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RIBS 71 convertible build JUNE 21 till??

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Many a lower quarter panels have been patched.  The Spectra / American patch panels are not that bad, and they are inexpensive.  Trunk drops are also cheap, but there are two flavors - mediocre (they have the wrong size hole for the fuel sender) and worse (not even close).  Really I'd get to practicing butt welding sheetmetal, and once you are comfortable go for the repair.

Somewhere buried in the forum is some pictures from when I did my car.

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Yeah, but here’s the problem, I already spent almost $4000 on other metal work and welding, my budget will not allow more $ on metalwork.

the other problem is there’s a lot of patch work on the car, 90% of it is solid after 25 years. The wheel wells have inner liners added, and are solid, but there is small amounts of filler in various places. In other words, the original wheel wells are there but had some rust so somebody in the 90’s welded in another layer, it’s solid, sealed and rust proofed.

to do a partial quarter on this car will require ripping out wheel tubs, trunk drop panels, convertible supports, it will be another $5000.

the car is a generic 302 convertible, it doesn’t justify 10k+ in metal work.

the metal patches that are in place in the quarter are fairly solid, just light surface rust, I am going to cut away the rusty original metal they left behind, and be left with that patchwork.

so my question remains, without welding in new metal, what’s the best repair solution? 

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The metal circled in red is solid, there is just a layer of old rusted metal laying over some of it, marked with green which I am going to trim out. The exterior is of course bondo, 25 years old and solid as a rock….

my goal is to preserve the crappy patches and somehow finish it a little nicer, and do the minor filler repairs needed on the exterior, and seal it all up so it stays stable….


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It would not be my style but if you want to go that route: 

Get rid of all rust or rusty patches, protect it all with some rust remover, protection etc. If there is another layer of structural sound metal under it give it also some protection. Then use something like a Cold Tin from MIPA, it is like special bondo with metal, some sort of epoxy, and give it the form you like. Then check the outside. There have to be no rust between metal and bondo, otherwise it will crack once fed with wet and then fall apart. 

If I had to choose I would rather patch sheet metal in but it's your car...



Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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If it were me I would cut out the rusty bits as other have suggested, BUT, we all know we have to work to a budget.

If you are sure the metal in place is solid, no flexing, etc, I would tack weld any areas I thought needed extra reinforcing, eg bottom of the wheel well in your picture. Sand  these areas down to bare metal, wire brush, sander, etc. Clean and then apply fiber glass fabric and resin over the cleaned areas. It is not expensive and easy to shape and sand when hardened and easily painted over. Or a coat of under-body type paint over the whole repair and then paint. The resin will also run into hollow spaces and help prevent  moisture build up.

As timachone mentioned, there cannot be any areas where moisture can get in or the rusting will continue. This is particularly important if 2 layers of metal are present. I did such a repair on a partly rusted firewall and inner guard panels on another vehicle years ago, shaped it and then painted it. 20+ years and no sign of rust coming through.

This is not a suggested repair for any structural members but light panels only.


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Well here’s what I have after gently cutting bits away with dremmel cutoff wheels, it’s all solid and welded or brazed together. Going to try to kill of the rest of the surface rust, encapsulate it and smooth it out a bit…


Edited by RIBS
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I have cleaned up and done a lot of rust treatment, more work to come..lt is insane, about 4 pieces of metal on each side…



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I have been working on rear quarters, and also completing the cowl repair.  I did final sealing on the cowl tonight on the exterior, I will do some interior sealers when I pull the dash to rewire and install AC.  I have painted the cowl, need to do one final coat, also reinstalled wiper arms, wiper motor going in soon, after final cowl paint.


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Been working on the front end, surface rust and repaint…

Also rehabbing my APillars, one was missing the tip, and both had cracks.  





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1 hour ago, mach71351c said:

Aren't we all upside down with these cars. 

Haha!  I sold a 2015 Mustang GT for about 31k, so that’s my budget on this car…..very roughly it breaks down to car 10k, parts, repairs, upgrades 10k, paint 10k.  There room to wiggle in every category, and so far I am on target….my last major purchase needed is AC and it’s optional, most everything else is sitting in my basement or closet awaiting install. At that point it might be a 22-26k car, I would be lucky to ever break even….but won’t be selling and that’s not important.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven’t updated much lately, work and commitments are slowing me down…been concentrating on trunk and front frame and engine bay….

I have all the rust out of the trunk., did some minor fiberglass in the bottom of the rear quarters.  It’s a driver, it will be OK.  Also primed the trunk floor and wheel tubs, etc, then painted with smoke gray rustoleum….I am going to spray a spatter texture over that….I think a light gray will help reflect a little light and help out with seeing things…

on the front, I have been cleaning up surface rust and painting.  Most of it is getting satin black rustoleum…the lower frame parts as well as new yet to be installed suspension will get Mastercoat chassis paint. 

After thanksgiving the cooling system gets flushed, radiator pulled, hoses and thermostat replaced and while it’s out I will refinish more of the engine bay, then it’s front suspension and more engine bay refinish…once that’s done, rewire the car….






Edited by RIBS
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