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Discussion Starter · #321 ·
Bucket Seat Floor Braces Continued

47618




Weld through primer used.


47619



Just a recap, the '66 gal 500 XL and 7 Litre models use a full length rear brace and a reinforced front brace.

I've knelt on the rear bench seat brace where the bucket seat would normally attach and the floor does move a bit, you really need that full brace to properly support the bucket seat.


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There's the difference in the front brace.


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I used POR 15 on the floor to rocker seam, then once that dried I used urethane seam sealer to further seal it.


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You can see it's just bare steel and this needs to be stripped and primed.


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Getting there, it's still a snowy mess outside so sandblasting outside is out of the question so I'll have to do this the old fashioned way.


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Done.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #322 ·
Bucket Seat Floor Braces Continued

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The end braces were easier as they fit in my regular sand blasting cabinet.


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To locate the rear brace I used the bench seat holes which are 1/2" dia holes and 1/2" bolts are snug. They are tightened underneath.


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Using a floor jack with a with piece of wood propping the pan up under each plug weld I knelt on the brace from atop forcing the two metals tightly together for the weld. It took a while to move the jack and wood for each plug weld then climb back in. Once that brace was done the front one was removed and the process repeated.



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That was a lot of bloody plug welding. This time my better half helped me as the one under the car moving the jack and wood prop whilst I was atop welding. Much faster with two people.



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The complete bench seat bracing.



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I still have to dress some of the welds on the tops of the end brackets but the pain in the butt part is done. :)

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #325 ·
Cowl and Firewall

The next bit of attention this body shell needs is firewall and cowl work. 3rd gens are notorious for leaking inside the cabin either via cowl or from the old butyl around the windscreen and back window (some 3rd gens use 'H' gasket for the rear glass).

Also this body shell is a heat only car and it needs to be converted to factory air con so quite a bit of firewall needs to be changed.


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Not less forgetting this was tagged at some point in the past, so the side cowls are going to come off for easy access to the cowl area that leaks and then some of the firewall needs to be replaced for integral (factory) A/C.


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Just to recap this is a heater only body shell.


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This side cowl will also be removed for easier access to the seam in the cowl.


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You can see the seam through the what I imagine is some kind of inspection access.


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This is the overlay of the A/C firewall that needs to be installed. It's quite a difference.


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This is the kind of damage you can expect from a leaking cowl (again very common). The worst part is, usually it's a small leak and not even noticeable. What happens then is the moisture works its way behind the factory seam sealer (rubber and asbestos) and corrodes the steel away. This one is caught in time, also being a Southwest car saved its butt :)


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The ironic part of this leak is it ran underneath the seam sealer and into another hole and out the car. See what I mean about not even knowing there is a leak and wreaking damage on the sheet metal shell.


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The other side had a smaller problem.


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Once the side cowl is removed we can better see the problem.


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That's a tear in the metal, most likely caused at the factory and seam sealer sealed it, well till the seam sealer turned hard and crumbled off.

Continued in next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #326 ·
Cowl and Firewall Continued

47755



Here's the other side with side cowl and front heater only panel removed. All the seam sealer is gone, crumbled away, hence the leaks.


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There is a splash baffle here that I also removed to gain access. This baffle keeps water from the cowl entering the blower wheel (heater only) or heater core (integral A/C).


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Some might argue that well this is a Southwest car baking all its life in the intense heat and other cars shouldn't have this problem. Well, no. They do.

Some might remember this car (green car always just visible in these pictures).


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This was garage kept in the Midwest.


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All original interior and not baked. But yet sadly all the seam sealer in the cowl just crumbled on this as well.

Now it wasn't as rusty so it was easier to treat, but I thought I could not take the side cowls off and still treat and seam seal and save time. Well I was really wrong. What a pain the butt.


