Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jumping Ahead

Even though the work on Eleanor has gone sloooooowwwwllly over the past umteen years, there has been progress.  For some, it would be great to see the "Agent Oso" approach (if you have children or grandchildren you know who and what I'm talking about).   There are always "Three Special Steps" and everything has an order.  I suppose I could start with the first thing I did and then go to the next step...and then the next...and so on, and so on.  But today, I'm going to jump 5 years ahead to what the latest work has been.  And after this last weekend, it was definitely a huge step.

Mustangs are notorious for the right front inside fender area to rot out from battery acid.  Mine had the "double blessing" of also being "tweaked" in an accident.  Along with that section was the rotted out and bent radiator support. 

Because of that damage, I elected to replace it all, including the front main cross member with all new parts.  So here are the "Three Special Steps" 

Step 1--fabricate the replacement parts.

This amounted to drilling about 4 dozen holes in the new radiator support to spot weld it to the front cross member.  Below are a couple of pictures of this assembly.

Step 2--Remove the old parts.

This also means making sure the car is level and that the structure remains stable.   I took a piece of rectangular steel and cut it to fit inside the engine compartment between the frame rails and the strut rod supports.  That way, when the front cross member is removed, there will still be a structure there to keep everything in place.  Then I started to drill out what seems like a hundred spot welds to remove the fender apron on the right front corner and the radiator support.   Here a pictures of Step 2...

Step 3--Install the new parts.

Well, this Agent Oso is still trying to get the stupid front cross member out.  There must be a couple of hidden welds I haven't found.  But I am close.   This weekend will hopefully see the completion of Step 2 (removal) and be well on my way to having Step 3 done (installation).

Next time, I'll update this part of the restoration and then retrace my steps on what has been done before I got to this point.   And if you're OCD about the order of the Mustang resurrection story, well, you'll have to deal with that however you choose.

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