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Unread 04-16-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Any Suggestions? 1988 Mustang LX what to do swap or repair frame rail

thanks in advance been using this forum to gain insight on my project very useful

i have 1988 lx bought it cheap (front end damage ) my first 5 l btw

thought it was just the rad support and bumper brackets turns out the frame rail is cracked

swap it or repair it ? doing a bit of research swap seems like alot of work wiring harness and computer stuff

kinda wanna see this horse run again it will be a daily driver
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Unread 04-17-2011   #2 (permalink)
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you can replace it with another frame rail its really not that hard did it to my convert because whole front end was smashed it is really not that expensive eigther just time and a lil money car still looks pretty good
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Unread 04-17-2011   #3 (permalink)
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I wanna know what your gonna do about the roof? Are those holes rusted through?
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Unread 04-17-2011   #4 (permalink)
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thanks shaner fastback you right its pretty narley i was thinking fiber glass i was reading up in it you can fab a new piece ?

but guys i found a 4 banger picked it up cheap we are going to do the swap my buddy is a tech hes moving but he offered to assist with the swap :smilie

i will fix the frame rail and the roof(having trouble finding the rail and welder) and find a power train for it thanks for the insight i will post pics of the swap

hopefully by its all said and done i will contribute two foxes the this forum thanks again guys
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Unread 04-17-2011   #5 (permalink)
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If the frame damage is at the very front of the car, I would get a tourch, a tree, and a comealong or winch or frame machine. Just heat it up and pull it out, then weld up the cracks check the measurements with a frame dimension sheet and you should be good. If its at the very front of the car (the very begenning), its not goona affect safety. That spot on the roof looks like its gonna be a champ to fix...I would be scared that the fiverglass is gonna crack over time from the hood flexing if it has a sunroof and no sub frames connectors. You can always makes some patch pannels or section in a part of the roof or a new roof entirely.....just make sure you weld in spots at a time...if you try and run a continuos bead youll warp the surrounding sheet metal. Good luck with everything!!!!!!!
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Unread 04-19-2011   #6 (permalink)
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still pretty torn 4 banger kinda fell through litrerally back quater panel rusting off both sides body guy coming today to take a look at the frame rail and roof (pics)
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Unread 04-19-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Im guessing that he is going to tell you it can be fixed but it would probablly be cheaper to find another car. I wanna know what he says though!
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Unread 04-20-2011   #8 (permalink)
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he didnt make it by today they said it can be on the phone plus we did all the of the tear down and i am gonna pull the motor to cut down on the labour i will get somepics and bring them to the body shop tomorrow ill keep you posted

the problem with another car is they are very hard to come by .pretty much bagged out rust buckets the car i have is very clean aside from the rust on the roof and the front end damage

ill let you know what he says

ps iam very torn on what to do nver the less we are gonna pull the motor and disconnect the tranny replace the clutch

and hope for the best
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Unread 04-20-2011   #9 (permalink)
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What are you torn about?
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Unread 04-20-2011   #10 (permalink)
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what to do. i guess if i cant find a decent 4 banger i am making a trip to the body shop

forgive me i am getting a bit impatient what would you do?
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Unread 04-23-2011   #11 (permalink)
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i managed to find the complete front clip (core support, aprons and what looks to be theframerail) it has the damaged portion of the rail covered my question is is there an insert that fits inside ?or is that the framerail structure ? im assuming thers gonna be some bracing that will have to inserted has anybody replaced a front clip looking for some insight, thanks guys

Last edited by mustangs; 04-23-2011 at 12:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Unread 04-23-2011   #12 (permalink)
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You need to make an insert. Nothing crazy. just something to side the rail onto so you can weld it. I dont know if I didnt read it, or maybe you didnt post it, but is there any thing else wrong with the front of the car besides that one frame rail???????? Have you done any sort of cross measurments to see whats messed up?
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Unread 04-23-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Also the more I think about it if my roof looked like yours I would re-skin it. Its hard to see the extent of the damage but it looks pretty bad and with it being a sun roof car I wouldnt take the chance of using fiber glass or extreme amounts of body filler. I would hate to see it crack later on down the road after youve spent the time and money to have it painted.
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Unread 04-23-2011   #14 (permalink)
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thanks fast back i probably will re skin it i found a fabrication shop (i cant weld) everything looked fine from the shock towers back but i am interested in the cross measurements ?

the core support was bent and the frame rail was pushed back (the pic) just the driver side. i found a complete front piece that covers what Ive mentioned waiting on a lift to pull the engine i can post pics of the engine bay and replacement clip after we get it out if you like ?

cheers thanks for your interest off to battle tranny bolts
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Unread 04-26-2011   #15 (permalink)
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tearin this car down found that floor board is wrinkled due to the impact on driver side this pony has been knocked the f**&$# out question is can she run again? chasisis wise that is power train has been pulled out getting a rebuild kit the 5.0

hard to find a car without the quarter panels and engine bay rusted all to sh*& in this area question is can i repair this chassis already in some $ for the front clip ?>
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1988 ford mustang lx, frame rail, swap v8, wiring harness



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