need advise on where to look for rust in a 68 Vert - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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need advise on where to look for rust in a 68 Vert

I retired earlier this year and tomorrow, I'm going to look at a 68 convertible. It's nothing special, just a simple 68 C-code.



Literally no options whatsoever, unless a console is optional. No AC, no seat headrests, automatic, etc. From what I can tell, about as base as you can get. Seller says it's "all original number matching". But as a base c-code, I can't see it ever being worth a lot of money (compared to the higher dollar cars) so numbers matching doesn't matter to me and swapping/upgrading pieces is not out of the question. No rotisserie restoration for this one (I hope).



I'm just looking for a vert that I can get into reliable running condition and looking nice so the wife and I can go for sunny weekend day trips or taking my daughter out for a cruise or MAYBE a car she can take to her graduation in a couple years. I've got my motorcycles (FJ1200 and a VMax) and my 83 Mustang autocrosser if I want to go fast or otherwise get my automotive "adrenaline fix". I've got a stupid amount of work into my 83, from the HO 302 and 5 speed to the complete Maximum motorsports underpinnings and a sprinkling of sn95 era Cobra/Mach 1/Bullit bits. To say "she goes" is a bit of an understatement.....lol!







The guy says he parked it in 1998 and it's been sitting since. That it doesn't run is a given. You can see a few things like the coil missing in the pictures. He's said lots of other things about it (good), but he's selling so I can't take his word for it and have to verify for myself.



I'm more concerned about rust areas in the body. I'm a gearhead from way back and can fix anything (engine, mechanical, rust repair, upholstery, etc). I've also got enough of a shop that I can build pretty much whatever I need. I'm new to 60's mustangs, but not 60's fords. Last one I had was a 62 T-Bird and oh boy, talk about hidden rust! I have no desire to go through that tetanus torture again.



:p


So what should I be looking for in the way of problem areas?

Torque boxes, rear spring mounting areas, cowl vents, front frame rails, aprons, and the usual rocker and quarter areas. I had a friend tell me to open the trunk and specifically look down at the bottom of the wheel wells as he knows that's a bad area on verts.



Here's a few pics from the seller:









I'm figuring somewhere between 5-10G to make it a nice clean, reliable driver. That would put me into the 10-15G range when done. Nothing concours or silly like that, after all, it's just a C-code.I'm not worried about resale either, this one is planned to be a keeper when done. I'm old enough to be done changing cars like socks (like I used to).



So, any specific areas I should look at for rusties and what's a clear "it's terminal, it's a parts car, walk away"


Cheers
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:21 PM
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The bottom of every steel part, especially the inner rockers and torque boxes.

Amateur restorer. Well, sometimes I have been paid for it. But not right now.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 09:52 PM
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Give it the "convertible test". Roof down, both doors open, jump up and down on the door jambs. If the car doesn't fold in half, you're in pretty good shape.
Bring a magnetic "business card" and stick it all over the place on the body. It'll give you a good idea of how much bondo is on the car.
Also, whatever is under and around the battery tray. If the car sat for a long period of time with the battery in it, that's trouble for any metal around it.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:13 PM
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The trunk drop off rust is most easily seen by laying under the back of the car and looking at the bottom of the quarter panels behind the tires. Way easier than trying to poke your head down there from the top.

Other than that I think you've got a pretty good list going there. Based on what I've seen, and in no order, I'll throw in here:
Trunk drop offs
Front floor pans
Torque boxes
Inside driver's frame rail around the torque box area
Front frame rails behind the bumper brackets. Try wiggling the bumper and looking for that
Cowl around the hats and back up into the corners
A pillars where the windshield frame meets the door post
Battery tray
Between the tail light lenses
Lower front corners of the doors

That with what you already had ought to keep your magnet and flashlights busy for a while.

Also look for cracks in the shock towers. It looks like someone might've drilled holes in that passenger side one to get to the UCA zerk instead of installing an angled zerk fitting like a normal person, so make sure there aren't any other holes or cracks in the shock towers while you're in there.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankieThe69Kid View Post
... Roof down, both doors open, jump up and down on the door jambs. If the car doesn't fold in half, you're in pretty good shape...

LOL! I bet the seller would crap his pants if she folded!


Might be worth it for that alone!



