Fabrice's 429CJ 71 project

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I can't take watching the quality of work you do. Makes me feel like I cut corners. I'm guess I'm going to have to tear mine back apart and start over again. lol. You really impress me with your work. Great job.
 

tpj71mach

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You really do some nice fabricating. I wish I could do that kind of work I can barely weld. Nice job!
 
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Weeks have passed and I did not update anything...
You might go think I've turned lazy!?
Not really! :)

So here what I've been busy doing these past weekends: mainly continuing my door restoration...


small_things.jpg

While storms were raging outside and mother nature was doing her best to transform my garden in a swimming pool and at night trying to freeze that,
I've spent my weekends freezing my butt in my garage focussing on the details, hoping for better days...


playing_with_acid.jpg

As the inside of the door was a rust nest, I've enjoyed playing with acid and water in the cold. A step that was really needed! Thx to the wet, windy and very cold weather, it wasn't really much fun, and because I also needed to protect everything right away to make sure everything would not turn brown again in this humid air within matter of days, my heat gun has been quite busy... Too cold to paint, everything went under a zinc layer waiting for better days.


plate_zincor_arrived.jpg

Finally my zincor plate (high quality car metal of 1350 x 600 x 1mm) in arrived. Outside the accepted sizes for regular transport, it took a while to even find a place that would not only had the long size but also able deliver it.
2 weeks ago, Spring was here for a few hours, and I've jumped on the occasion to measure, transfer and mark everything on that flat plate, make the necessary "no_way_back" choices for the poor outter skin. And finally cut it out.


more_work_behind.jpg

At this point, the door was looking even worse. In fact, there was no much left on it to define it as a door!! Once the outter skin massive piece was out, it was obvious that thx to some thick stone protection that had been sprayed in the past and the reinforcement not touching the outterskin, it's obvious that the acid had not been able to reach the back side of the reinforcement. (I know now that if the other door needs a derust but no skin removal, that I will need to build a bath to submerge it fully to get rid of this misery)
Anyway, back to brushing, acid playing and other dirty jobs to end up with a rust free frame, all under zinc and epoxy.


in_and_outerskin.jpg

In between activities, I have also cut the inner skin to accept european speakers, and as this wasn't original, I have scored original speakers grilles in ginger and will install all as if it's been ordered like that 50 years ago.

As I have now a door skin to build, no matter what, I need to have a clean outter skin to fix it on, and I also wanted to make sure there were no other "surprises" hidden behind the paint as it would be the time to address them first before even think outter skin. Once cleaned up, the top of the skin was showing a perfect state, so protected the welding region and sprayed a protective primer.


fold_and_cut_2d_skin.jpg

Finding the metal was one thing, but being able to fold it another. Found in my town a company with a massive digital metal breaker able to press anything bellow 3 meters.
My plate was looking tiny in there! :)
After the coordinates, pressure and angle are entered, both fold were made. first the lower lip, 15mm @ 110 degrees (you need keep it open to assemble) and the other, non parallel to the side, from 112 up to 128 mm from the lip @23 degrees. I bet most of you never stood still that the lower part of our door is not straight at all!

Back home, found out it was wrong!!! NOOOOOOOOO!! All was good except it was pressed for the other door! The direction of the pressing was the exact opposite I needed!!
Because I needed to add crown on the biggest part and didn't know exactly where I would cut, I had ordered 20cm extra to play with. Pfffew, there was still enough space to go back there and press it on the other side. Turned out, by luck, I got just 4cm left over to allow me to do this.
Even got a bonus in this: I have now the entire lower skin ready for the other side! :D


fit_and_cut_then_weld.jpg

When you need to add a bit of crown into the 1mm plate and have nothing long or round enough in house. What's better than a city street light pal?? :D
So despite receiving strange looks from people walking by for some reason ( tho a guy pressing himself to a street pal, indeed does look a bit weird!! :D )
With no shame, I ended up with the crown I wanted!

