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Rather than crap all over Gydyup's thread, I thought I should start my own. Due to a mishap at the track I needed to replace the RH front fender which was damaged in 3 places:





Since the paint on the car is over 30 years old with some scratches and the normal fading, I decided to give the body a complete winter makeover. First I removed the tranny and motor, then the interior. Finally I removed the windshield, doors and the front cap. Here is an early November shot:



Since I did not know the condition of the cowl vent area, I decided that I needed to start there. I drilled out 167 spot welds and found that the hats were in great shape.



Unfortunately there were other problems that dictated I replace some sheet metal:





I ordered 2 cowl replacement panels from CJ Pony parts:





I then proceeded to cut out the offending metal and trimmed my patches to fit:





You never have enough vice grips for this type of job. :)

I tacked it into place with my mig welder, then kept going over it until all the holes and seams were plugged. Next I brazed over the welded areas to fill any remaining pinholes that were in the pan area:



After the grinding was done, I needed to strip the rest of the paint with my DA:





I then used body filler to blend the new seams:



Before I could go on, I needed to repair a couple of rust areas on the upper cowl:





I cut out the rust and butt welded scrap metal in place:



Once done to my satisfaction, I stripped the remaining paint off both the bottom and the top of the cowl:



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

This morning I started with this:



I masked it off:



Then I applied the epoxy primer to both it and the inside of the upper cowl:





Once it was setup, time for some seam sealer around the cowl hats:





I allowed the sealant time to setup, then the real fun began when I laid down 3 coats of Rangoon Red acrylic enamel:







Sometimes it is a shame to hide all that good craftsmanship inside where no one will ever see it again:

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Where is the Ground contact coming from during re-installation?
Just had to remove the tape to reveal some shiny metal that will get a couple of coats of weld through primer before reassembly. :)



Topside remains bare metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Remasked and sprayed weld through primer on the bare metal:




Welding up holes in the front apron. Found that a 3/8" thick piece of solid copper works wonders when plugging small holes or as a preventative to blow through:



Yeah, I went too deep with the spot weld tool and need to touch up the divots prior to welding the apron-to-cowling top plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Throughout the week I've been tack welding the cowl in place and finally finished it up yesterday:



Note that the tape is over the vent to help cut down on the amount of grinding and sanding crap that might fall in there.

Today I broke out the DA sander and went to town on the roof. 3 hours later It was bare (except for around the rear window.) There is some repair work to be done on the driver's side roof where apparently someone sat on it in the past. Although the dent covers a somewhat large area, it is minor and an easy repair.



The rear glass removal is being saved as an evening, after work project.

The car looks kind of cool in its current 2 tone appearance:



Hope to get the roof repaired and all the current bare metal primered this coming weekend.

Oh, here is a shot of the cheap $5 spot weld tool that I used when removing the cowl:



It worked terrific. This one tool cut 167 spot welds plus it was used to make holes in the patch panels before plug welding.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Removed the rear window and found scaly rust in the channel:



Attempted to wirebrush it but all it did was burnish the rust so that it was shiny. I ran to our nearest farming supply and purchased this $10 spot sand blaster and some media:





I did a decent job, but I had to fill the bag at least 40-50 times to do the bottom channel. Unfortunately I found some rust holes that need repair:



Not wanting to let the roof and cowl remain bare another couple of weeks (Christmas is coming, you know) I went ahead and repaired the dings in the roof by first doing some hammer and dolly work. Once it was fairly level, I covered the offending areas with lightweight body filler:



Once it was sanded to my satisfaction, I masked off much of the car in preparation for the epoxy primer coat:





I wiped it down with wax and paint remover and then shot on 2 wet coats:





I waited a couple of hours for the epoxy primer to dry and then I covered it up with 3 coats of primer surfacer. Once it set up, I removed the masking:





As seen below, I did not primer the complete roof sail panels as I need to do some work in in the rear window channel and I need to re-mig the area where the roof joins the quarter panel, at the quarter window:





Next up will be stripping the quarter panels and then making the wheel flair opening a little wider at the front for taller slicks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Damn Dennis is there anything you can't do?..Now it's bodywork and paint..:D
Didn't you know that I am a Renaissance man?


