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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I just picked up some 18 gauge sheet metal to start making necessary and much needed repairs to several projects that I have going.
The flat stock I'm working with is 10.5x43. My only real experience in metal working is with bending aluminum trim on a house over old wood.
My tools are a hammer, 3.5 inch hand benders, and square granites which will act as my anvil along with a piece of pine which I found gave me a soft surface to work the metal without damaging it. I do have a nibbler to cut the sheet metal to size, so I'm not totally in the stone age!

First and foremost is the battery box on the ltd/inner fender area.
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There was barely any steel left from a battery being left in place for MANY years. This car sat from 1993-2018 and then I got it in 2020, just before covid hit. Since then this spot had been fixed with a piece of 1x8 pine which, needless to say, made things a bit hairy when testing at speed!

After about an hour of bending the 18 gauge steel and forming it with a hammer, this is what I came up with (not the battery tray itself, obviously)

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the anvil.

The inner fender is just a slip on; on the first try it fit snug enough so that there was no free play and the bends held it solid without welding, and strong enough without using a bead roller to support the battery. This isn't really a permanent fix as it isn't welded but since it works, and was a quick cheap fix, I'll take it.
Now primer; here you can see the 1.5 inch bends I put on the piece. It's rough but functional. Just what I'm going for!
Wood Gas Concrete Soil Metal


Will post pictures of the rusty body later, that where the real fun begins...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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Wood Brickwork Road surface Window Brick



This is most of the rust that needs patching before getting a paint job. As you can see, basically every body panel needs work. With body panels being scarce and expensive, I'm going to attempt to work with what I have. Most of the areas to be patched are fairly flat, but I have no illusion that any of these will be easy. Nonetheless, I'm going to attempt to make the patches. I'll be consulting an auto body guy before any welding gets done, but hopefully I'll learn a bit and save some money along the way!
I'm considering investing in a surface conditioning tool such as from Eastwood:
Seems like it would save a lot of sanding, but I'm really not against doing it by hand!
The other consideration is the chrome trim; I'd like to keep it, but it's all damaged. Mostly not beyond repair, but the beltline strips are pretty beat up.
I'm hoping to fix the rear valance beneath the window without having to remove the window, maybe using lead to patch those seams?


I plan on attacking one area at a time, avoiding body lines as much as possible, and simply to take it slow and steady.
Any pointers or suggestions would be appreciated, thanks
 

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This is most of the rust that needs patching before getting a paint job. As you can see, basically every body panel needs work. With body panels being scarce and expensive, I'm going to attempt to work with what I have. Most of the areas to be patched are fairly flat, but I have no illusion that any of these will be easy. Nonetheless, I'm going to attempt to make the patches. I'll be consulting an auto body guy before any welding gets done, but hopefully I'll learn a bit and save some money along the way!
I'm considering investing in a surface conditioning tool such as from Eastwood:
Seems like it would save a lot of sanding, but I'm really not against doing it by hand!
The other consideration is the chrome trim; I'd like to keep it, but it's all damaged. Mostly not beyond repair, but the beltline strips are pretty beat up.
I'm hoping to fix the rear valance beneath the window without having to remove the window, maybe using lead to patch those seams?


I plan on attacking one area at a time, avoiding body lines as much as possible, and simply to take it slow and steady.
Any pointers or suggestions would be appreciated, thanks
Hello Gunnar001,

You have taken on a very ambitious project. You asked for pointers. If I may further ask what are your final intentions with the automobile? What are your expectations? Before any large project (or really any project, but more so a large one) it's important to have very specific goals in order to properly set forth the plan and achieve that. Unless this is one of those projects that is just see what happens and if it doesn't work out just scrap it deals?

The reason I ask this is because the car from the few pictures looks very rough. In looking at the body condition alone and knowing these cars well, I can't help but wonder what state the frame is in. I've had a frame catastrophically fail on me in a '68 whilst driving it and it's nothing to shrug off as the back bottom seat flew up violently hitting the interior roof and almost me as if it I ran over a landmine (the rear axle lower arm ripped off the frame and went up through the floor).

Frame aside it looks like the upper arm control bushing is nearly absent in one picture and I'm sure the others are the same. That car must wander all over the road. My personal suggestion is before you tackle any body work, you'll want to delve into the safety of the frame ('65-'68 are notorious for rotting out from the inside out) and then tackle all the safety items, such as suspension, brakes and steering so you do not hurt anyone or destroy anyone else's property from negligence.

I do wish you luck on your project.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi desertxl,
Thanks for the response and note about the danger of the frame. As far as making this car safe primarily,I agree completely. The body work is something I'd like to begin thinking about as it will be a long term secondary objective. Mechanically, It's still a work in progress, and I intend on going through the entire front end before long.
She does float around a bit with the steering, but it handles like an old boat, and I take it easy!
Safety wise:
Brakes are new from master cylinder to wheel cylinders, shoes and springs so most importantly it stops. All my lights work, along with the dummy lights in the dash. The fuel system is new from tank to carb. Rear springs are replaced, front are original.
I installed new kyb shocks all the way around.
The frame under the drivers door, just behind the torque boxes is showing a bit of rot around the drainage hole. Besides that it seems solid. I know they rot from the inside out and I'm sure it's thin in spots but I can't fix what I can't find!
This car was only driven 35k in 25 years and so far the engine, transmission, and rear axle seem to be doing their respective jobs so I haven't done a thing to the drivetrain.


