Paint and Body 1990 LX convertible need help identify "J" frames riveted to rocker panels

Dec 7, 2018
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Pennsylvania
#1
I purchased this 1990 LX convertible last spring. I noticed that it had steel J rails riveted to the length of the underside of the rocker panels. Once I got it home and looked closer at these rails I realized these were not factory. Who ever installed them didn't make sure the rivets pulled flush. I did see photos of one other convertible that had these rails with the same type rivets. Is anyone familiar with these J rails? Are they an after market item or some home made solution to stiffen the body? I'm considering removing them and have the holes filled (If I can find a body shop capable of doing a good job) Any suggestion, thoughts??
 

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a91what

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Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
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Hillsborough county
#2
All foxbody convertibles started life as a coupe, the factory sent them to a third party to have the roof hacked off and the convertible conversion done to them. Those J rails are there to stiffen the factory unibody since the roof is now gone and not providing structural support. They were installed at what you could consider 'factory' before they ever hit the dealers lot. My convertible has them as well, you should consider having a set of subframe connectors installed on the car if they are not already. These will help stiffen the body much more than it is now by tying the frame rails together. MM is a great company and there products are top notch if you go shopping around i highly suggest giving them a look.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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#3
Damn steve, you beat me to the post! You must be bored at work today.
i will add the verts also have a x brace that tie the lower radiator support, k member and front subframes.
 
Dec 7, 2018
3
2
13
70
Pennsylvania
#4
Thanks for your response. I feel better about those J frames now. Think I will leave well enough alone. I have added the MM frame connectors and the shock tower brace and the K member brace. I also put on the BBK cold air intake (seemed to open it up a little bit) and the Flow Master exhaust. (the 2 chamber mufflers) Sounds decent but I thought it would be a little louder haha. Next step I think I'll upgrade the sway bars. Probably the Eibach set, wondering how much difference from the stock ones?
 

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Steel1

Advanced Member
Aug 18, 2017
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Connecticut
#7
Interesting, I didn't realize those were factory on verts.
I just bought a set of Stifflers jacking rails for my 93GT that I'll weld
to the pinch rail, basically 2 lengths of square metal tubing.