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Discussion Starter #21
All the work looks great! Thanks for the documentation. Learning a bit here and there! Went through most of this with my galaxie--and still at it--but had the support of a friend who helped along the way. Post like this are so great for the weekend warrior restoring, and learning along the way! Thanks XL!

My vinyl top was from mustang market, but years ago, so not sure of their vendor. Assuming it is the same vendor, for the record, I am very happy with it. If helpful to anyone, I believe the Ford texture for the 66 is called Levant?

As a second to Larsofvt, my glass was installed after the vinyl top was installed. Allowed me to wrap the top into the glass channel. Glass and trim fit well after.
Hello dmp1,

Thank you for the kind words. It's labour of love, there's no doubt about that. I know when I read others postings it does help to motivate me so if these posts can do the same, all the better :)

I think Larsofvt might have been referring to the headliner going in first. I think there are instances in certain cars where this is true, but not in this case as the rear window is glued in and not held in by 'H' channel rubber moulding. I think the 3rd gen B pillar post 4 door post cars use the 'H' channel, but don't quote me :unsure:

But you're right the vinyl top will go in first to ensure the vinyl adheres to the inside lip of the glass openings. I just will not staple and nail it to the steel like the lunatics at Ford did. Then the glass can go in. I am not going to use butyl tape but the modern urethane glue after priming the glass first.

Cheers
 

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Hello extech,

I would think this is more a trivial matter as if the pattern is wrong it's on the top supplier to fix it, besides Kee Tops asked for measurements so they seem eager to work with me and my applications. Now any top supplier can do this, but if the material they source is cheap junk, then truly what's the point as who wants to replace a top every few years.

Cheers
yea but by the time you realize the side to side measurement is too small you have already spent hours installing. i replaced my top three times. first 2 were el cheepo because i was cheep. next i spent more for what i thought would be better quality but it was shrunk
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
yea but by the time you realize the side to side measurement is too small you have already spent hours installing. i replaced my top three times. first 2 were el cheepo because i was cheep. next i spent more for what i thought would be better quality but it was shrunk
Hello extech,

That's a very valid point, however that's why I would lay it loose over the roof to make sure there is ample material to trim and cover the roof structure first. The cheap one I bought has plenty of material on overhang, now if anything I can always ship the cheap one to Kee Tops and they can pattern off that if worse should indeed come to worse.

Cheers
 

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Hello extech,

That's a very valid point, however that's why I would lay it loose over the roof to make sure there is ample material to trim and cover the roof structure first. The cheap one I bought has plenty of material on overhang, now if anything I can always ship the cheap one to Kee Tops and they can pattern off that if worse should indeed come to worse.

Cheers
im sure the vinyl top is easier than a convertible
 

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Hello LARSOFVT,

My critiquing of the material wasn't so much to do with the grain pattern, although it's not attractive, more the durability of the material used. This material is very thin and has a thin fluffy batting of what looks like loose Dacron on the back of it. This backing does absolutely nothing for strengthening the vinyl integrity. The original vinyl used on the car had what looked like a nylon crosshatch weave embedded in the vinyl. For being the original top on the car, if it wasn't for the rust, the 50+year old top looked nearly brand new still and I would have just kept it on there.

It'll be interesting to see how the Haartz material compares to this cheap stuff. The Haartz top is twice the price. This cheap top I bought reminds me of the chintzy table coverings we used to use at family picnics in the 70's.

Cheers
I will check in on this thread to see what you get from Haartz. I do not believe that heavy woven backing is available any more. I would think it will be better than the table covering though.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I will check in on this thread to see what you get from Haartz. I do not believe that heavy woven backing is available any more. I would think it will be better than the table covering though.
Hello LARSOFVT,

I don't have pictures yet, but the Haartz top did come and it has the crosshatch backing melded in the back of the vinyl and not that white loose Dacron backing that really doesn't do anything except trap moisture.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hello,

Just a little more progress to show.


46572



I am done with leading. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for the top I think. Best of all it's an all solid metal repair in an area once referred to as swiss cheese. Leading was a learning experience. About 300 dollars worth of lead for this education. <sigh>

As a side tangent I picked up on the door I left a while back.


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As I mentioned I have no problem using plastic fillers in shallow quantities. So the first round of using the spreadable filler fills in the majority of the lows. As was taught to me; divide the panel into parts using major body lines. Then spread fully on one section at a time. Sand using either a long board or a long mechanical sander, in this pneumatic on the flat sections but for high crown sections use round pipe or other straight round object as the board to sand.


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I broke up this door into 4 major sections and tackled each separately.


