Don’t know where else to vent

ThinBlue502

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May 7, 2019
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Hey all. I had my Mustang at the mechanic last week for a noise from the rear. This mechanic has always been honest with me and done really good work at reasonable prices. He’s a Ford guy, and in previous times he has worked on this car, he has shown it great respect. However, this last visit he told me he thought the axle needed an entire rebuild and the price he quoted was way beyond the estimate I had in my head. This was after taking 5 days longer than he said he would. Unusual, but whatever. I quickly decided I could buy a built axle and install it myself for much, much less. I tell him I’ll have to think on it and I’ll take the car home for now.
This car still has original paint minus the hood and deck lid and is in absolutely minty condition. No rust, dings, dents, scratches, you get the picture. However, I quickly noticed when I get out of the car in my garage that the door sill at the floor doesn’t look right. I can see the difference in paint color that it has moved about 1/16” back. I open the passenger door and gasp. The floor sill is about a 1/2” back and pulled away where the 2 seams meet. I go grab my creeper and on my way back I can see my trunk lid has two spots about 1” in length where I can see bare metal from the trunk rubbing against the body when I got my pack out of the trunk and closed it. Looking closer, the whole trunk lid is closing about 1/8” lower than it should. I look underneath the car and I literally shed a single tear.
My previously straight torque boxes are CRUSHED. This car is so minty the pinch welds have never been bent. Until now. Clearly the car was put on a post style lift improperly. I could have lived with that alone, but all of it together nearly pushes me to the edge of insanity. I purchased this car from my best friend’s family after he took his own life. Combat induced PTSD was too much for him to bear. We went to school together, we both enlisted in separate branches of the military around the same time, and we both got out on forced medical around the same time. Working on this car together was therapy for us in a lot of ways. A swimming pool of beer was drank between us with the car as the only witness. We spilled blood together on this car. A perfect, rare survivor and an embodiment of the only man I’ve ever loved that wasn’t blood to me. The mechanic wanted me to bring it back tomorrow, but I have other obligations so I’m supposed to take it back Friday. I really don’t even know what to do. My heart is breaking so I feel like I can’t think clearly right now. I couldn’t get clear pictures of the torque boxes. Other pics included. My daughter cried, I almost lost it in front of her.

How bad is this? Can lifting the car from the torque boxes as a lift point cause that much damage or did something else happen? All thoughts welcome, please. Rant over. Beer incoming. My precious....no.....God no.... 782FF10C-E185-4838-AAF9-96102A519D1E.jpeg 2BBE07E2-4E2A-4CF5-BA4C-33B8226AF6C0.jpeg
A99AF16B-3750-491A-A99B-6A687FB44430.jpeg
 
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Rdub6

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God damn man! So sorry about your friend! Cars create connections, and I can see how this one is important to everyone in the family.

The fact that he wants it back to see it, says that maybe he is going to do what’s needed to make it right. Does he have a camera in the shop? I’m sure he’d be interested in seeing which employee did it, if it wasn’t himself.

If the rational, calm approach doesn’t work, feed your K9 his balls for lunch!
 
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Wayne Waldrep

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I know ya feel bad right now but you've been thru many things. I don't see anything that isn't fixable. Can't remember if your car has subframe connectors or not but I'm gonna guess no. I don't relay think a lift would do that. I've had mine on one so many times i can't even count it. Do a thorough inspection before you worry anymore. I remember when i first saw why my drivers seat was sagging. Crack going all the way from rocker to tunnel. I thought the same as you probably. It ended up being a very easy fix. And in that same fix came MM full length subs. They should be on every fox before even a k&n filter.
Anyway, hang in there bud!
 
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ThinBlue502

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it smells nice from what I read.
Crunchberry mint, actually. Shablagoo!

Is this a convertible?

No sir.

Does he have a drive on lift?
See what he says when you take it back, keep us informed

Yes, he acknowledged that a drive on lift was always used prior to this instance. This time a post lift was used so the car could be inspected while the driveline was engaged.

