Progress Thread The "grátis" 1966 Coupe project

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Hello, everyone. I’ve mentioned this car a time or two before, but I finally managed to move it from my in-law’s place to mine. I figure that means that the project officially begins now.

To give you some background, I acquired this car from my father-in-law. He’s a bit of a hoarder. I didn’t find out until four years into my marriage that her dad had this ’66 coupe holed up in his dilapidated garage buried under junk and old tools. Naturally, I asked him what he’d take for it. He simply replied that I could have it; I just had to dig it out of the garage. Never one to turn down a free car, I got to work.

I had my work cut out for me.

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At the time, we lived in Germany. I didn’t really get a chance to start digging it out until we returned to the states in 2016. I then started to work on it as I time allowed whenever we visited. Over the course of several months I slowly dug it out. My father-in-law even let me keep some of the tools I found; this included a Snap-On air drill and air hammer, and a Chicago Pneumatic cutoff wheel. Nice stuff.

Things were looking better until I finally managed to get it out of the garage entirely.

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It wasn’t until last weekend that I was able to get a friend with a trailer to help me get the car up to Wichita Falls.

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So now the real project begins. The car has a lot of issues, but appears to be a solid foundation. The plan for this car is a mild restomod to include a modern suspension (IFS up front and torque arm or four-link out back as money allows) and a mild V8, 5-speed conversion. More 6-cylinder Mustang coupes with black standard vinyl interior were made in ’66 than any other variant (which also happens to be the year they made the most Mustangs), so I don’t really have any reservations about modifying this car to fit my taste. The only options this car appeared to have were an automatic transmission (replaced at some point with a 3-speed) and air conditioning (original Texas car). The only unique aspect of this car is the original color: Sauterne Gold Metallic. It’s nearly identical to the Lime Gold of 1967, but not nearly as popular. I like the look of the color, so the plan is to repaint it in this hue when the time (eventually) comes.

You can still see bits of original color here and there along with questionable paint and body work. Someone tried to paint it a rather ugly metallic blue at some point. My father-in-law is a skilled paint and body guy. I’m hoping none of what was done to this car was his work, because it’s atrocious.

In addition to the shoddy body and paint work on this car, there is what appears to be accident damage (the fenders are still at the in-laws; I’ll grab them at some point) on the front left and at the back. The floor pans are very rusty with large holes in most of the foot wells. The frame rails and other structural areas appear to be solid.

Anyway, without further ado, here is how she sits at the moment.

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The area around both cowl drains and where it is spot welded to the body are all very crusty. None of it appears to be rotted completely through, though. You can also see here the hogged out and slightly mangled radiator support.

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Floor pan carnage; the frame rail below appears rust free. I’m guessing that the floors are in the shape they’re in because it was likely stored outside at some point. The carpet was still installed when I started digging it out. The front passenger foot well is in the best shape other than a large dent that was caused from the bottom. The rear seat pan is very rusty with some pin holes here and there. It’s not nearly as bad as the foot wells.

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The trunk appears to be in decent shape with little rust. You can see here some rust in the trunk drain channel along with some very ugly welds on the tail light panels. Also of note is the mangled rear fuel tank mounting lip. I think this car was rear ended as well at some point. Perhaps it was involved in a pile up? The original bumper was still attached and had a very pronounced bend in it.

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Here you can see a rather large dent on the rear of the roof. I have exactly zero paint and body experience. I’m hoping my father-in-law can teach me a thing or two. I can’t afford to pay someone else to fix this car up, nor would I want to.
 
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Continued...

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There are some rusty areas in the seams in the dash and cowl areas. Does anyone know how to remove the steering shaft? I haven’t been able to figure that one out.

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The underside doesn’t look too bad other than the gaping holes in the floor pan. Most of the rust appears to only be on the surface. Here you can more easily see the dent in front passenger foot well.

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Here is a close-up of the front apron damage. I’m assuming I can just buy a new apron and spot weld it in place of the old one. The passenger side will need to be patched or replaced as well as it’s rusted through in a large area due to battery acid. There’s also a close-up of the radiator support.