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These rear doors have more body lines and contours than most new cars have in their jelly bean entirety. The trick in apply the spreadable filler is not to prematurely loose a minor body line. It's learning when to sand and when to stop.


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This is the spreadable filler I use.

Once this is sanded, I then use spray Feather Fill with the regular HVLP turbine compressor gun.


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First round of 400 ml. As with any filler, be it spreadable or spray on, 70-90% of it ends up on the floor. I still had a few high spots.


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Another 400ml



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That should do nicely when sanded. For now this is where this stops. I paint the outside last, the inner areas/jambs get painted first.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Body Work Continued


46580



Here's another area that seems to be missed on a lot of shows and videos I watch: corrosion protection.

The seams are just a festering area for rust. Now on this car, it was side swipped somewhat early in its life as the drivers and this rear door had the skins replaced with Ford service parts (you can tell with its red primer and yellow sprayed on part numbers on the inside). Also it had a factory replacement front wing/fender. Ironically just before I bought it looked like someone didn't cut the wheel in time and side swipped the front door and wing again on a garage door frame.

A while back I've already reskinned that front door for the second time in its life and that door is completely done and painted.

But this door as you can tell is reskinned as well sometime long ago. The problem is there is space where moisture can collect and rust the seam out from the inside. By the time you see it, it's too far gone and you have open the skin crimp to fix it properly or even graft in sections.

So I clean out the insides of the door, hang it once each in three orientations then apply POR 15 to the inside and let it drip out and seal the seams.


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Now I want just enough to seal the seams but obviously not plug up the regular door drains. Once this cures I can sand off the excess and paint the inner area and jamb area.


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So this is what I'm talking about, this is on our 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis. It's already rusting from the inside out. You can see the rust bleeding out from the seams. Sure you can just cover this up and repaint it, but it will be back in a very short order, the only way to fix this is from the inside out and splitting the seam which is enormous amounts of work.

As a tangent, this is typical of what I see on post 95 Panthers. It seems quality was flushed down the toilet after that from Ford. I had a 1997 Grand Marquis that was only 5 years old at the time and the bottom of the doors were just about rotted through, now it was a Midwest car, but that's pretty bad. It also had a host of other problems a 5 year old car should never have. Sadly it was on par with Chrysler quality or lack of it. This 2004 has seen a handful of midwest winters, but mostly a Florida car and now a Southwest car.

I've had a 93 Grand Marquis that saw 15 years of midwest winters and salt and the doors were perfect, actually most of the car was really well protected. I've seen this on countless 92-95's and poor corrosion control on post 95's along with hosts of other problems. I currently have a 1994 with no corrosion on the body and it's really well built and rides like a brand new car.

But I digress. Whilst this is a Ford product, back to the 3rd gen Fords. I just wanted to make a point that you do not want your classic Ford to end up like this. I see expensive paint work, but what's the point if you have rust blisters a few years later. You might was well set 10 grand on fire for the paint job.


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Now this is where I went wrong initially when we bought this car. My ASSumption was because it was stored in a garage for 30 years it would not need to be completely torn apart and put back together. I couldn't have been more wrong if I was captain of the Titanic and thought it's just a small hole. :(

So I reached in the cowl and pulled out the old hardened seam sealer and it just fell apart and it has rust on it. I have found out this is a common problem on these 3rd gens. This stuff hardens and you end up with water leaking from the inner cowl down the firewall and soaks the rug when it rains.

With that I have to remove the HVAC plenums, wipers, motor, and kick vents and remove all this hardened sealer, clean, POR 15 check for leaks with a garden hose and use a urethane seam sealer on any leaks after POR15 to seal.


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At the very least the heater core plenum needs to be removed and the inner plenum.


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This access panel as well.


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And lastly the kick panel vents and the large cabin side HVAC plenum.


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Next was removing the old glue and old fiberglass insulation off the interior of the roof. This will be painted but before that, I need to coat the interior metal pieces as they are moisture traps and have surface rust.


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The camera flash really highlights the hidden rust. There's not much you can do to remove it. It's not bad enough to warrant repair but it needs to be encapsulated to stop any further advances.

I'll use Eastwoods internal frame coat with the long spray tube applicator to reach in and just hose all this. There's loads of hidden areas like this in the roof structure to treat. It's going to be a very messy deal that's for sure.

This is truly the awful grueling part of fixing up an old car. Ug.....

Until next time.

Cheers
 

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DesertXL, your attention to detail and the work you are doing is EXACTLY how I believe cars should be rebuilt/restored and dare I say,
how they should be built in the first place!
Of course the bean counters in Detroit would not agree...

The door pinch seams are an area that I have long thought most restorers and shops miss. I could be wrong about that...
Those areas have always been a concern for me.
Details, it's all about the details!

