Fabrice's 429CJ 71 project

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Manu Mach1

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73 Ford Mustang Sprint from Mexico.
Fabrice, when are you publishing your novel?
Perfect work, as usual :)

 

Fabrice

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(follow up on this morning update)

I have also installed a new entertaiment system in the 73 in the form of a chinese cheapo android head unit with 10.1 inch touch screen... prety good actually. The old Pioneer cassette player not able to play music anymore, the radio really noisy and basically only there to simulate a sound system, it was time for an update and simply did not have the budget for a good modern unit with a good name.
I'll cover that one later on as I still have stuffs to finished to install like GPS, DAB, CarPlay...

androidheadunit.jpg

This image alone should tell you it wasn't exactly a plug and play story! 10.1 inch in our car ain't easy! :D

On the 71 side I've been busy too
Now that there are none to little details left on the todo past the windshield, 
I need to pick my next victim...

floorinspection.jpg

I know from underneath that there was 1 single visible hole for the entire floor till the rear end, so inspected the damage and found out it's not that extended. I may find more corrosion here and there, but I'm sure it will not be that bad. For the driver seat pan, which I thought I would need to change, I will in fact only need a little patch to fix that hole.
The rest so far I could see without removing too much seams to be pretty ok, the original green is visible everywhere I could look and the brown was in minority and very light .

But I won't start this now, because I have atm no way to store the interior and I may need to move the car else where to work on it this year. So till I'm not sure, I need pick something I can place back for an eventual move relatively quickly.

so ladies and gentlemen: meet my next victim: a beautiful 1971 PW door!

doorout.jpg

For some reason, the glass fought be big time to get out. Ok, sure I know why: if I could open the door completely that would have helped but my garage being what it is, It's been about being patient, stop breath and force my belly to look like a 25 year old guy and eventually I got it out. Cleaned it and it's now protected in plastic bubbles.
Same for all the hardware, all bagged,and photographed on the car before removal.
Lots of these will meet my zinc bath in a not too far future... :O

crusty2.jpg

The hinges now out and bagged are in excellent shape, there was no play on the car and none also if both are tested alone.
for the rest, any metal bellow the lower line is bad, badder going down, baddlybadder and even gone at the bottom!

Not a month ago, someone was offering doors... too bad I can drive and pick them up that easy! :O

crusty.jpg

The entire lower section is showing some serious corrosion. Crusty you could say! 
A few years ago, I would have cried looking at this, but these days, I just see that I will need a significant amount of welding wire and a few ounces of elbow oil, that's all! :D
Because I can't access anything from within, I have already seen that the doors are made of 3 layers and the top one, which is the inside of the door holding all the electrics, door panel, etc... will need go off. Counted at least 20 spotwelds.
Good news is that the much thicker metal on the front and all the structural metal is corroded but thick enough to enjoy an acid bath.

As the car body is not showing corrosion of this magnitude, I think we can put this on the poor design of the glass rubbers doing absolutly nothing and letting the water enter the door. I have new ones on my 73 and after driving now a couple of times in bad weather, i can tell you they will go out again, and be reinstalled with some modifications for sure!

Anyway, that's what I'll be busy with to occupy my future weekends and you can expect some updates on that!

to be continued...

 
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Fabrice

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Weekend again!
Time to look at that door in detail...

shell_empty.jpg

To do so, first task was to empty the door shell from everything. You don't stay still about this, but man, there is lots of things inside a door. So all been photographed in place so I can eventually prevent some head scratching later on and all that made sense to be regrouped, bagged and all into one box.
I will next to the shell itself start take one bag at a time and restore/clean all I have. Good news is that I have not broken anything, lost something or see something missing. All looked ok too, even if of course i will massage each part anyway, there is nothing in need of repair and it will strickly be about cleaning and protecting.

