Installing the Driver side Front Torque Box, and Floor pan brace

Using Clecos to hold in place

The driver’s side turned out to be a bigger job than the passenger side.  At least for the passenger side I had the frame rail and floor pan brace as a guide to fit the torque box.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Lets start with the floor brace…

The floor braces don’t come with holes for the e-brake cables, so I measured the location on the original parts, and lucky for me Ford made them 1″ high by just over 2″ long ovals.  I marked the end locations of the holes, then measured in 1/2″ to find the centers for the radius .  Then using a 1″ hole saw, I drilled out the two holes.  then using a jig saw I cut out the remaining material to create the e-brake pass through.  This was done on both sides.  I also had to transfer the e-brake bracket from the original floor brace to the new one.  Good thing the brackets didn’t rust out, or were missing.  You can see the completed assembly in primer.

The next step is to drill the spot weld holes.  Ford has a lot of spot welds on this part 32 in all.  To get the floor brace in the right position, I mocked up the lower seat pan, and check the location compared to the passenger side.  Once I was happy with the location I drilled holes for clecos to hold the brace in place until I was ready to weld it.  The other nice part of the clecos is that when I remove the brace to check another part, I can quickly get it back in alignment by matching the holes drilled and putting the cleco pins back in.  Once I was happy with the position I welded it in place. When I checked it the floor brace was about 1/4″ lower then the passenger side.  Arrgh… Since the brace is in the right position, and everything lines up, except that it is a little low.  I decided to place a jack under it and raise it up some before welding int he torque box.

The Torque box, just like the passenger side came in one piece, so I drilled out the spot welds to separate the two halves.  I also noticed that the e-brake tunnel is not in the new part.  Lucky I did not throw out the old torque box, and that the e-brake tunnel had turned to rusty dust. I removed the tunnel from the old one, cleaned it up with a wire wheel, and coated it with rust converter, then sprayed it with primer.  You can also see I had to cut the holes in the torque box to allow the e-brake cable to pass through.  Once everything lined up.  I tack welded the tunnel in place.  now the torque box can be installed.

I needed to mark where the torque box attaches to the inner frame rail (Remember those tabs I recreated.) So that I could drill the spot weld holes.  The easy way to do this is using lipstick.  Yea I know my color is passion pink <Smile> but seriously it’s greasy and easy to see when you press the two parts together.  Once I had the transferred lipstick mark on the torque box, I could mark and drill my spot weld holes.  I drilled all the other spot weld holes at this time, using the Ford welding and sealant assembly manual as a guide.

Before welding in the torque box, I clamped the lower seat pan to the floor brace, and tried to jack it back in place.  I have it closer, still a little low, but you cannot see it, unless you know what your looking at.  Essentially the drivers seat will be a bit less than 1/4″ lower than the passenger seat.

At this point I welded the torque box in place.  You can see in the last photos, everything turned out good.  Next time I cover welding in the the drivers side floor pan, and the tin man sub frame brace.