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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any experience replacing frame rails or fender aprons? The rails and aprons are badly rusted on my car - to the point of having holes in them in spots. For example, in the place where the front bumper brackets bolt to the frame rails, the rails are pretty well rotted out. Doesn't look good, but I have seen frame rails and fender aprons in catalogs, and was wondering if anyone had ever replaced theirs or has any advice.Thanks

Lab Rat
 

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I have experience doing it. I recommend you get a different car. It's a tremendous amount of work.
 

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He's only just got the car:)
 

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Yeah its a pretty big job. Really tough if you dont have the metal working tools needed for it or the experiance to use them. mm
 

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I have changed several over the years and absolutely dread it. If you just purchased the car it makes even more sense to not do it. Rust free Cougars are all over the place and inexpensive too. You can easily get into several thousand dollars of labor changing the parts you mention. Not worth it.
 

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Rear Aprons

When i was bringin by cat home for the first time it had sat in a field for bout 6 years......needless to say the battery was dead and the guy i bought it from didnt tell me the battery that he used to start it was his dads and that i couldnt keep it till i was pickin it up....so on the way home i stopped at a rest area and when i went to leave i had to jump her....well when i shut the hood the hinges ripped out of the fender aprons, both sides. Now there isnt much rust . Are they worth replaceing. Thanks in advace for and help.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Royce Peterson said:
Rust free Cougars are all over the place and inexpensive too.
Really? You know - I'd be into driving to Kentucky if you could find me an inexpensive, rust free '67 Cougar. It's funny how in Ohio they just seem to have 35 years worth of rust on them. And I looked a long time for the one I found too......

Lab Rat
 

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My best sources for good ones would be either Texas or California although there have recently been advertisements for CA cars for sale in Wisconsin and Illinois. Even after paying transportation it will be cheaper to start with a no - rust car.

The local KY cars are just like the ones in Ohio but there are exceptions everywhere. Like the GTE found in a barn near Cincinnati last year. It had never been driven in wintertime. It sold for $10,000 and ran and drove well after I tinkered with it some. Truly a bargain.

I almost bought a rust free '67 that was in the Chicago area last year. It was a 289 4V car. The fellow had spent several thousand dollars on it and wanted $2800. It had new (rebuilt) engine, transmission, brakes, upholstery, tires, stereo. The car was originally from New Mexico and still had original paint that was the biggest problem of the car. I don't know what part of Ohio you are in but Chicago would not be too far I suspect.

Running driving '67 - 70 Cougars with no rust and 289 - 351 engines are hard to sell in California. The local Auto Traders are full of cars in the $1200 - $2500 range. Mike Brown of the So Cal club calls me from time to time with good deals, I could have bought a rust free '67 390GT last year for $3000. It was black with black interior, would have been a cool car. No rust, of course.
 

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You know I have heard this before too about the "inexpensive" rust free Cougar. The truth is there not so inexpensive by the time you get them back to Ohio of Indiana (I'm still looking myself). But sometimes there cheaper in the long run by the time all the work and expense is done to a rust bucket.

If you have the car you want and the rest of the car is worth the work and expense to put front rails and aprons in it, go ahead and do it. But if your asking how to do this already it gives me a uneasy feeling about your ability to do it.

First off you need a place to do it and leave that place tied up for a while. Second you need the tools to cut the offending pieces off and grinders and such. Then a mig welder is needed to weld it all back up after its all removed, cleaned up and refitted.

If you do not have all the above and the know how to do it and are not an experianced sheetmetal worker and welder than this is not something to experiment with. If its not done properly it maynot sit and drive correctly or could be structurely unsafe.

If you have the ability (and know how, but if you do you wouldnt be asking how ablut doing it)and tools to do it yourself it maybe worthwhile, but if you have to farm it out its not going to be cost effective and Royces advice might be best. I'm sure others here will agree. mm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
modifiedmark said:
If you have the car you want and the rest of the car is worth the work and expense to put front rails and aprons in it, go ahead and do it. But if your asking how to do this already it gives me a uneasy feeling about your ability to do it.
Never assume:angryfi:

I did NOT ask HOW to do it, I asked if anyone here had ever done it before, and if so, if they could share advice. This is not the same as asking how to do it something. And yes, that did aggravate me. I don't question your abilities, so please don't question mine.

Lab Rat
 

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I just got back from looking at a '67 Cougar XR-7 in Cincinnati. the fellow started rust repair 12 years ago. He was a sheet metal expert at Paul's Mustang, a local Mustang / Cougar restoration specialist.

He has so far replaced the torque box, patched the front floors, patched the hood, trunk lid, front fenders and inner fenders on the front. He is about halfway through patching the rear wheelhouse area. It will need rear quarters installed too.

The car is essentially rust free at this point except for the quarters and in the state of Ohio. I would estimate replacing the rear quarters at $1000 to buy the quarters from Don Rush (including shipping) and $1500 labor.

