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Old 11-26-2007, 09:27 AM
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Problems with removing outer wheel well from inner well......

I am having issues on removing the outer wheel well from the inner well on a 73 Ford Mustang. Instead of being spot welded together, it looks like it was welded together like a zipper. It is solid and it seems the only way to get it apart is to grind it apart. Has anybody else ever run across this problem and is there a easier way to get the wheel wells apart????
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:49 PM
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I don't know the answer to your question. But, I am interested so I am replying to bump this to the top.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:56 PM
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From the factory the two panels are held together with spot welds. Looking up inside the lip of the wheel well there would be small 1/4" round dents about every six inches or so.

The very first thing you need to do is CLEAN it, and clean it good. You want to remove all the paint and underseal or seam sealer, EVERYTHING so you can see it good. Now, if you don't see these spot welds as I described, then it isn't original and you will have more work.

If it is welded with tacks or beads along the edge of the outer panel to the inner one, you are going to need to cut each of these welds one at a time and it will take some time to do this, don't get in a hurry.

Using a 1/32" cut off disc on a die grinder and carefully cutting away the tops of the welds is the usual way. OR, you could simply cut a line a little bit off the beads and leave that little bit there until you get the outer panel off. THEN, you simply grind the little bit along with the weld down using a small 2 or 3 inch grinding disc on an angle grinder.

Brian
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:03 PM
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It is the original wheel well that I am try to get off, it has not been replaced. I have never seen anything like this before, it looks like a zipper type of spot welding process. The only thing I can think of is that they welded the two halves together and put in them in as a single unit. I have replaced the quarter panels and outer wheel wells before on a 71 Mustang and the wheel wells were only spot welded together. If I can get my camera to work I will try to get a picture of it and post it on here.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:52 PM
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Get it clean and take a few good pictures, one real close showing only a few inches of the well, the other one back a ways to show it all.

It has been years since I worked on a 73 but I have done many Mustangs and the only thing I can think of is where they will put many spot welds in a small area (these were done by human beings not robots like now) OR a bead that was kinda rough. I have seen them both ways. But it is always limited to just a small area like six inches or so. Other than these strange anomalys the rest would be normal spot welds.

Brian
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:58 PM
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On My 59 The Spot Welds Have Been Every 1" Or So. You Can Buy A Spot Weld Cutting Tool For A Drill And They Work Really Well Much Quicker Then Grinding. I Just Took The 1/4 Panels Off A 4 Door Sedan And I Am In The Process Of Putting Them On A 59 Wagon . I've Had To Drill Lots Of Spot Welds Lately Tried Both Ways And Sometimes You Need Both Methods
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:16 PM
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Does the weld look like the weld on a gas tank? that's called a seam welder
(I think).If you "must" separate the 2 pieces, do like Brian said and use cutoff wheel and only cut thru top half of it.In other words dont go right thru with the wheel.Then you should be able to reassemble and weld it easier.
Pics will certainly help.......
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:02 AM
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I tried to get some pictures but my camera isn't working too well. The zipper looking weld goes all the way around the wheel well, with spot welds at the top holding on the support brace. It does look like a weld that goes around a gas tank, like a big zipper weld. I am so frustrated with it that I am about to replace the inner wheel well, it is only spot welded on.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:31 AM
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I hope this photo works, this is the weld on the backside of the inner wheel well.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:35 PM
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What you say is prob your best bet,That seam weld will never com apart,imo.
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:54 PM
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If that is indeed a weld, as it looks I think the best bet is to not remove it at all. Something like that would commonly be done by simply cutting off what you are replacing with a cut off wheel right at the bottom of the flange. What I mean is right below the weld that you see, cutting straight down. You leave that small flange on there and then fit the new one right over it. All it will do is move the wheel house out the thickness of that flange, about a 1/16". And the repro part isn't accurate anyway!

Brian
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:38 PM
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The Pix is hard to see but some times if you can get a strong thin chisel or putty knife in between the metal you may be able to fatigue the welds & then separate the pieces .

or possibly a hack saw blade.

you can make custom blades out a hack saw & use a air powered body saw.

Its not going to be pretty though

Some better pixs might help

PM me if you need to help with the pixs.




R
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Keller
Its not going to be pretty though
R
That is the very reason why cutting the outer wheel house off leaving the lip and then simply putting the new on over it is a very common fix to this problem. The car is held together with many, many of these "pinch welds" with two, three or even four layers of metal all STRSW together, what is one more?

Brian
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
all STRSW together, what is one more?
Brian

Whats that ?

My therory is simple: someone~thing put it together ,so therefore I can take it apart, see whats wrong & maybe fix it.

Maybe





R
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:36 PM
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STRSW=Squeeze Type Resistance Spot Welder. We have this exact tool at work.



What I am saying is, it is a "standard of the industry" to cut away a panel as I am describing (though maybe not describing well enough) instead of trying to "remove" a weld such as this.

In many late model cars the inner or outer wheel house will extend from the rocker all the way up to the roof. To replace the entire thing would be more "invasive" than necessary. In other words, replacing a roof because of a small dent would be more "invasive" than necessary. Just fixing the dent would provide a better repair than replacing the entire roof.

So, in those case where the inner or outer wheel house is a large structual piece of the car, JUST the outer actual "wheel house" part is changed. It is changed as I have described, by cutting away the outer wheel house but leaving the larger piece that holds the car together (from roof to rocker). Then you trim the new piece of all that metal that would go from roof to rocker leaving just the wheel house, with a small flange all the way around it. That flange is welded to the existing remaining piece of the original wheel house that goes from roof down to rocker. THUS, not needing to cut the whole car apart just to replace the damaged outer wheel house.

So, cutting that lip off the wheel house, leaving the weld there and then laying the new part over it and plug welding it in place is MUCH easier and MUCH less "invasive" than grinding away that whole weld which could thin metal and what not.

I TOTALLY agree with you in the theory that "someone put it together so someone can take it apart", I LIVE by that actually. But in some cases it is MUCh easier to change the design a little as long as there is no change in it's integrety and in this case, there is none.

Brian
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