Anyway, the series starts will the first official job using the rotisserie: the entire undercarriage of the car was thoroughly pressure washed to rid the car of as much of the caked mud, grease, loose rust, etc. that lived on it's belly all these years. Once all the washing was done, I was absolutely stunned at the volume of crap that was once stuck to the car!
The second phase was surgically removing the scabbed-on weld patch on the driver's side frame rail where the power steering bracket was ripped from the rail and a "repair" was slobber-welded in place. After a few tedious hours with all manner of air tools, the patch was removed, only to reveal some hidden cracks and broken parts inside (as expected). I carefully cut away the damaged metal in preparation for a patch to be carefully fitted in place of the damaged material. I also had to pull a small crease in the rail to get it as level with the other surfaces as possible. For this job, I pulled out my trusty draw-pin welder and pulled the crease with a series of welded draw-pins. Once this was done, I cut the pins off and ground them smooth, leaving no evidence that such work was ever required. I plan to thoroughly sand blast the area to remove the surface rust before any further patchwork is done.
Third, I was able to identify three additional cracks in the suspension pickup points that required repair. I used the same technique I used to repair the crack in the shock tower and all repairs will be invisible once they are primed and painted.
Next, I spent several hours touching up the sport welds forward of the firewall. I don't like the spot welds that snag you every time you work on the car and vowed to make sure I smoothed every one of them as part of the restoration. The shock towers in particular seemed to be one of the worst areas for this.......but not anymore!
And finally, THE BIG ENCHILADA! As an unexpected gift, my uncle "sponsored" a brand new cowl panel assembly, which arrived in good order via the trust UPS guy. At first blush, this looks like a really nicely made piece. Like much of the other restoration sheet metal parts available for the 69-70 body Mustang, this part is made by Dynacorn. This will be a pretty major undertaking that I plan to get accomplished over the next 2-3 months while the cold weather socks us in here in southeast Michigan. Exciting stuff!
|The rotisserie allowed me to pressure wash the bottom of the car very well. The amount of crap that came off the chassis was unbelievable!|
|Bottom actually came out pretty clean!|
|After the washing, an interesting little detail was revealed. Can you guess what it is? Answer: Not much red oxide primer and lots of blue paint. Seems the car was perhaps repainted at some point in it's life.|
|Letting the body drip-dry after a bath......|
|This is the dreaded frame path after delicately cutting it away from the rail. You can see the slobber weld beads still on the frame.|
|Here, I have cut away the damaged frame material and you can see how the frame "patch" is no longer part of the equation.|
|Another view of the frame with the damaged material removed.|
|In this picture, I have a pin welded to the crease, ready for the slide hammer to be attached and the pull to begin. It took about 6 pins to pull the crease, but the end result will require only a thin skim of filler to be undetectable.|
|This image along with the following two show small stress cracks I was able to identify with the car inverted on the rotisserie. These cranks were virtually invisible while on my back under the car during previous inspections.|
|I need to straighten this flange a bit as well......|
|The cracks were excavated with a rotary tool to allow good weld penetration, welded up and finish-ground.|
|Every spot weld forward of the firewall prone to snagging flesh was dusted with the angle grinder to remove any nasty burs. I also finished all of the other spot welds left over from the radiator support installation at the same time.|
|A nice, new, rust free cowl panel courtesy of my uncle! Can't possibly thank him enough and can't beat support like that!|
|The next time you see this cowl, it will be in the process of being installed in the car! Winter project on the way......|