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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just signed up today to possibly get networking with like minded people. I am totally new to restoring and have moderate experice working on cars. I am not scared to work on cars just really do not know much about body work and do not have friends that do or just do not have the time to help. Recently

I have purchased a 66 mustang with a decent amount of floor rust. I have cut most of the bad parts but cannot do much with the floor rust that leads to the firewall. I have already purchased replacement pans full length and toe to firewall panels for each side. I am at a stopping point due to the fact that I am not a welder. I do see some rust on some other spots of the car and not sure which way I should go.

Someone told me to go get it media blasted or I call sandblasted and that will get all the rust out but not sure. Another person has told me to strip it down to the frame then build back up. I am also trying to save all the good body parts on the car. If the car is torn down to the frame will the good body parts be destroyed? So far all the outside body I can see is good accept the right front and back fenders need to be replaced. The rest of the outside body seems to have only surface rust which I sanded out and primered.

I know this was going to cost some money but I am trying to do it at a moderate amount and not be a money pit. If anyone has any suggestions that would be great. Im not even sure if I need to call a local body shop due to the fact I cant drive the mustang there it would have to be towed. Also if anyone knows any trustworthy shops in Fort Worth Texas that would be helpful also.

Thanks
<---New Mustang Person
 

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Welcome to the site! When they say "tear it down to the frame," that means remove anything that is bolted on. Pull the seats, console, carpet, gauges, windows, suspension, motor, tranny, etc. Get it blasted, definitely. Find all the hidden rust spots and patch them up.

You're gonna want to do it all right the first time, so it would be worth it to either make friends with a body shop or practice welding. Once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad. Once the welder is set up, take two pieces of metal and practice welding on them. Once you get to welding in the floor pans, only weld about 1" at a time. Move to the other end or the other floor pan. This keeps the panels from warping.

Mustangs Unlimited has patch panels for just about any area that frequently rusts, or you can replace the entire panel. It could cost 2-3,000 for the panels. I'm not sure how much it would cost for a body shop to do it.
 

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First, buy a real factory service manual. It's expensive, but worth every penny. You'll use it a lot, and wonder how you got along without one.

Cut out and replace all the severly rusted areas; where the metal is thin. In other areas where the rust is surface only, wire brush it and then coat with POR-15.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Curious

Welcome to the site! When they say "tear it down to the frame," that means remove anything that is bolted on. Pull the seats, console, carpet, gauges, windows, suspension, motor, tranny, etc. Get it blasted, definitely. Find all the hidden rust spots and patch them up.

Thanks for the information. When I picture in my mind tear it down to the frame I think of two metal bars and 4 tires sticking out does it have to go down that far?
 

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The Mustang is a unibody car, meaning that the body is the frame, generally speaking. All the sheetmetal that is spotwelded to something is part of the "frame." There are frame rails, but they are separated from the front and back. You don't necessarily have to strip it down that far, unless you plan on media blasting it. We say media because blasting isn't always done with sand. It's often done with soda or crushed walnut shells instead. Won't damage the metal, but will remove the rust.

If you've found most of the rust already and aren't looking for a perfect restoration, you don't really have to worry about media blasting. Just make sure the weld joints are clean of any contaminants, including paint. Practice your welding and make sure you get the car right the first time by getting it wrong in practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Paul

Thanks alot Paul,
The wife and I were just trying to think whats best to do next due to my lack of expertise.

We have tranny, engine, drive shaft out, the inside is down to the bare metal and dash is out and we also cut out alot of rust and bought the panels already. I guess we need to go buy a welding kit and practice any suggestions on what type of welding kit?

Thanks Again
 

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There are four types of welders: oxy-acetylenes, stick electrode, MIG, and TIG. Oxyacetylene and TIG welders both require two steady hands and expert coordination, but offer high-quality welds. MIG welders keep one hand free to steady the other, and are easily adjusted to the metal you are working with, such as sheet metal. Stick welders are the most basic and have very basic tuning, and can produce decent welds. Your best bet would be to buy a MIG welder. Nothing fancy, I'd recommend either Lincoln or Miller welders.
 

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I highly recommend either a full MIG wire welder (uses a shielding gas such as Argon or Argon mix) or a flux core wire welder (the wire has flux inside it that produces the shielding gas as you weld). Lincoln, Miller and Hobart all make good models of each and most make a flux core welder that you can upgrade to a full-gas MIG set-up for under $100 if you need to later. Look at spending at least $300 for a good 110v set-up. Wire welding (in my experience) is FAR easier to learn than stick, TIG, or Oxy-Acetylene.

As Paul289 said you don't want to make long welds on sheet metal as the heat build-up can warp the panels. My preference is to "spot" weld in several well spaced locations around the panel to lock it place (then you don't have to worry about it moving). Put a "spot" about 1/8"-1/4" long in each corner and any other "key" spots to get the alignment correct and then slowly fill in between them (alternating the area you work on to allow heat to dissipate). It takes a little practice but it's certainly possible to be making good welds after a few hours of practice. Also make sure you use the guide that comes with the welder to set your amperage and wire speed. It will tell you "baseline" settings based on the metal gauge/thickness that your are welding.
 

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I just bought a 65 mustang as well , a have found i have to replace the complete frame rails front to back both sides. I currently have a lincoln welder with gas and have been very happy with it, i tried it with the gasless wire, and it leaves too much splatter, i have found using .023 wire works best for doing butt welds on panels, and .035 on the heavier stuff. I also have the tig (really nice to work with, but takes a while to learn) the stick( don't even use it for auto work, will burn big holes if you try), Flame wrench (oxy-act, great for getting things apart , not always in one piece thought) and a spot welder, I can see using this quit a bit for the mustang when i can get it in to fit.. Has anyone used a spot welder gun you hook up to an arc welder, and how well do they work, or should i just drill holes and plug weld where needed?? like i have been doing so far? I'am going to build a 5" channel frame to sit the mustang on while i remove parts to keep every thing lined up. in the end and will be able to measure off of that as a referance...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welding tips

Thanks for the great welding tips it will help. I had a person from a body shop said he would weld both floor plates for 200.00 or my neighbor said he had a mig set up as well and would do it for free. My neighbor said he has been doing it for about 13 years so not sure what to do cause I do not want it to go wrong. I may buy a mig as well then 300.00 is not too bad and I have the old floor pieces to practice on with. Other then that still getting rid of surfacr rust on the indside of the car.

I had one person tell me to use a paint stripper like POR-15. I was told its great for surface issues and will destroy the rust and then harden to a primer. Or try to sand blast it myself while the heater core and everything is out of the car. The rest of the floor has been sanded down or wire wheeled and primered though.
 

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I would keep using the wire wheels to get rid of as much rust as you can. I just have more faith in physically removing it than chemically "neutralizing" it. I have nasty little visions of it festering back to life under the new stuff (my shrink says I'm paranoid...but he's out to get me so I don't trust him). I would also sand/media blast as little as possible just because of the mess, especially inside the car. It seems like you can never get it all out.

Instead of having your neighbor do the welding, ask him if he will bring his welder to your place and coach while YOU do it. That way he doesn't have to worry about you being mad at him if something isn't right and you get valuable practice while someone with a lot of experience is there to help you out if you get in trouble.
 

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I bought a 120 volt wire welder off of Ebay for around $100 including shipping just for working on my 66.....it works fine....
 
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