Replacing battery mount area of fender skirt

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Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
162
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Location
Williamsburg Virginia area
My Car
1972 H code convert., 351C 2V, FMX, 9in., Ram air, Pwr Steering, Pwr Disc brakes, air-conditioning, 15" sport wheels, Ivy Glo w/white deluxe interior.
Well, the title says it all. My original mention of the re[air for this area was using rust reformer, body "lead". That fell off when upon further inspection, there was too much damage. Then I had the idea of using fiberglass and spot putty to finish it off and at the mere thought of "fiberglass", I begin itching from previous experiences being coated head to toe with dust and residue (including now). Then just getting the whole skirt and making a patch for the area became the best option.
I chose making a patch for the area because after I did research and found that Dynacorn made the best repop, they didn't take it the "hole way" and none of the clip and bolt holes for the fenders have been popped (pardon my pun). Basically, the patch would be far less visible than the butcher job of trying to pop all the holes to match original. The patch was also to keep the integrity of the car being "original" given everywhere else is solid. There's just no escaping that batteries leaked acid and acid eats metal so 52 years took its toll. No or low maintenance batteries really helped control this as well as plastics but not for 1971-72.

The challenge now is, welding is not my thing, but I have found a couple options that could serve a purpose and was hoping for a few opinions.

3M makes some pretty wicked adhesives these days and I kinda fell back on the lessons I learned from my A&P (as in Airframe and Powerplant) licensed father. I was shown how total contact area coverage could be far more beneficial than 6 spotwelds in a structural panel.

Anyhow, below is a pic of the area and I was hoping for some advice on where the best place to cut the patch in would be. I do understand making the turn on the battery mount area is key but I wanted or hoped to keep it closer to the bottom given the view. I've added two lines, bottom being my first choice and I would recess a bend for adhesion but the bend at the top is also an option because of being able to create a "lip" behind the part.

IMG_23121.jpg

I would love to weld this but as I mentioned above, not my thing, and, not sure if I want to make this the "practice project". However, more patience than I had 50 years ago so...

This is where the advice from ya'll comes in.

Thanks!
 
I can’t quite tell from the pic, but what is the condition of the frame? Lots of times, a long deterioration of that tray can cause the frame below it to become damaged. You should check that out first.
 
Well, the title says it all. My original mention of the re[air for this area was using rust reformer, body "lead". That fell off when upon further inspection, there was too much damage. Then I had the idea of using fiberglass and spot putty to finish it off and at the mere thought of "fiberglass", I begin itching from previous experiences being coated head to toe with dust and residue (including now). Then just getting the whole skirt and making a patch for the area became the best option.
I chose making a patch for the area because after I did research and found that Dynacorn made the best repop, they didn't take it the "hole way" and none of the clip and bolt holes for the fenders have been popped (pardon my pun). Basically, the patch would be far less visible than the butcher job of trying to pop all the holes to match original. The patch was also to keep the integrity of the car being "original" given everywhere else is solid. There's just no escaping that batteries leaked acid and acid eats metal so 52 years took its toll. No or low maintenance batteries really helped control this as well as plastics but not for 1971-72.

The challenge now is, welding is not my thing, but I have found a couple options that could serve a purpose and was hoping for a few opinions.

3M makes some pretty wicked adhesives these days and I kinda fell back on the lessons I learned from my A&P (as in Airframe and Powerplant) licensed father. I was shown how total contact area coverage could be far more beneficial than 6 spotwelds in a structural panel.

Anyhow, below is a pic of the area and I was hoping for some advice on where the best place to cut the patch in would be. I do understand making the turn on the battery mount area is key but I wanted or hoped to keep it closer to the bottom given the view. I've added two lines, bottom being my first choice and I would recess a bend for adhesion but the bend at the top is also an option because of being able to create a "lip" behind the part.

View attachment 86921

I would love to weld this but as I mentioned above, not my thing, and, not sure if I want to make this the "practice project". However, more patience than I had 50 years ago so...

This is where the advice from ya'll comes in.

Thanks!
I prefer to weld in replacement panels for an enduring and, hopefully, invisible repair. That said, I think for a non-structural sheet metal repair the use of automotive panel adhesives would be a viable option for a functional repair. If you have sufficient surfaces prepared per the instructions then it should be fine for quite some time.
 
Thanks Chuck, appreciate the input. For what it's worth, I'd invite you over with a welder and have at it. Unfortunately, we're in Eastern Virginia and you're in Texas, otherwise it'd be simple.
An additonal caveat to my lack of welding skills is the concern of the two thicknesses of metal.