That was the good news... now the rest.

decogroup.jpg

Before go out and inspect that already much lighter door, I needed to remove the trim of the "deco group" option? I have all the trims all around, but so far all pieces are on the car using another system. because the car has been painted over the original paint, the long trim, in surprisingly good shape, still straight and with no dents would not reveal anything when i wanted to lift it a tad to see something. I had to figure out how it went out. Turns out only one nut locks the entire trim, the rest, a series of posts acting like guides over the entire length. Once that nut was loose, a rubber mallet hit on the other side freed it from the layer of paint that was holding it, and a few small hits further it was out without damage. All is hold by plastic thingies going over rivets that are part of the outter skin, unlike on the rear quarter panel where 2 small holes are present, like on the lower fender or side of the front valance. I removed the clips with care to not break them, not knowing if these are repopped. Are they? And the bolts with the spring thingy around them for the front and rear?

here_we_go.jpg

After taking some measurements, I went outside and inspected closer at what i was looking at.
There is a significant amount of corrosion, that I knew, but it became pretty clear that with the inner skin on, I wouldn't be able to perform any respectable work, simply because there is no way to access anything with that skin in between. If i don't remove that skin I will end up with some externally patched door with tons of bondo and hope that spraying some rust converter magic will do something. Short story: that door is lost if i don't do anything about it..

soooo, where is my spotweld drill bit? :O

bbq.jpg

Walking my way true the layers to find the spot welds, drill them, some easy to find, some really hard, it took in total no less than having 44 drilled out to end up with a what looked like a perfect barbecue :D

OMG.jpg

One last bit that needed to be performed was to free the lower part that is simply squeezed in the outter skin lip. Because it was full of rust in there, I needed to become really persuasive and its only after I have added the 45 spotweld drilling to the other 44 past ones that was on the lip, that I got the inner skin loose from the shell.
O M G what have I done?? :O

But now that all was accessible, a good inspection showed me it was the way to go. Normally speaking, one would remove the outter skin, but as these are not available and the top part pretty hard to reproduce, seeing the door handle is welded on it, the rivets and that the middle has also some connection. No regrets. Plus, I also found out that the pressed shape is a perfect match of the sides top shape, where basically using the stamped centering holes one only need to push it back to the max to install it back exactly where it was. All with all, more welds later on than with the outter way yes, but chances to save the outter skin much greater. No way back now! :O

plates.jpg

Now that all is out the way, I was able to easly remove the hinges plates, secured with tabs, these will soon meet my bubble treatment and should return back on looking much better than now.
I was happy to see that the doors are made of really thick metal, and as far as I culd see, aside poor patches done on the outter skin that have failed over the years, no damage was found that could have come from a collision. which was also a relief.

smell.jpg

And then the fun started by removing some ancient bitume.. while it did protect the skin 50% ok where it was, I found out while heating it where the smell so different in that car than in my 73 came from...

paint_removal.jpg

Before I can start to do anything, all needs to be clean. So the next step was to remove paint and most of the rust and for the rest of my Sunday, as rain had returned, I've enjoyed rust dust in the air with that lovely paint remover smell inside.
At some point, even far from done, the shell started to look much better.

I'll do the same on the outer side and the inner skin next week, but I already know that I need to make some large container to leave this door parts in acid bathing for at least 24 hours...

To be continued...
 
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timachone

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Wow, Fabrice, I think, you are the first one in the world who opened a door this way on our 71-73 Mustangs to repair it. Respect - and you are right, if a door is gone that far as yours, this would be the only way to do it right! This one would be saved for at least another 50 years. By the costs of a new reproduction, shipped to our doors, there isn't any alternative than to do it by yourself. That was my intention too as I did my doors. But I only had to manage the lower inner lip and some little patches. Will fill it with wax and oil now when it's warmer outside to protect it's current rust- and dent-free status  :thumb:  

Hope to hear from you soon! 