Interesting your observations on the 92 - 95 years having better corrosion control, compared to post 95 models.
Do you think the factory changed their process/procedures for corrosion control in 96?

On another note, primer...
I realize you are fairly committed to the system you are now working with, but I recently discovered Eastwood has a roll-on primer system.
I don't know too much about it yet but it looks good in their promo material.

OptiFlow Roll-On Primer System

I am considering trying this system for my 66XL.
Your thoughts?
I like the "no over-spray" aspect of it.

 

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Another thought about rust.
Have you heard of Picklex-20?
I bought some and have been impressed with it.
Another product you might want to check out. :)

Home - Picklex 20®

Cheers!
In a pervious job I had dealings with the head of the Picklex company. He sent me various samples to test on our products to prevent rust as they were displayed in stores. The stuff is easy to use and very safe but is intended for indoor use ONLY. And even then will only last a year or two before the product is no longer effective.

I've been using the Gempler's product on my 66 Gal the past several years and I'm very happy with how it coverts the existing rust. I would highly recommend giving this stuff a try as well.

 

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Discussion Starter #32
DesertXL, your attention to detail and the work you are doing is EXACTLY how I believe cars should be rebuilt/restored and dare I say,
how they should be built in the first place!
Of course the bean counters in Detroit would not agree...

The door pinch seams are an area that I have long thought most restorers and shops miss. I could be wrong about that...
Those areas have always been a concern for me.
Details, it's all about the details!

Interesting your observations on the 92 - 95 years having better corrosion control, compared to post 95 models.
Do you think the factory changed their process/procedures for corrosion control in 96?

On another note, primer...
I realize you are fairly committed to the system you are now working with, but I recently discovered Eastwood has a roll-on primer system.
I don't know too much about it yet but it looks good in their promo material.

OptiFlow Roll-On Primer System

I am considering trying this system for my 66XL.
Your thoughts?
I like the "no over-spray" aspect of it.

Hello galaxiex,

Thank you for the kind words on the progress. On the subject of Panthers, Ford must have done something to cut back on a process or materials in corrosion control. They also seemingly cut on other areas of the car quality wise. We've owned 4 Panthers (Grand Marquis's) and also had friends with them. Back when I had my 1997 and it was just 5 years old we had friend of the family, she was in her late 50's and had a 1995 Grand Maquis and it needed brakes, so I traded cars with her for a week and replaced her brakes. Exchanging the cars back, a lady who knows nothing about cars in the kindest way possible said the 1997 was a pile of crap and she missed her 95. These were both low mileage cars and looked brand new from about 15 feet, sans the bottom of my doors on the '97. The '97 interior just felt cheap, the ride was louder and harsher, it had small squeaks that were like Chinese water torture and it had electrical problems on an order of a Chrysler product (that's really bad).

Our 2004 is on its 3rd plastic intake manifold, the axle shaft on side started delaminating and ate itself and the bearing and the engine is now making metal in the oil. Looked liked a glitter bomb went off inside it on the last oil change. Leave it sit for a month and try to start it and it will knock till the highly overworked and underpaid oil pump does its thing, then surprisingly it's quiet. Whilst I can't directly prove it, I believe the damaged rods and mains are from the detonating that happens on hot days driving around in town with the air con on. You could hear it plain as day inside the car even over the HVAC blower. These heads in the 2V Modular engine have no quench pad from pictures I've seen and are just a catalyst for detonation. Now the 2004 has a knock sensor in the valley, does it work? dunno. The ECU reports no problems. Is Fords firmware just crap? Perhaps.

There's no point in fixing the engine because it will simply happen again. Sure could I put in a different control system, yup, as we do not have emissions, but it if sold it, it makes the car next to worthless and with the rust popping out on the doors and around the windscreen and back glass it's relegated to a bad weather winter beater till a connecting rod sees daylight. The snow/ice tyres we put on the car cost far more than the car is worth. The traction control still works and it does drive like a little half-track in snow and ice. Tis a shame really.

Both my 1993 and currently 1994 were/are so much better built and the ride quality was/is outstanding.

As for primer(s) or body work in general, there's six ways to Sunday on that topic and who's to say anyone way is wrong. The ultimate say is the test of time and use. Which is the approach I have taken with the materials and methods. So my car chum who taught me this has been doing painting/body work for many years. The shop he works at offers lifetime guarantees on the work and has been around many many years. My thought process is if a shop can make that guarantee and have been business many years the method and materials must work. Why reinvent the wheel sort of thing.

One key tip is any body work material you can buy at an autoparts store or places like Wally World (Walmart) don't use, it's cheap detritus and won't last. The 3M filler he uses is about 100 dollars a gallon, along with Feather Fill high build primer. Then there's the 2K primer, the base colour, then clear coat.

