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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/4/2005 9:36:19 PM EDT
My brother is looking at an older Mustang (he used to have one, and sold it--has regretted it since. Now that he has a garage, he is looking for a fun/collectable car to keep in the garage (while his daily driver sits in the driveway).

He can handle most basic mechanical repairs himself..the garage has all of 3' of clearance all around the car, but the basement is right next to it (same level), so he can do some work in there.

Now, one car he is looking at is mechanically OK (complete, but has not been driven for a LONG time--just sitting). Interior is actually pretty good. Engine turns by hand (per the owner), but won't start (no battery for one, gas has been in tank for years, etc.). Does seem to shift in and out of gears.

Now, the bad news--rust, rust everywhere. Mostly surface--some mismatched body panels, a bit of primer here and there. Some definite rust-through holes.

Now my brother (before making an offer) is going to try to see how bad the underside is--I would guess rusted out floor pans from his description. He will look at the frame to be sure there is no solid rust there.

Now--he is pretty set on this car (price is very low for a complete car, and he is getting it for about what a good interior would cost if he got another one and was refurbishing the interior).

So, a Several questions--

#1--If there is Frame rust (which can kill a car), can it be welded over? My brother is a competent welder, but has little car body experience. Would need a bit of instruction on how to do the frame work. How to coat the frame (either if it just has surface rust, or if it can be welded over) to prevent any further problems?

#2--How best to kill, then remove the surface rust? A good way to stop the oxidation process? Once an area (say, the hood) has been fixed, better to prime that area immediately, or coat it with something and spray the whole car at the same time?

#3--Same question, but about the underside--how to best kill on floor pans, etc.

#4--Finally, how to repair the rust-through and weak spots? My brother can weld sheet metal into place--I was told once that the ideal is to cut out the spot and weld metal, then grind over it to smooth it out. He can handle that. But, if you have a small spot (Say 2" in diameter)--still do it that way, or use Bondo?

#5--Priming. Is one type better than another? He has an air compressor (no spray gun--I know he has the compressor, because it is mine!!), and wants to do as much as he can himself (even if the results won't be great).

#6--Painting. Best paint for the job? He hasn't decided how to go--try and find out the original color and go with that, go with something else, etc. A big part of this question is if there is a better paint for an amateur to use (more forgiving of mistakes, basically--maybe something that needs 6 coats to get a decent finish, and the flaws in the early coats are hidden by later coats)?

Thanks!!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 9:56:33 PM EDT
If he wants to have something of value, I'd say better off taking a trip to a less-rusty state and finding one garaged in better shape there. More $ in the beginning, but a fixer-upper can drain you. Have him see how much OEM body parts in top shape cost. I'm no expert, but let's say "front bumper".

Also, there are some scammers out there. I listened to a guy moaning about the shafting ($ thousands) he got on eBay'd parts for his El Camino, untill I couldn't stand it anymore.

OTOH if he just wants something semi-presentable, he could go ahead figuring it will never be a collector's car or have a lot of value.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:03:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 10:13:53 PM EDT by fxntime]
It's not the rust you see, it's the rust you don't see. Figure on 3 or 4 times the rust you see being present. I'd rather start with a engineless car then one rusted out. Remember the mustang was a unitbody if I remember correctly, so any rust especially under the car will weaken it severely. Figure on spending 10x what you think you will need to spend, most of the time unless you love to do it, it is better to buy what someone has already fixed up. If he wants to actually do it, cool, make friends with some good body men and start hitting the old car sites, because bringing an old "sitter" car to a driver costs a fortune.

Rustmort or the equivalent is a rust killer, it WORKS. However any pinholes in the body will immediately start to bleed rust. Once you begin to grind [actually use a orbital sander, do NOT use a sandblaster as you will warp the metal if you are not careful] I would imagine you will find bondo, duraglas, and the kitchen sink under the paint. I doubt the engine will run either, people tend to sorta forget it really ran like hell before it was put up. All the brakes will have to be redone too, to include the lines and wheel cylinders. There will be lots of leaks from dried seals all over, it's just what happens. Once you start taking it down you will need lots of room for everything, and lots of boxes. Remind him that there are probably more going to fix up cars out there then fixed up ones for a reason.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:04:26 PM EDT
My friend is a body shop tech and a total certified badass.

