October 2009

Next article is following the frame rail repair and next moving to the weak cowl panel restoration. All happens during three October weekends.

Left frame rail

I received a new metal plate cover for the left frame rail and I was able to weld it in place. It was necessary to properly trim to the rigth lengt first. U used a square geometry from shock towers to be same on each side. I drilled hole and weld M12 nut for bumper bracket. Frame rail cover was bend in the middle as shown. New set of 10mm holes for plug welds were drilled as well. As usual, I paint the inner side of the rail for rust protection.
Here is the rail cover weld in place. Torque box cover still needs to be finished.

Cowl panel repair

Cowl panel is the most weak point of all vintage Mustangs. It suffers due to poor design, drainage function and minimal factory rust protection. There are no replacement panels available for 71-73 Mustangs, so repair was the only option.
Right side - formal condition after sandblasting. Left side was no better.
Cowl air intake for air conditioning . Here its is missing at all. You can imagine where the all water pours... On the interior floor. The radical cut of the rusty panel begins.
The fabrication of missing part with pieces of new steel. Nearly finished.
Right side completed. And left side in similar way.
I want make perfect repair. So I decided now to remove the cowl completely. About 80 factory spot welds needs tobe drilled with spot weld cutter. Here is the bottom side of the cowl. And top side after all patch work.
The air intake parts is being formed from big piece of 1mm new steel. And tack welded in place.
Continued with full seam of butt welds. I installed the heater plenum inside to properly cut the circle hole for air intake. Picture from inside the interior.
The intake flange is raised to protect water to pour inside. I realized the same diameter is used on oven pipes. So I used a piece and trim to proper height. Weather looks fine last October weekend. Temperature only 3 degrees C but no rain, So I decided to move shell outside and sandblast entire cowl area.
Here is my brother blasting the cowl area. We are using aluminum oxide instead regular silicon sand, Its more expensive but much safer from health and safety reasons. The sand particles can cause silicosis after the long time exposure, so I do not want to risk it. The protection helmet and 3M breathing mask is a standard of course. This is how the entire cowl area looks after sandblasting.
Now after two layers of epoxy primer. The bottom of the panel primed as well.
All welds has been covered with polyurethane seam sealer. This is due to potential micro pin holes in the seam weld where the moisture can be cumulated. I used a brush with a thinner to make it neat. The next will be to spray it with undercarriage UBS and weld the cowl cover back, but this will be for next month....