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I’m not sure why they painted the engine bay white. None of the old work done to this car makes any sense.

And that’s where we’re at. This will likely be a slow project. I’ll work on the car as money and time allow. I still need to buy a lot of tools (DA sander, grinder, welder, etc.). I’d like to at least start cleaning it up better since I couldn’t really effectively work on it while it was at the in-law’s place.

I’m hoping this will be a father and son project with my five-year-old. He likes to “help” me work, but hopefully he’ll get more into it as he gets older. Maybe even the girls will join in. One can dream!
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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I'm thinking that the area at the end of the quarters where they meet the tail light mounts are prone to rust? It looks like it had rusted out back there and the "fix" had been to just weld it back together. I actually pulled a large chunk of bondo off of the passenger side last year when I was taking it apart.
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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So I need some advice from the experts before I start tearing into this car.

In regards to the sheet metal:
1. How much sheet metal, and which pieces, can I remove before I have to think about welding in something for rigidity?
Most of the floors appear solid. I'm looking at doing patches for both sides, lower firewall, possibly some cowl pieces, and the taillight panel and rear trunk brace.
2. What kind of materials am I going to need to strip the body and dress welds?
I'm still a novice at all this, so I'm needing some guidance on what kind of tools and materials I need for these tasks. I'll have air, so I'd prefer air tools. Flapper discs? Wire wheels?

In regards to paint/primer:
1. Would rattle can primer be fine until I build a filtration system for my air compressor?
This would mean that I could get started with spot weld removal and rust prevention before I get my compressor up and running and the filtration system built.

I'm hoping to start working on this car in the fall, no later than winter. I still have to buy a welder. :O_o:
 

RaggedGT

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I’m no @Davedacarpainter or @horse sence , but as a backyard body diy’er-I have some suggestions lol.
Multi grit flap discs-
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I would recommend an electric grinder over an air powered one (way more RPMs)
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A hand sandblasted for hard to reach areas and sheet metal -
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And a good set of Burr bits-
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horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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If you have a Harbor Freight near by ,get one of the small sand blasters ,if you have a 220 volt compressor ,5 -7 HORSE would work best . One of the 3 inch air angle disk grinders with 36 and 80 grit disks . Spot weld cutter with at least 1/ 4 inch cutter head ,a auto body saw would make things a little easier but do not get the air saw ,get the electric one ,the air saw they sell is crap . You can use spray can to seal untill you are ready to do a full primer ,any auto paint supplier will have automotive primers in spray can
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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The body should be on jack stands ,the more the better, and leveled before any cutting ,especially if you cut into the fire wall . Over laping panels is never a good idea ,moisture will get trapped in the overlap and rust ,butt welds is best . Make sure to seal any seams to prevent rust
 

Davedacarpainter

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Yikes John!

If you really are determined to do this, don't screw around trying to remove rust. It NEEDS to be sand/media blasted. Some of those areas could be rotten as hell, you won't really know until it's blasted.

Luckily for you parts are cheap and plentiful for a classic mustang.

Here's a floorpan you'll want. It's $400, cheaper than the one for my coupe!
https://www.cjponyparts.com/cj-classics-full-floor-pan-one-piece-coupe-fastback-1965-1968/p/3648C/?year=1968&gclid=CjwKCAjwkYDbBRB6EiwAR0T_-rFfkz65_n9oqrYjoiX02HBTmnbQAVCIdUiEpHthQDdzuY-2mquMLBoCWSgQAvD_BwE
The car is in Kansas? Maybe sometime you can swing by through Tulsa and I'll go up there with you and look it over.

It will be a huge job John, bigger than mine. Don't get hung up on deadlines if you want to really do this. Don't let your wife get hung up on deadlines either. Talk to her about it realistically.
 