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Now I know how a proctologist feels using the available holes in the firewall for access. This was wasn't too bad, but the other side was a bear and I had to use inspection mirrors and a borescope to make sure I sealed the entire seam. It was a messy extremely time consuming job. I would have been better removing the side cowls.


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I do not want to cut out the firewall section until the side cowls are reinstalled. I guess nervous about cutting too much structure out of the car at once. So I will cleaning out the sides and main cowl, painting and seam sealing first.

Until next time.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #328 ·
Hats off. You are showing the community aspects of the restoration that most will never see. You are right about those seams on the cowl, that's a lot of work. Nice job, keep up the great work.
Hi 66SevenLitre,

That is very kind of you to say, it is very much appreciated. It's funny in that most people think oh old car, it's simplistic and easy to maintain. But there are so many esoteric areas to even a simple old car it can be quite a bit of work to put right.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #330 ·
Bump. Where did you buy the work light? The plug in light with the mag base.
Hello LARSOFVT,

That lamp was something I cobbled together. The lamp is a 10W 120VAC generic LED lamp off of Fleece-Bay. The cord was a C13 computer/test equipment standard cord I have too many of so I lopped off the C13 end and used that for the cord on the lamp and the big magnet I bought at Harbor Freight. I found these lamps to be really handy and small enough to fit in tight places, unlike the standard hook shop light that never seems to stay in the place where you need it.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #331 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 1

Wow it's been awhile and this car needs to be finished. Now that the unexpected '68 XL is more or less a reliable daily driver I can return to work on this.







Just a quick refresher, these are the pieces that need to go onto this body for factory air con.







Ewe, there's rust problems lurking everywhere.

I was hesitant awhile back cutting this much out, but I soon realized my body jig holds the body firmly into place. When the body jig is on flat level floor the mountings are +/- 1/16" tolerance. I could probably cut much more out without fear.







Just removing it carefully took some time.





Cleaned up some of the rust, there were still spots of bare steel from the factory that was never even primed. I split the top seam where I could to remove any heavy rust trapped in between.









A healthy coating of weld through primer was then used.





Since the top seam will contain three pieces, I went ahead and lined up the existing two and resistance spot welded them together so it's one less thing to fight against installing the main firewall section.





I did a rough fit and more accurate cutting of the body to make a space for the long butt weld needed.





Prepped the backside of the main firewall section.





The tedious part of firmly securing the main section of firewall to be welded back in.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #332 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 2







Many hours later. It's really tedious butt stitch welding 18 gauge without it warping.











Now all the welds, at least on the engine bay side need to be dressed off.









More countless hours.





I only had to dress off the lower right side of the welding as the interior air con plenum went up against the weld. The rest of it can stay as once it's assembled no one will see it. Plus in just this one piece I have 12 hours in it, I'm kind of over it and need to move on.





In case anyone is wondering what tools I used to pull this off, here they are. The flat shiny wheel on the angle grinder is a shrinking disk. Even though I tried my best to fixture this section in tightly before welded there was a small section above the smaller second hole from the left that oil canned. The shrinking wheel took that right out and the entire sheet is flat and true. The rest are self explanatory. I will say this, that miniature belt sander is worth its weight in gold.

Next will be to install the left front piece then I can go into both side cowl openings and start rustproofing before I put the side cowls back on.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #333 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 3





The next piece of the factory air con firewall is the side front panel. The hole is substantially larger for the heater core (factory A/C) than a heat only car. This is the dry fit up to make sure all the panels play nicely together and adjust any metal as necessary.





I want to weld that front panel in with the side cowl piece fitted as it will ensure it will fit later on when its turn comes.







It's especially important to get the front panel mated to the lower front panel properly otherwise the side cowl will not fit later on and that'll be a pretty poor show.





Both the existing firewall and the new piece are cleaned and primed with weld through primer on both sides.





Welded and smoothed out.













I grabbed one of the heater core plenums to double check the holes line up between the two sheets of metal forming the face of the firewall since this plenum extends over both of them.









