Chasers 66 Restomod 408 Coupe - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Chasers 66 Restomod 408 Coupe

I have finally finished building a 66 convertible for my dad and can get back to working on my car. I bought this car in 2010 and, over the years, made some light fixes here and there. I've replaced the passenger back half of the frame rail, front suspension, misc hoses and gaskets to make it into a serviceable driver.

Then I decided to build the vert for my dad since he'd always wanted one (i think he was a little jealous of my coupe ) and had to store this one for the last couple years. Until now...

The plan for this car is as follows:

Chassis (first)
- measure the frame for straightness and correct as needed
- replace rear torque boxes (possibly the entire frame rails from the tb's back...will be making a jig for this)
- repair / replace front frame sections as needed
- inner rockers and seat pedestal from a 66 vert
- front tb's from a 67
- fix rust as i come across it

Steering, brakes, wheels (second)
- unisteer power rack (street or track)
- ididit steering column in an effort to try and eliminate the 'harpoon' steering box
- 13" disc brakes w/ dual bowl master cylinder...debating on going Wilwood or SoT for the calipers / kit
- rims...17" tbd on style...probably 8" wide on the rear (or 9's if i can fit them) and 7" on the front...MAYBE roll the fender lips a little

Front suspension (third)
- SoT tubular UCA / LCA and adjustable rods
- roller perches (opentracker)
---- already have done a UCA drop and have 620 1" lowering springs

This order is TBD
Transmission
- T5 conversion w/ hydraulic clutch

Rear
- Ford 9" w/ TruTrac and 3.80 gears...maybe 3.55 depending on the cam decision below
- I MIGHT add a watts link but I'll evaluate that after i can drive it

Engine
- Smedding short block
- AFR 205 - full roller rockers
- RPM Intake
- QuickFuel carb
- MSD 6AL box
- aluminum radiator w/ electric fans
- cam custom grind - tbd
- side exhaust w/ shelby skirts

That's the plan for the time being and will be done in stages. I'm estimating the total build to take about 2 years depending on how well the car cooperates with me. All of this is subject to change so...ride along with me and we'll have some fun!!

Here is how she sits now...


For inquiring minds...here are some pics of the convertible...
Before:


New interior:


I'm the ugly one in the back...

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 04:33 PM
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Man, nice work on that 'vert. I love the color combo.

Good luck on your coupe. Any particular reason why you're leaning toward a hydraulic clutch for the T-5? Only reason I ask is that I did the swap with a cable clutch and love it. Simple system with no gremlins to chase.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'm leaning on the hydraulic for the pedal feel mostly. Sadly, that's going to be a long way off. I got a chance to do an initial inspection of the sheet metal to get an idea of what i need to do. It was an evening of ups and downs...

Good stuff:
- the right rear torque box doesnt need to be replaced like I previously thought
- looks like it has new rear quarters
- new front quarters
- both aprons are solid
- battery tray area is clean

Bad stuff...way more of this
- drivers torque box is shot (i'm not sure how the leaf spring is actually staying put...)
- drivers inner and outer wheel houses need replaced (probably have to pull the quarter for this...)
- the trunk metal repair is pretty sad and will need to be corrected
- passenger inner rocker needs patched at the least
- drivers floor pan needs to be redone...they both need to be redone. The person who tried to do them before couldnt weld for sh*t
- patching at least one spot on the roof along the drip rail
- misc patches i havent pulled up yet
- passenger front frame rail needs repaired at the firewall

So that should keep me busy for awhile...

I figure I'll start on the torque box and floor pan. From there, do the passenger floor pan and rocker repair. Assess and repair the metal patchwork. Then look at fixing the trunk area.
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Also, thank you for the compliments on the vert! I'm really happy with how it turned out. That was another one where I had to replace, more or less, 60% of the underside.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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In light of all the metal that has to be fixed I'm putting together my attack plan.

1) Strip the car down to a shell
2) Pull up the drivers floor pan
3) Replace the drivers torque box. Debating on using a 1 piece tb / frame rail. I did replace the rear rail about 3 years ago and the work looks pretty good. The rest of the rail looks okay. In all reality the tb looks fine too but there's a section after the TB that's been butchered up...right where the leaf mounts. Since I'll be pulling out all the trunk metal I'll be adding 1/8 plates to the welded areas for reinforcement.
4) Install the drivers convertible inner rocker. I'm sure I'm going to find rust on the coupe inner rocker that i'm going to cut out. However I dont see much sense in replacing the coupe inner rocker and then putting the vert inner rocker. I'll opt for just the vert rocker after cutting out the rust.
5) Pull up / fix passengers floor pan
6) Install passenger vert inner rocker (removing rusted stuff from the coupe inner)

This is where things start falling off the rails...I've never had to mess with rear quarters outside of patching them. I figure I should fix the trunk metal to have something to align the back part of the fenders with. It'll also give me a reference point for the inner wells. Cosmetically, I'm planning on changing the deck lid and quarter extensions. I figure I should get the pieces I want to use to make sure fitment is good when I go to put them back on...and do one side at a time.