Nah,

I'm just a jack(off) of many trades but master of none.

Thanks guys for the good words.


 

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Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Dennis,
Car's looking good. Looks like fun. What epoxy product are you using? In the past I've used the Omni product (PPG) availible from O'Rielly's. Sometimes it takes a day to get it but at $77.99/gal, hardener $15.99/qt. seems to work pretty good and i like the confidence of that layer of epoxy. Again thanks for sharing!!
don
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

I too am using Omni products-for the first time. I was a Dupont guy, but my supplier retired. So far I am happy with Omni which is easy for me to get here in the sticks.

Epoxy primer/hardener:



Primer Surfacer/hardener:



The filler I use is Evercoat Rage Gold. Great stuff, applies well, sands good but is on the expensive side.

Topcoat will probably be plain old hardened Omni Acrylic Enamel. I prefer BC/CC, but Figure that Acrylic Enamel will be the easiest to repair should I have another racing incident, such as dropping a wrench on the fender.
 

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Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Thats it! There is a white, MP171 and a black, MP172.

When I start bodywork, it seems like fun at first. Then i get impatient, start cutting corners then wish i would have taken more time.

Wish I had more time. Keep us updated.
Thanks,
don
 

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Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Didn't you know that I am a Renaissance man?


Nah,

I'm just a jack(off) of many trades but master of none.

Thanks guys for the good words.


Im going to second what frdnut said! DAMN! A machine behind a 4 speed, master at tuning suspension and drivetrain, and professional bodyworker. Id say jack of all trades, master of every damn thing!

Looks great dennis! Im jealous of your confidence to tackle any project! Did I ever tell you youre my hero! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Im going to second what frdnut said! DAMN! A machine behind a 4 speed, master at tuning suspension and drivetrain, and professional bodyworker. Id say jack of all trades, master of every damn thing!

Looks great dennis! Im jealous of your confidence to tackle any project! Did I ever tell you youre my hero! :D
Heppy, it looks like you are in the running to be president of my fan club . . . . . :) Just kidding.

Thank You.

Actually bodywork was one of the first automotive things that I taught myself when I was 17. My first Mustang (66) was in 2 accidents in 3 days (neither my fault) plus I had crushed a door with no ones help one rainy night. My mother insisted that I repair the car even though I had bought the 68 428CJ Torino as a replacement. Spent many a summer afternoon replacing parts and learning how to sling Bondo. Painted the whole car in the yard using Napa paint and a 1 1/2hp sears portable air compressor. Overall the body work looked great, but the car had the worse case of orange peel possible.

I've always hated doing body work and it has been an on and off affair over the years. I seem to have a knack for it and earned/saved quite a few $$ over the years. Painted lots of Mustangs, my GMC, Fiats, Opels, kids pedal cars, a beautiful Imron Corvette, an airplane, etc over the years. Even restored a couple of roll over convertibles by replacing numerous body panels. Since I am self taught, I will never claim to be in FE's league but can certainly hold my own in most projects.

This GT was the 3rd car that I have painted (circa 1980) and although it wasn't perfect, it turned out pretty nice and I have received numerous good comments about it over the years. Here it is in its glory (and 25 year old paint) 5 years ago before I got the racing bug:

 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Slowed down somewhat over the Christmas to spend time with my family, although once the kids left I was hard at it again.

Fully stripped both quarterpanels/rockers of paint and body filler.





Discovered that I had done lots of body work on it 30 years ago and had covered up lots of dents and a little rust on both sides. The driver's side had been creased almost its whole length. Additionally, I had also used a dent puller and punched over 150 1/8" holes in both quarters plus the passenger side rocker. Not knowing any better at that time I covered it all in Bondo. Still, today the quarters are very sound and replacement seems excessive given the current use of the car.

