Friday, November 5, 2010

Prep work leading up to engine bay sand blasting & priming

The latest round of work has been a mixed bag of various things in preparation for sand blasting and priming the entire engine bay (firewall forward).  I apologize if the following pictures look a little "disconnected" but there really is method to my least that's what I keep telling myself.

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.

The P/S bracket damaged the frame when the lower section of the frame rail ripped out and left a fairly significant crease in the frame that can be seen just to the left of the mounting hole in the image above.  Also, you can barely make out the crack through the mounting hole (running vertically through the hole in this picture) that required welding as well.

This nifty tool welds steel pins to the surface of the metal and allows the use of a special slide hammer to pull dents without the need to drill holes all over the place.  This tool has proven to be worth its weight in gold and I highly recommend one if you ever decide to tackle a restoration like this.

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......


  1. Nice work on those stress cracks. That stud puller looks like a handy gadget. I kind of wish I had one while I was doing the sheet metal on my car. Good luck with the cowl!

  2. Thanks man! That stud puller was one of the best investments I made when doing the body on my 88 Mustang FB drag car. Old body man friend of mine from back in Colorado introduced me to them back in the 90's and I was hooked. It sure is nice to do all the dent pulling without drilling holes in precious sheetmetal!

    Looks like your resto is going well! Really enjoy following your work. Keep it up!

  3. Wouldn't mind having an uncle like yours... not that mine are bad of course!

    I got my dynacorn compplete cowl assembly and when it arrived - well when I went to "try it on" - it has a twist in it. About 1/2" across the left front to right rear corners... NOT VERY HAPPY ABOUT THAT!!!

  4. My uncle is truly a great guy. It sure helpos when the men-folk in the family are all gearheads!

    Very sorry to hear about your Dynacorn cowl. I have mixed feelings about the Dynacorn parts so far. Was your cowl upper and lower pre-assembled (e.g., welded) or were the two parts separate? Apparently, the only way Dynacorn sells the 69-70 cowl is pre-assembled. I'm really hoping there are no issues as there is nobody else making these parts!

  5. Yep - pre-assembled. I don't think it is a major disaster though as I should be able to fix one end and the work across the front to secure those two edges before pulling it down as I go and welding along the way... Just a pi55 off really as it is good money spent on a sub-standard product.