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1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been posting my progress on one or two other sites dedicated to Torinos, but here is some progress shots of my 1972 Gran Torino Sport.
Background for those who don't know me much;
I found my Torino, an original Q code 4 speed 351c CJ setup, HD suspension, sitting in a small barn. Paid $600. Tore it apart, and decided to drive 3,200 miles to get another "puzzle car" shell, from a certain someone {COUGH-Jon-COUGH} here on this great site through a mutual friend.
Redid original 4 speed car frame front to back, boxed the lower front and rear control arms, all suspension parts new, upgraded my front brakes with the adaption of 12.5" rotors and dual piston calipers off a 1999 CVPI, upgraded to a lincoln dual diaphram booster with larger master cylinder. Still due to get 1976 police drums out back. Replaced/battled with passenger wheelhouse and quarter panel. Drove from Nebraska to Niagara Falls Canada and back for NOS fenders. Yes, I am nuts. Currently been working the 1/4's, trying to meet a self-imposed deadline for the 2008 powertour after having my Torino apart for 6+ years, and just getting it street legal June 2007.
Here are some pics, and a few vid clips.
Hope you get a kick.
{Note-due to problems with Photobucket and having to rebuild my albums from scratch, I have to go through image by image. I am adding details and pictures early on, from stuff I either did not have added at some point, or felt like it would be worth while additions for others restoring their Torinos.
If anyone has questions, ask me. I've probably had to fix it. Weld it. Or take a BFH to it.
Starting off: My GTS was a true barn find. Not something I pulled from a garage. This 1972 Sport had a stay for 17 years, in a barn, in the middle of Iowa.

When I saw the ad on the old Yahoo Torino forum, I went to look this car over that said "Gran Torino Sport, $600".
Opening the doors, I was greeted to this:

After talking to the guy, and giving him a deposit, I left, and came back 2 weeks later, right around the beginning of June, 2001.
I got a late start on a hot Friday evening, dragging this car out of the barn.

By the time I was in the above picture, I had drug the car out of the barn using my F150, though a pair of gate posts about 6 inches total wider than the GTS.
In the process of backing the trailer up and winching the GTS onto the trialer, I managed to rip the trailer's jack off the front, hit something buried in the grass where we were and shred a trailer tire.
Drove 28 miles, at around midnight, and found a motel and crashed until Saturday Morning.
I awoke to this:

After getting back to Omaha, dropping my soon-to-be wife off at our place, I decided to make a wash run. $10 worth of quarters, cleaned out alot of the mess.

I stuck the car into the garage at my apartment, and proceeded to start the clean up. Not fun.

Around 2 months later, I met a good guy, friends with Jon {Our own of FordMuscle ownership} and Drove to California for a parts car to get good sheet metal.

This shell was the one that took a 5 day trip to go get. All for some good sheet metal to work I think about it, piling into my old F150, hooking up a trailer and driving cross the country to get was a pretty interesting trip.

Shot of the teardown out at my dad's place.
In case you are wondering, 4x4's on top of a stack of 2x4's nailed together is not the most stable setup. Picked the car up on each end using a heavy duty engine hoist. I don't recommend ANYONE do it this way, as I recall nearly killing myself at least once.
Ah, 23-24 years old and completely lacking a concept of "That might not be safe".:eek:

A shot from my old job, where I had use of the warehouse on evenings and weekends, for around 8 years. Handy place to have.

During the clean up tear down on the GTS in late 2001, I removed the 351c CJ from the GTS, and proptly tore the engine apart. The block and internals were all solid, with some wear. Planning on doing a build eventually, but for now, it's sitting safe. Hindsight, I should have left it assembled!

Now, during the teardown process, I elected to start with the frame rebuild first.

I took the body off the frame, and proceeded to tear apart. Of note, interesting finds on cars like this. Because it's a Compation Suspension car {refered to as "Maximum Handling" in literature by Ford}, it has the same upper rear arms as the Police package. Also has front and rear sway bars, different setting on the lower control arm bushings with the ecentrics adjusted different.

Here is the stripped frame before blasting:

Frame loaded up, and headed to a shop, where I used to sell material to years back. Buddy there, hardcore guy who lived a hard life, passed away a few years back, never got to see the GTS done.:(
{This is the same dude, while on oxygen, smoked Marboros...:D RIP Rich, you crazy Motha!}

After blasted, and hanging off a forklift for easy movement.