My plan was to weld up all the drilled holes, replace the rusted sections with fresh metal, properly fill in the ornament holes, and massage all damaged areas until only a skim coat of body filler was required. I also wanted to open up the wheelwheels at the front so I can install a 28" drag slick in the future. The wheelwell "flairs" had previously been pushed out 3/4" and the lips were previously rolled for wide tires.

Here you can see the small rust holes on the wheel well that survived just fine being Bondo covered and some of the drilled holes that I needed to deal with on the rocker:





One of the worse dents that I welded up, and then hammered/dollied into submission:



Filling in the quarter panel chrome ornament holes were next on my list of repairs-and yes I had felt the need to drill holes there in the past to help the Bondo stick:





I cut out a small piece of metal the size of the hole and then attached it to some brazing rod. The brazing rod served as a handle to allow placement and then I mig tacking of the patch:









Modifying the front of the wheel well wasn't too bad. Cutting it out it also totally eliminated one rust area. First I studied the area and decided that I could remove 3/4" from the lower front and yet be able to blend it nicely back into the original wheel well curve. I made a few marks and then free handed the shape with a Sharpy:



I then took a deep breath, broke out the air powered hack saw and went to town removing the section:



Next I tacked the edge of the outer quarterpanel to the inner section of the wheel well. I then copied N20Mike's idea by using 3/32" welding rod and attaching it to the cut area to create a nice uniform bead:



The above pic shows that the numerous 1/8" rocker holes were migged shut.



Look closely at the top of the above pic and you can see where the welding rod meets the original lipping. After I tweaked it to my liking, I solidly welded the rod to the quarter panel on both the in and outside. A small patch was cut to fix the old rust area shown above.

Here is the quarter after a all the welding and messaging:



I am quite impressed with how uniform the wheelwells look after opening them up. Careful planning plus clenching my teeth just so when sawing certainly paid off.

Next came a good sanding of the metal and then a skim coating of body filler. Body filler has come a long way from when the Bondo brand was popular. A good modern body filler is easy to apply (with less pin holes) and much easier to sand. I initially started to use the common Chromolite brand, but decided that it was worth the extra $$ for my favorite "Rage Gold". It sands much quicker and the extra cost is justified due to using less DA/sandpaper plus the greatly decreased sanding time:



Also shown above is the 2 part glaze that I use. A 2 part epoxy sets up fast, plus lessens the chance of interaction between it and the topcoats. Both of these are "premium products" and normally won't be found in a "production" body shop which often use the cheaper products as a cost savings.





The quarter panel flairs need blended so that the widening won't be readily apparent in the final product. Although it looks like I used a lot of body filler, it was actually applied very thin to smooth out the numerous damaged spots. Overall, I used barely a quart total on both quarters and of course much of that gets sanded off. The more that I studied the quarters, the more small light parking lot like dents I found on both sides of the car. Since the are easy to locate in this stage, I prefer to fill them now instead of later doing it with glazing and primer.

Here are the panels in their near final form, nearly ready to be cleaned and taped up for primer:



(Above you can see that much of the sanded filler ends up on the floor.)

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Re: 65' Mustang GT body restoration.

Today I primered both quarters and rocker panels. The first coat was epoxy primer:





Then came 3 coats of catalyzed primer surfacer:





I became curious as to how my wheel well lengthening mod would look, so I first mounted my 24" tall street tire, with the rear being supported by jack stands.

Before mod:



You can see how much more room is on the left side of the tire.

After mod:



Hmmm, lots of room but really didn't illustrate what I wanted to know. I yanked off the street tire and installed a 26.5" tall slick which better fill up the wheel well:





Two full inches of clearance at the tightest spot. Since I also have 2" minimum clearance at the rear of the wheel well, it is a pretty safe bet that a 28" slick should have sufficient growing room at high speed. Looks like its time to consider a taller street tire too. :cool:

 
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