The roll on primer seems like a good idea in practice, I guess it boils down to the chemical content of the primer.

If you're concerned about overspray, you might want to invest in a turbine paint system. I bought a Fuji 5 turbine system and it sprays at a max pressure of ~7 PSI. You can turn that down around 2-3 PSI if want. There's very little overspray at these pressures. The one caveat is the clear, I have to spray at the full 7 PSI and there's still a minor cloud after done. But the 2K primer and colour go on with 4-5 PSI and you can almost get away without a mask there is no overspray with those.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #33
In a pervious job I had dealings with the head of the Picklex company. He sent me various samples to test on our products to prevent rust as they were displayed in stores. The stuff is easy to use and very safe but is intended for indoor use ONLY. And even then will only last a year or two before the product is no longer effective.

I've been using the Gempler's product on my 66 Gal the past several years and I'm very happy with how it coverts the existing rust. I would highly recommend giving this stuff a try as well.

Hello 7 Litre,

These products sound very similar to Metal Prep and Ospho, but perhaps a little more friendly to organics.

Cheers
 

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@DesertXL, thanks for the detailed reply. :)

@7litre,
My understanding of the Picklex "system" is that it is a metal prep, NOT a final coat solution to prevent rust.
If I understand correctly, it is in effect, a surface etch metal prep to be used before painting or other coating.

As an aside to that, I have my 66 Galaxie stripped to BARE metal and sitting in my heated garage for approx 5 years.
I completely covered it with Picklex 20 and have yet to see ANY rust or even surface rust develop. (this is one of the uses for Picklex, to prevent flash rust while parts sit waiting for paint/primer)
I have really put it to the test in this case, thanks to my very slow moving project... ;)

Picklex says to coat the metal with the product, let it dry and then paint/primer right over the Picklex.
They explicitly state to NOT sand or wash off the product prior to paint/primer.
 

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@DesertXL, thanks for the detailed reply. :)

@7litre,
My understanding of the Picklex "system" is that it is a metal prep, NOT a final coat solution to prevent rust.
If I understand correctly, it is in effect, a surface etch metal prep to be used before painting or other coating.

As an aside to that, I have my 66 Galaxie stripped to BARE metal and sitting in my heated garage for approx 5 years.
I completely covered it with Picklex 20 and have yet to see ANY rust or even surface rust develop. (this is one of the uses for Picklex, to prevent flash rust while parts sit waiting for paint/primer)
I have really put it to the test in this case, thanks to my very slow moving project... ;)

Picklex says to coat the metal with the product, let it dry and then paint/primer right over the Picklex.
They explicitly state to NOT sand or wash off the product prior to paint/primer.
Hi Galaxiex, sorry for hijacking the original topic, I probably should have started a separate thread.

My experience with Picklex has been mostly on bare metal with slight surface rust to begin with. In my unheated shop the rust will redevelop after a year or so due to the high humidity. And that's using the special "High Strength" solution the head of Picklex sent me to test (not available to the public).

This stuff is ideally intended to be heated to about 130 F if I recall and then bath your item in the heated solution for several minutes, hence the name Picklex (from pickling). You also need to be sure to wipe down the item well after you have applied the Picklex as it's tempting to just let it dry without wiping off the excess. Then as you stated it should be painted over to help protect it and seal off any new rust formation.

It's also nice that it can be reused. So if you dip parts in it you don't have to throw it out afterwards. Just keep reusing it until it's gone. Which is good because the stuff is pretty pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Cowl Sealing and Rust Proofing

Hello all,

Even though I've been occupied more with the gal 500 XL I am working on this too. I needed to rustproof the cowl area and make sure it's sealed.



46704



My main intent here is to POR 15 the inside of the cowl area where water runs when wet. I was cleaning out the cowl areas and I found the original antenna slug they cut out on the assembly line. I bet that was a fun irritating rattle.



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46706




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I used Eastwoods green internal frame coat as a contrast colour first then POR 15'd. At least with the green undercoat I could see where I missed easily with the POR 15 and touch up with a brush after the initial hosing on with a paint gun and flexible wand with radial and axial spray patterns.

What a mess this made.


46710



I did the interior of the roof as well. There's no need to POR 15 the roof, the green Eastwood frame coat is good enough for the upper areas of the cabin. I just wanted to stop the surface rust from spreading.


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Just hose it on and let is drip dry I can sand any parts when the car colour goes on .

It's not pretty but my main concern is corrosion control since this car will see many many miles when complete plus the paint and interior will hide it all anyway.

Until next time.

Cheers
 
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