Mercury Cougar Owners banner

21 - 40 of 1886 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
'Tis just a flesh wound... think nothing of it. No worries 'ere, right?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
How do you like me now??

Okay, time for an update from your favorite ECI.

Second inner rocker/front torque box assembly just about to go in, to be followed soon thereafter by firewall foot area patch panels and then the HT floor modified to fit the 'vert. A little work to do to the pan before it is ready to go in, but we are about to get on a roll here.

2.5 days this week devoted to nothing but the car, thank god I have the cheap garage AC, was 100 degrees here today, garage was tolerable at 81 degrees and minus a lot of humidity. Lot of grunt work in the offing today and the next two days.

Note the Grey primer on the undercarriage side of 'vert seat reinforcements, this is what was under the grease, so at least on my car, grey primer was the finish (plus some undercoat here and there), not red oxide. I noticed Jdalu did his trans tunnel in grey and was wondering if it was correct. Looks like it is.

Bob



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
860 Posts
Looks like yer doing an awsome job (for an ECI) ...keep it up....the pictures are worth a book .....when you are done, write one and sell it along with the detailed pictures you are showing us and WALLA! yer fortune is made! Seriously, have you ever tried to find a book on cougars? I have yet to find one of any kind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,853 Posts
Any tips and or procedures to removing the drivers side torque box??
I have to replace mine and am wondering just how to get started.
Oh, and I have no "civilized" lift. I can see a lot of time on my back coming up..
So where do I start cutting and drilling??
I wish someone would write up a "shop manual section" on R & R'ing a 69 Cougar Torque box..
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
COUGRRRMAN said:
Any tips and or procedures to removing the drivers side torque box??
I have to replace mine and am wondering just how to get started.
Oh, and I have no "civilized" lift. I can see a lot of time on my back coming up..
So where do I start cutting and drilling??
I wish someone would write up a "shop manual section" on R & R'ing a 69 Cougar Torque box..
Assume you mean the front torque box (or either side)?? Convertible or HT??

The first thing to do is to clean the floor where peoples feet sit. There are a number of spot welds from the firewall extension (the floor area where peoples feet sit) to the inner surface of the torque box. You will need to slice the firewall extension just past the inside of the front frame rail and remove it (see what it looks like in my first inner rocker after pics, although do a neater job than I did!).

Then you are going to need to cut the welds from the inner rocker to the torque box and the four or so spot welds to the inner flange of the front frame rail to the torque box (again see my first inner rocker after pics). Do a clean job as you need to harvest part of the old inner rocker to graft onto the new torque box. Then, the front frame rail to torque box which is inside the wheel well running vertically, the welds are hidden. The best way to do this is to split the torque box with an air chisel running vertically along the frame rail and then across the bottom by the corner (both in the wheel well) where the torque box bends under. Do the same at the bottom of what you see on the inside where the torque box leaves the floorpan and bends downward to meet the bottom. You then can open the torque box up like a clamshell. Basically, you cut the metal to be replaced whenever you cannot access the welds in order to get access. There are also inner rocker to torque box welds that are inside the torque box. Actually, I am unsure the job can even be done without replacing the inner rocker at the same time. Maybe if the new torque box was split in half and put in bottom half first followed by top half (advice from Tom Lawrance and what he does).

As you might of guessed, all of this must be done with proper support too, under the leaf springs in the back and under where the lower control arms attach to the frame in the front.

Last, I will tell you that getting started is the hardest part. I spent a really long time looking and thinking, looking and thinking some more and then looking and thinking once again before I cut my first spot weld. This is a scary and pretty technical job, something one should be VERY prepared to take on. Not to discourage you, but it is probably as much or more than it looks like and my lousy explanation. Unless you feel your skills and mechanical aptitude are really good, it is probably better to get a West Coast Rust Free Shell (WCRFS)....NOT!!! J/k. Seriously though, it is a job for most that is best left to a professional. If you go for it and feel you are up to it, I will assist you as best I can with advice.

