1988 Mustang GT Restoration/Modification

Build includes a Dart block 331, 76mm Turbo, Cobra IRS, and much more

  1. Engine bay welding and smoothing

    RacEoHolic330
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    So after I had already welded the large holes near the brake booster location, I decided that I didn't like how that area looked. Cut out a piece of sheet metal to cover everything up.

    Cleaned up the brake booster mounting reinforcement plate
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    Cut a crude template
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    Made the crude template better
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    Transferred to sheet metal
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    My solution to the rusted out k-member supports was to clean out the framerail, apply anti-rust paint, make new supports, weld them in, paint again, and then weld a new, stronger piece of sheet metal in to reinforce the framerail.

    New supports
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    After some painting, welding, and more painting
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    Driver side
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    I figured that a good portion of the rust was to blame on the holes in the framerail directly under the strut tower. This area is constantly exposed to the elements while driving, so I decided to weld those holes up to eliminated the possibility of water sitting in that area anymore.
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    Here are the new pieces of sheet metal that I'll be welding in to box the framerail back together.
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    I also cut out and mocked up the passenger side sheet metal behind the strut tower. Didn't get around to welding it in yet though.
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    The last thing tonight was welding the pinch weld along the firewall. I had already trimmed it back to make it look a little better, but the two pieces of sheet metal were still visible and that was ****ing me off, so I welded it up. It will be grinded down nicely and be given somewhat of a rounded bullnose edge.
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    Mocked up the hydroboost unit and MC to make sure everything cleared. All is well in that department. Shouldn't have any issues with running the lines. I also won't be needing the stock-style prop valve anymore, so I will just need to find a spot to mount the Wilwood prop valve for the rear bias.
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    Got the framerail boxed in and welded up. I still need to cut out about 2" above it and replace that portion of the shock tower with new sheet metal. Once I do that, I can put one final piece of sheet metal over everything and smooth it all out.
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    Welded in the piece near the firewall.
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    Grinding down all those welds...

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    I also cut out the last bit of rusted strut tower metal. I'll make new pieces to replace the old and weld everything back up.
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    Finally finished the framerail repair. There was more involved to it than I thought, from making those tubular supports and welding everything up. But it's done, so I can move on to bigger and better things!

    First I filled in the area I cut out and re-welded the spot welds where the sheet metal attaches to the strut tower.
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    Then I shot everything with paint and welded one more layer of sheet metal to complete everything.
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    Just have to grind the welds down and then everything will be seamless. Luckily, I don't have much welding left to do in the engine bay.

    I decided to cut out the driver side apron and weld in a new, stronger piece. The original section had some rust issues and being that I plan to use that area to mount the ignition box and some other things, I wanted it to be in good shape.

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    Welded and grinded some of the front header support as well:
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    Welded in the new lower radiator support. For those that are wondering, I had to cut out the old one because I hacked it up so bad 7-8 years ago when I tried to stuff an oversized 3-row aluminum radiator in the bay. It was not in any kind of condition to bother repairing it. The boxed steel support I made is probably stronger anyway.
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    In addition to hacking the lower radiator support, I apparently gave the driver side core support some hell, so I had to cut and form a piece of steel to fix that area up. I sometimes wish I had the tools to stretch and form metal, but a mallet and a bunched up rag got the job done for me.
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    In the picture below, you can see the 'bump' on the passenger side of the core support.
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    That bump was bothering me, so I cut it out and welded in a new piece that will grind down flush with the rest of the support.
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    That is all pretty much the last of the welding in the engine bay area :rock:.

    Filler time...

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    Put a layer of All Metal down in the major areas. This stuff seems to be love it or hate it in the autobody industry. I like the stuff. It's just very hard to sand down, but it's tough as nails and I don't have to worry about it cracking.

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    Sanded down the All Metal
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    Then I applied a light coat of Evercoat Z-Grip filler. I really liked the way it laid down, although I'm not very good at applying filler neatly. There were a lot of peaks and ridges that I needed to cut down with a chisel.

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    Next I started to block down the coat of filler. Got tired, so there is still more to do before I touch up areas with more filler.

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    Put on a skim coat of putty. Passenger side sanded down.

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    Shot 4 coats of urethane. I have to sand it smooth and then assess how many imperfections are left. I can see a few right now, so I will probably a need to spot putty a couple trouble areas. Other than that, it looks real nice.

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