The holes line up just fine with the plenum on both newly grafted in firewall pieces. Now I can start to treat the seams inside the cowl area for rust prevention.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #334 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 1

Due to bad weather we are taking a break from the body and working on the seats inside. My better half has been stripping and painting the parts for one of the bucket seats and it's a good time to start putting it back together with new stuff.







On the left is the old drivers side bucket for comparison. Now the original interior is blue, but it's getting changed to Palomino. On the right is the passenger side seat bottom frame cleaned, painted and ready to go.













The seats are just fried. This was a southern car all it's life and interior is just baked. Really baked. The bottom seat foam was brick hard and just crumbled to the touch.





This is the bottom part of the lower seat bottom support pieces. There's just enough left to make a pattern. But first the two smaller rods on the left originally had a protective cover over them and one is still kind of there. This is enough to make a pattern.





I have fresh burlap and Dacron for this.





I just used some Dacron for the metal rod cozy's.





It works for me :)





The next part is remaking the burlap bottom area with the metal rods inserted.





What we done is sew seams the correct length so the metal rods have something to clip into.





Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #335 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 2







The next problem encountered was unfolding one end of the metal rods so we can insert them into the burlap. The rods are hardened steel and further work hardened when originally folded. Just unbending them and they will break. This means each of the 18 rods has to be annealed first.

Turned out to be pretty easy, just monotonous.







My better half measured, folded and ironed the pleats into the burlap to make stitching the rods in the burlap easier.

















Yuppers more tedious work for one small piece of the seat.





Done. This took quite some time to remake this.





First we attached the part number tags back on.









This is the layout for the reinforced burlap sheet and the 4 metal additional support rods that get installed next.





All hog ringed in.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #336 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 3







These are new foams, they have sat for so long they started to discolour.







The bottom seat is solid foam. The top back foam is hollowed out.







That's how the old seat originally looked.







You do need to reuse the wire from the old seat bottom in the new.





It took some stretching but it's on there.





We still need to poke the holes for the fulcrum pins but after the new covers had a bit of time to stretch and settle down.





It almost looks to nice to use.









Here's some of the seat trim that's been already painted from blue to a metallic palomino and some of the trim has a more brown non-metallic colour as two tone.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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That's a good question about the rear brace. The only thing I could think of was perhaps that 4-door model had a rear-folding seat.

The brace was actually called a riser and apparenlty wasn't a manufacturered part from Ford. My understanding is that if a replacement was needed, dealerships had to fab a new one from sheet metal.

Keep up all the great work and nice threads. (y)
That riser is specific between 2 and 4 door because the 4 door has about 3 inches more rear seat let room. The back flange of the riser is in the same spot as the 4 door and 2 Dr. But the 2dr is deeper towards the front of the car. You'll note the rear seat back bolts directly to the floor but the 2dr seat back bolts to brackets that are about 3 inches forward of the floor bolt hole location of the 4dr seat back.
The 2dr seats are roughly 3 inches forward relative to the floor pan which is common between 2 and 4 Dr. This is to give head room for back seat on the fast back cars.
Here is a question. Anyone with a 2 door sedan that cares to look if they have a 2dr or 4dr rear seat mount location. With the formal roof line of the 2dr sedan there is a chance they have the 4dr layout. Confusingly that may mean what I have been referring to as the 2dr riser and seats may actually be fastback specific.
All this also means the rear seats are specific between 2dr (fastback?) and 4dr. The 2dr rear seat back is thicker at the top. And the lower seat has its latching wire mesh made different.
 

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DesertXL you are truly a jack of all trades and a master of all.
It is rare to find someone that does body and engine work. You throw in automatics. HVAC. EFI. Interior. Amazing. All of It at a high level. I will be referencing your work for the body mounts on my car. Great info.
 

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I hope you really meant to say "Jack of all trades"! But then again hack may have a different meaning today as I see it used for everything.
 
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