He went out of his way to find the truck he wanted with the least amount of rust. And then still had to do hours of cutting and welding in new sheet metal.



Rust sucks plain and simple. I would say if it is worth the money for the parts then buy it and try to find a less rusty model to restore.

To your questions you would go through and do the body work one section at a time welding then body filler then primer.

you pretty much have to go to the bare metal with a wire wheel before you know what reallyneeds to be done. But basically estimate what metal looks bad then double that and that is how much new metal will have to be welded in.


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:08:38 PM EDT
Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the early mustangs unibody ( no frame )?

Never buy a project with rust, no matter what the price, if he wants if for a parts car to place all the stuff on a solid body, fine.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:14:26 PM EDT
Unless it's some insanely rare car (shelby or Boss) pass on it and find a better one with no rust.
buying a non running car with NO RUST would be far cheaper in the long run than fixing any rust.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:15:30 PM EDT
When I was fourteen, I bought a $900.00 69 SS Camaro with my father's consent. It was missing an

engine, tranny, floor pans were rusted through, the bushings on the front-clip were worn and dried out,

etc. But, the the thing that mattered the most was the "X-11" (SS) marking on the firewall and

fenderwell. Just because it's a true SS, it will bring much more money in. Don't be scared off by rust. \

Yes, rust is a bitch, but with POR-15 and thorough blasting, you can really get a lot of it. I'd leave

the actual body sanding and painting to a professional, but don't let body panel rust scare you away.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:24:20 PM EDT
it is possible to repair just about any rust problem, but i wonder most if your brother realizes the scope of what he is getting into. it sounds as if hes about to buy what i would consider a "parts" car. if its also from pennsylvania or other northeastern state, i think i have a pretty good of what it might look like. if he has any concerns about the finished appearance of the vehicle, he should really rethink this. to do the repairs correctly, he will end up spending far more in money and time than he saved and will probably wish he had bought a better car to begin with.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:46:39 AM EDT
Another thought - I understand there are such things as paint thickness gauges that work on the principle of the thicker the paint (all coats), the farther the magnet from the metal, causing the needle deflection to change. That also would show areas where bondo is under the paint, and maybe also areas where the metal is thinner due to corrosion.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:49:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 4GodandCountry:
When I was fourteen, I bought a $900.00 69 SS Camaro with my father's consent. It was missing an

engine, tranny, floor pans were rusted through, the bushings on the front-clip were worn and dried out,

etc. But, the the thing that mattered the most was the "X-11" (SS) marking on the firewall and

fenderwell. Just because it's a true SS, it will bring much more money in. Don't be scared off by rust. \

Yes, rust is a bitch, but with POR-15 and thorough blasting, you can really get a lot of it. I'd leave

the actual body sanding and painting to a professional, but don't let body panel rust scare you away.



How could you tell that the "X-11" markings were put there by the factory and not a previous owner?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:57:30 AM EDT
Inspect the shock towers in front in great detail. Old Mustangs typically rust out big time in that area. You are looking at a Unibody car, which makes a resto easier and more difficult. First thing you should do is subscribe to Car Craft. Car Craft (not Hot Rod) has been running the same articles on muscle car (pony car in this case) resto. If you have the room, strip the car entirely and put the body on a rotating rotisserie. Never "drive while restoring" an old car. You can also have the body chemical dipped to remove all old paint, grease etc and then the surgery can begin.

You will need a ton of tools. angle grinder, sawzall, body hand tools and a wire fed argon mig welder.

I have been builiding cars since I was 15 (that's why I scoff at ARFCOMERS that believe gunsmithing is something special, or even difficult.

IMHO, ditch the Mustang and go with a car that can handle some serious horsepower. The car will begin to flex and ripple if you build enough of a motor. I had a 67 RS/SS Camaro with a 450 hp 396 that the doors wouldn't shout on after a while AND the subframe WAS tied.

Unless you have a ton of money, patience and time, forget it.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 5:00:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Unless it's some insanely rare car (shelby or Boss) pass on it and find a better one with no rust.
buying a non running car with NO RUST would be far cheaper in the long run than fixing any rust.