I know ya feel bad right now but you've been thru many things. I don't see anything that isn't fixable. Can't remember if your car has subframe connectors or not but I'm gonna guess no. I don't relay think a lift would do that. I've had mine on one so many times i can't even count it. Do a thorough inspection before you worry anymore. I remember when i first saw why my drivers seat was sagging. Crack going all the way from rocker to tunnel. I thought the same as you probably. It ended up being a very easy fix. And in that same fix came MM full length subs. They should be on every fox before even a k&n filter.
Anyway, hang in there bud!

Thank you for the kind words. The car has had welded in subframe connectors for about 15 years.

God damn man! So sorry about your friend! Cars create connections, and I can see how this one is important to everyone in the family.

The fact that he wants it back to see it, says that maybe he is going to do what’s needed to make it right. Does he have a camera in the shop? I’m sure he’d be interested in seeing which employee did it, if it wasn’t himself.

If the rational, calm approach doesn’t work, feed your K9 his balls for lunch!

I miss Capt. Ron everyday. I would trade in all the buzzes and the car for just one more conversation. I doubt there are cameras on the interior of the shop, I could be wrong. I don’t play the LEO card, even more so in today’s culture. It never felt right, even before the “defund the police” days. He knows what I do for a living, but that shouldn’t matter. Ruby would be more than happy to oblige, given the command. God bless that fine dog.

I'd be venting my foot in his ass if it were me....
Very accurate initial reaction. However, beer helps.

I actually calmed down a bit after a few beers and some time alone staring at the car thinking about :poo:. I would do just about anything to fix this car, no matter what happened. I hate that I’m attached to a material object, but here I am. That being said, I’ll just have to get it fixed, the easy way or the hard way. When I spoke to the mechanic on the phone he sounded genuinely concerned, not defensive. I believe he’ll do the right thing. If he doesn’t, I’ll contact my insurance, I guess. If they won’t fix it, it’ll be a long hard road to get it back where it was, but I have time and it’s not going anywhere.

So again, no way the body panels would be misaligned just from lifting at the torque boxes? May I get a group confi
 

CarMichael Angelo

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Nope, the panels wouldn’t come apart like that from a lift.
That’s what i’m thinking too. those cars come with a screw jack from the factory. if putting a screw jack on the pinch weld, then lifting the car from one corner while the other three tires remain on the ground doesn’t hurt the body seams, no way in hell will a 4 point lift do anything but lift the car up.

Is it possible that you just never noticed these joints? Is the floor showing signs of abuse from torque box failure?
 
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BlakeusMaximus

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What part of the car is that in the 2nd picture?
 
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ThinBlue502

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Nope, the panels wouldn’t come apart like that from a lift.
Thank you

That’s what i’m thinking too. those cars come with a screw jack from the factory. if putting a screw jack on the pinch weld, then lifting the car from one corner while the other three tires remain on the ground doesn’t hurt the body seams, no way in hell will a 4 point lift do anything but lift the car up.

Is it possible that you just never noticed these joints? Is the floor showing signs of abuse from torque box failure?

No chance what so ever that it went by without me noticing. This car has placed in car shows a number of times. I’m also OCD, really bad actually. Also, I have torque box reinforcements that are both bolted and welded.

I'm with dave and mike on this more so learning about the sfcs.
I'm thinking some kind of fatigue someplace

I have welded in SFC and torque box reinforcements. The floor pan was not cracked when I installed dynamat a few months back.

What part of the car is that in the 2nd picture?
The spot where the trunk lid is rubbing against the back fender now. The bare metal is fresh, and this is the OG 27 year old paint.
 

Mustang5L5

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I don't think fatigue would cause this. I'm assuming this is cowl panel to fender misalighment? The cowl panel is spot welded to the firewall, so for it to shift back like that suggests the firewall moved. I would think in order to do that, the car would have been lifted from the front ahead of the firewall.

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At the same time, I don't think a car with subframes would do that as well under normal situations. I would take this car to a body shop and have them look it over. Did they lift the car from the front engine frame rails, or has it been strapped down to a trailer tightly lately? Do you see any sort of stress on the front windshield frame, or on the rear quarters near the top of the hatch windows?
 
