Progress Thread The "grátis" 1966 Coupe project

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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Picked up a complete rear out of a '95 GT at a local yard for $150. Some North Racecars brackets and fox length axles will go in this. It was out of an AODE car, so it's a 3.27 locker. It actually fit in the Mercury's trunk, too.
I started taking it apart to find that the lower control arm bolts appear to be seized inside the bushings. Need to get some hammer bits for my air hammer.
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Feb 3, 2009
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Edit: nevermind. I double checked and I do have a '94-'98 axle. I compared the axles out of this one with my old ones out of my '95 and a set of '99+ axles I have. They're the shorter length. And a 3.27:1 ratio was optional in 1994-1995. All good!
 
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
10 Year Member
Feb 3, 2009
1,699
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Wichita Falls, TX
As per the edit above, I double checked the axles out of the junkyard 8.8 with a set of '94-'98 axles I have laying around, and the lengths are the same. This rear should work just fine for me! AJE makes a rear 4-link kit that includes a bolt/weld-in subframe that is designed to work with this 8.8" rear. Some fox length axles and adapter brackets to run the SN-95 brakes and the rear will be sorted.

Today, I started with some removal of the mangled front end sheet metal. I'm going to need more spot weld cutters.
Some questions: should I be using cutting oil with the spot weld cutters? Should I drill a small pilot hole before cutting? The bit was walking all over the place. I want to make sure I cut straight and true where metal I'm cutting out is attached good metal that is staying. Plan is to remove mangled sheet metal such as the radiator support, front aprons, and tail light panel, and then have it dustless blasted.

Pictures. I only got as far as cutting the spot welds with the driver's side apron.
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In other news, I took a wire wheel to one side of the cowl and found that the area underneath all the rust is solid if heavily pitted from the rust.
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horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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If you are going to remove the front apron and the radiator support i wouldnt bother cutting them apart ,just take them out in one piece ,saves a little spot drilling .
Use a center punch in the middle of the spot weld ,the pin in the cutter will ride in the punch mark ,the deeper the punch mark the better. I dont use anything with the cutter because it gets in the joints of the metal and will cause problems when you try to primer and paint . Use a medium speed when cutting the spot welds to keep the heat down
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
10 Year Member
Feb 3, 2009
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Wichita Falls, TX
If you are going to remove the front apron and the radiator support i wouldnt bother cutting them apart ,just take them out in one piece ,saves a little spot drilling .
Use a center punch in the middle of the spot weld ,the pin in the cutter will ride in the punch mark ,the deeper the punch mark the better. I dont use anything with the cutter because it gets in the joints of the metal and will cause problems when you try to primer and paint . Use a medium speed when cutting the spot welds to keep the heat down
Can't believe I didn't think to just remove it all and save some cutting. I tried the center punch but must not have made enough of an indent to help. Thanks.
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Finished removing the front aprons and the radiator support today. Spot weld cutting went much more smoothly this time around after taking my time on the center punches. The passenger side actually wasn't spot welded. It was welded with about five or six seam welds (the brass colored stuff is what remains). Is this normal? I'm thinking this was part of a long ago accident repair. Now that I think of it, the passenger side fender was secured to this part of the apron with nuts and bolts rather than the extruded nuts that were used everywhere else. There are a bunch of spacers between the passenger upper control arm and the shock tower. There are some on the driver's side, too, but not nearly as many as on the passenger side.
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The inside edge of the radiator cross member is also pretty mangled. The strut rod brackets also have some ugly looking welds on them that I can't help but think shouldn't be there.
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How many spot welds secure this cross member to the frame rails? It was getting dark, so I just cut the radiator support from the cross member once I got the aprons removed.
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The passenger side of the cowl also looks crustier than the driver's side. I forgot to take a picture, but there is also a weld bead on the cowl where the driver's side meets the windshield frame. Were there any such welds in these cars when they were first put together?
 
