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  #11  
Old 05-16-2004, 11:36 PM
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Default RE: How much is too much?

I think the website you are referring to is

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/59TBirdConv/

I have a 58 which the underneath is in very good condition. What strikes me in working on it this winter is what a horrible job Ford did at the factory at protecting ANYthing from rust/salt and so on. They apprarently gave no consideration at all to cars in the northern US lasting for any time. I actually found one area above the rear bumper which was bare metal when I removed the bumper. Simply couldn't belive it... The car was "undercoated" but any impression that word gives of comprehensive protection is sadly misleading.
John - MA
58 Hardtop
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  #12  
Old 05-17-2004, 01:56 PM
58tdactyl 58tdactyl is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

I discovered when I removed all my eaten up parts........that the 58-60 Thunderbird was designed so as water entered the cowl area........it was directed down the inside of the rear front fender......to a small "chamber" in which was a small hole for the water to exit. Any large amount of water entering the cowl would litterally overflow......and run the lenth of the bottom of the car exiting through a small opening at the rear of the rocker panel. Over time this very inadequate hole at the front fender........could become clogged...(leaves/dirt)..allowing the front part of the inner rockers to retain water.......... and desintigrate. Add winter driving back in the 50,s/60,s in salted down roads and you seal the cars fate. This design was changed for the 61-66 birds and "cowel drain hoses" were put in. By the time this desintigration runs its course (usually unnoticed)........it results in major rust damage. When I first contacted the seller of my 58, he said it had a few problems. I told him "Let me guess.......the rocker panels are rusty and the dash is warped" . He laughed and asked how I knew. My car had been in a garage for over 20 years and looked pretty good when I inspected it for purchase...(for restoration)...only to be "shocked" at what happened on the inside later. These small holes were to be cleaned out on a regular basis as part of the maintenance. There are for instance......4 or five underneath the doors. I was often amazed in my seach for a 58.........that they came in 2 forms..........garaged,pristine,and with a hefty price tag............or eaten up behind someones house or toolshed. I thought I had found an "in between" car........HA !

In Fords defense......they designed a car to last 4 or 5 years back then.........you trade it in .........and get another............not knowing that 40plus years later.....people would be restoring Squarebirds. For my part....I had two small inserts with a small "nipple" on each made to put on each side of the cowl. From this a rubber hose is attached.......and with some twisting and turning.......comes out behind the front wheel. When I get my new wheel wells..........a hole will be drilled and the hose threaded through.........and finished off with a fitting........... this will direct the water to the "outside" of the car........instead of the "inside. Even though the hoses right now hang down..........they really do the job.........and hopefully all my hard work wont ever desintigrate again. So even if your car is in great unrestored shape.............learn where these holes are............and make sure they are opened up.
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  #13  
Old 05-17-2004, 07:30 PM
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Default RE: How much is too much?

Excellent information and advice! Perhaps you could post a few key digital photos of the areas involved at some point as well as your own modifications...

John
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2004, 03:47 PM
tmjsong1aolcom tmjsong1aolcom is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

Travin

Without seeing pics of the rusted areas it is very hard to comment on whether it is worth saving or not. here's a brief description of my grandmother's 58 when taken apart.

The rear quarters were shot, the rocker panels were shot, thre rear spash shields were shot, there were holes in the front fenders where the front splash shields attached to the fender. From this point forward finding used rear quater panels was a big pain. I needed ones that included the inner metal as well as the outer shell. The only pieces avail from repops are the outer shells. None of the inner pieces are out there. I obtained all the sheet metal from donor squarebirds and it too me a long time to find all the pieces.

But once done with these pieces I had a solid car. For some reason the floor pans sub frame ect were not affected by rust. Had surface rust to deal with but not holes.

If this was not my grandmas car and sentimental value I would have parted it our. Way too much rust to be economical.

My suggestion is to find a body out there that is being parted out that is ina lot better shape than yours. This will be search but decent bodies do exist. Youe will be a long ways ahead as with all the inner panels that can't be seen there is rust thru that you haven't even found yet.

I hate to see one of these 58's be sent to the scrap heap but there is a point in time when redoing them just is beyond reality.