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kiddiccarus

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I have both types of lifts here in my shop. The lift itself should not do this type of damage when placed in the proper locations to raise the vehicle. I have put them up with the 4 pads on the pinch rail so I can engage the drive-line also. Should not damage the car at all doing it.

Now, I have seen that surface paint hides what lies beneath. My personal RAM has this issue and I am sure I am going to be doing body work to cure the cancer. My son and I have a project Mustang that the undercarriage is deteriorating ALL OVER and the pinch rails simply folded over when we raised it on the lift here at my shop. I agree with some of the other guys, could be age related.
 

95BlueStallion

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While I agree that this shouldn’t be caused by a lift, it certainly can if the lift was not properly placed under the car and the shop didn’t catch it until they heard the metal buckle when the tires came off the ground. I would check the floor boards for evidence of the lift being placed incorrectly. Maybe a new guy put the car on the lift for the actual mechanic and made a boo boo, for example.
 
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BlakeusMaximus

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While I agree that this shouldn’t be caused by a lift, it certainly can if the lift was not properly placed under the car and the shop didn’t catch it under they heard the metal buckle when the tires came off the ground. I would check the floor boards for evidence of the lift being placed incorrectly. Maybe a new guy put the car on the lift for the actual mechanic and made a boo boo, for example.
That's what I'm leaning towards. One of those, "OH :poo:! THATS NOT WHERE THATS SUPPOSED TO GO!!"
 
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ThinBlue502

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I have both types of lifts here in my shop. The lift itself should not do this type of damage when placed in the proper locations to raise the vehicle. I have put them up with the 4 pads on the pinch rail so I can engage the drive-line also. Should not damage the car at all doing it.

Now, I have seen that surface paint hides what lies beneath. My personal RAM has this issue and I am sure I am going to be doing body work to cure the cancer. My son and I have a project Mustang that the undercarriage is deteriorating ALL OVER and the pinch rails simply folded over when we raised it on the lift here at my shop. I agree with some of the other guys, could be age related.
The front pads were clearly placed on the pinch rails. It’s way to see because it’s the first time the pinch rails have been bent. EVER.
The rear pads were clearly placed underneath the torque boxes because they were unmarred completely before this. Now each torque box has the shape of a lift pad smashed into each one. No other damage to the torque boxes at all, other than the lift pad shaped stamp into each one.

I know people say this a lotbut there is no rust on this car. Anywhere. Corrosion is not a factor in this equation. And even if it was, all of this just coincidentally happens on the same day? That’s a hard sell.

Just from the things I can see, I swear it looks like it was slammed to the ground from a good height while on the lift. I know the likelihood of that happening is slim, but that’s what it looks like.

I’m trying to get permission from my SGT. to cut out an hour early to make it over to the shop before they leave today. I’ll update afterward and get pictures of the torque boxes if I can get out there.

Thanks to all for your input.
 

ThinBlue502

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While I agree that this shouldn’t be caused by a lift, it certainly can if the lift was not properly placed under the car and the shop didn’t catch it under they heard the metal buckle when the tires came off the ground. I would check the floor boards for evidence of the lift being placed incorrectly. Maybe a new guy put the car on the lift for the actual mechanic and made a boo boo, for example.

I know they have been very busy as of late. The gentleman who works on my car is the shop owner, an older guy who knows his Fords, even older stuff. I’m wondering if someone was “helping” and made a mistake.

To put that together with your theory, perhaps said helper situated lift, created damage, relocated lift points, and then got it in the air, all before my guy even came over to the car to work on it. He sounded genuinely surprised if not shocked, and concerned on the phone. He was not defensive or combative in the slightest. He readily acknowledged the exceptional condition of the car on the phone and passed on the info that it had indeed been on their post lift for the first time on this visit

FWIW, the front end of the car is still all lined up. No fitment issues or ill fitting body panels. It all seems to start at the torque boxes and go back from there.

I’m holding faith that they will make it right. It may also be in my benefit that the shop currently has a maintenance contract bid in with a nearby large law enforcement agency. Not my agency, but one I work with very regularly. I’m sure he would hate to lose face with that group of people and this type of thing would make the rounds pretty quick. The car is somewhat well known amongst many of my coworkers and I would be more than happy to spread the story, if they want to screw me over.
 
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