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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone has run across this rust issue - based on design I have to assume it's fairly common - it's behind the upper control arm, almost like a ledge. There was a lot of dirt/rust just laying there. The only access to it seems to be by removing the control arm; which needs to be done to repair that failed bushing. I'd like to work on this while I'm at it.

Any hints or tips on the rust repair are appreciated- fairly new to that work. THANKS!

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There are two ways to repair this. The best way would be to replace the entire shock tower with a new one. The other way would be to cut out all the rust and then weld in some sort of patch. This is a very critical area for strength, it needs to be done right.

With the rust shown there it is likely that your torque boxes are also rusted out along with frame rails and floor pans. Are you sure this car is worth restoring?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are two ways to repair this. The best way would be to replace the entire shock tower with a new one. The other way would be to cut out all the rust and then weld in some sort of patch. This is a very critical area for strength, it needs to be done right.

With the rust shown there it is likely that your torque boxes are also rusted out along with frame rails and floor pans. Are you sure this car is worth restoring?
Interesting question Royce, thanks for asking. Here is the history, i’d appreciate your thoughts.

The car was restored about three years ago, but they missed this. Again, bodywork not my area of strength, so I don’t know how that could happen.

The floor pans were completely replaced along with torque boxes. Frame rails were cut and patched. Other work was done as well. The seller (I just bought it) provided over 300 pictures of the restoral. I had them reviewed and the opinion was the work was good quality.

I had it on a lift yesterday and we found no new rust areas. I couldn’t see these spots from below, I found them when tightening/repacking the wheel bearings the other night. The only rust originally found when I looked at the car was the passenger rear wheelhouse, through the inner and outer, that seems like a simple fix.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Interesting question Royce, thanks for asking. Here is the history, i’d appreciate your thoughts.

The car was restored about three years ago, but they missed this. Again, bodywork not my area of strength, so I don’t know how that could happen.

The floor pans were completely replaced along with torque boxes. Frame rails were cut and patched. Other work was done as well. The seller (I just bought it) provided over 300 pictures of the restoral. I had them reviewed and the opinion was the work was good quality.

I had it on a lift yesterday and we found no new rust areas. I couldn’t see these spots from below, I found them when tightening/repacking the wheel bearings the other night. The only rust originally found when I looked at the car was the passenger rear wheelhouse, through the inner and outer, that seems like a simple fix.

Thanks for the advice!
Mike, What Royce said is true about needing to be done right. You don't want shoddy work here. But this does give you options. If you want stock then get teh shock towers replaces by a competent shop. Or you could go modern and get rid of the towers and have a Mustang 2 set up done. There are many kits for doing this. Both ways will cost a bit of money. Good luck.
Not a recommendation, just an example.
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Mustang-II-IFS-Stock-Control-Arms-Springs-and-Shocks-Dropped-Spindles,22750.html?sku=91034101-4 1/2&utm_medium=CSEGoogle&utm_source=CSE&utm_campaign=CSEGOOGLE&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhvWJo-C42wIVhSJpCh0U6QC9EAYYASABEgL8PfD_BwE
 

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Any way you look at it, you will have to pull the engine to repair this properly. Patches can be welded in or towers replaced entirely. Another option is to delete them as mentioned above, combined with a modern front suspension setup.
I bet they did not forget this, rather it was too much work with pulling the engine and all?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I fear you are right hanver. I’ve been watching a ton of videos on the issue and it’s pretty...frustrating. On an aside, thanks to folks like Don Rush, Chris Ingrassia and Mustangsplus for incredible support via YouTube. It is much appreciated.

i bought the car right, so putting some cash in to get through this is worth it I think. My son and I spent time cleaning stainless yesterday and those times together have a lot of value. :)

It looks like frame rail rot, not shock tower. I pulled the wheels again this weekend and the towers seems solid, no welds no cracks visible. I see the 69’s had reenforcement plates engineered in so maybe...

as I sit here with my coffee, I am thinking �� frame rail repair, aftermarket shocktower reinforcement plates (I’ve seen multiple users recommend them) and the export brace I’ve also seen mentioned. I need to to talk with my body guy.

