What a difference a week can make at Mustang Maniac, my car seems to have gone from a shell to a recognisable car in a mater of days, it even has bolts back in it. I have been sent little teaser photos by Adam and John over the last couple of weeks and it seriously wetted my appetite to get down there as soon as I can to start work on her. The car was packed Friday night, the alarm was set a little earlier on the phone and wishing the hours away to the morning. I arrived to find that Adam had been invited to Goodwood Revival so I was left in the very capable hands of John and Yogi. I was taken around to see my car and my jaw hit the floor as the car has a rear end and sides now. Terry has been adding the panels, welding up and doing a fantastic job and his attention to detail is second to none. The pictures here are of Terry working on the quarters with old school techniques rarely found in this Mustang restoration business. Firstly clamping up the panels and the wheel arches to each other for a dry fitting, the trunk lid rested in place for quarter gap positioning. Once everything is place then the top joints welded and brazed in place just like they were from the factory. Many people will just weld and leave it as it will be covered with filler and paint, not these guys though and that is quality of workmanship that they have become respected for. (Please on the pictures to see the full sized versions.)
Do I apologise for such a large picture post? No way!
The other workmanship revolves around the bottom of the roof to the quarters themselves. These are normally butt welded up by some people or even cut around the lead work. But here the lead has been removed, the spot welds removed and the rotten sections removed and re-plated with the original contours. This allows for the full quarter to be to be fitted to the roof section and welded where it’s supposed to be. Terry welds into the original places and then it will be ground down to allow for the full leading to be applied where it will all be covered over and the strength is retained in the car. Many other places will not do the lead work as it’s a fine art and some modern garages don’t use it for daft health and safety reasons.
With the quarters in place and fully welded up the next big panel was the trunk lid. With the freshly painted hinges and inner wheel arches they were lightly bolted into place and the trunk lined up to the quarters, once in place its all tightened up. The trunk will lay down under its own weight to allow final positioning of the trunk. Once that is done the tricky and dangerous (if you get it wrong) twisting of the sprung bars into place to keep the trunk open once the key has released the catch.
The next section was the filler and light panel to be fitted. The new rear quarters have alignment holes that need to be located to the light panel to ensure the light housings fit into place as the two halves form both the openings. The panel is then welded to the chassis brackets to give the rear strength.
Next is the rear quarter links that join the rear panel which are positioned and welded into place. With everything in place Terry then completes the trunk and quarter areas he has done so far with the traditional brazing.
Forward thinking at this point see the guys dummy fit a rear bumper to see where the quarter end caps will sit in relation to the trunk and the quarters. These original fittings are notorious to fit correctly to new panels, but these went on like a dream and only small adjustments needed. The bumper will be able to be moved into the final correct position at a later date. The final panel for the rear section is the back up rear valance. My original was well and truly mashed up on the right hand side as if it had been backed over a rock. It could have been repaired but for the sake of £60 it was decided to replace with a new panel and there is no rust worries either at this point now.
Remove the bumper and then screw the rear valance into place after aligning all the sections up together.
With the welding all completed the seams were sealed up like they were in the factory and it was really was quite brutal in those days and nothing fancy. Terry then added the boot catch to the inner panel and welded it all up. Rear section done.
What does she look like from the side? Pretty darn good I would say. The next stage was to add a little filler to the panels to smooth out any imperfections and apply flexible sealer under the quarter to the sill.
During all of this you may be thinking well what did I do Saturday? The answer was simple, I was prepping the other panels and removing the paint in order for Terry to be able to weld up properly. My tasks this week was to strip the fenders the “A” pillar posts once I had removed the doors, and then start on the roof. A large amount of work, but it all needs to be done so I left very late into the evening, I was physically hurting at the end of the day. The same old story, strip, scrape, strip again wire wool and strip any remaining last bits before a final wipe over with thinners.
The roof tuned out to be a big task. The car is on the jig I couldn’t reach into the middle, even at 6’4″ tall my long arms didn’t make. So I had to balance on the sills hold on and apply stripper and scrape. Now I’m no gymnast and it was quite tricky at times to be honest and I think this is where the fatigue kicked in. But the results were good and the roof came up pretty spotless.
Sunday I have spent most of the day editing these pictures ready for the blog plus the afternoon nap too. Next week – I know what I will be doing, stripping the hood back to bare metal.