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like someone might've drilled holes in that passenger side one to get to the UCA zerk instead of installing an angled zerk fitting like a normal person, so make sure there aren't any other holes or cracks in the shock towers while you're in there.

Good catch, I would have probably missed that....
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 11:53 PM
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Back I; the day they didnt have Ángled zerk fittings. Pretty easy to fix if you weld.

Typical rust areas have been pretty much covered. You’ll want to pull up the carpet as best you can. Rust in the front floor means cowl leak most likely. If left unchecked it spreads to the frame. The door drains are likely plugged so the bottoms of the doors rust. A leaky top leads to water under the reas seat and rear torque box rust. Plugged drains and leak trunk lid lead to the rust in the trunk drop off and the rear frame rails. Also check the rocker panels, inner and outer if possible. The hood and trunk lid rust from the inside out in wet areas lie near the ocean.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 12:10 AM
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Thumbs Up Convert rust

Open the heater door and reach up into the cowl area. You'll be able to feel any rust present. Be very careful, as if it is rusty, it could be very sharp. One of those cameras on a fiber cable would be great. #2- Rear frame rail is exposed right in front of the rear wheel. You can feel/see any rust here. #3- convert drip channel. Look in the trunk and feel up under the window. It where the water drains down the top and off into the wheel wells in front of the rear tires. You can also see a part of it alongside the 1/4 panel with the top down- right where the top cylinders are. You can look for leaky cylinders also. I added pics of my 64 apart so you can see the drip channel. #4- Front wheel wells- look up at where the inner fenders meet the shock towers. That seam likes to catch salt & water and rusts upward. If there's bubbling on the top, it's bad underneath. Good luck with your project.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Car was a complete and total bust. It was waaaaay worse than the picture or seller let on.



Literally no underside to the car. Nothing left that even looked like a factory floor board. Mostly a bunch of small pieces of sheet metal pop riveted together until they covered the whole "floor" area. Frame rail section were gone. Well, someone had tried by welding 1/4 flat stock to the bottoms of all the frame rails. Literally every frame section from the front bumper to the rear were like that. The only thing keeping the car from turning into a taco when you opened the doors was that someone had taken some thick wall galvanized gas piping and bridged between the front and rear "frame" sections, welded the same pipe to what was left of the inner rocker panels and then braced between the two long pieces. This was done on both sides. Someone had painted the dash with a BRUSH and black paint everywhere there wasn't a gauge face. Bumpers and chrome bent, dented and rusted. Doors were gone pretty much completely below the belt line, someone had welded sheet steel over the rusted original stuff and bondo'd. Air horns rusted out on both sides and noticed the firewall the same pop riveted small sheet metal chunks past halfway up the firewall. Crank wouldn't budge, even with the sparks out. And that's just the BETTER parts of the car.



Guy then asked me what I would pay for it.



I politely said I was not interested and he pressed for an answer so he had an idea for the next guy to come along. I said I MIGHT consider 500-1000 if I wanted the vin paperwork. There is literally NOTHING on that car EVER going to be back on the road again. You'd need to buy a new chassis and hang the vin on it.



The he said he'd probably get more for it if he parted it out. Yeeeeaaaahhhh...... right. There wasn't a salvageable thing on the car. MAYBE the engine, it you wanted a 2 bbl 289 to rebuild, but not much else. I just politely tried to avoid answering his questions on that as he thought he had something of value, but he didn't. except for a legal vin.



Total bust and totally disappointing, but sometimes the smart move is to just walk away...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus View Post
It looks like someone might've drilled holes in that passenger side one to get to the UCA zerk instead of installing an angled zerk fitting like a normal person, so make sure there aren't any other holes or cracks in the shock towers while you're in there.

There were holes there. They were burned through with a touch, not drilled.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 03:04 PM
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 06:50 PM
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sometimes the smart move is to just walk away...

Absolutely - Its when buyers become over infatuated with the "concept" and they fail to appreciate the current reality, that they get themselves in deep and expensive trouble. The right car will come along, but its always a disappointment.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 07:38 PM
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There are plenty of cars out there to chose from. You could get a pretty darn nice low option coupe for 10-15k. But if it has to be a convertible it will be more.


Not sure how you kept from LMAO. Hope you did not have to travel far to see it.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 10:34 PM
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Wow. It sounds like it took a lot of work to make the car that bad.
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