 

Fabrice

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I think, you are the first one in the world who opened a door this way on our 71-73 Mustangs
Yeah I don't do in second in the world stuffs :D

Trust me, I would have preferred patch the lip. On my 73, fixed it that way with one extra patch at lower front corner.
But thing is here that the entire floor is gone, lifting the corners showed thick rust in between and they are thin as cig paper, meaning you know your welds will suck and end up with blobs of welds you keep grinding and redo to you end up with some kind of sculpture that reminds a bit what it should have looked like.  Many parts with heavy rust that you can't possibly clean and protect with that skin on and the skin itself also showing severe rust cannot be fixed easy even if you'd remove the outer skin as you can't get to both sides.
Removing the outer skin is very tricky too as it's not just a sheet squeezed in, it holds the back side of the door handle, the top is connected to the casing... In fact I think that's why you can find the entire shells and not the skins alone as they would be time consuming to install and quite tricky even for wintered metal body guys.

In worst case scenario I'd be back to square one, that is to save money till I can buy a new one at the silly price of shipping plus taxes. Likely 2.5 to 3 grands once at my door per piece (kuz I don't even dare look yet at the other one, doubling that).

But there is a reward to this. I saw for instance that the entire floor is straight and can be folded in one piece, making the corners will be much more easy being able to clamp the metal in and out, being able to access the back of the skin, which also still needs to be patched, at least in 4 places. I will also likely be forced to shape and change it completely on the bottom as it's holding only because the paint wants it. There too, the entire lower bit has bits of crown going up, but its all straight, and the lips that need be formed are also in straight lines.

Not expecting it to be a walk in the park, but haven't seen something very difficult either. I'll take it one bit at a time and will see if I get to be the first one who puts it back together that way! Fingers crossed :D 

 
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Fabrice

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I think these are the repop trim clips you might be looking for Fabrice
Oh excellent! Thank you for finding me parts before I even seek every post!! Gonna order 2 sets, as I've saved the originals, I should be good. 

 

midlife

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OMG!!  This must surely be as difficult as the dreaded cowl removal, repair, and installation!  My hat's off to you for even trying!

 

timachone

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That's a challenge for sure but I am sure you will manage it! By 5 grand a pair shipped to Europe you have quite a motivation to do it. And I never found any usable or better door shell the past years here on the continent... 

I am looking forward to your progress!

 

Fabrice

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I haven't done much these past weekends as I wasn't home. Instead I've enjoyed my home town Paris with at my mom with my oldest daughter and once back spent some time at my Mustang friend's place...

So last weekend, it was time to return to my misery door.. Lots of work on it waiting! :O


backatdoor.jpg

The temperature was so low (freeze and lower), my paint remover that usually is a big help, was doing nothing. So instead of wasting more of it,
I've continued to remove more paint on the outer skin. Which revealed more misery too! At least using the heat gun was making the garage a bit more habitable! :)


firstpatchmaking.jpg

Tired of burned paint fumes, I worked on the first patch.
Located on the outer skin, right above the handle and on the body line, I first needed to reproduce the shape of the body line.
After a few folding tests on scrap metal, found out using a long round rod with enough spare metal around was giving me the best results.
with a main fold at the high and 2 inverted right next to it. I ended up with a convincing enough piece that was ready to be trimmed down to match the hole I was going to make..


patchhandledone.jpg

Once the damaged part was out, the patch cut to fit, it was time to weld it in place.Pretty pleased with the results when it comes to the line, from all sides, the light flows across it nicely.
I need to tack weld/grind a few places to get a nicer surface, but I'll do all these details after the acid bath. Something I can't do now as the weather is too cold as I need 14c at least to paint right after the bath pass..
And so was the first patch of the year in!


rear_lower_corner_patch.jpg

The next patient, actually half of it is the lower inner rear corner. I say half, because this one is tricky. The shape is at first sight easy, but really not as there are multiple curves at play.
And most of all, this corner defines the way the skin will be aligned over the entire bottom of the door. There too, some rod was used to fold the inner lip, the rest hammered and test fitted and hammered and test fitted etc... oh and it was also and test fitted and hammered again and again! :O

Once aligned, I've cut the sick part and after some further adjustment finally got that skin "guide" in. As I use 1mm, with just that patch done, the corner regained almost all of its strength already.