Admittedly, I feel a tad over whelmed but I'll get it done. The way I see it...if i can replace those damn inner rockers on a 66 convertible, this should be a piece of cake...seriously...that was a job.
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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The strip down continues. My wife and I got the bumpers, front fenders, and chin pieces pulled off. Surprisingly...it doesnt look terrible. The front of the aprons look like they were replaced and could use a little touching up in terms of mounting but the rest is pretty darn good so I might have lucked out there.

The drip rails are toast. I 'might' be able to repair them but I'm not hopeful.

I also ran a borescope into the cowl vent area and see some surface rust but no pinholes. I'm going to pull up the edges, when I get to the metal work, and verify it's okay + seal it.

I hope to have the whole thing stripped down after this weekend and get to the party that'll be metal work.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaser012001 View Post
For inquiring minds...here are some pics of the convertible...
Great looking car! Love the white interior. What color is the paint on the vert? Looks pretty similar to mine; I have been trying to figure out what color mine was painted, previous owner didn't know.

The new project sounds like fun!

'65 Vert 289 Blue on Blue, White Top. PS/PB/C4 Auto
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PromoMotion View Post
Great looking car! Love the white interior. What color is the paint on the vert? Looks pretty similar to mine; I have been trying to figure out what color mine was painted, previous owner didn't know.

The new project sounds like fun!

Much appreciated! The color on the vert was 'sapphire blue'. I still have the can and can get you the color code if you want. It was a dupont paint. It was supposed to be a factory color for 66 but I dont think it's exact. The white interior was from a 65 color scheme. I couldnt find anything that indicated there was a white based interior for 66. It seemed Ford opted to go with the parchment color which was not doing it for me. So 65 Pearl white for the interior is what i landed on. I think it really pops off the black carpet and dashpad.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 09:31 AM
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Very nice! The blue exterior and white interior is an awesome combo! Great work!
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you sir! I always like the blue on white look. I love the contrast.

Tonight was more strip down work. I only get a couple hours a day with it but I think I'm still on target to have it stripped down and ready for either blasting or to start torque box work next week. I found a place in town that does mobile, dustless blasting. Looks like they use a high pressure water mixture. Figured I'd give them a call when it's stripped down to inquire. Otherwise I'll have to run out and get my trailer which is about an hour away...and my subdivision is pretty strict about not having trailers sit out for more than a day or so. Anywho...bridges to cross at a later date.

I also sanded down the rust spot on the roof to help assess how bad it is. I dont think its as bad as what I thought it was going to be. The rest of the roof looks solid from inside the car but you never know until it gets stripped down. I dont think it's bad enough to warrant a reskin but that's for you guys to tell me :-D

Other notable achievements: Pulled the headliner down (mask required), liberated the main wiring harness from under the dash (so...many...cut and spliced wires...), removed front and back glass, pulled dashpad, lots of other little misc things.

Some pictures
The sanded down rust hole...lots of bondo in this area. I guess the previous owner gave it the ol "out of sight, out of mind" treatment.


Check out the welds on this floor pan...Looks like someone who was trying to weld with flux core wire...this will be fixed


Found some super sweet kicker tweeters where the factory speaker used to live. Circa mid 90's i believe


I kind of remember seeing this when I put in the Alpine Type-R 6x9's years ago...I think the previous owner was confused about the purpose of duct tape. My guess is that they were trying to use this as some sort of sound deadening?


I believe I've found the source of the mouse smell in the car. The headliner must have been the 'Mouse Hilton'. This was the front...the back looked the same. They had the wind sails stuffed.


There was a casualty...the windshield cracked as I was freeing it from the cement that was holding it in place. I believe repo's are plentiful.
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of progress over the last week and a half. My wife and I got the engine and trans out of it. We also pulled the fenders, finished pulling the interior and lot of little bits out of the engine bay.