Yes, a book or manual would be a good idea. Writing (and publishing, marketing, etc...) a book would be at least as hard as doing the job though!! However, being an ECI, I might just be dumb enough to try, just as I was to engage in this monumental project. Maybe there is a career direction for an EE in the NE USA afterall, it is just not obvious one...

Regards,

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,853 Posts
Thanks Bob.
It does sound like a huge undertaking. I am not sure as to the separating of the torque box. The "NEW" one that I bought from John's Classic Cougars is a very nice piece and comes as one unit pre spot welded together. It looks as if it should be welded in as a one piece unit.
My original ( drivers side HDTP Coupe ) is completely gone including part of the inside of the edge of the inner frame rail and you can look up into the area and see the metal tube that the parking brake cable runs through from front to back. I am not sure if there are very much of it left to cut out. Just the outer perimeter maybe.
I will take your advice and study it more to determine exactly what must be cut out and if I really think I can do it and do it "right"..
I bet I revisit this thread many time hence..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,145 Posts
:beer: nice work Bob
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
COUGRRRMAN said:
Thanks Bob.
It does sound like a huge undertaking. I am not sure as to the separating of the torque box. The "NEW" one that I bought from John's Classic Cougars is a very nice piece and comes as one unit pre spot welded together. It looks as if it should be welded in as a one piece unit.
My original ( drivers side HDTP Coupe ) is completely gone including part of the inside of the edge of the inner frame rail and you can look up into the area and see the metal tube that the parking brake cable runs through from front to back. I am not sure if there are very much of it left to cut out. Just the outer perimeter maybe.
I will take your advice and study it more to determine exactly what must be cut out and if I really think I can do it and do it "right"..
I bet I revisit this thread many time hence..
Okay, HT car, that's easier. Yes, the one you bought (Amercian Designers no doubt) is a one piece unit but you can separate it by drilling those spot welds. If (and only if) the upper is good you might go this route. Part of what I was suggesting was in regard to 'vert's only as their inner rocker terminates (and connects) to the lower part of the torque box. What you refer to as "inner frame rail" is the inner rocker, flat metal on the HT's and 1/2 of the rocker on 'vert's (they have a U shaped piece on top of that flat panel). You can repair this flat metal, but likely you will need the full torque box out to do it. Floorpan and firewall extension patches are a given as well. Firewall extension patch or patches because the upper of the torquebox is welded to the extension in a bunch of places. You need it out for access.

BTW, since we're talking the DS, we're talking the emergency brake cable guide. The new ones do not have this. You have to drill out the spot welds to remove it from the old one and then cut the proper holes in the new unit and weld the guide in.

For tools, you will need an air chisel, angle grinder, Sawzall is a big help, MIG (or you might get away with a stick) welder, spot weld cutter, a quality gasket scraper (for separating spot welds) to name a few.

I'm here if you need me.

Regards,

Bob

PS passenger side inner rocker, front and rear torque boxes completed last night, firewall extensions fitting underway, pictures to follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,853 Posts
Thanks Bob.
It will be a study to see if I can do it.
I do reguard it as a challange and an oppourtunity to learn.
But, that said, it would be best with an experience welder/bodyman working on it with me.
I may not have that option. However, I am very interested in trying.
Without a donor car for DS floor pan patches to be harvested from, is the only other option to just make a piece out of sheet steel?
I suppose that could work nicely as well..
What does a spot weld cutter look like?
A picture of all necessary tools (and ID ) would be cool.
I guess the first step would be to make sure I have access to all needed tools..
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,982 Posts
Pretty insane amount of work. How many thousands of hours will be invested when you are done? What's your time woirth?

I still can get a nice no rust 'complete 69 XR-7 convertible for around $4000. Your car would be a perfect donor to replace its sun damaged interior.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Royce Peterson said:
Pretty insane amount of work. How many thousands of hours will be invested when you are done? What's your time woirth?

I still can get a nice no rust 'complete 69 XR-7 convertible for around $4000. Your car would be a perfect donor to replace its sun damaged interior.
Royce, wondering who are you addressing?? Ah well, I will answer anyway.