I'll be doing the other 1/2 next weekend, actually I've started and failed to get some satisfying shape so far, as its function is to guide the skin for the lower part. There is a crown in it for the lip guide and it must meet 2 different curves on that inner corner. Some fun ahead that I hope to share with you next week! (if I succeed ofc)


underside_fold.jpg

As the corner bottom guide was done, the next move was to reproduce the entire bottom over the entire length. Over 1 meter long, as I use 1mm metal, there was zero chances for me to be able to fold clean by hand all this length.
So for this, I went back to my buddy, who has a big boyz metal breaker.

Even with this heavy duty baby, recreating the shape wasn't that easy, especially because the folds required are not sharp. So here we had to make some "folding investigations" with aluminium first to find out how we could reproduce the folds with greater radius. Another problem was to be smart about which fold to do first, as done in the wrong order, the part doesn't insert in the breaker and you simply can't fold anymore.
Because of that, we had to remove some help metal on the machine to reduce the depth, which in returns, weaken the folding power and resulted into a slight crown over this long piece.
Eventually we got something pretty close to the original shape, except for one that needed be 2mm further as we simply couldn't insert the already folded metal that close to the blade.

So back home, I've fixed the crown with some straightening tool and hammer on my bench, working as a guide, and ended up with the desired shape.


underside_1sidewelded.jpg

Once the sick part was cut, the new one cut for the outer skin to fit, and also in place as a guide for the skin and in line with the corners and that all was aligned and allowing the inner skin to be inserted as it should, I've welded it in place. That alone costed some time as failing here was a certain "back-to-drawing-board" case.
Somehow the planets were well aligned that day and ended up with a door shell that was all of a sudden looking much less bad! :)


holes_and_rubber_guide.jpg

Hard to cover all that needs to be done in here, but just for that one, lots of details need also to be made, like adding 3 draining holes or try salvage the old door rubber guide (that is not salvageable, too far gone and will need to be custom made as well)

Basically, I'm afraid this door's gonna take a few weekends before it can be called door again! :O
So far so good tho. All part of the hobby :D


chill.jpg

Of course, working in a very cold garage isn't as fun as taking the 73 for a ride. So did that too :D


To be continued...
 
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Don C

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Well done, very inspirational. You need to compile all of your 'how to do it at home fixes' into a book.
 

timachone

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Nice work, Fabrice! As a lower portion door repair guy too I know your feelings and how much time goes in. I lost a few weekends alone on repairing both doors lower lip to body outer shell but came through some of the same tools to roll the curves in ;) Again, well done, my friend!
 

Fabrice

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@Don C,
Thx. You could print this looong thread :D

@timachone
thx. The bottom was surely challenging. The next front corner should be quite an interesting thing to make too.
Yet you haven't seen what I've found on the outer skin under the paint (and bondo and tin)..
Let's just say that this should be really really really interesting. :O
 

Fabrice

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That's all I did?? That was the thought I had when i saw the picts for this update! :O

Even if I couldn't work as much as usual due to other non Mustang related stuffs.
This reminded me once more how some details can be time consuming...

One thing is sure, me, my hammers, files, saw and grinder gave my neighbors some extra reasons to hate me! :O


corner.jpg

Started with the the second half of the rear inner lower corner. That little piece took a while to take shape, as it must have the crown the lower skin will use and it needs of course to follow the rest of the corner. Lots of tiny cuts, hammering..
Eventually got that tiny bit in and aside surface improvements that I will do at a later date when it will be epoxy time and all fits. I'm happy with the reconstruction as it now feels strong again.


secondcorner_1.jpg

The next patient is the front inner corner. This one has no real structural function, it's just a rond corner with 2 millions of hard to reproduce shapes. No biggy! :O

So the plan here as my 30 tons press and dyes are no avail a this time, is to give a try to "Feezee's method" (a nice channel on youtube), where he cuts and weld "planes" vs really shaping.

