Treating and repairing the rust — Passenger side
From the last post, I had cut out all the rusted parts. Now it is time to treat the remaining metal, and then start patching in new metal.
I only cut out the rear most section on the out frame rail, as the remaining frame metal is solid. There is a lot of surface rust, which is not really surprising, since Ford did not really spend a lot of time on rust coatings . I wire brushed the frame rail to remove any loose rust, and ground down the spot welds. Then I brushed on Eastwoods Rust Converter following the direstions on the bottle. Essentially you remove any loose scale and wire brush the surface I then brushed on a coat of the Rust Converter and let dry. It goes on wihte and starts turning purple, but drys black and very hard. This was followed by a second coat. The galvanized metal on the outer rocker was in pretty good shape, so I used East Woods Internal Frame Coating with the 2 ft. nozzle. There are several holes that you can feed the nozzle in the rocker and spray the inside until you see the stuff running out. You can see the green color in area of metal I cut away.
Finally it’s time to test fit the floor pans and mark the final cut locations for the floor. The floor pan turned out to a fair amount of work to get it to fit. When I un-boxed the new floor pans, I discovered that they were about 1/8″ too wide to fit properly. After checking with the supplier, I found out that no one makes floor pans for convertibles. The floor pans are for a fastback or coupe. Neither of which has the inner frame rail, that I replaced. The supplier said they will fit with some trimming. Trimming the floor pan turned out to be easy. I clamped a length of angle iron, to use as a straight edge, to the floor pan, and used the plasma cutter to trim it down to size.
I next fit the floor in car, and marked all around the edge on the remains of the original floor. This gives me a clean cut line to mate up the two parts. Using a cutoff wheel and a hand held jig saw, i cut the metal and test fit until I had a good clan edge to weld the two together. (Welding will be done in a later post). I did the test fitting now, since I had a lot of room in the car to move the large panel around.
Next I had to cut the spot welds out of the replacement frame rail. There were a lot of spot welds on the frame rail, which is good considering its job. but it it is tedious cutting them out. “But why did you cut them out” you may ask. the main reason is that the replacement frame rails are not exactly the same as the original. If you look at the photo titled “Frame rail closeup” There is about 1/2″ of extra metal on the factory frame rail that extends above the inner frame rail. On the replacement parts that extra metal is not present. While not a big deal, I figured if my frame is in good enough shape, I would save as much as possible. And so I cut the replacement piece apart. (You will see this as a trend in my posts. I think the Doctors call it OCD <smile>)
With the new frame rail separated, I used a section of the material to construct a patch panel. This is another reason to make my own patch panel, the replacement parts don’t have the folded over edges of the original. When I constructed the patch panel, I also recreated the fold. This gave me a spot to tack weld the fender liner to the frame as in the original. Once the patch was made, I sprayed it with weldable primer, and clamped it in to place. I seam welded the but joint to the old frame material. Then I fill welded all the spot weld locations.
Finally it’s time to weld in the inner frame rail. The replacement frame rails are for Convertibles from 1969 up through 73. This means that the part is longer than I needed. Which turned out to be a good a thing, since I was able to trim them to size, and have some extra material to create the folds to allow the frame rail to be spot welded to the torque box. It took every welding clamp I had to hold the frame rail in place. It’s a very long piece. I measured it about 5 times to ensure it was in the right location. Once I was happy, you can see that I spot welded it in about every third hole. This was to prevent warping, and to help keep it from shifting about. I then went back and welded all the spots up. I also added from extra welds along the seams near the ends of the rail, just to be sure.