My goals for this are to preserve and enjoy a piece of classic American muscle. I have no desire to make it a show car, and understand that to make it reliable I'll have to methodically go through every system and refurbish just about everything. I also know that the man hours involved and cost of parts don't get reflected in the value of a full size Ford. The value to me is knowing that this LTD is my classic, and I'm learning as I go. I'm willing to make mistakes and learn from them, but I'd like to keep moving in the right direction!

Again, thank you for your input Desertxl. Your restoration threads and expertise in this generation of full size fords are second to none.
 

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Hi desertxl,
Thanks for the response and note about the danger of the frame. As far as making this car safe primarily,I agree completely. The body work is something I'd like to begin thinking about as it will be a long term secondary objective. Mechanically, It's still a work in progress, and I intend on going through the entire front end before long.
She does float around a bit with the steering, but it handles like an old boat, and I take it easy!
Safety wise:
Brakes are new from master cylinder to wheel cylinders, shoes and springs so most importantly it stops. All my lights work, along with the dummy lights in the dash. The fuel system is new from tank to carb. Rear springs are replaced, front are original.
I installed new kyb shocks all the way around.
The frame under the drivers door, just behind the torque boxes is showing a bit of rot around the drainage hole. Besides that it seems solid. I know they rot from the inside out and I'm sure it's thin in spots but I can't fix what I can't find!
This car was only driven 35k in 25 years and so far the engine, transmission, and rear axle seem to be doing their respective jobs so I haven't done a thing to the drivetrain.


My goals for this are to preserve and enjoy a piece of classic American muscle. I have no desire to make it a show car, and understand that to make it reliable I'll have to methodically go through every system and refurbish just about everything. I also know that the man hours involved and cost of parts don't get reflected in the value of a full size Ford. The value to me is knowing that this LTD is my classic, and I'm learning as I go. I'm willing to make mistakes and learn from them, but I'd like to keep moving in the right direction!

Again, thank you for your input Desertxl. Your restoration threads and expertise in this generation of full size fords are second to none.
Hello Gunnar001,

I'm glad you have started working on the safety systems first. On the topic of the body work I would encourage you to watch these free videos posted by two people on You Tube that work in a minimalist fashion as far as tools go. Obviously you will need some good tools but you do not need a full production suite of tools to make replacement panels.

The two guys I learned tips and tricks are:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB8HF8Pqug-Pc7DFqX9lf_g/playlists

and

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6JPmJ_aicru8XPWr3EvJnw/playlists

There's another fellow from Britain that shows how to make simple patch panels to complete brass show quality radiators shrouds the old fashioned way with minimal hand tools. However that is a paid for DVD. He is also a true coach builder with decades of experience, his name is David Gardiner. You may wish to look into his video as well.

Just some food for thought.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you I'll certainly check out the links. I'm willing to invest in quality tools as I have a lot of rusty vehicles. I'll also be getting assistance and advice from a pro, so nothing is going to be permanently welded without passing a bit of quality control. Just hoping to accomplish this with hand tools to save on the budget. I would rather invest time then money. We'll see how she goes!
 

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Looks like a fun project. Like they said above check your frame. My 66 sat on black top for 20 years and the frame still rotted to about the middle of the doors. We were afraid she might break in half when we loaded her.
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My brother and I used those videos to learn to make patch panels. Fortunately most patches were in mostly flat sections.
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worst ones were figuring out how to put in new trunk gutters.
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Here is how she looked when we started.
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1.5 yrs in and just about ready to paint
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Take your time and have fun with the build. Don't let the frustration get to you. Walk away for a while. Mine sat most of last summer waiting on parts, so we worked on my brother's 79 Roadrunner( hoping to get this on to Carlisle in July). Good luck with the build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice looking build gelgoog!
Yeah I'm definitely not looking forward to repairing the trunk gutters. Certainly the most complicated patches I'll need to make. I picked up a NOS trunk trough corner after months of keeping an eye out for one. I'm hoping to use that to help jig up the profile of the gutter. I was thinking 20 or 22 gauge steel for those bends...but we'll see.

I'm thinking my frame was saved because this car seemingly wasn't driven in winter and must have been kept garaged most of it's life.
Rot happens mighty fast up here in new England though... I found pictures online of my LTD from it being listed for sale in 2018 with a blurb about it's history. It was garaged from at least 92-2018!
 

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Another good youtube source is Craig909. He documents his learning process and posts it for all to see. He does some good work with minimal tools and in the driveway, or back yard. A young guy with enthusiasm and willingness to try anything to get get what he wants done. And, he is a Ford guy and has a couple 64 Galaxies for projects. I admire him for just digging in, figuring it out and doing it.
 
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