole frame for that type of damage. Those cars are known for rusting out like that in the salt areas, but it is usually behind the wheel and under the car. Since it is a "uni-body" car, it isn't a matter of just unbolting a frame section and replacing it. It is welded together everywhere. You will need the services of a person that is qualified in unibody and frame repair to fix that one safely. Just make sure that is the only damage you have before going too deeply$$$ on that one.
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Old 07-28-2003, 07:12 PM
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hi , the whole side is like that , although the passenger side is a bit better. Is there any way i can do it myself? I have a mig welder and know how to use it , and baiscally all i am doing is taking one piece off at a time and changing it ? or something like that...
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Old 07-28-2003, 07:48 PM
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The cancer in the pic is like having skin cancer, not life threatening in that spot, but spread it through out your body and you have both feet in the grave. The early Mustangs were built around what I call the H member: the two legs of the H are the inner and outer rocker panels made from heavy duty metal and the cross bar of the H is also heavy duty metal that ties them together and supports parts of the floor pans and the transmission . The front (tops) of the legs are the front torque boxes that the two front mini rails attach to and the rear (bottoms) have the rear mini rails attached. If you have major rust damage such as you show in any part of the H member, you really only have a parts car. We just sent the remains of our parts car to the crusher and it looked superb in comparison to your pic!!

Trees
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:03 AM
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If you can cut and weld 11 Ga plate...

You should be able to remove and repair that cancer..

The secret is to make accurate templates from cardboard, get all the dimensions correct, then transfer this pattern to metal and slice it out. Typically for stuff like this I use material at least as thick as the existing stock, and thicker material than stock will add in more strength, although at a weight penalty.

If I'd only known at 18 what I do now, I would have been able to save my brother's $500 '67 Mustang coupe. It went to the junkyard because the rail rotted away where the steering box bolted up.

What you really have to ask yourself is do you think you are a competent enough welder to be able to zap the panels in and have it hold together?

Seems there are a lot of people who would just as soon condemn the car, and for what? There are plenty of people who would be able to complete a safe and effective repair on this kind of damage, the question then becomes one of cost to have an expert fabricator/welder do what you cannot if you have any doubts about your own fab and welding skills.

I thought this is the Hotrodders board, not the "politically correct, anti-old-car-fixing whiners' board...

ANYTHING can be fixed, it's usually a question of either time or money. You have to make the decision whether to spend either to save the car.

I KNOW I could fix that, and make it look totally original besides. Unless you're going for a 100-point resto on the car for showing, make some patterns, cut some plate, and zap it in. It'll be fine...

Doc
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:27 AM
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DrChop , thats the 5 star attitude i was looking for.
I feel exactly the same way. The car just recently had an engine rebuild , transmission rebuild , floors and gastank replaced.
I just purchased an interior kit and put on the new vinyl top. Most importantly i do not mind doing the work. I have already put many man hours into the body work and paint without thinking that this car schould go to the crapper.
Do you think i schould weld it in sections ? I was told that i schould reinforce the structure with steel beams throughout the entire piece. I took a welding course so i feel confident enough to do the work myself or with the help of a fellow classmate.
Thanks for the positive feedback.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:03 AM
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If it was me doing it...

I would start by getting some lengths of 1" square tubing (11 Ga), and welding them in to the existing structure. I would tack one across the front rails, one across the rear of the front rails, and an X-brace of tubing horizontally between them. I would add another X-brace of tubing across the front structure where the radiator sits. I would add some triangular gussets to the rail braces to keep the rails from developing a twist, and some other diagonals as needed so there are many triangles of bracing in place before doing any cutting out of rotted panels. This way your good panels do not twist or move in any direction while putting the new ones in...

Of course this means pulling the motor/trans first, but to do this kind of repair effectively it would be more beneficial to get them out anyways. You need to have the bracing in before cutting out the bad spots, and with them out of the way it will be easier to assess and repair any damage inside the rails. It's just too hard to try to work around the powertrain, yank it and clean it up/paint while it's out if that needs doing.

Once all the new sections are in place you can just grind loose all the tacks and remove the temporary bracing, and all your existing front structure alignment will still be spot-on.

Doc
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:21 AM
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The problem with your Mustang is time and labor. If that particular car isn't of any great sentimental value, I'd look for another body without an engine or trans (or bad ones). You can usually find a better one far cheaper than you can fix the one you have, or for much less of your time. You'd have a safer car in the long run that will last much longer. Sure, it can be fixed, and if you want to invest a lot of time and effort go for it. You're the only one that can answer the "is it worth it" question. It's your time, labor, and life. If the "other body" is nothing but a shell you have all the mechanical and cosmetic parts to put it back together.