Not on the picts here, but after I've made templates of the top part ( which looks like a cylinder but is more of a part of a high cone) and already fold the base ( which is a 80 deg bended flat bits with a 1/2 round cut ). Both will serve me as the 2 1/2 bread of an hamburger, as I've decided that the entire piece will be made of 4 parts.

For now the idea is to build each part of the corner with enough metal left for later massages, trimming etc.. because its easy to cut metal, way more difficult to let it grow! :)

Anyway, to build the second part that is supposed to fit on the first one, I had to dolly the shape on 2 curves while keeping the "base" flat to meet the top one..


secondcorner_2.jpg

As I'm sure the text above was Chinese, this pict shows the process:
- I first welded the two parts on their shared plane. The top one, first spot welded (top left on pict)
- then the back side and when done finished the front side (top right on pict)
- with now enough "meat" on both side, I could trim and grind the back side (middle left on pict)
- repeat the same grinding on the front allowing a visually not sharp corner (middle right on pict)

and ended with the first 2 bits together...


nightbath.jpg

As I was busy on the corner, I had to feel with my hands and all of a sudden, I got a "Rust Infarct" :O
Tired of feeling that rough surface and not sure where the corner could be welded on drove me nuts.

Sooooo, where is my acid bottle?!!

After a first pass of one hour, while the night had arrived, I've sprayed a second time and while helping with a brush, I've left it soak. around midnight, I've sprayed again (top left) and it was already looking much better.
This morning the acid had done its eating job and because we had a little rain, the high bits even started to rust again.

It took me this afternoon a soda rince and a few soap whool sponges to finally get to see some healthy metal!


afterbath.jpg

Left on top, the before... A good water rince, i've heat gunned the skin and sprayed some zinc so it can wait.
Now it's clear, I have 2 more sick pieces to replace.. lucky me, both are not really complex.
One will meet my already made top corner as a straight flat piece and the other one is basically a flat rectangle with the only purpose to spot weld the skin on the front. So I'll do these prolly next first before I can return to my corner.


warmingup.jpeg

As a guy needs to test on cold starts and ensure his newly installed AOD doesn't rust in the inside, he took the 73 for long spin and forgot all about that door :D

To be continued..
 

midlife

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Isn't working with metal fun? For some, it is a pain, but I think you enjoy it. I know I did when I was able to. Keep up the good work.
 

Fabrice

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Been kept busy by lots of non-Mustang related things lately, but it's not like I've been inactive!
Here's a little update on what I did on my misery door....


sick_strip.jpg

Because I need to weld the corner onto the door, I need first healthy metal and as there was not loads of that,
I've replaced strips of sick metal. This region on the front for instance was a must, because not only it connects to the corner,
but it also plays an important role for the final assembly, as it holds the entire front side of the inner skin to the frame of the door via a series of spot welds, it needed be strong...


inner_skin_cleanup.jpg

As I need also to weld on both sides, once I had punched all the future holes for the spot welds and made sure the skin could be placed exactly back on its original place.
I've brought that side as well to bare metal and sprayed a temporary zinc layer, waiting for the better dry/warm days.
That being done I could move on to the next step: the rounded corner.


corner_innerskin.jpg

I made my neighbours happy with loads of hammering, welding, filing & grinding for that one! But eventually ended up with a solid corner. Woohoo! :D
It's been quite challenging to make that one, not just the corner itself, but welding it. Even if I've had removed and changed lots of sick metal, what was left was still real thin and when you try to add 20 gauge/ 1 mm to that you end up making holes, even with good cooling and short burst.
But eventually, I got it in! :)
I'll work on all the surface finish later on once all is back together.


