Mercury Cougar Owners banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So the issue that I was afraid of finally cropped up. I have replaced my engine bay aprons and one shock tower in my 67 cat, as well as the front radiater support, strut rod frame members, frame rails, and driver floor and torque box as well as removed and replaced the cowl cover to replace one of the cowl hats. I took measurements beforehand up front and continued to take measurements during the work, including test fitting the quarter panels after each panel replacement. The panels fit just about right till the end of the work to the front of the cougar.

The issue is with the driver side front quarter panel. Below is a pic of the front inner edge prior to removing for restoration, notice the front mounting hole and edge at front support:


In the pick below, I test fit the panels after reinstalling the cowl cover. Mounting holes lined up and the gap by the window was acceptable.


The next item I replaced after the above work and pic was the installation of the driver torque box and floor pan and installation of the right rear engine bay apron. These were the last two items to be replaced up front.

Now notice the front mounting hole:


Here is the entire quarter panel:


And no gap at the back:


I am trying to figure out what occurred after the cowl was reinstalled and installation of the driver torque box and installation of the right rear engine bay apron that could cause this to change so drastically. Comparted to my measurements before and after the work noted above, the whole assembly is about 3/8" or slightly more off from previous measurement.

This is extremely frustrating as I was taking care during each panel replacement to check measurements before, during, and after installations to avoid exactly this issue. I know that this cougar was hit pretty good on the passenger side up front sometime in its past, so I am wondering if it is possible that I released some frame torque or something that is pushing things out of alignment, but I just can't figure what changed.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
How would the "levelness" on the horizontal plane of the frame be measured in the state this car is in?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
How would the "levelness" on the horizontal plane of the frame be measured in the state this car is in?
On a frame machine I would think Brian. I had my car checked after the inner rocker and torque box replacement. Sorry for your trouble buddy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That's what I am contemplating right now. If I am going to get it checked, now is the time.

I am considering stopping work on the front of the car since it is virtually complete and starting on the back. But, would it be better to replace the passenger door post and get it to a frame shop prior to patching up the back?

Tonight I am once again going to be pulling measurements from all corners of the car to compare to the shop manual to see if anything shows up as completely out of tolerance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,950 Posts
Yeah - that's a tough one? I wonder if it's just the way you have it jacked right now? They flex a lot without the brace in place anyways.....careful measuring/tweaking may help you ID what the issue is...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I am also going to install the new single piece shock tower brace to see if it lines up as well as just start taking measurements all over the car. I set the whole thing down on the middle frame and measured some last night without it changing.

I am not sure how a frame shop can make the driver side frame and engine bay "longer" on that side...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
I am also going to install the new single piece shock tower brace to see if it lines up as well as just start taking measurements all over the car. I set the whole thing down on the middle frame and measured some last night without it changing.

I am not sure how a frame shop can make the driver side frame and engine bay "longer" on that side...
Probably correct that a frame shop can't make it longer easily, but they can probably tell you why/what made it shorter.

The thought I had is that the frame rail shifted while the apron, torque box and floor pieces were out? I don't recall what the order was in which you did these is but it seems plausible. I was going to say perhaps the front of the rail has moved upward with respect to the rest of the car, but that alone would not be enough/explain the movement backward of the radiator support such as you have shown.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The thought I had is that the frame rail shifted while the apron, torque box and floor pieces were out? I don't recall what the order was in which you did these is but it seems plausible.
Order was: LF apron (quarter panel and measurements were still spot on after this), rad support and strut supports, RF apron, Right shock tower, RR apron, passenger floor pan and frame rail, removed LR apron, removed torque box and driver floor, replaced driver frame rail (main rail still connected to floor), removed/replaced cowl, test fit quarter panel and still fit, install torque box, install driver floor, install LR apron, quarter panel no longer fits.

I have greatly considered that the front of the rail has moved upward as this whole structure was sort of just "hanging out" when the driver floor/torque box and LF apront were removed. But I cannot fathom how the front frame rail, along with the aprons got "shorter" by almost 1/2". It makes no sense.

When I replaced the LF apron, I measured from the cowl to the radiator support. At this time, that measurement was exactly the same as the measurement I took before starting any replacement work, so this leads me to believe that the issue is occurring between the shock tower and the driver floor pan area.

I have a sinking feeling that the driver cab structure (for lack of a better term) is sittinga 1/2" further forward on the left had frame rail. How it happened... not sure, but previous accidents can cause strange things to happen to a unibody. How to fix this... no idea.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
380 Posts
At this point I would get the car to an expert in your area that has a proven track record in structural/frame related repairs. You may no longer be able to use objective reasoning and need a new set of eyes on the car. Good luck getting that issue resolved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have some additional work to do that is minor, rust repair, etc., that I will continue to do at this point while I look for someone to take a look at the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Did you check your export brace on how it fits to the shock tower , here I never removed them for the 3 aprons I replaced . I know you replace a tower right ?

When I did the front end I kept making the cross measurement from the core support back to the rear top apron connector . I found the repop sheet metal so far off I had to move them to the position that worked . Not where I drilled them out at .









 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Sorry this has happened at this stage , but the fix maybe redrill the aprons and push them forward . I guess it would be really about all you can do to get the measurement back .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So this just makes it all the stranger...

I put the driver door back on and gapped it correctly at the back. Tossed on the front driver fender. It still fits the same as the pics above, sticks out about 3/8".

Then I tried to install the Scott Drake export brace. There is no way it was going to fit on either side without some modification or jacking apart the shock towers, which I expect some of since I have installed them before.

The original export braces fit EXACTLY the same as they came off. That was sort of a surprise.

So, based upon my sequencing and measurements throught, I am getting fairly certain that the issue resides between the driver shock tower and firewall/driver floor pan area. But, that's just a guess since there are some many variables.

Gotta think a bit on my next steps. Contemplating the drilling out of the welds on the aprons and floor pan... requires more than a few beers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Anyone have the inner fender lip to fender lip up front dimension? This would be the area the hood fits into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I am a little lost on the question but my 69 is still all stock , Give me a hand drawn pic And I can get them all for you Brian !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Ok from the screw that mounts the outer cowl pass side to driver side measured 62 13/16



From drivers side to passenger side it measured 62 3/4



The drivers side apron dimple was 5/8 inch from core support edge



The passenger side from dimple measured 1/2 inch to core support edge



I took the cross measurements from the screw that mounts the top cowl panel to the bolt at core support and last fender hole .

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
From the cowl mounting screw to the fender bolt drivers side is 45 inches .



Now also when I measured to the mounting bolt it was to the center of the bolt head , Hope these help some but so many vary by just a little bit .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
If you can measure the squareness of the passenger compartment , the rocker instal may be short a bit on the drivers side .
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top