15 Years Later a '66 Coupe Build - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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15 Years Later a '66 Coupe Build

Hello all, I've been lurking on the boards for a while and since I'm actually starting to get somewhere on my build I figured it was about time to start a thread. I'm not much for starting a bunch of miscilanious threads so I will use this first post as my introduction as well. I am a life long car guy, but am a first generation gear head so I've spent the last 15 years learning how to build cars. Starting with my '05 Mustang which taught me everything from the basics of wrenching up to turbo charging and swapping down stream components when they start blowing up.



About 10 years into my learning process I started to cut my teeth on my first resto project. A year of teaching myself how to weld (poorly), make various patch panels and trouble shoot 40 year old electrics I actually got to drive my '73 Datsun 620. Which I did for about a year before deciding it needed a modern driveline. Enter my first engine/transmission swap into a classic vehicle including updating certain electrical components and modifying certain others so the body harness and engine harness would work together. Another year passed and another hair brained idea entered my mind. What would be better than a 2500lb truck with 200hp? One with 400hp. So in came the turbo and with it my excuse to learn how to TIG (also poorly). That led me to this.



All of the experience I gained working on the truck led me to bravely (dumbly) buy a new daily that needed a floor pan, rocker panels and several other bits of metal replaced, but it was a good excuse to practice more. At the end I have a mostly rust free XJ and have leveled up to be an OK hobbyist mig welder.



All of that leads me to the actual point of this thread. With the knowledge and tools I've gathered over the last 15 years it is time to actually get to work on a car that have had sitting in my dad's backyard that whole time.



'66 289/c4 car that my Dad bought some 17 or so years ago. It was a semi restored driver in need of a bit of love and some updates. As things happen I went off to college out of state and didn't have time or money for the project at the time the car sat under a cover and waited. Then the day finally came to bring the poor girl home.





Got her settled in.



Phase 1 of the build is underway now and includes:
Rust repair
-Floor pans are full of pin holes and some other damage, cowl has some rot and the rear arches and lower quarter are swiss cheese.
Some chassis stiffening
-I have vert inner rockers and seat riser as well as torque boxes already sitting in the pile of parts. I'll likely also add some subframe connectors and other bracing as I go along.
Disc brakes
-Already have the Willwood Dynapro kit and dual bowl master and will likely go with the sn95 cobra brakes for the rear. I'll be doing all new hard lines as well.
Rewiring
-Mini fuses, relays and not 50+ year old wires make me happy.
Generally replacing anything that is worn out

For now I'll be retaining the 289/C4/8" although they will likely all find themselves replaced in later phases. By the end of phase 1 I hope to have a decent little cruiser, but long term I'd like to build it out to be more of a pro-touring type car.
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If you are under control, you are going too slow.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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The first step in any proper build it to take everything apart, so I simultaneously disassembled a mustang and decorated my walls.



Also managed to find some rust and a snake skin.



With the car mostly stripped down I got a bug up my *** to start getting a look at the known rust areas.





Hard to tell in the pic, but that is about 3/16s of an inch of bondo. While that is the deepest I've found so far it is not the only area where this "repair" was made.



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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 07:52 AM
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Welcome to the deep end of the pool! You start pulling that loose thread and soon you are re-knitting the whole sweater.

Gotten fairly decent at MIG but yet to take a stab at TIG.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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I'm farther down the rabbit hole than the posts show so far, but due to my low post count I'm still at the mercy of the mods to verify new posts. All that means is it will take me a little longer to get this thread up to present day than I had hoped.

I enjoy tigging, but still need a lot of practice. On the up side everything that I've tigged so far is air tight and hasn't cracked.

This was my first real tig project. One thing I will say it is quite a bit slower than mig.


If you are under control, you are going too slow.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Note to mobile users:

Turns out you can't see any but the first of my photos due to the fact that I've had to use html to resize the images since apparently this board doesn't auto resize like every other one I'm on.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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And out of no where images are working on mobile now. My last update post still hasn't gone through so I'll try again.