Because the metal, even if ok has been massaged by barbaric repairs in the past and that I had carefully picked a place on the skin to cut right where the skin is flat before going up again. I went for the lap weld method, not to mention, this reduces chances of warping and ugly welds on the other side that I would not be able to access being behind the reinforcement, it was also a way to straighten and support the old metal to the new perfectly straight metal.

Some necessary attention on the sides, where the lap must stop before the sides of the frame are, and be 100 flush. So took my time and cut these in 3 steps after lots of tests fits. No room for error there!

Once the cuts, future lips extra on the side cut and pre-bent by hand to help keep the new metal in place. I've started welding. It took no less than 6 passes to cover the entire length. making sure to leave no chance of warping. In between cooling sessions, I was gradually forming the lips more an more...


lips_hamering.jpg

Hammering lips might sound easy, it may be is on a pre-cut, pre-folded door skin. But here, we talk 1mm Zincor metal, no shape in it at all. We go from flat 2D plane to, and especially on the front, to 2 different curvatures. The round shape you see at the gaps and the profile of the door itself, and you want the skin to really squeeze the guide too!

At first the metal was quite thick and in order to reach a nice thickness, 3mm I needed to make my neighbours happy with loads of hammering noises.
trust me an empty door shell does produce quite some decibels!! :O
Constantly checking the old skin, I eventually got both sides shaped and folded as I wanted.


welding_and_painting.jpg

More happiness for my neighbours! :D I needed grind that long weld... I've actually stopped at 90% as it was really "asso", as time was running out and as the weather was this past weekend the first great day of the year. I'll finish that grinding somewhere during the week.

And so became the first spray of the year a reality! After trying the inner skin for fit, I've marked and taped the points where the spot welds will be and primed, then painted the inner side with body black.
I have also primed my hinges while at it... but I want them done other ways.


drying_time.jpg

Pretty happy with the results so far. Here's how both sides are looking now while the rest is drying. I'll of course handle the entire inside of the door later on,
but even with this quick primer, the lips and the shape are pretty ok to me and one could even think it started to look like a 71 door again! :D


weekend_over.jpg

This morning went look, and yup that doesn't look bad! The restored and plated plates will look pretty in there !!
But that's details for next weekend ;)

To be continued...
 

Sheriff41

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Wow! Excellent determination, work, and result! Always impressed reading your updates.
 

tpj71mach

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Really impressive metal work! Looks great keep up the good work!
 
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@Sheriff41
Thanks, the idea by detailing my progress is to show it's actually not that hard. Time consuming and dirty at times for sure, but taking things one at a time prevents me to get overwhelmed and so far it seams to works fine for me.

@tpj71mach
It's not really. It's only a question of hammering at things and making lots of noises :D

@Kilgon
Looked back myself yesterday. It was indeed in a really bad shape. Every bits I've cut out brought some bad surprises and added doubts about a good ending. The key was simply to cut more :O
"Thanks for all the pics."
I try to document as much as possible, especially the details that you really need go thru. Showing a finish part without the steps to that point isn't really helping any one who will have to do the same IMO. I hope they show good enough that any amateur can do lots with little resources!
 

Bill Perkins

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What a true artist, so awesome work, details, craftsmanship, design, welding, sizing the new metal, correct prep work for the new door skins, keep us posted, awesome notes, saving an original door for continued use as they are getting harder to locate
 
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I've been very busy lately on non mustang related stuffs and did not find the time or energy to post an update...
Time to fix that!!


doorback_together.jpg

First, I've put my door back together, ensuring the inner skin was back exactly where it was. I did make marks for that purpose when I've opened it, but thanks to many alignment holes it wasn't really hard to put it back. Using the old skin as a guide, I've finished the reassembly by folding tight the bottom lip, which is btw a real pain to do as you can't really hammer it due to the lack of space to swing the hammer properly but eventually got the new outer skin tight and then it was the moment of truth: testing on the car!
All was aligning! woohoo! [ I don't have a pict of me dancing, but that's what I did after that test ] :D


door_details.jpg

Having the door back together was a major step, but that's far from being done! Next step was to add a tad of bondo to obtain a nicer finish later on. Purely to please my eyes, as where's i've added some will be barely visible once painted and on the car. It was also time to seal the skin all around.