At this point, I am missing a group of pictures I can not find.
Either I did not take pictures, or never got them scanned in.

Basic rebuild of the frame and suspension ensued.
One of the things I did was box the front and rear lower control arms.

{poster's Note-Jon-that roof was a hellava lot rougher than I recall in the pictures!}

I replaced the roof skin on the GTS. Many spot welds.
Tip when welding: don't toss 34 year old dash insulation on top. Makes for a nice fire in the garage.

Concerning the front CVPI Brakes: I will run through on a detailed later on.

Stock Sport tach cluster, modified with blue LEDs.

1970 351C, 2v heads.

Shot of after the replacement of the old hardline stuff and upgrading to AN-6 lines and a decent filter, Parker Pushloc hose and Fragola AN fittings.

Fun time shot!

And some Videos:



1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks-I had another Fordmuscle member ask me, here is the info:
I used a guy on ebay, after hearing about him with a buddy with a 78 cougar-I removed my cluster's blue-green plastic light defuser caps, and swapped in the LEDs, direct replacement of the 194 style bulbs. I spent maybe $30 for a couple differnet types, I got like 20-30 lights for my Torino and my f150, pretty easy swap. Guy was pretty fast, happy with the service. Main thing was cleaning the contacts in the cluster and she was good to go. plus the LEDs come in mini-clusters, which boost light output without worry of overloading the lighting circut because of the next to nothing amp draw.
Also, a heck of a lot better at dusk and at night BIG improvement in, if you are broke, cheap way to spruce up your dash with new looking guages!
{one note I forgot to add-alot of the LEDs I used are in 6 or 7 cluters on a single 194 bulb base. I used a couple single large LED bulbs. All in a blue color.
Have a good one

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143 Posts
great tip...thanks for the info. I was interested in trying something like that for my old f150...but you saved my a lot of trial and error...thanks again.

PS...i know with some taillights you need some kind of resistor or something due to the low voltage...will i need something like that with these?

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Off hand, not in the cluster. When I adjust my brightness, the LED's dim out just like if you do with the regular bulbs.

As far as if you are running LED bulbd in place of like the 1157's for the tail lights, I think you need to run a special relay / breaker in place of the standard turn signal relay / breaker...but that's mainly for the tail lights/turn signal issue I believe...need to check on that.

great tip...thanks for the info. I was interested in trying something like that for my old f150...but you saved my a lot of trial and error...thanks again.

PS...i know with some taillights you need some kind of resistor or something due to the low voltage...will i need something like that with these?

Adding lost files for the thread:
After taking a road trip in October 2004 to Ohio to pick up a pair of Tabco Quarters I picked up off Ebay.

My personal opinion on the Tabco panel is blunt: compared to anything else out there, no comparison. If you are going to the trouble to replace a quarter panel on a 1972-1976 Torino: USE TABCO.
$350 isn't the cheapest route, but fit and finish, you get what you pay for.

My GTS had a lot of panel damage, in odd ways. Like, beer kegs slapping the quarters, pissed off people using a golf club kind of damage.

I was going to try to just patch the lip, but after getting into it, the whole lip on the passenger side was done for around 14 inches. Cancer had to go, so out came the grinder.

I had even tried to repair the outer wheel house with a patch off another car.

I elected this was not going to work. So, search was on for an NOS piece to patch the outer with. No such luck.

Fitment of the Tabco quarter panel: November 2004.

Because of how I had repaired previous collision damage stuff before doing partial panels, I figured no big deal. I elected to weld in the panel about the top body line.
Hindsight, 20/20. It can be a pain, let me tell you.

Flash forward to February 2005. My wife and I purchased our home.
Having to move a house full of stuff, plus a garage, attic, a shed, and basement full of car stuff...well, ah, Bob, that's a baker's dozen worth of heart attacks and head aches.
Had my Craftsman Rollaway top box take a hard fall, but nothing a hammer, dolly and me sitting on the thing to get back to square couldn't fix.

So, back to the wheel house outer panel.
Enter, '71-'73 Mustang wheel house:

I took the area I needed, and "pie cut" to allow me to shape as needed.

Yes, my welds completely sucked here. too much heat, too much wire speed.
I got great weld penetration. until I'd hit a hidden spec of rust and BLAM popped back.