rubberseal_channel.jpg

One detail, that took me quite some time to reproduce was the rubber seal channel. I've tried to save the old one, but it was simply too far gone.
So bought a squared tubing of the same width, on which I've first drilled the future spot welds locations, then as it is not symmetrical, disc cut one side very near of the edge and the other side keeping 8 mm.
Then shaped the waves with a disc, and finally, as he original "waves" are folded inwards to retain the rubber, hammered all the highs.
At first sight before I started I thought that part would be easy to be made, well, it wasn't super hard, but it was surely much more of a challenge than I thought!! ;)
After a filing session, a zinc coating I've welded it to the inner skin and ended up with a channel that should keep my rubber in place for a few decades without any problems!


At this point, the inner skin being more or less done, the idea was to move on to the outter one.
It's gone, and I'd be busy patching it till xmas to end up with a poor results after tons of work.


skin_shot.jpg

It's hard to see the volumes on the pictures, but basically there are massive lows, which were filled up with bondo and some more ancient with tin.
On one the repair guy even spot welded the deepest part onto the reinforcement inside, making it impossible to lift it again without damage. Probably to prevent the bondo to popup...
Not to mention the metal is gone next to it, the entire low part is gone or real bad... In short, I can't keep that poor thing.

ok, no choice here, I'll have to shape an entire door skin from bottom up to the body line (just under the handle height)! :O
but there are few problems with that before even starting..

- first the weather:
sh... for weeks now, and expected to remain that way for at least another month before I can spray.
The thing is, I need to cut the current sick skin, de-rust the frame, and right away spray a good layer of epoxy once everything is accessible.
Being too cold and raining 8 days out of 7 lately, no way I can do that.

- Metal breaker
The door is freaking long, and to reproduce the skin, add the folds, and keep some extra around to work properly, I need a length of +-1.5 meter.
You don't think about it, but even my friend's professional metal breaker is too small to add the 2 folds I need. Not to mention, folding the lower part at 1mm thickness requires some muscle too.
So spent time to find a place here in my town where I could fold it. Luckily found a metal assembly company here with one of 3 meters, and they kindly agree to help me fold that sheet for me.
So that is fixed

- Zincor
The metal I want is so called zincor, basically great metal quality with a layer of electro zinc, same as what I've used so far, except, I need 1.5 meters. And for some reasons the dutch delivery stop at 1 meter length.
So I need to go get some myself and the nearest metal shop having 1.5 meter Zincor of 1 mm is 150 miles away. So need find time to go get that...

- Mushrooms
Not of importance for the skin repair on itself, I need find a way to replace the 5 mushrooms rivets that keep the trim in place.
I will likely use screws that I'll shape and weld from behind.. if any one has ideas/experience with that, please let me know how you did it!


rusty_parts.jpg

While the skin job is now postponed, it's not like I'm stuck! :D
The door hosts plenty parts and most of them need attention!
The hinges that I thought were with no play had some, so I have pins under way, and they were rusty. Same for the plates holding them inside the door or inside the A-pilar. And others..

So back to misery :D
- cleanup
- put them apart


rusty_parts_derust_plating.jpg

Once done, the next step was to remove the ancient paint, give them an acid bath and after that...


ex_rusty_parts.jpg

After that they all went under an electrons massage and ended up last Sunday under a protective zinc plating that should keep them rust free for a long while
and surely enough till I can paint all that properly soon...

So far it looks like I might be able to bring that door back to a healthy state. But It's only once I'll have that outer skin back on that I'll be sure! Till then, I'll plate and restore more inside parts

To be continued....
 

Fabrice

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thx @timachone, this baby was way more work than expected for sure. I was amazed at the force I needed to apply in order to fold the "waves" back in +-30 degrees, so they keep the rubber in place. At 1mm thickness and near fold I had to slam them real hard! Really strong now, totally overkill to hold a rubber! :O
 
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