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Old 04-12-2018, 04:58 PM
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Frame Rust

Although everything looked fine on the frame of my '67 Fairlane I discovered my driver's front frame rail is badly rusted from the inside out. At first I thought it was just the area ahead of the shock tower but unfortunately it's rusted around the steering box as well. I removed the sway bar bracket and cut open the frame behind it and oddly, it seems to be just the inside of the rail that's bad.
.
I just discovered this today and haven't had time to think through how I'm going to approach this. The thought of drilling out all the spot welds on the shock tower assembly makes me dizzy but if that's the only recourse then that's what I'll do. If anyone has had to make repairs to this area I'm very anxious to hear from you
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:49 PM
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I see one of three options.

One) Try and find a replacement frame section. Some of the restoration houses that specialize in Ford may have them.

Two) Carefully remove the frame section so you can use it as a pattern to make your own replacement frame section.

Three) Just bite the bullet and make a forward frame half from box tubing.

Which one to do? It depends on how close to original you want to stay.

My thoughts on the subject..

Sam
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:00 AM
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In Upstate NY, you had best look at everything underneath that Fairlane. They have been known to literally break apart at the firewall'

You can do as Sam notes above.

You can go 'big time' from sellers like here: 1966-67 Ford Fairlane REVO chassis - Roadster Shop Roadster Shop

or, restore from places like here:https://www.carid.com/ford-fairlane-chassis-frames/

When I sold my '68 (virtually the same chassis as a '67, it had a rotted front frame at the firewall ... and that was about 1978!!!!!

Dave W
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:29 PM
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Mustangs Unlimited, and others, have any part you want to repair that, from just 1 of the main frame parts to a complete apron/frame assembly. The frame rails are actually 2 pieces, spot welded together and extend back to the firewall, there is another extension of the frame that goes under the floor pan and seat pedestal. Like Ir elands Child said, inspect the frame very closely from the core support to the floor pan. I would not be surprised if you find more rust that may be hidden by previous sealer, filler, etc. Those cars rust BAD in a salt state. Here are a couple pics of just 1 of the half dozen
Mustangs I've rebuilt the past few years.

Actually, here's the link to all 200+ pics of the restoration too...
1968 Mustang by Mitch | Photobucket














The left side wasn't as bad and I fabricated a reinforcement for the inner rail from a piece of heavy wall tubing.







We bought the outer rail and sectioned that in, as the rust stopped right at the tower.





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Old 04-13-2018, 04:31 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I may have panicked a little when I found out how extensive the rust was yesterday. My biggest concern was that highly stressed members like the shock tower and cross member are all coming together on a rusty frame.

I've checked the rest of the car and there's no other rust in the frame, torque boxes (already replaced the driver's front box), rockers, etc. I thought I was done with rust that's one reason this was such a shock. I also had to replace all the floors.

I cut out the rust until I got to solid metal. The outsides of the frame and top are good with only surface rust. The bottom of the frame has rust pits. I'm going to make a 12" long 14 ga. patch to go into the frame behind the shock tower/cross member and weld those parts to the patch then the patch to the inside top and bottom of the frame. Then I'll fab up some "L" shaped pieces to weld to the top inside corner of the frame, down the inside and under the bottom. I'm not concerned about originality - just safety and having a sound structure.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:43 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. Don't forget the spacers in there for the steering gear bolts...
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:59 PM
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I would have replied sooner but didn't know Mustang stuff was the same. Thought of asking if you can use Mustang parts. Heres pics of a previously cobbled 70 rail (wrong dide though) that I did around five years ago with a scrap of what they call around here "red iron":
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:49 PM
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Nice work you guys. Yes, the supports for the two forward steering box mounting bolts were toasted. I plan to weld tubes back in. Also, a friend suggested a tower brace for a bit more stiffness. Sounds like a good idea.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:53 PM
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Hey, Idrive, I just realized the area you showed being repaired is behind the shock tower. How difficult was it getting all that and the cross member off to make the repair?
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:38 PM
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It would be much more pleasant on a rotisserie, thats for sure. If memory serves me... after the bolt in crossmember was out I just got happy with a plasma cutter to get the bulk of it cut away. Being how the rest of it, getting the stumps off the rail cleanly with least hot metal on your elbow pit and in your face...is inherently unpleasant, this would have been my approach:

Sand metal to reveal spot welds

Sharp punch marks centered on spot welds

1/8" pilot divots (drilled to, not through, the rail) on punch marks

Gentle usage of cheap Blair spotweld cutter (double sided hole saw thing with spring loaded pin in middle) to the rail, erring to the side of caution as to not cut rail

3M 1990 or equivalent "the rock" (weld grinding wheel like a thick cutoff wheel) to thin out each weld.

Hammer and sturdy panel separation tool, more rock. I use a solid metal house painter's three way tool. Its for baseboards and trim.

I think thats how it went. Looks like I did not get pics of the upside down rail work but my folder is as big as Mitch's and I get lost.
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