I appreciate the thoughts and really appreciate additional advice, thoughts, witty remarks.

Mike
 

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Here is may be a similar story with lot of fear at first...
After I pulled the suspension out and thoroughly cleaned the area to assess the real damage, I found that only the top of the frame rail was rusted because dirt/moisture could not escape anymore through the holes that are designed for that (they were clogged). So I cut the damaged areas, build patch plates that I welded in place then used the special tower reinforcement plates from WCC along with export brace. To prevent rusting again I used rust converter before priming and painting. And as an extra precaution, I poured some epoxy on top of the tower reinforcement plates to even out with frame rail, just to make sure that no more moist/dirt could ever accumulate in the area, and painted again on top of the epoxy. My car is street driver that I never abuse and has been a charm to drive since then (4th summer season this year). Good luck with this project (In case you do not know, please be aware that you must be very careful when removing/installing coil springs - use the right tool for that).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dan,
That is a great story! I’m hopeful mine goes the same way. From the engine bay, the shock towers are smooth, so no damage visible/felt from the wheel well or bay. The reenforcement plates are in place, flush almost to the corners and straight.

Until I pull the suspension I really won’t know, but feeling optimistic. I’ve ordered the kit from West Coast, it includes an additional support bracket. Looks like this is a later this month weekend project.

Is there a chance you have the patch plate dimensions? I’d like to have those ready to go on the chance I need the same size to save a little time.

Thanks again for sharing the pictures and rust prevention measures. very helpful!
 

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Dan... ...Is there a chance you have the patch plate dimensions? I’d like to have those ready to go on the chance I need the same size to save a little time...
Unfortunately no, I did not record measurements... but they were fairly quick and easy to make & adjust as they lay down flat. I finalised rounding of the edge corners with a grinder for a perfect fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
OK, finally got to the work this weekend. Some pics from both sides

passenger first










The the driver side was worse.






I used 1/8” steel on the top of the frame rail.



then the small patch from shock tower to frame rail I used 3/32”, so I could flex it around the tower.



finally both sides got the shock tower reenforcement plates.



still have some clean up and painting to do. But I have a little time, half way through I decided to replace the 50 year old suspension. Waiting on parts.

Early on Royce asked about if the car was worth restoring. [which I honestly wasn’t sure- scared the h*ll out of me frankly...

The prior owner had done a new gas tank, full floor pans and torque boxes. He also cleaned up engine compartment rust all in the last 4 years. Beside this rust, there is a little work needed on the rear RH wheel well and I plan to put front to rear frame rail connectors. I did install the export brace to start this work. Other than that the car is solid.... LOL as I read that.

These issues surprised me, had I found them before buying the car I likely would have passed. Today I’m glad I didn’t. Can’t wait to get her back on the road!
 

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Mike, the welds on the reinforcement plates look ok, but on the (structural?) repair patches you made I can see the welds almost have no penetration for the most part.
Meaning the will break/crack quite easily, although the reinfor. plates on top will help holding it together.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the critique Hanver. I’m crash coursing in the welding world. Have more to go- hopefully better.

I thought I had deep penetration, but along the shock tower base it is two welds (assuming that is the area of concern) frame rail 1/8” plate, then shock tower base 3/32” tied to frame rail.

I didn’t get a shot of the frame rail patch welded in. Felt good about it. I felt less good when I started the shock tower 3/32” work.
 

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Just wanted to give you my opinion, my area of concern was indeed the welds tying the tower base to frame rail :).
But definitely keep up the good work, learning is best done by doing/welding hard to reach/difficult spots (as I have experienced myself after my welding course was over).
Test pieces on a bench were much easier
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finished up this weekend. Ended up putting in new front suspension, the export brace, shock tower supports and the patches. WOW �� what a huge difference in handling. Thanks all for insights, advice and comments. There is a lot more to do and I’m sure I’ll be looking for more.
 

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Well done friend.. I am happy your car, like mine, is more fun to drive than before, after you did the same repairs & upgrades I did. Enjoy!
 
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