door_innerside_primed.jpg

Then it was time to spray a first layer of primer. I'll prolly water sand all this again, apply another thin layer prior to paint all the inner side in the green and silver of the car.
For now, I'm pretty please with the result as it looks like I have a healthy door back together!! :)


door_the_other_side.jpg

The problem with doors is they have more sides! :O So after some basic sanding of the weld, which still need to be fined tuned, I went on the next step that was to create a way to place back the trim back on.
The originals being welded mushrooms to hold the plastic guides. Not having the tools to weld these, I went for the tiny hole/screw after testing many screws types. It's not that obvious on the pict, but the screw once at proper height is 99% similar to the original mushroom. I'll of course Locktite / test fit them with the plastic guides before paint. They should then be like the mushrooms were, except they'll have the Philips option. I had to move the most front hole more inside to prevent the screw to be visible on the other side. Frankly defining where the holes should be wasn't that easy as the original skin had been repaired and wasn't that straight. So chances are I will base the pilar and front fender holes after I have the door back on the car to make sure I don't end up with a visually broken trim line...
Of course while testing and determining where the holes should be, i've found some dents on the trim that I couldn't let uncorrected. Even started prep the trim but will polish them only when I'll put them back on.

Meanwhile, temperature took a dive and rain came back, so till this day I did not return to finishing my door...

hinges_1.jpg

All the door hardware had been de-rusted and plated, and for the hinges, it was time to undergo some extra paint massage. Because they had some play, it was also the perfect moment to replace the pins. Unfortunately, because the kits from NPD supposed to be for 73 were too short for the lower ones, I had to postpone and it's only once I've received new extra long pins 2 weeks later that I was able to finish their reassembly. New special door bolts are also in house and will be used once the pilar has returned to a healthy state.


hinges_2.jpg

Using high friction resistant grease, I ended up with a pair of original hinges looking pretty descent and with no play.

wheels&bar.jpg

Did also tons of other details, like reviving the old Cragars that I couldn't stand looking at with their rust, even if I'll use them only during the rest of the restoration and never drive with them again...
Started also to dismantle the rear suspension stuffs, like the rear sway bar, which will soon meet my buddy's press soon, as there someone probably tried to lift the car with it, which ofc bended it a tad.


other_details.jpg

Lots of time consuming details done too, like reviving the rear sway bar anchors, work on the rusty drums.
These within the original specs will be turned later on and were set back on the car for now, as i need soon to be able to roll the car back to the street, turned so I can start work on the interior, floors and start working on all the rear "welding" things...


73_needs_attention_too.jpg

But for past 2 weekends my focus went on the 73. Many details that were waiting for dry and not too cold weather to be addressed... Like fixing the passenger door alignment that I forgot to torque properly before go to the painter, which had of course moved down in past months and ensured massive air leaks on highways. Or remove 1/2 the dashboard to install modern hardware like GPS/FM/DAB+ antennas, fine tune the android head unit electrics, make an inspection plate for the new AOD etc etc...

To be continued...
 
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@timachone
thx! Technically it's a hybride, 40-45ish % is new metal, thicker and of better quality. Where its surely now better than new is when it comes to protection, somehow Ford did not place any paint in there or very little. Nothing in between sheets for sure.
I have no decided yet, but for the other side, which I have not inspected yet, I'm thinking about opening it too no matter the state, as the rust in between, the supports plates, reinforcements cannot not be accessed when as one unit. As there is likely no ancient repair on the passenger side, I'm expecting to have at max to change only the lower skin, which I already have thx to my folding mistake for the driver side, but I'll know for sure once it's out. For now, indeed pretty happy that it turned out this way!
 
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In the end it will be worth the effort since it is an original door and the aftermarket doors are way up in price. As my doors had only serious rust at the lower lip I did not more that repair that sections. The inner sheet metal looks quite ok so some wax will do it for now.
 
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Spring is here!!
Finally some descent weather to get things done!