In a little bit of self-insulting, you'd think I would have learned how to weld from my father, given that I previously mentioned he was a licensed A&P (55 years) but sadly, we didn't cover that.
Now cutting torch? I've got that down pat! lol. Under contract with Dewey, Wreck'em and How.
 
I replaced that portion on mine as well. Made a repair panel, welded it in.

Skill comes from practice, nobody was born with a torch and a mask in hand. My welding skill at the time of this repair in 2001 was "not good" but it did the job. I was clearly a better grinder than welder.

1711214350064.jpeg
 
I know what I did is not for everyone but it was a major for me because I’m not a welder either. This was my first attempt at shaping and welding sheet metal. I know it’s pretty bad but hopefully it’ll work. So here’s several pictures of what I found and how I tried to fix it. There was no way I could replace the inner fender. Way beyond my capabilities at least presently. I keep learning new (questionable) skills though thanks to this car. The support bracket I got from a guy who goes by PostalDan I think in Milwaukee.
 

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Darn it! I screwed this up again. Now I'm on my laptop vs my phone so I know I'll get it right. So sorry again... This was my initial/original condition and the final.
 

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Moderator73 - my '71 is in the body shop now, and after blasting everything away we discovered a PO's repair to the battery area.
IMG_3560.jpeg

IMG_3561.jpeg

So, I opted to replace the skirt with a repro for an original, less unsightly look, and came upon your posts above.
Screenshot 2024-03-24 at 12.23.18 PM.png

Question: What is this part called? Did '71's have it? Do I need it?
Screenshot 2024-03-24 at 12.05.38 PM.png
 
Question: What is this part called? Did '71's have it? Do I need it?
Screenshot 2024-03-24 at 12.05.38 PM.png

I found this to be called "Battery Tray Apron Support". You've got a lot of welds and extra material, so I don't know if it's absolutely necessary. I looks like it's an additional support under the Apron to hold up a heavy battery with an additional bracket. The bottom of the bracket is attached to the frame rail where it's "sandwiched" in with other body & frame steel that's spot welded on the rail. The actual bracket is not spot welded above the rail to the inner fender. But there are bolts that attach the "Battery Tray Apron Support" to the removable battery tray that sits on top of the inner fender. So the two layers of steel being bolted together and the support transfered to the frame rail definitely
 
I screwed up my post once again...Somehow I hit the post key before I was done. I promise, I'll get better at this.

Anyway, this set up definitely makes for a beefed up battery tray. If you're going to go ahead and replace the inner fender, I'd for sure get one of these brackets too. And, yes this fits your 71 mustang. It's used in almost all of Fords Midsize cars in our years. There are several folks on our forum that have shared their journey getting one from PostalDan, and that's what led me to get ahold of him. He was a super guy when I got mine in 2/2022. I ended up joining the "TorinoCobra.Com" forum so I could PM him about this. Here's what I found that is used to contact him if you're interested. This was his posting on the torino forum back then.

Hope this helps,
Bob
 

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Question: What is this part called? Did '71's have it? Do I need it?
Screenshot 2024-03-24 at 12.05.38 PM.png

I found this to be called "Battery Tray Apron Support". You've got a lot of welds and extra material, so I don't know if it's absolutely necessary. I looks like it's an additional support under the Apron to hold up a heavy battery with an additional bracket. The bottom of the bracket is attached to the frame rail where it's "sandwiched" in with other body & frame steel that's spot welded on the rail. The actual bracket is not spot welded above the rail to the inner fender. But there are bolts that attach the "Battery Tray Apron Support" to the removable battery tray that sits on top of the inner fender. So the two layers of steel being bolted together and the support transfered to the frame rail definitely
Thanks, Bob. I planned cutting all that mess out and installing the factory apron. Just didn’t know until seeing your post with that I needed that extra Battery Tray Apron Support. So far it seems not to be repopped. Zero on eBay, too.

Anyone here have one?
 
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Outstanding info. Just reached out to him. Gotta wonder if he's being over-run now. LOL. Hope not. Looks like I'm gonna practice welding too. At least I'll have scrap with what I'm not using on the apron purchased and from the surgery to remove the damaged area too.
 
I did this a while ago, story in my build thread:

https://7173mustangs.com/threads/sl...rfoose-current-subject-the-roof.32693/page-12

The biggest pain for me was actually the support strip running underneath the top of the panels coz it's spot welded on the battery panel but also the shock tower panel. It's not reproduced so you wanna be careful with it. I tried making one from scratch and failed. Luckily managed to reuse the old one in the end.
 

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