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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If you have a Harbor Freight near by ,get one of the small sand blasters ,if you have a 220 volt compressor ,5 -7 HORSE would work best . One of the 3 inch air angle disk grinders with 36 and 80 grit disks . Spot weld cutter with at least 1/ 4 inch cutter head ,a auto body saw would make things a little easier but do not get the air saw ,get the electric one ,the air saw they sell is crap . You can use spray can to seal untill you are ready to do a full primer ,any auto paint supplier will have automotive primers in spray can
I recently acquired this Industrial Air air compressor. I still need to run the wire to power it, but it's in the cards soon. It's only rated at 3.7 hp, though. :cautious:
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I do have a HF nearby, so I'll be making a list. I don't think I have an automotive paint supplier in town; I'll check.

The body should be on jack stands ,the more the better, and leveled before any cutting ,especially if you cut into the fire wall . Over laping panels is never a good idea ,moisture will get trapped in the overlap and rust ,butt welds is best . Make sure to seal any seams to prevent rust
Oddly enough, I did have someone suggest overlapping panels because it would make it "more rigid". It didn't really make sense to me to leave bad sheet metal in there, so I'm glad I was on the right track. I need to invest in more levels. This car sits outside, so wind may be an issue with keeping it level. This part of Texas is windy most of the time.

Yikes John!

If you really are determined to do this, don't screw around trying to remove rust. It NEEDS to be sand/media blasted. Some of those areas could be rotten as hell, you won't really know until it's blasted.

Luckily for you parts are cheap and plentiful for a classic mustang.

Here's a floorpan you'll want. It's $400, cheaper than the one for my coupe!
https://www.cjponyparts.com/cj-classics-full-floor-pan-one-piece-coupe-fastback-1965-1968/p/3648C/?year=1968&gclid=CjwKCAjwkYDbBRB6EiwAR0T_-rFfkz65_n9oqrYjoiX02HBTmnbQAVCIdUiEpHthQDdzuY-2mquMLBoCWSgQAvD_BwE
The car is in Kansas? Maybe sometime you can swing by through Tulsa and I'll go up there with you and look it over.

It will be a huge job John, bigger than mine. Don't get hung up on deadlines if you want to really do this. Don't let your wife get hung up on deadlines either. Talk to her about it realistically.
I gave up on having it professionally blasted because the average ballpark price I was quoted when I called around was $2,000-$2,500. I simply don't have that kind of money laying around. For that same reason, I can't pay someone else to do this work for me. And to be honest, I wouldn't want to even if I did have the money. I might as well just truck it out to Cali and have horse sence make a fastback out of it. No offense to horse sence, but how could I push the easy button with all these amazing DIY builds being documented around here?

Do y'all think my air compressor is up to the task of running a blaster? I'm fine with taking breaks if it can't run it continuously. I'm not running a shop here, so it's not like I need something with industrial capacity.

Dave, the car is in Texas. I think people in Wichita Falls are used to being mistaken for Kansas dwellers, though. I'm about fifteen miles inside the state line south of Lawton. Tulsa is about four hours away from me.

The wife is aware that this will be a slow project. My only concern is being moved somewhere where I won't be able to work on the car. I have at least another year and a half here before the possibility of moving again rears its head.
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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It may handle one of the smaller pressure pot blasters from harbor freight ,if you do very small areas at a time ,3.7 horse may not keep up with sand blasters or most air tools. I had to kick my compresspr up to 7 horse with an 80 gallon tank at my home shop ,that handles just about anything i need .
Once you get it level it will stay that way ,the reason you want it level is because if it is sitting a little twisted ,when you replace a panel it may keep it twisted.
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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Every panel is available for these cars now ,i would pick one of the easiest ,like say the radiator support if it is bad or one of the inner fender aprons just to get the feel of panel replacement .
The first panel i ever replaced was a full quarter on a 69 Mach 1 ,scared the crap out of me to cut that panel off but once i saw how it was assembled it was no problem ,at least you will have people to help you along haha ,for me it was cut and hope i did it right . I think you will enjoy doing the work your self ...especially when someone asks ,who did your panel replacement ,i need some panels replaced .
 