He is asking $1500 for the car. There's no way I would fix it even though all his work is top notch. It's worth the money though because of the good fenders, doors, hood, dash pad and all the other parts.
 

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I say go for it Lab Rat. To this day they are melting down cougars like yours and turning them into sheet metal. But even if you had yours melted down and restamped into a new '67 cougar, you can't keep the VIN. Your car is unique. I would like to see more of these cars saved rather than turned into parts, even if it is not a big block or other collectible. My advice is to not give up on the car if your confident in your ability to do the job. Even if it means you need to hone your skills via a local vocational school and their welding and auto repair classes.
 

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Lab Rat said:
Never assume:angryfi:

I did NOT ask HOW to do it, I asked if anyone here had ever done it before, and if so, if they could share advice. This is not the same as asking how to do it something. And yes, that did aggravate me. I don't question your abilities, so please don't question mine.

Lab Rat
Hey man, you need to mellow out, I meant no offense!! Asking for advice isnt asking HOW to do it???? I think its the same thing. I dont know you personally so your right I dont know your abilitys. There are alot of people on this board and I cant keep straight who are the high schoolers and who are the old experianced hands, excuse me just trying to help. If you want to explain your abiltys and resources and exactly what you want to do to it I would be glad to give some pointers as I HAVE done such repairs before. I will even give my phone # so you can call and talk direct as I sometimes have a hard time typing what I mean to say. mm
 

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Discussion Starter #14
modifiedmark said:
Hey man, you need to mellow out, I meant no offense!!
Hmmm..... yes, you're right - I do need to mellow out. I apologize. I was at work yesterday, as I am today, trying to pick up the slack of the people with whom I work. At this point in time I absolutely detest my job, and wasting my weekend here (rather than at home working on my Cougar!) had me feeling bad and seriously pissed off yesterday. But I'm not feeling so bad today, even though I am at work. So, once again, sorry about that Mark.

To answer a couple of your questions: I don't do it on a regular basis, but I consider myself modestly proficient at MIG welding. Most of what I have welded has been agricultural equipment (gates and stalls, animal feeders, conveyor housings, etc). That being said, I have never welded anything in which the structural integrity of my welds has been seriously tested (like shock towers or frame rails). I have never TIG welded. As far as equipment, I don't own, but have access to a MIG welder and a plasma cutter, and I own an array of power and air tools, including grinder, disc cutter and sand blaster. As far as working on cars, I have been monkeying around with various cars, both new and classic since I was a sophomore in high school (1984). By monkeying around, I mean lots and lots of bolt-on performance (at this point my wife's '02 Stang is practically a rolling advertisement for MAC and Steeda bolt-ons); rebuilt 4 engines (Chevy 327, Ford 292 Y-block; Ford 460; and Ford 6-cyl out of '65 'Stang); removed and disassembled a 351C from a '71 Galaxy (but never did anything with it; I still have the damn block, heads and crank in the barn, too). Thus I consider myself mechanically proficient. BUT - I've never done a hardcore strip-it-to-the-frame-and-rebuild-it type project.

My Cougar was to be my first true hardcore "project" car. The engine is out and disassembled, and the transmission is out, and now I'm beginning to look at what I really should do to the car to improve its condition before putting the engine/trans back in. The thing that sticks out as being done most easily while the engine and transmission are out fixing the rust rot in the fender aprons and frame rails. In the original post I mentioned the frame rails. As far as the fender aprons, the problem areas are actually up on the top, just to the engine side of where the fenders bolt on (does that make sense?). There are rusted holes in the fender aprons. Now - that looks to me like one could just weld in a patch, really - but that would be ugly.

I'm losing my train of thought here - I have to keep jumping up and running into my lab. Anyway - what I'm saying here is that I'm into getting the car in really nice shape, and it seems like replacing the fender aprons and at least having the frame rails patched would be a very nice improvement. Now that I have her in the barn - oh yeah, did I mention that...... it's in a barn and has no need to be moved at all. It can sit there 'til Hillary Clinton is elected president for all I care - wait a minute, that may not be that long. Well, like I was saying, I'm into getting this car in nice shape, and I'm not sure I care how long it takes (although I would like to get it done this decade). Anyway, jeez, this is getting long and I'm really losing my train of thought. Sorry again Mark, I was just having a bad day yesterday.:1poke: Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Lab Rat
 

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At the risk of getting shouted down by all, what about trying to get a parts car with a better condition front and cutting off the front of both and welding the good one of to the other one. If that makes sense. My friend's camaro is actually two, joined in the middle, I guess it would have to be done by someone who has experience in that particular field, its quite a common thing to do here, it just makes sense to have one weld going rather than joining up parts like a jigsaw puzzle. Okay all those who want to blast me for this suggestion . . . . . . . . . go for it:D
 

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Siamese cars

I had this done to a 67 GTO. It works, no one knew the difference. Labor can be very expensive if you have someone else do it. He was a friend of mine which saved me all the money.
 
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