There are few rust free cars left west of the Mississippi. Cars that are rust free and generally WAY over priced by fat babyboomers with major attitude problems.

I am currently starting an early 70's Camaro

383 4 speed.

Yes, 383 Chevy. A small Chevy 350 bored .30 with a 400 Chevy crankshaft for you yungins'. You will never experience a more radical and insane small block. Car will be a Muncie T22 4 speed with a 3.73 rear end.

Car will run in the 11's.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 5:01:52 AM EDT
And.....Ford engine parts are expensive. AND......no matter what you do to a Ford, a GM product will always smoke it.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 5:02:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By patriot73:
Inspect the shock towers in front in great detail. Old Mustangs typically rust out big time in that area. You are looking at a Unibody car, which makes a resto easier and more difficult. First thing you should do is subscribe to Car Craft. Car Craft (not Hot Rod) has been running the same articles on muscle car (pony car in this case) resto. If you have the room, strip the car entirely and put the body on a rotating rotisserie. Never "drive while restoring" an old car. You can also have the body chemical dipped to remove all old paint, grease etc and then the surgery can begin.

You will need a ton of tools. angle grinder, sawzall, body hand tools and a wire fed argon mig welder.

I have been builiding cars since I was 15 (that's why I scoff at ARFCOMERS that believe gunsmithing is something special, or even difficult.

IMHO, ditch the Mustang and go with a car that can handle some serious horsepower. The car will begin to flex and ripple if you build enough of a motor. I had a 67 RS/SS Camaro with a 450 hp 396 that the doors wouldn't shout on after a while AND the subframe WAS tied.

Unless you have a ton of money, patience and time, forget it.




Chemical dip remove stuff that you want along with the stuff you don;t want.


You shut have put a roll cage in the Camaro. Fords can take alot more abuse. Thats why the Chevy guys use 32 coupes and 9 inch rear ends
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 5:15:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 5:26:17 AM EDT
Here's the test he needs to take -

First question to ask himself: Am I buying this car because I really like to work on them, and I especially like working for endless months at a dirty thankless job trying to restore rusted uni-body body panels, even though it will be even many more months until there is noticeable progress and I can start reassembling the car.

The second question: I want to own a cool classic car, but the only way I can afford it is by rebuilding an absolute junker.

If the answer to the first question is unequivocally yes, he understands the task, has plenty of time and room to work and money for tools, and the answer to question two is yes, then buy the car and start the project.

If the answer to one is no and the answer to 2 is yes, then buy a better project car or buy one that is ready to go.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:09:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:43:32 AM EDT
Patriot73:

that's why I scoff at ARFCOMERS that believe gunsmithing is something special, or even difficult
--Oh, but it is special and difficult. Can I put you into a workshop with raw materials, the power equipment and hand tools and you build a working firearm? I'm not talking "buy a barrel here, unfinished (85%) receiver there, some springs" etc. I'm talking--"here's plate steel, wire, wood--go to town". Being generous, a barrel blank can be included.

I can't do that (and probably about 75% of "Gunsmiths" can't do it either. I had an old dealer who was a Gunsmith--he could take a barrel blank and make a working flintlock from it and raw materials. He maintains that a true gunsmith can make something that goes bang from unmachined materials. He called the guys that can't do it "Gun Jobbers".

AreoE:


First question to ask himself: Am I buying this car because I really like to work on them, and I especially like working for endless months at a dirty thankless job trying to restore rusted uni-body body panels, even though it will be even many more months until there is noticeable progress and I can start reassembling the car.

--That about covers it. He has the time (no current girlfriend, none on the horizon, a 9-5 job. Wants something to do (his Honda is about done--from a $100 pile of parts).


The second question: I want to own a cool classic car, but the only way I can afford it is by rebuilding an absolute junker.

--Pretty Much Ditto.

Now, he is NOT looking for a factory/concours restore. Not looking for a 1/4 mile in 10 sec. Muscle Car. Not looking to make money on it.

He wants it as an occasional driver, to look REASONABLY nice when done, and also wants something he can drive and not be afraid of a rain-drop hitting it occasionally.