I had to do the same thing recently. I ended up making an 8 hour trip and paying a little more than I wanted for a near rust free body with a questionable engine and trans and bad interior (I wasn't going to use any of that anyway). I already had a replacement candidate for my wrecked car (why I needed another body... old one got totaled beyond possible repair), but it had a little rust in some strange places. Once that starts, you usually find more as disassembly starts. I could have saved what's now my parts car, but spending $800 on a much better body (plus $500 in expenses to go get it) has turned out to be a much better choice, and I almost have the car on the road now. Got the better body in early November last year, will be driving (with a few minor items to take care of) in 2-3 weeks. With all the rain down here in the last two months (and no enclosed work area!) that's pretty good!
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Old 07-30-2003, 09:15 AM
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I did that on my 68

But the passenger side.
I bought a replacment (repop) front rail section from NPD. and sectioned it into the rail. It is alot of work if the car is together already.
My job was made easier since I had already tore the car apart and had the engine aprons off.
If you want to know more let me know.
pics can be found at www.longbros.com/richjr
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Old 07-30-2003, 07:06 PM
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In actuality.... any car can be repaired. The question appears to be if it can be repaired at home by someone that has had no training or experience in that type of work? Keeping in mind that this is definately a safety related repair, is it something that someone that took 1 welding class should attempt? Having not only had experience with these types or repair, but also having investigated accidents where these types of repair were done that failed, makes me wonder. You also have to consider that you are likely only seeing a small part of the cancer in that car. A car with a full frame that has body cancer is one thing. A uni-body car that has that to the frame members is something else. There are alot of these cars out there that can be picked up to rebuild using your parts. Is it really worth taking the chance of hurting/killing someone if one of your welds fail on a project like that? Atleast get someone that knows what they are doing to help you. IN PERSON!

It is real easy to try to tell someone that you don't know, and will never see, how to fix their car in these types of situations. Then of course, if there is a problem with the repair later, who cares. It's not like it was someone that you know!

I am not one that is against old cars. If I was I wouldn't have a 1926 "T Touring", 1931 "Tudor", and a 1967 Mustang. I am against trying to keep a car on the road if it means that it isn't safe. Someone in my family may be on the road when you are.
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:39 PM
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For safety sakes and saving yourself a pile of cash in restoration costs I only have two words...

Tube frame.

For the cost and labour of trying to rebuild what is basically rusted out sheetmetal you can have the real deal. Nearly ever single race car out at our racetrack vintage racing begins life this way...too good to throw away but too expensive to restore. Visit a chassis fabricator and let him have a look, many times it is just a matter of tying in the old frame to the new tubing structure with flat plate in the critical areas.

Lets face it the car probably has other problem areas not visible to the naked eye and finding out in a crash or twisting the frame with some serious horsepower is an expensive way to find out.

If you ask me that car would fold in half in a collision from corrosion induced material loss and compromised spot welds in the boxed areas. Build it with a SCCA legal or NHRA legal full tube frame and show it off, nothing says horsepower like a tube frame and roll cage.
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Old 08-01-2003, 02:49 AM
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Thanks for all of your feedback , i had the car checked by a collision and frame specialist here in long island and he quoted me $1000 for the whole job ( it makes more sence than purchasing a doner car and replacing all items). My welding experience does intale more than just one session , it was more like 3 months 2x a week for 3 hrs a day. So i do have to say i feel quite confident welding. But you guys have made me realise that safety is more important than my feelings , also if anything were to ever happen id like to have a qualified shop to blame instead of myself.
Although i love the tubbing idea , i have decided to wait till my local Boces Autobody and Collision part 2 course begins next month so i can have my very well exprerienced ( 30yrs in the business ) teacher who specialises in frame work check the vehicle out.
Can you guys believe i drove this car from Wallingford , CT to Long Island, NY about a 3 hour drive , without knowing the frame was in this condition?
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Old 08-01-2003, 03:02 AM
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I have a unibody, which i am extensivley modifying. In Australia our laws are real tight, and you basically can't cut any of the original subframe chassis structure. You also can only run a six point cage, basically the back half of the cage.

So i am bulding a tubular chassis in and around the original chassis, using the original rails as part of the structure. This means the car will be alligned and the chassis straight. I will need to fab new floors and trans tunnel as well.

Maybe you could consider something like this to add strength to your repair.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:44 PM
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Grey... I was not trying to hurt your feelings, although honestly I would rather hurt, your feelings than hear that you got hurt, or someone else, because of an unsafe repair. Also I amglad you found someone that knows, or should know, how to do the repair correctly. Sounds like they are giving you a good deal too, atleast as price goes. Having driven the roads in your area a few times in a tractor-trailer, I know how important the frame/suspension is, along with a map of all of the canyons they call pot holes!

As an added note... I was a Police Officer for 10 years and stopped a Maverick one night. The right front wheel on this car looked like it was going to fall off when they went to make a turn and they went all over the road. I found out when I stopped the car that the frame in the front had rusted out. The upper control arm was against the engine. Fortunately, they had a 302 in that car. If it had been a 6 cyl the wheel would have dissapeared in the hole! The Maverick had the same frame set-up as the Mustang. Food for thought!
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Old 08-03-2003, 12:36 AM
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Hey adtkart, one of the reasons i decided to post threads was to get information and hear everyones different opinions so that i can ponder these ideas and decide what i believe would make a better vehicle. Bottom line is that your opinion was inteligent and well respected. Ten years ago i wouldnt have cared about safety and sometimes i forget, but i guess at some point we all grow up. That doesnt mean we cant play with cars anymore , just that we can build better ones.right?

62slantsix : I like this idea " bulding a tubular chassis in and around the original chassis, using the original rails as part of the structure".
Have you started yet?
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