Yesterday I got the passenger side inner rocker and torque box installed. Thank goodness for the plasma cutter. It made the trimming and fitting a cake walk. I still have to weld the under side of the rocker to the floor pan and to the outer rocker. The torque box fought like crazy but I got it in there. I've pretty well over welded every part on the tb and rocker installation.
The top side of the rail in the shock tower was rusted so I POR15'd it and welded a plate over the top of it. I also welded the seams on the shock tower. I'll be adding a GT plate to the shock tower as well and then likely moving on to the other side. I under coated the completed sections.
I'm on the fence about adding additional gusseting / plating to the shock tower. The 66 tower seems more structurally firm than a 67 which is where I see most of the reinforcing.
I'd be curious to hear your guys' thoughts on if welding the seams is adequate or if I should consider adding reinforcement plates.

Inner rocker:


Outside of the shock tower


Inside of the shock tower (engine bay side):
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Finished the passenger front Sunday evening. I coated it but I think I might trim some off around the UCA mounting point. I think I want to plug and weld the pervious mounting holes to make it look cleaner.

Also put in an order for a Be Cool 33x18x3 aluminum radiator. Will take some trimming but it should fit nicely and keep the 408 happy. Also put in an order for Eastwood Chassis Black primer and paint. Fingers crossed I'll be able to get the engine bay done and painted before it gets too cold to spray. My garage is heated but I dont have real good ventilation.

I have Monday off and am going to try and tackle the rear torque box replacement and, with any luck, get the drivers side inner rocker and front torque box installed. We'll see.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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After a short hiatus I'm back to it. Got the new radiator on Thursday. It's massive! Yesterday I cut the support opening to allow for the monstrosity. I also drilled the holes for the mounting dowels on the bottom of the radiator so it's more or less done until I get the new hood and start doing final fitting. I also started sanding down the engine bay for possible painting this coming weekend before it start getting really cool out.

I have another day off of work today so I'm working on the drivers side structural stuff. The torque box was 'ok' but someone had welded a big piece of steel in the frame rail spring mount location and I figured I should just replace the tb and do it the right way.

So that's what I'm doing today. I've prepped the new rear tb (from a convertible since I'm using vert inner rockers), inner rocker, and front tb by drilling plug weld holes and coating them in weld through primer. Going to start surgery in a little bit. With any luck, i should have it swapped and buttoned up today.

Some pictures
New vs old radiator:


Core support before trimming:


Well that's pretty big...


The reason i'm replacing the torque box...
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Before starting in on the rear torque box I found some rivets on the under seat floor pans. Looks like they're rusted out and previous owners just put metal over it. Works out to my favor though since I had to carve that out to get at the torque box.

The rear torque box replacement wasnt nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I made a jig to keep the leaf spring mount in the proper location. After that, I cut it off the at the frame rail, detached the floor pan and peeled it back a little, removed the spot welds to the rocker, and took the air chisel to it. I laid the removed tb next to the new piece and trimmed the frame rail attachment point so that it'd go in the proper location. I trimmed the tb frame rail so that it would slide into the old frame rail creating an overlap...a fish plate of sorts.

With the tb attached to the frame rail, I slid the vert inner rocker into it's final location. I had previously trimmed the floor pan to accept it, drilled plug holes in both the floor pan and the inner rocker itself, and sprayed weld through primer. I also capped the back end of the inner rocker so there wouldnt be any open areas on the back...since mice like those areas. I did have to drill out the spot welds on the window support and peel it back so it could be welded to the top of the inner rocker. Also put in the front torque box.

I still need to weld the floor pans to both side inner rockers.

I've also finished stripping the engine bay. I decided I didnt like all the extra holes and stuff. Since I plan to run the wiring along the inside of the fenders I didnt need all the loom holes. I also plan to run the fuel line up the firewall...so I capped off that hole...and lots of other ones. I'll have pictures of that stuff tomorrow. As for now...i'm beat.

The jig:


Absent torque box


New torque box
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Saturday I finished plugging holes and other accessories in the engine bay that I dont currently intend to use. These included the bulk head connector ports for the wiring loom, brake line mount points, wire loom holes, washer part holes, and a few of fords stamping holes. After that it was more sanding.



Sunday, I performed some final prep on the engine bay. Used Eastwoods 'PRE' to get it all clean and ready. Then proceeded to spray the first coat of the Chassis Black Extreme primer. This was all after I reacquainted myself with my spray gun. I use the Devilbiss 'DEKUPS' system and, for whatever reason, always forget to put the damn lid on the disposable cup before putting the main lid on it...At least I wont be making that mistake again for awhile :-D

After a brief adjustment of line pressure, gun pressure, stream, and fan...we were off and running!! I think I got it on a tad thick but it dried fine and looks fantastic.

Tonight I'll run some seam sealer in the joints and then spray another coat of primer. Tuesday and Wednesday will be color and then it's back to floor pans!! Apologies for the somewhat crappy picture...I had already closed the garage door and turned the heater on since it was below 70 outside. A better picture will be taken Thursday.

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