1965 Mustang convertible complete rocker assembly replacement - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up 1965 Mustang convertible complete rocker assembly replacement

Hello everyone,


I am new to the forums, and I have yet to find any instructions or guidance on replacing a complete rocker panel assembly on a 65 convertible. This isn't my first convertible restoration, but this is by far the worst as far as rust and damage. When I picked this car up, it was missing the passenger side torque box (rotted away), the floors on the passenger side were pretty much gone, and someone at some point attempted to patch over the rust. The front frame rail and inner frame rail that attaches to the seat reinforcement need to be replaced as well.


So here I am, with this gaping hole and no good metal to weld to at this point. I have all the parts, and was wondering if someone had replaced a complete rocker assembly. It looks like it will drop strait down after the rear torque box welds are cut and some welds at the front door pillar. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance.


And no, I am not scrapping the car. I am happy to put in the extra work between deployments to see something come back together.


Juts
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 02:50 AM
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Re: 1965 Mustang convertible complete rocker assembly replacement

Be sure to level the body front and rear the best that you so that the major parts will not move when the rocker is removed. Make sure that the doors have the correct gaps before cutting out anything. They are your best referenced to go by. If not, make a door brace that ties the front and rear of the body in the exact location that you have established the door openings should be. Take measurements and definitely several photos of the area so you can refer back to it when needed. Check the door gaps often to ensure they remain consistent and do only 1 side of the car at a time.

When I replaced the driver's side inner rocker years ago I cut the old rocker out in pieces (probably with an air chisel.) A plasma cutter would be my desired weapon of choice now.

Remove the seat riser by removing the seam sealer and drilling the spot welds with a spot weld cutter as that will allow you to work on the floor underneath too. Harbor freight spot weld cutters work well for me, but grab 2-3 to begin with I do not remember having any issues at the rear torque box. Probably just bent the metal back enough to shove the rocker in before re-welding. Predrill welding holes in the rockers before you start welding it in.

I cleaned up the area and then removed the rotted front torque box/part of the floor and feed the rocker through that hole. If your floor is as gone as you say, you're almost there anyways.

It really wasn't a difficult project on my otherwise solid car but it was a little time consuming and I used a lot of mig wire in the process. Then concentrate on the floors and the torque box. The results turned out great for me.

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip:



Dart 434W NA, G101A 4 Spd, 4:33 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. 9.91@135.56
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1965 Mustang convertible complete rocker assembly replacement

Dennis,


Your advice on spot weld drill bits was on the money. I will never go back to using regular drill bits to take out welds again. I can see why no one has posted video's of replacing an entire rocker assembly. What a pain. With 6 jack stands, 2 floor jacks, 3 levels later I replaced the passenger side assembly. I made sure everything was level and checked all of my dimensions prior to cutting out the old rocker. When I finally cut the welds at the base of the hinge pillar, my door gap sprung about 2"! I had to use a ratchet strap to pull it back to where I started.


After bending the rear torque box out of the way, I loaded the rocker assembly from the bottom up. Rechecked my dimensions and welded it into place. Once that was done, I replaced the torque box, inner frame rail and the entire passenger engine compartment rail. As soon as I can figure out how to post pics I will do so. Thanks again for advice.


Juts
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:32 PM
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Re: 1965 Mustang convertible complete rocker assembly replacement

Your hard work probably saved you a few of thousand $$'s and now you have a fairly sound convertible. Glad that it worked out for you Juts. Keep us posted.

For pics, upload your photos to a free storage area, like Photobucket. Then you can click the link and paste on most forums (like this one.) I have literally 1000's of photos there under 2 different accounts.

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip:



Dart 434W NA, G101A 4 Spd, 4:33 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. 9.91@135.56
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