Tho past weekends has been spend on helping son in law with brakes on his car and on my 73 to try find out what was wrong...

sniper_issue.jpg
Got some weird issue with my 73 during a little trip, it was running perfectly fine, then started to miss fire, got worse and worse, was as if it ran on 5 cylinders... it did not let me stranded but once back home I could see on the sniper screen that the IAC that should be around 6-9% when hot was totally crazy, going to 100% which in turn was making a crazy loud air noise. What a f...??

I tried to understand, looking everywhere. removed the plugs and they were black as a Friday.
Couldn't remind see AFR go wild...
The next day by chance (wind) found out that one of the small vacuum cap behind the unit was broken on the tip and was acting like these rain covers on truck exhaust.. leaving me with a massive vacuum leak. Fixed that and while car ran instantly much better the tiny little thing had done its damage on the IAC during the last 10 miles to get back home, where the motor had prolly suffer from moving crazy and be to max. End story, I went pick a new one from my other sniper waiting for my 429 and all was fine. I also saw that in the box, the rubber caps are damage... shitty quality! Why Holley do not provide silicon or durable caps is weird. Anyway ordered a set of silicon high temp caps and soon a pair of IAC's as I want one spare in the car.
Since then went for a few drives and all looks back to normal. Always something with old US cars !! :D


But this weekend with this weather, I was back on the 71! Woohoo!

trim_mistake.jpg

first did some welding on my door, as I made the mistake to drill a hole for the door trim a tad to low (should be 4mm higher where the small hole is on pict)
and because it's nice weather, applied some bondo on my weld bead to then go enjoy removing it in the sun! :)


sanding_time.jpg
Once the surface was back to something acceptable using mostly long sanding blocks (that door is really long and flat and you don't want create cavities), I've removed on the upper part of the door the 1k zinc primer used this winter to prevent rust during the wet period we were having and sprayed a layer of epoxy.
Dry sanded it first as I did apply a bit too thick epoxy layer and finished that with a water sanding in 800.


inprimer.jpg

First primer layer is a fact and while it will be water sanded again, all is fine except beneath the door handle line. there is at some angle a small diff in line that the metallic paint would certainly underline, so I will need to add a tad of bondo again there, before sand all fine again.
The plan then to paint the inner side car colour and the silver. May be next weekend if the weather is still great.
So far, glad to finally starting to see the result of my labor!


next_patient.jpg

A bit tired of my door, I went look for the next patient. As I need now to slowly move to the interior so I can do my floors (and more), I've picked the first that came off: the dashboard cover.
The soft part removed, with a massive crack will be restored later on when I'll let the sewing machine do the talks. For now the metal part of it needed be handled.

Hard to see on the picts as it's a ginger interior, but the baby started to rust in many places. So after a quick cleaning, first step was to remove the paint.
On under side, you can sand a tad, on the outer side, it's a really bad idea as you can damage the pressed grain...
Thanks to Brexit, I can no longer buy the effective and affordable paint remover that I was using lately and had to return to the much less effective stuff I was using before. basically this means 3 applications and loads of elbow oil vs the good British one that is no longer legal in EU :(


paint_removal.jpg

Eventually got all the brownish paint out and left with the rust.. The top was more rusty on the sides and vents.


acid_paint_removal.jpg

So gave the baby an acid bath and let it cook 2 hours. Followed by a soda juice with soapy wool massage.


dry_and_rust_free.jpg

Which gave me a pristine looking cover. Aside a bit of hammering on the lip that you do not even see, no welding or anything required.
It was ready for the next step.


cover_in_primer.jpg

Which was to apply a wetOnWet primer. a primer that is not that porous as usual primers.
Pretty happy to see how well the grain is preserved and looking now. Next stop select a brownish colour that respect the original interior ginger
but less ugly! :O I'll spray that together with the rest of the dashboard and a few metallic parts that need the same colour. For now, I need to find some room to store that cover.

to be continued...
 

Sheriff41

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More really nice work, Fabrice. I'll be disappointed when you finish this car and the updates come to an end.
 
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