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Davedacarpainter

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When I bring up sand blasting I really don't mean a complete blasting of the car all at once. ($2k+!)

In a situation like yours I'm thinking panel replacement at a time sandblasting. You don't really have the capability in a garage repair situation (neither do I, so no offense intended).

Sandblasters use an enormous amount air, though your compressor would probably be good for tackling one repair area at a time. Sandblasters hate moisture, btw. You'll need some way to remove as much moisture from the compressed air as possible.

With your possible deadline of a year and a half till the car will need to go back in storage I would just focus on one panel at a time and completing it until at least the primered stage.

I wasn't trying to talk you out of it John, I just wanted to help you get your mind set for what lies ahead. It'll be really satisfying for you, it just takes time.

Wichita FALLS! I don't know why I didn't pay attention to the Falls part before. I know where it is. Maybe I can swing buy for a visit in a month or two once I'm settled into the new job, I'd love to see the car.
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Every panel is available for these cars now ,i would pick one of the easiest ,like say the radiator support if it is bad or one of the inner fender aprons just to get the feel of panel replacement .
The first panel i ever replaced was a full quarter on a 69 Mach 1 ,scared the crap out of me to cut that panel off but once i saw how it was assembled it was no problem ,at least you will have people to help you along haha ,for me it was cut and hope i did it right . I think you will enjoy doing the work your self ...especially when someone asks ,who did your panel replacement ,i need some panels replaced .
Luckily, it needs both a new radiator and both front aprons. First order of business will be to get it on stands and level. Thanks for the advice!

When I bring up sand blasting I really don't mean a complete blasting of the car all at once. ($2k+!)

In a situation like yours I'm thinking panel replacement at a time sandblasting. You don't really have the capability in a garage repair situation (neither do I, so no offense intended).

Sandblasters use an enormous amount air, though your compressor would probably be good for tackling one repair area at a time. Sandblasters hate moisture, btw. You'll need some way to remove as much moisture from the compressed air as possible.

With your possible deadline of a year and a half till the car will need to go back in storage I would just focus on one panel at a time and completing it until at least the primered stage.

I wasn't trying to talk you out of it John, I just wanted to help you get your mind set for what lies ahead. It'll be really satisfying for you, it just takes time.

Wichita FALLS! I don't know why I didn't pay attention to the Falls part before. I know where it is. Maybe I can swing buy for a visit in a month or two once I'm settled into the new job, I'd love to see the car.
No offense taken. This will be a grand learning experience. I hope for my son to help me as he gets older.

Would a gun with a small hopper like the one above be a good bet? I honestly don't know what to get.

You're welcome down here if you find yourself in the area! :D
 

Davedacarpainter

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Luckily, it needs both a new radiator and both front aprons. First order of business will be to get it on stands and level. Thanks for the advice!


No offense taken. This will be a grand learning experience. I hope for my son to help me as he gets older.

Would a gun with a small hopper like the one above be a good bet? I honestly don't know what to get.

You're welcome down here if you find yourself in the area! :D
For what you’re intending to do, it’ll be fine.

Be sure to have a good face mask with replaceable screens on it. Sandblasting is merciless to any exposed skin.
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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Those gun blasters are more for small rust spots ,the smaller pressure pot blaster would probably work with your compressor for light blasting and they do not cost much ,these have a dead man nozle so you dont empty out your air reserve
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hoopty5.0

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OOOH! I'll be following this. I have always wanted to do a classic, but can't kick my fox fetish.
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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Dpnt skimp on any of the parts ,cheaper parts ar not worth the trouble ,many dont have holes drilled ,the gauge is to thin and they just dont fit. I use only Dynacorn sheetmetal or ford original when i can find it . The gauge sheet metal is a bit thicker and the fit is usuall right on making for a lot less fitting troubles and it welds a lot easier with out burning through
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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Take measurements before you cut anything away to makesure everything goes back where it is supposed to be ,a few pics before removing is also a good idea