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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 02-28-2005   #1 (permalink)
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Question Front frame rail repair or replace

I need to do some work on the front frame rails on my 68 coupe. The plan is to make it a good dependable "driver". Really not worried about show winner or full blown restomod, just safe/comfortable cruisin'.
My question is this.. would it be better to use "patch" panels welded over the frame rails (which have some rust and structual damage) or replace the entire rails?
If replacing the rails, how much has to be stripped from the front end? I've never attempted frame replacements, so not real sure what all is involved.
Any comments or suggestions??
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Unread 03-01-2005   #2 (permalink)
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talk to a frame shop, do not try to fix it at home, it might wind up being a parts car if the framerails are too gone. There is no sence dropping too much money into a '68 C-Code notch
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Unread 03-01-2005   #3 (permalink)
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How far back do you need to go on them? If you need to go back past the shock towers and into the firewall, then there are some risks involved. But if they are just to the back of the front aprons then it'll be no problem to repair with aftermarket extensions that are available from any Mustang parts vendor.

I wouldn't try patches. The frame rails are actually two pieces welded together, you really can't get a sound structure with patches. Especially if you decide to do something more in the future.
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Unread 03-01-2005   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure yet how far back I need to go. There is some structual damage to left front, I know that frame extension has to be replaced. I've saw them in parts catalogs fairly cheap. Just didn't know if the full frame rail was a "do-able" thing. I probably won't attempt the repairs myself, especially since my welding skills aren't what they used to be
Any ideas on what the cost of replacing frame rails should be?
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Unread 03-01-2005   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, I can't help you there. I do all of my stuff myself. I'm sure someone on here would have an outside shop estimate of frame rail repairs. If you have to repair all the way to the short pans and the firewall it would be better to have an outside shop do it.

When I replaced mine on the '65 I did a lot of leveling and stuff to make sure to keep the unibody structure square.
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Unread 03-02-2005   #6 (permalink)
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The rails are real cheap like $30 for one. Just simple metal after all. Its exactly what im doing to my 69 mustang. and im not sure by what you mean by how far they go. they measure 29 x 2 3/4. just get a mustangs unlimited catalong or a NPD (National Parts Depot) catalog and have a look.
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Unread 04-09-2005   #7 (permalink)
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Default It can be done

I just finished rebuilding the frame rails on my 68. The only parts that were still solid were the shock towers. Here are the before and after. I just made a template out of cardboard and cut it all out using 12 guage sheet metal. It takes time but saved alot of extra work cutting out the aprons etc. (depends how rotten they are)
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Front frame rail repair or replace-march-5.05-011.jpg  Front frame rail repair or replace-dec10-2004-005.jpg  
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Unread 04-11-2005   #8 (permalink)
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Default Nice work Jimi

Nice looking frame repair! I have to do the exact same thing on my 69 convertable so I am VERY interested in what you have to say. Do you have any more pictures? My stang is the same in that the only good part is the shocktowers. I plan on ordering new full front frame rails (from firewall forward) as well as seat pan rails and torque boxes. Any advice? What did you coat the engine compartment with, looks great. How are your welding skills, what kind of welder did you use? I was planning to see if I could do the welding, I haven't welded alot but I have done some. You say you cut stuff out of 12 guage, what do you mean? I plan starting this in a few weeks so any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Unread 04-20-2005   #9 (permalink)
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Question More Info

I too am interested in exactly how you did your repair. It looks very nice and I need to do the same. If you have some spare time please e-mail me some detailed instructions on what you did and pictures if you have them.
Thanks
mikesimz@gmail.com
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