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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for info on anyone who has redone a Cougar frame, 69 unibody from firewall back to front of rear springs (front and rear rails).
I have a 69 ragtop that will fold up soon without medicinal remedy.
I recently (on holidays) met a mechanic from Chicago who told me that he had the rear and front rails on his 'Stang bridged together to stiffen up the body twist due to high torque and he thought this might be a solution for this.
Has anyone ever heard of this process being done or better yet had it done.
I'd hate to chop the cat up.
KC in Toronto
 

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Floor boards and more

I am in the same boat. I bought my 69 with it in DIRE need of floors and rocker repair. I am still trying to figure out the best way to fix it.
I am contemplating removing what is left of the inner rockers and rebuilding from the inside out with tubular steel, that can be hidden inside the rockers/inner rockers.
As a result, I hope to get a "tubed" frame that appears stock from all algles.

Mike
Missouri
 

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Sub-Frame connectors

In your post, it sounded like the mechanic was talking about sub-frame connectors. I had sub frame connectors installed on my 70 XR-7---wow what a differnce. The car feels like one piece now, I guess it had a lot of flex before. Felt like a bowl of Jello.
The floors in my 69 need to be replaced---all of them. Before I cut out the floors, I am going to install sub frame connectors to hold everything together and strait. The connectors really improve the rigidity of the car and a convertible really deserves a set of sub frame connectors. There are different types connectors availble, square and round tube. The round will probly hide a little better and are claimed to be more rigid. The square are cheaper and heavier, but the back side will hang down a little bit. I think there is also a full race style out that criss crosses under the car, but it is pretty expensive and may have to be removed to pull out the tranny and such.
I have the square style on my 70, and I'm not sure which (square or round) I am going to go with on the 69 Cougar. If you aren't trying to do a concorse restoration, I'd definitly recomend subframes. They'll make the car ride better and will help reduce body fatigue over time.
 

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69 cougar conv. frame

Hi, KC and Mike, I bought a set of inner rocker panels for a 69 Mustang conv. from Mustangs unlimited for $70. each. Their number is 1-800-243-7278. I don't know for sure if they will work because I haven't got them installed yet. My body shop man said they should work and he could make them work. The only question is if the mustang and cougar conv. rocker panels are the same length. I was unable to find any just for a cougar but that don't mean they are not out there. My body shop man also told me this is a big job and would be expensive. That is why I'm saving up too get them installed. I don't know if this helped you or made things worse. We don't have a lot of choice cause the inner rocker panel is the main support of the car. They must be fixed. The only recommended fix is replacement. I hope I haven't ruined your day. Buddy
 

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Floors/rails

Hi All,
As I read your messages I was thinking I would be building a custom if I was in that situation. The car is never going to be concourse so go for it !!!!! Pull the motor and tranny, cut the whole dog house off, slide a late model doghose and frame rails under it, tie it to the rear frame rails with 2 x 3 box tubing (flush underneath, may stick up a little inside) cut & weld new floor pans to fit, adapt top of old dog house to new one a reassemble, paint, install drivetrain of choice. In about 2 1/2 years you would have a cat like no other ......that handles with the addition of a rear sway bar and a little suspension tweaking......just an option......HEY WAIT A MINUTE How about this one.
Pick up a wrecked 5.0 vert and cut the body off and convert the mut into a cool cat!!!!! If I only had money to go with my ideas#@$#^&_(*_*$##!
Good Luck
John
 

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Convertable inner rockers

Hey guys Its way easier than you think .I've repaired a few and the Mustang ones are the same.Are they .090 material as was the originals?I don't think you need to replace entire inner rocker.Its usually rotten where floor joins at bottom and at rear torque boxes.What I do is open the floor from underneath and replace bottom of inner rocker with at least .060 material prefferably with .090.Then repair or replace floor pieces with .045 material.Then at bottom of wheel house near rear torque box remove damaged material all way usually up to seat belt bolt.Affter making a couple measurements go to sheetmetal shop and have them bend up your replacement out of .090 satin material so it won't rust again.There is also an intermediate plate that goes between inner and outer rocker.Replace as much of this as necessary in satin again.Now angle the new inner piece at seat belt end you'll see angle I'm referring to and slide the new formed piece into position and weld and seam seal.Last close the wheel house at rear of rockers andtorque box off with a square of at least .060 material.Remember to weld new inner rocker to rear torque box as this is where a lot of strength is/lost.I can do each side now in 6.6 hours or so and retain the original inner mostly.The first one I did took nearly 14 hours but it doesn't need to.Good luck Remember:there are no problems only solutions.Ray
 
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More than one way to (re)skin a cat

I thought I would jump in on the excellent discussion. My veiw of the situation from here in the rustbelt is beware and consider all options as I have made some mistakes.

15 years ago the inner rockers on my '70 convt. were repaired with the square tubular material. and the floor pans holes were simply patched from above, not welded. The inner rockers were not repaired as parts were not available at that time apparently. This job has not served me well.

Now the car kind of walks over bumps. I noticed that the attachment area at the rocker for the Lh reinforcement plate had rusted away. A lot of phone calling landed me at one place that wanted to replace the entire floor, both inner rockers, all torque boxes, seal and undercoat to the tune of $3300 which included 51 hours of labor. After a lot more calling, I found a retired body shop guy who does the work out of his garage with his son. He jacked up the car in front about 3 feet, then went around to open the driver's door. It opened, but barely. To him, it seemed that the car was not that bad because the door still opened. I have yet to get a firm estimate as to exactly what he will do and how much it will be. He does not plan to use any preformed restoration metal parts.

I very much appreciate knowing about Ray's and other's experience as I would like to fix all problems with the frame weakness rusting once and for all. Knowing how much time the job should take is extremely helpful.
 

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reskinning the cat

The reason partially that the floors rot out on convertables was the way floor attaches to rocker.If the floor was attached to inner rocker at side instead of underneath a lot of body shops would have a lot less work and Cougar owners would have a lot more cash.I should mention that the repair I described was with the entire interior out as well.After repairing floor and inner rocker you can seam seal edge of floor to inner to try and keep moisture from being trapped.Also a couple spray cans red oxide is your buddy to slow down rust.I then like to top coat with a shiny enamel so water runs off.Bare red oxide I believe will hold moisture.If a person was interested they might just bring floor outboard to inner rocker and not underneath it.Depends on individual.I brought mine out to center cause I'm a freak for making it with the same mistakes as original.Any way Good luck Ray/Pacificatz
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sub frame connectors ...

I want to thank everyone who has taken time to forward their experience and knowledge for my benefit.
I have been able to streamline my search efforts and have located suitable sub frame connectors locally and will soon be in the process of installation and then onto the cosmetics ordeal with my 69 ragtop.
All have been greatly appreciated ...
Thanks again .... KC in Toronto
 
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