A lot less than 1 (thousand). Less than 500. Less than 250, you get the idea, not that many actually. My time? $0.00 The pride of doing the job (right and better than 99% of professionals) and the experience and learning gained? Priceless. The tools? Cool! Remember, you are talking to an ECI and there is no reasoning with those guys...

I thought it was a '70 you knew of when we spoke at Carlisle??

Sun damaged? Maybe you were addressing someone else afterall, but what the heck, and ECI never misses an opportunity to spout off about the virtues of his insanity...

Regards,

Bob
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,982 Posts
LOL, you are correct, it is a '70. It is driveable, complete and needs no sheet metal replacement.

The point is you could be in a finished convert (or hardtop) a lot quicker and cheaper by starting with one that doesn't need a total unit body structure replacement. Many '69 converts and hardtops are available constantly that would meet the criteria of being cost effective to restore.

I like to drive my cars as much or more than working on them. Drove two of them today. The red one started coming apart for paint right after Carlisle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
Bob
I agree with Art!
Keep up the great work, as it's more rewarding and a learning experiance, to you and to all of us!
The best part is you can really say "You did all the work, ground up!"
That's the best reward in my book!
:beer:
Juli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
Bob,
I see you're getting good life from the spot weld cutter. I think the mistake some do is try to cut the metal at too high a speed (800-1000RPM). I have a rechargable DeWalt that turns at around 300RPM. I've drilled out several thousand spot welds in my time and know the slower speed prolongs tool life and I'm able to hear the "pop" when the first laminate of metal is penetrated. Sounds silly, but I can see the tool touch the rust between the first and second layers. Some very rusty areas, the cutter goes right through.:realmad:

I've never bought a spot weld cutter, always ground a 3/8" drill with small pilot and flat cutting end. I centerpunch the spot weld, then drill a 1/8" pilot before using the cutter.
1969XR7Vert said:
Todd,

It will sound hard to believe, but I am still on the second side of the very first spot weld bit! I started out using a little WD-40 when I did the first inner rocker and torque boxes (you have to go through about 1/8" of metal for a lot of those welds), towards the end of that job I flipped over the first bit (and kinda stopped using the WD-40 although it enhances cutting and prolongs bit life, I should go back to using it) and am still using that one now.
Hi, my name is Bob and I'm an ECI.

{audience:} Hi Bob...

:buck:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,059 Posts
Royce Peterson said:
LOL, you are correct, it is a '70. It is driveable, complete and needs no sheet metal replacement.

The point is you could be in a finished convert (or hardtop) a lot quicker and cheaper by starting with one that doesn't need a total unit body structure replacement. Many '69 converts and hardtops are available constantly that would meet the criteria of being cost effective to restore.

I like to drive my cars as much or more than working on them. Drove two of them today. The red one started coming apart for paint right after Carlisle.
Royce, save your strength. Bob & I have been 'round & 'round on this one. He's got his sights set on the '09 Nationals & nobody is gonna talk him out of it.

I've come to respect his "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" point of view re: his 'vert, even if I don't fully understand it.

It's like me training to run the NYC marathon this Nov. I'm a fat guy who hates to run....sign me up! A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,569 Posts
Art,
When you say that you have tooled the end of an 3/8 drill do you mean like a brad-point drill bit, flat cutting edge with out any angle?
Dennis


Art said:
Bob,
I see you're getting good life from the spot weld cutter. I think the mistake some do is try to cut the metal at too high a speed (800-1000RPM). I have a rechargable DeWalt that turns at around 300RPM. I've drilled out several thousand spot welds in my time and know the slower speed prolongs tool life and I'm able to hear the "pop" when the first laminate of metal is penetrated. Sounds silly, but I can see the tool touch the rust between the first and second layers. Some very rusty areas, the cutter goes right through.:realmad:

