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Frame Rail replacement


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Hello all, replacing frame rail on my '73 convert, and have a few questions for the group.

 

I'm replacing both rears, but I plan on doing them one at a time. Then the trunk floor, and both full floor plans.

 

the questions start with how to get the frame rails out.

 

this first pic is of the trunk floor, and there's a 'tray' where the convert motor sits on, but it creates a triangle of sheet metal enclosing in the frame rail. is there a way I can get to the spot welds without taking any of these other parts out as well ?

 

the second pic is of where i'm currently supporting the car ... on the frame rail. since this is SO rusty, where else can/should I try to support the car at ?

 

the inner rocker panel is so rusty as to not exist, do I replace it before or after the frame rails are in?

I'm a little worried about taking too many parts off at the same time and loosing the structure.

 

I've a few more too, like the rear of the frame rail ties into the trunk, and bumper supports into the tail panel. there's a piece that goes across that the tank straps slide into. But i cannot find that piece available anywhere, can i just make it ??

 

let me know what you guys think!

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I supported mine at the rear torque boxes. That rear frame for the tank is available at NPD.

2rr7aiv.png

 

Just cruising along minding our own business when BAM!!! The LAWS show up.

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Make sure you brace the car well before you remove everything. Remember with a convertible it needs extra bracing when you remove things as we don't have the extra structure a roof provides.

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1_14_01_12_10_54_29.png

 

Ken

 

73 Convertible 302-4v-3spd yellow /white int

 

08 Bullitt 4.6-5 spd black/black int

 

 

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy

[button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=327]Visit My Garage[/button]

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so,

where do i brace, and with what i suppose is the important question,

 

and yes, the rockers are rusted to the point where I literally cannot even see where they are supposed to be .. ?!?

 

right now I've most of the vehicles weight on the front tires and 4x4 across the torque boxes, but since i'm replacing the torque boxes/frame rails, where's the next good spot for the weight of the read (not that there's much left ...

IMG_20130825_094945.thumb.jpg.69dd42aae22dc4f60c14e85bfd54fb08.jpg

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I'm not an expert but I did read about a fellow that did a 65 Mustang convertible, here is a link to his website.

 

http://www.kevinsrodshop.com/floorrepair.html

1_14_01_12_10_54_29.png

 

Ken

 

73 Convertible 302-4v-3spd yellow /white int

 

08 Bullitt 4.6-5 spd black/black int

 

 

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy

[button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=327]Visit My Garage[/button]

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You'll need a rotissiery to do it proper and a lot of welded braces.

2rr7aiv.png

 

Just cruising along minding our own business when BAM!!! The LAWS show up.

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I'm not an expert but I did read about a fellow that did a 65 Mustang convertible, here is a link to his website.

 

http://www.kevinsrodshop.com/floorrepair.html

 

He had a lot of holes to fill

 

He did, but you have to remember that with a convertible and a unibody the rockers are part of the integral strength of the car. A regular fastback or coupe won't twist as much as a vert will when you start to remove structure.

1_14_01_12_10_54_29.png

 

Ken

 

73 Convertible 302-4v-3spd yellow /white int

 

08 Bullitt 4.6-5 spd black/black int

 

 

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy

[button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=327]Visit My Garage[/button]

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time to make at very stiff and strong jig and weld to what good spots you have. Only way to make sure what comes out is in same orientation as what went in (not maybe straight but the same) Good luck

 

Don't cut anything until you have the car well jigged. It may also be a better option to put on a whole rear clip than try to piece this one back together. If you could at find a 71 - 73 convert parts car with a rear end that needed much less or no work you might be money ahead.

 

We "clipped" a 68 convert and it was surprisingly easy. We also took the opportunity to put in full subframe connectors. The car came out nice and was much stiffer than OEM.

 

The total cost of a no title, no engine, 68 convert shell with minor rust issues was less than the cost a set of quarters.

 

If you were closer I would give you the back half of a 73 vert that needs less work than yours but there are better ones availble and closer.

 

The key is the jig - you will end up with a few hundred dollars in square steel and a day or two measuring and welding.

 

Another option is to find a better car to start with and deligate yours to parts car status.

 

Good Luck - regardless you will have fun!

 

- Paul

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whitesoc, thanks for the link, that was very helpful. I believe that i'll do a door brace similar to what that guy had / did.

paul, thanks for the advice, i think i'll go start measuring now ...

:)

 

to replace the rockers, (if i'm going to, and it looks like i will need to ...) how much more will need to be tore open to get at where they go?

 

and the frame rails are still being stubborn, i cannot get to the section behind the rear firewall at all,

ideas ?

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Two words... CHASSIS TABLE

 

If you don't have something srtaight and flat to work from it'll be very difficult to get it right. Start with making the outer rocker level on both sides and equal height from side to side.

 

A friend of mine built a chassis table from 1/8" wall 4" square tube to build the chassis for his Dart. It needs to be level and square.

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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  • 1 month later...

ok, I've taken everyone's advice, and made a chassis table.

 

just got engine pulled and on the table today, tomorrow is clean/pressure wash and REALLY see what all I'll need to replace this winter.

 

(see local mustang thread here )

 

tomorrow, finish mounting to table square everything up and see what I need to replace this winter. so far I know floor panels and rockers. then to deal with the whole front-end.

 

question for the group on next steps,

on the inner and outer rockers, looks like they are 2 pieces, but I cannot find good reference pics, for a convertible (apparently they are different), how do they attach to each other, and how to tie in the convert. floor re-enforcements ?

 

Thanks!

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  • 1 year later...

Just a note so you don't short cut this and regret it later. As some have stated, make sure you WELD in a brace from the windshield door post area to the rear quarter area-if you don't and the door area tweeks or gets out ofsquare-you won't know until you remount the doors;windows and weatherstripping and find out the windshield header I'd too far in or out. You could possibly move it with a body ram. But just brace it and forget it.

The rockers are three piece. Leave the outer in place while you install the inner. After I clear the path you can slide the inner rocker in through the rear wheel well. It takes a hand size hole that can be patched.

 

The convertible floor reinforcements just lap weld to the bottom of the frame rail and sandwich the floor in that area. Your major attachments are the front and rear torque boxes,the outer frame rail. Then the floor pan and then your floor reinforcements. Make sure you install the lower convertible cross member before welding the reinforcements in.

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thanks for the encouragement all,

here in MN it's -15 today, and the garage has no heat ... so the project is on hold until it's at least mid 40's .... late march prolly ...

 

but I'm excited to get back to it shortly !

 

Judge,

I do have the door frames braced, but bolted to hinges and pin, you think i should weld instead/ too ??

 

I'll definatly want to talk rocker panels when I get to that point again, the tentative plan is to replace the current inner with steel rectangle tube.

drv

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They will probably stay put. I would mark it with a sharpy or something to verify starting position. Sometimes I write on the car the actual dimensions from one point to another, for future reference.. there are many ways to dothis. You will come up with some of your own. I usually try to only remove one or two pieces at a time to limit distortion.

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