Here, I am replacing the lower front part of the lip area.

{Video clip-click above image}
It's not 100% pretty, but it's fixed with good metal:

So, after getting the wheelhouse repaired, I moved to panel fitment to the GTS:

Now, at this point, I only have sheet metal screws holding the quarter skin on the car.

Enter, the welder, and time passes to early 2007:

Now, it's at this point, I realize I have screwed up my right quarter bad. I mean bad.
Like, time to call in a favor from a buddy who runs a frame/body shop.
First thing that happens right at about this time, I was let go from my job after 8 years. So, for 4 months while I worked on trying to find a new Career, I actually got a whole heck of a lot of bodywork done.
While the GTS was at my buddy's shop, we operated:

I screwed up, and I cut it back out.

I had a quarter off one of my old parts cars, and sectioned it:

After getting things trimmed up, Wally used his skills to fix my welding debauchery.

At the same time, repaired a few other areas:
I picked up this 4 door, for a few parts and pieces:

45 MPH hit on a power pole...

Replaced the rear trunk drip rail

Repaired the end of the quarter, on the underside:

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Updated as of today:
Spent some time cleaning up the passenger door-took the fender off, drilled some 1/8" alignment holes on the hinges, and took the door off after all my finish blocking.
Aside from 4 layers of paint {mental note-Jon, just who in the heck owned that puzzle car, these doors are pretty nice but 4 layers of paint and primer?!?} - anyways- aside from the paint I stripped off, and then 80g DA'ed the door, that thing is pretty nice asside from some minor rear lower tin worm cancer in the back corner.

Made a patch panel, plan on welding it up in tomorrow. Need to dig out my NOS fenders and headlight buckets now.

I had to do some work on the 1/4 to door gap, but after thinking about what I watched on the Musclecar show when they were doing the crate camaro and the gaps, I did the same.
basically did a spread, hand blocked it, and used a cut off to get a nice gap.
Did some minor work to even the gap out a tick more, and I am happy right now, panel is straight finally, and after all the blocking, I am satisfied with the look.

Worked hard on the door gaps. Little stuff like this makes things clean and smooth.

Doing some work on the driver side quarter panel:

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Saturday was a good day for me.

Welded up the door shell inner also fixing some holes, before the patch was welded on.
I still need to finish the corner, but want to install the door back on to gap it before welding the door edge.

Not 100% perfect, but it's getting there.

Patch laid in:

Welded up!

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well, I managed to get a little bit more done.
I finished sand blasting the inside of the bottom of the door, and had a little help welding in the patch so I would not warp the heck out of the door bottom.

Been block sanding. Sick to high hell with it! but it's getting there.
I need to finish up some more blocking on the quarters, and hope to get it primered finally, maybe a week.

I had to patch a section of the left quarter, the wheel house was rotted and had to form a patch panel {ironically, my main regular use dolly was the ideal pattern to form the patch! It was the correct curve and everything} and weld it in.
Shot of the rot, after cutting the skin off:

Patch panel:

Fitting into panel:

I managed to carefully spot weld the section of the sheetmetal that was rotted at the bottom behind the tire on the 1/4 panel. need to just finish up the very bottom.

Not perfect, but it's welded up.

Using flat stock from a universal door patch panel:

Welded and metal finished:

Having access to a lift and having the car 4 feet in the air has made it some much easier to work on at my buddy's shop.
Stripped the 30 year old undercoating out of the wheelhouse on the LH side. welded up one small bad area. Need to finish up the RH wheel house...all I can say is that undercoating was a NASTY job to remove.

Left wheel house cleaned up:

RH wheel house cleaned up:

Action time-cleaning :bs:

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
A quick update, I ended up bringing the GTS home from my buddy's shop this last weekend, and was cleaning stuff up.
I got the RH quarter panel done from the top bodyline down, RH door is done aswell.
I picked up some rims last week, and was having some fun on the street.

I aired the tires up, bolted them on, and holy &*@# they hook up.

No rubbing, a bit further out towards the wheel lips, but she sits nice IMHO

With the nice weather this week, I plan on getting the body work cleaned up on the quarters now, and maybe just maybe priming the thing if it warms up like they are saying. never thought I would be asking for a mid 70's temp weather so badly as right now!!!