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horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
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That is called brazing ,it was a repair someone did probably long ago ,you will find a few spots here and there ,like the tail panel ,at the bottoms of the window pillars ,and door post to rockers . This must be removed to mig weld .
The bottom of the radiator support is spot welded and welded ,the spot welds are larger than any where else and are a big pain in the butt to cut .
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
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When you get your radiator support ,get the one with the lower bracket already welded in place,its a big time saver,but only if you are replacing the front cross member also ,otherwise just get the radiator support by its self
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
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The bends in the front radious bracket can easily be bent back into shape with a fair size cressent wrench ,just adjust the wrench tight and leaver them out
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
10 Year Member
Feb 3, 2009
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Wichita Falls, TX
That is called brazing ,it was a repair someone did probably long ago ,you will find a few spots here and there ,like the tail panel ,at the bottoms of the window pillars ,and door post to rockers . This must be removed to mig weld .
The bottom of the radiator support is spot welded and welded ,the spot welds are larger than any where else and are a big pain in the butt to cut .
The stuff where the cowl meets the window frame is the same color. Either it was also repaired long ago or it was like that from the factory as well.

When you get your radiator support ,get the one with the lower bracket already welded in place,its a big time saver,but only if you are replacing the front cross member also ,otherwise just get the radiator support by its self
I'm considering just leaving the cross member in place especially since you mention the difficulty in removing it. It would at least save me the trouble of squaring up the new one. I just need to remove the remainder of the support from the cross member.

I did cut a little too deep on most of the spot welds. I'll have to cut more slowly next time and keep checking to make sure I'm not cutting any deeper than I need to. I have a lot of little circles that will need to be filled. I'm just going to keep removing stuff and have it blasted once it's all out. Maybe next I can start working on removing the floor pan. I figure it would be best to remove the whole thing and get a single piece replacement?
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
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There is factory brazing on the bodies ,windshield post to cowl ,back window panel to quarters ,front and rear door posts to rockers and the quarter to the rear door jamb ,this is normal ,anything in a large area is done as a repair
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Wichita Falls, TX
Quick question for @horse sence and @Davedacarpainter, besides getting the car completely level, how does one go about installing new aprons and other sheet metal while ensuring everything is still square for the eventual installation of the fenders, quarters, etc.? I'm assuming it just goes back to measuring everything out?
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
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Measurements ,and the good aprons will have the shock cover holes ,run bolts through and tighten and they should be in place the radiator support is easy ,it slips in place between the rails and clamp to the bottom of the rafiator support ,any measurements you may need ,i have a coupe to measure from
 
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
10 Year Member
Feb 3, 2009
1,699
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164
Wichita Falls, TX
Sheet metal removal continued today with the tail panel.
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There is a lot of brazing back here! Not sure what is original and what is accident repairs. I found out that the weld beads on the pieces to which the extensions attach is also brazing.
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I went ahead and cut through where the panel meets the trunk channel since all that will need to get replaced anyway.
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There was an extra strip of metal between the rear trunk support and the tail panel. Is this normal, or evidence of a tail panel replacement in the past? There was also an extra piece of metal between the tail panel and the bumper brackets.
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Some damage to the driver's trunk floor around the bumper bracket.
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No evidence of similar damage on the passenger side.
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Does anyone have some pictures of how these pieces go together with the quarter panel and rear trunk support? I'm wanting to cut these out along with all the brazing and hopefully avoid doing any cutting that would require replacement of the quarter panels.
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I say I want to save the quarter panels because they look pretty solid in spite of all the scaly rust on the surface. I took the angle grinder with a sanding disc to an area on the inside and outside of the driver's quarter. Metal looks solid underneath the old primer and rust.
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Also, what are my options on repairing the rusted out areas of the trunk channel? I know there are new extension pieces that can be bought, but I don't think they're long enough to take care of this rusted area. Again, I want to avoid doing a quarter replacement if I can.
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All considered, there is a lot of minor damage to sheet metal in the trunk area. Wondering if I shouldn't just replace the trunk floors. Especially the driver's side with the damage by the bumper bracket.
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
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Looks like someone may have patched some holes in the tailpanel at one time . I dont think that the pieces under the end caps can be bought seperat from the quarters . I will be pulling the quarters off mine soon and i can save them if you need them ,if you have to do the quarters new ones come with the new quarters.
Is the trunk floor bad enough to need replacing or can you just patch the rusted area?