Thanks!!
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:09:10 AM EDT
heres mine:


looks good in the pic but has rusted through underneath the rear deck lid. Also it was hit in the right rear and repaired but now the body putty keeps cracking out. I want to fix it so the repairs dont crack, can body shops use lead filler or equivalant? I am planning on getting another RR quarter panel but I'm sure there will be areas that need to be filled, what are the normal procedures to make the rapairs more or less strong and permanent?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 3:33:02 PM EDT
Never Mind.

Massive rust underneath. He wisely changed his mind.

Now, he is talking about (I don't think he'll find one in his low price range) an old Porsche 911 or 912 if he cannot find a suitable Mustang.

AFARR
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:11:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JFP:
heres mine:
i23.photobucket.com/albums/b388/jfp43/P1010024.jpg

looks good in the pic but has rusted through underneath the rear deck lid. Also it was hit in the right rear and repaired but now the body putty keeps cracking out. I want to fix it so the repairs dont crack, can body shops use lead filler or equivalant? I am planning on getting another RR quarter panel but I'm sure there will be areas that need to be filled, what are the normal procedures to make the rapairs more or less strong and permanent?



Getting the metal right before adding whatever filler makes a big difference in my limited experience. If you have to have the filler too thick on a big enough area, you can expect trouble.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:20:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AFARR:
Never Mind.

Massive rust underneath. He wisely changed his mind.

Now, he is talking about (I don't think he'll find one in his low price range) an old Porsche 911 or 912 if he cannot find a suitable Mustang.

AFARR



He thinks a "stang" is expensive to work on? If a pile of dog crap said porsche on it, they'd charge 50 bucks for it. It would probably smell good tho. Tell him to look for a mid 70s vette, they are still reasonably cheap, parts are available and it's American as apple pie.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:23:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 7:24:26 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By patriot73:
And.....Ford engine parts are expensive. AND...... no matter what you do to a Ford, a GM product will always smoke it.



<<<<<<---------

Amen to that!
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:52:10 PM EDT
Stangs are unibody and are usually over the head of
a home resto if the rust is in the floorpans .

A typical 75% home resto is 1000 + hrs and very few
actually get finished by the person who starts them .
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:05:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 8:11:47 PM EDT by Green95LX]

Originally Posted By patriot73:
And.....Ford engine parts are expensive. AND......no matter what you do to a Ford, a GM product will always smoke it.



What about the 03-04 Cobra's that are eating Z06's and F-bodies for lunch? Straight from the showroom, they're dangerously close with the Z06 and far above any stock F-body

But, lets not hi-jack this thread or turn it into a Ford-Vs-GM battle.

I'll just say your statement is plainly based on emotion and bias towards GM, I've seen plenty of GM cars fall at the hands of a Ford Driver, and Plenty of Ford Cars fall at the hands of a GM Driver, it works both ways.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:06:47 PM EDT
Having done as close to a frame off as you can to a ford unibody.... See avatar. My suggestion would be to get one in the very best shape as he can afford. This will save hundreds of hours and tons o money later. I was lucky in that I bought mine from the orignal owner and it wasn't wrecked or modified in any way until I was thru anyway.
Make sure the torque boxes are in good shape and shock towers. Depending on what he wants to do to the car power wise will depneds on subframe connectors etc

To get rid of rust sand blasting works or dipping. Dipping gets rid of all the seam sealer between the panels that are welded together and there no way to get it back in there. I had mine bead blasted to bare metal and it worked really well. Cost 600 for the whole car. Took all the undercoating and30+ years of grime away in no time. Then I had a nice clean car to work on.

What ever he does it will take longer and cost 4 times more than you figured, mine started as a simple motor rebuild and 4 years and thousands of dollars later...... I get heads turning everywhere but I wouldn't do it again.

You can get all kinds of parts for mustangs and they aren't any more expensive than chevy parts. I was doing mine the same time as a couple freinds were doing their Chevies and Pontiac's.

I ended up with a 408ci close ratio 4 speed 3.70 posi, rack and pinion sterring and whole mess of other shit... Tell him good luck. Its a fun pit to throw money in.
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