If there is anyway to send the list digital pics or to send them to me via email I can give a much better opinion.

Fuz
58's&64's
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2004, 10:43 PM
Travlin Travlin is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

Started striping the old paint yesterday.

More irksome news -- A previous owner used bondo to "sculpt" a front fender, the "eyebrow," and the header panel. **** this sux.

On the plus side, the driver's side rocker panel isn't in as bad of shape as I thought it might be. Judging from it's "naked" appearance, the subframe shouldn't be too bad (I hope). The door (same side) isn't all full of bondo. What a nice suprise! :D
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  #16  
Old 05-21-2004, 08:52 PM
Travlin Travlin is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

>Started striping the old paint yesterday.
>
>More irksome news -- A previous owner used bondo to "sculpt"
>a front fender, the "eyebrow," and the header panel. ****
>this sux.
>
>On the plus side, the driver's side rocker panel isn't in as
>bad of shape as I thought it might be. Judging from it's
>"naked" appearance, the subframe shouldn't be too bad (I
>hope). The door (same side) isn't all full of bondo. What
>a nice suprise! :D

Corrections are in order ...

The front eyebrow wasn't sculpted ... but all the surrounding metalwork was --

This unibody is begining to get irritating.
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  #17  
Old 05-22-2004, 10:32 PM
khanson khanson is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

I have posted some "as-is" images of my underneath as well as a sketch of what I am thinking about doing with my rockers.

It can be seen at http://www.greenmountainaccess.net/~...rd_rockers.htm

Would like to hear comments on approach and how others are coming along.
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2004, 07:02 AM
Travlin Travlin is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

>I have posted some "as-is" images of my underneath as well
>as a sketch of what I am thinking about doing with my
>rockers.
>
Looks a lot like the underside of mine.
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2004, 11:24 AM
58tdactyl 58tdactyl is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

Khanson......I just looked at your pictures........... WOW !! I just had a bad flashback !!! Mine wasnt quite as bad.........but was pretty close. I checked out the sketch you made and everything on the right side is what I had to gut out and replace. My inner frame that runs under the door was fine..............that piece that has all the holes was just about gone........as well as the piece that holds the gas and brake line. Ill never forget though........the sinking feeling I got when I removed my front wheel wells. I did basicly the same thing though you are planning to do.........and it had held up quite well with no separating or buckling. My father (a pipefitter by trade) explained that it would actually make the frame stronger since I went the whole length of each side. Before you do any welding to seal the frame up.............fix a vacum cleaner up with any type of long hose and run it anywhere you can get it to remove dirt,rust, leaves...........and in the case of my car..........I had several mouse "nests". Anything like this can retain water and do future damage.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2004, 08:50 PM
khanson khanson is offline
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Default RE: How much is too much?

58tdactly - thanks for the input.

I am working the "left" side as shown in my section detail as I think I can do what I need to do strucurally and keep my initial repairs to the bottom and not have to patch any painted sheet metal that can be seen from above, which would add a whole new dimension to this first sequence of repairs. I know that I have work to do on the "right" but plan to do a thorough teardown in a few years when I don't have anything to do (right). My outside rockers, at least on the driver's side from what poking around I have done, I believe look like the photo seen on PaBob's restoration site.

I haven't taken the back of the front wheelwell splash gaurd out yet, but maybe I had better move it up a bit on the list. I had planned to take them out especially on the drivers side to get to the power brake vacuum tank.

I have taken the flat closure piece that is underneath the car just in back of the wheelwell off that opens up to the front frame arms to where they meet the rocker section (one of my website pictures is of this). A few opportunities here but lately I think I will only do some surface patching/reinforcing, if anything, as I would prefer to check alignment before doing to much cutting and replacing (The guy I bought it from thought or was told that it had been smacked in the right front, but if it was it is not all that obvious).

I have taken out two mouse nests and have at least one more to get to - amazing who likes these squarebirds....

The vacuum cleaner thing is a great idea as there is a lot of loose scale in the bottom of these things. In addition to trying to paint as much as possible, I am planning on using the Eastwood wax undercoating when I get done and have not been happy aobut the thought of squirting this stuff on piles of scale.



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