With the exploratory surgery out of the way I turned my attention to the interior. Knowing I was going to be doing vert inner rockers and seat risers I started pulling the exiting risers and gave up hope of not doing pans in this car.



As I removed more of the tar residue from the old sound deadening I noticed that there were a lot of pin holes and some, um, patches.



Not really sure what happened here, but it looks like someone started to remove the passenger riser and then didn't and had trouble seeing where to weld the spots back in. It was completely disconnected on the tunnel side.



Having fun with light to get a better idea of what I was working with.





At this point it was the start of winter solstice holiday season and between travel, it being cold and some other little side projects not much got done for a few weeks.

If you are under control, you are going too slow.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 11:29 AM
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,,, Knowing I was going to be doing vert inner rockers and seat risers I started pulling the exiting risers and gave up hope of not doing pans in this car.

If you're not already aware, convertibles also had reinforcements under the floor, directly under the seat risers. Adding these as well would help with torsional stiffness. If you also plan on doing sub-frame connectors (SFC) you want to consider whether you want coupe style SFC or convertible style.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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At present I'm planning to forego the underside reinforcement pans, although I could possibly be talked into them. They do seem like they'd limit exhaust options a bit from the pictures I've seen.

As for the build update, there was about a month in between my last post and this one. To make life easier I still had some bits that needed to come out before I started working on the floors. Starting with the engine.



And then all of the steering, cables, heater box and hard lines.



Firewall is solid, which is nice.





Fresh air towers not so lucky.



Not really sure, but I think this fell out of the heater box when I pulled it.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well, this thread has almost caught up to me. I always seem to forget how long it takes to really prep things to weld in. Anyway next step was to drop in the new pan and mark it up. I'm actually kind of impressed how well the repop pan fits.





Then came the rough cut.



And grinding the old flange off the side pan.



Some more cutting to make way for the vert inner rocker.





Vert inners are roughly 13" long for a coupe and while I've seen others take that off the front I'll be retaining factory style seat belts for now so to get the bolt hole to line up I took the extra off the back. Turns out I didn't take any pictures after putting it back in to test fit for the millionth time so you'll just have to take my word that it fits for now.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 06:25 PM
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I was considering putting inner rockers in last year but didn't mostly didn't have the time available. Looking into what was required it looks like the inner rockers actually extend farther back under the rear seat. That may be why it's coming up 13" too long?

Tom

One thing great about getting older. A life in prison sentence is less of a deterrence

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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The issue is the rear torque boxes that are there from the factory in coupes. So, rather than run the inner the full length just cut it off and tie it into the rear torque box.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Well, since I haven't gotten nearly as much done so far as I hoped this thread will now be presented in real time. I've also begun to notice that I haven't taken many pictures in the last few days of working on the car, but since that has been spent mostly cleaning off 40 some odd years of dirt, grime and undercoat there hasn't been much to see. I did manage to get all of the plug weld holes drilled in the inner rocker and floor pan, seen here with my mid way pictures.





Had to get a little creative to clean up into the front of the frame rail.



My office the last few days, nice and cozy and one hell of a mess. I still have a couple of brackets to remove and will need to bust out the smaller wire wheels to get into the tight spots, but underside of the passenger area is mostly cleaned up as is the driver's front torque box area.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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In for the final test feel before pulling the bits back out for paint and weld thru primer.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 01:17 PM
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Looking good. Will you be installing convertible front torque boxes? Also, if you plan on adding subframe connectors, now might be a good time to sleeve the floor supports prior to welding in the new floor plan. Always great to see a family car restoration.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, it's getting there. Of course now I feel like I have more to do. I do have torque boxes, had I been smart when ordering I would have gotten the ones for a vert, but I wasn't, so I'll have a bit of trimming to do to get them to fit.

If you are under control, you are going too slow.

Last edited by UnderControl; 02-20-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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