I've never bought a spot weld cutter, always ground a 3/8" drill with small pilot and flat cutting end. I centerpunch the spot weld, then drill a 1/8" pilot before using the cutter.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
cougar2 said:
Art,
When you say that you have tooled the end of an 3/8 drill do you mean like a brad-point drill bit, flat cutting edge with out any angle?
Dennis
Dewalt sells drill bits of the type Art mentioned, I use one too for certain things, like blowing holes for plug welds in the new inner rockers and sheet metal.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Art said:
Bob,
I see you're getting good life from the spot weld cutter. I think the mistake some do is try to cut the metal at too high a speed (800-1000RPM). I have a rechargable DeWalt that turns at around 300RPM. I've drilled out several thousand spot welds in my time and know the slower speed prolongs tool life and I'm able to hear the "pop" when the first laminate of metal is penetrated. Sounds silly, but I can see the tool touch the rust between the first and second layers. Some very rusty areas, the cutter goes right through.:realmad:

I've never bought a spot weld cutter, always ground a 3/8" drill with small pilot and flat cutting end. I centerpunch the spot weld, then drill a 1/8" pilot before using the cutter.
Art,

Yep, slow speed is key, both my Dewalt cordless (which I run out of battery (have 2) after a while) and the ancient Black and Decker 1/2" chuck VS corded drill are used that way (although I do use "2" speed on the DW it's not TOO fast). I STILL am on that second side of the spot weld cutter after 2 inner rockers and their associated front and rear torque boxes and the firewall extension panels AND a donor floorpan from an HT car all done with the spot weld cutting tool! It is amazing, the tool is not even the "production work" version (tougher) I saw in one of the vendor catalogs.

Yes, after 100's of welds removed, you get a feel for it, I can usually tell when I penetrate the layer by rust dust, a pop (when you are lucky enough to get the whole weld, not often enough!) or even a change in cutting behavior/drill drag.

As for my craziness, yes, I'll admit I could/should/would have been better off with a better car (most everyone can say that), but what was/am I supposed to do? When I found the car in Newport News, Va. and drove 7.5 hrs each way, I felt lucky to find the car, didn't realize how bad the rust was (and believe it or not, there are a lot worse out there), dragged the fiance (at the time) and our doggie (puppy at the time), tow dollied her home (at 80 MPH most of the time), got drunk at the crab house by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge where we sometimes sail to, didn't know about MCnet or where to find a car or a better car, etc... It was (and still is much to my wife's dismay) a he!! of an adventure!

When you go through all that, resign yourself to doing the work, spend inordinate amounts of time gearing up for it, buying tools, parts, etc..., basically becoming obsessed with it and the idea of renewing it and doing it right (frustrated design engineer with extreme focus and unfufilled/underchallenged/underutilized at work), would dropping the first mistake (the rusty car) and spending at least 2x again be the right way to go? And when I (at one time) had 3 Cougars sitting at a house on 1/2 acre in a development???

No, as much as I would love to buy a pristine (or a lot closer to pristine) version of this car, I was in too deep from the moment I bought the car in Va. It has character, it teaches me things, and I have the kind of drive such that I cannot be stopped. Yeah, the movie Christine comes to mind, LOL.

AND, the cars name is Isabel, after the hurricane that blew up the Chesapeake Bay in September, 2003 and put water up to the convertible top, ultimately making her available to me (7/2004). Now THAT is a story along with the Bronx Cat and it's wild story (and the undeniable "kismet" in the parts it had to provide), etc... that I cannot turn my back on. Neither can I turn my back on the love that the former owner had for the car, having been the second owner, memories, her children loved it too, husband hated it (sound familiar Juls?!). It is befitting that I do this, I have always made jewels out of turds and I have the knowhow (actually the sharpness to learn things on the fly and to do them in most cases as well or better than professionals). I am fighting the good fight, saving another car, one that probably should have remained a salvage titled vehicle and been junked.

Yes, it (and I) are crazy, but for me, it is more, much more than what appears crazy on the surface, it is the spice of life and my thirst for meaning in it that drives me.

Maybe this will sum it up:

In life, it is not always about arriving, the journey is the reward. In the case of Isabel, I am on one humdinger of a journey!!!

Regards,

Bob
 
21 - 40 of 1886 Posts
Top