*More from the lost files:
Adding additional work from April 22, 2008:
One of the problems I had when I replaced the roof skin, was welding and grinding of the A pillars.
ON the GTS, I had to clean up the metal, and ground the metal too thin, and decided to fix.
I saved a roof off a 1973 Montego GT, and clipped the A pillar metal I needed:

Fitment of the patch panel:

Welded up, driver's side:

I had to do both sides.
Driver's side, welded up:

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well, got the car primed yesterday, and blocked out today...can't complain, but I am surprised after I thought I had this thing smooth, how many stupid small stuff still pops up.

Got the roof fully blocked, and the trunk is looking ok.
Need to still fix a problem on the driver's side a pillar yet, and block out the lower half of the passenger quarter panel. Driver's side is done down to the bottom body line, need to do the lower part now. Very happy with how it's feeling...need to still block the pass side door out.
The tops of both quarter panels are feeling quite smooth.

Having some issues with the areas around the "boomerang" area on the 1/4 panels, and the area by the drip rails...but overall a good day.
After so feels oddly good to be able to say I have my car primered.

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well got my second full blocking and third primer job done about a day ago.
I was going to work on the Torino today, but buddy needed help, and it just payed for my next trip for more epoxy primer today.
Here is my $87 paint booth. Yes, I felt white trash for building it, but it keeps the overspray down, and the neighbors are like, hey, smart idea, no flying overspray. -shrug- :rolleyes:

Got my NOS fenders dug out, going to unbury the NOS headlight buckets, and get the front clip prepped...have the hood stripped 3/4 of the way, need to pop out the hood center piece, fix some minor dents, and maybe primer it tomorrow along with the fenders.
I was trying to get things done for Power Tour, but now with how things are...the best I can hope for is hitting the Lincoln event, and maybe Ames Iowa.
Oh well, atleast I can blend in with the rat rods in primer. :(


488 Posts
I'll give you some props, alot of dang work right there! Man loves his Torino, can't blame'm

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Update, Mid June 2008:
Managed to get a few more things done.
Got the hood all blocked out and good, but discovered some how I missed a few small dents and need to clean those up. sigh.

Discovered how messed up my Driver's door is, and still resoving to correct one hell of a hacked up mess. It had over 3/8" of filler in places, under 4 layers of primer and paint.

I welded up the 30 or so holes in the middle of the door {cussing while I rethink about that}

Close up of a very old repair job, before I welded the damage up.
I have a door I took the skin off of, but I honestly have been holding back on my decision to reskin the center of the door or one or two other repair options.

In the last week or so, I have finished all my hammer and dolly work on the front and rear roll pans; cleaned up the header panel; and sanded and cleaned up my fender end caps and NOS head light buckets.

Need to still primer the rear roll pan yet, on my to do list for tomorrow.

The wife said the neighbors are probably going to shoot me next time I have that much hammer and dolly work. BANG CLANG BANG THUD HAMMER CLANG THUD for the last week or so...:D

Had to fix a torn tab on the roll pan. I removed this one off my original GTS around 5-6 years ago, and it was still stuck to the roll pan all this time because the bolt and j clip were left intact on the fender. I was just happy I did not need to feb the piece of sheet metal.

Can you say hammered? I think I spent 3-4 hours on that corner alone before I was remotely happy with the contour. Atleast it was a nice mental vacation, listening to the St. Anger Metallica disc and just hammering away.

The front roll pan was crushed in 4-5 spots...the peak was messed up a bit, but I was happy to get it back to a decent shape. Spent some time welding up small cracks and tears on the mount tabs.

And, I managed to pick up a set of 15" rims that will clear my 12.5" rotors with a very, very minor amount of work.
Debating about using them, or sticking with the 16's, but I really want to get back into a 15" rim.

1,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks...while I am no master metal worker, I've had to learn the hard way how to fix stuff, but I like doing it...sort of a self taught thing, but I have had lots of help from a bunch of people on how to do stuff, ya know?
Also, I don't have the $$$ to pay a guy, and frankly I am sort of like "If ya want it done it yourself" sorta thing.
Have a good one.

83 Posts
its been great following the work here and on the grantorinosport forum... keep it going.. looks great... I think i might be stealing the white trash paint booth in the near future.. my truck needs to be repainted in a couple of spots
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