TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I was hoping to be provided with some opinions for the one issue remaining with my '97, rust in the rear passenger shock mount.

My assumption is that it won't be an "easy" fix, but would love some input from those of you familiar with body work, as I am not. What I am wondering is if patching it will hold it for a few years, or if a combination of patching and reinforcing either through a tower brace or roll cage will either eliminate the issue if it is indeed bad.

If it calls for removal of the rusted area(s), any guesses on the labor involved and my options?

Thanks, Eric





http://i62.tinypic.com/ejitlw.jpg

Also I should point out I'm aware of the other threads on the topic.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,007 Posts
The rust came from the outside in; the only way to fix it is to cut out all the damaged metal, and weld in new metal.

The way these cars are built, that's pretty much not really possible.

I'd sell it to a JY, part it out, or wait for it to break. You could give it away as a tax deduction sometimes.

I would not sell that to some one, personally, as a driving car. You could be liable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. However, a junkyard is out of the question. The car puts out 300 to the wheels (and for anyone reading that may remember a tuning issue previously where it made only 240, that was before Kooks and a good shop took over tuning duties), and other than the body, every component is brand new, modified, upgraded, or rebuilt...thus my quip about the free rusting car.

You hit the nail on the head with your statement, "The way these cars are built, that's pretty much not possible." What I am wanting to know is why? Many say this type of issue is a killer, and many say it's any easy fix.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,007 Posts
What I am wanting to know is why? Many say this type of issue is a killer, and many say it's any easy fix.
It's 3 layers, iirc, of 20awg steel.

It rusted from the outside in, so the outside patch tends to be 3x the size of the inside patch.

You have to cut it all out, and replace it. That's hard to do, and expensive.

So, What do the rockers look like? :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,660 Posts
In order to fix that properly, first off you need plenty of access to it. That means removing the rear seat, V-brace, and figure on taking off the rear suspension on that side as well. Next, if you look in your first pic, you see the metal piece in the upper right that is partly gray and partly red that the V-brace bolts to? That is part of the package shelf, and it is attached to the shock tower. The combination of the V-brace, shock towers, and package shelf make up a structural part of the car that transfers suspension loads when turning. When you cut out the part of the shock tower and detach it from the package shelf, you better have some temporary bracing welded in to prevent the structure of the car from moving. Once you have enough access, you need to get in there with a cutoff wheel and cut out the affected area. This is pretty thick metal here, so a little dremel tool or air saw is not going to be powerfull enough. Now lets move further down to where the shock tower meets the trunk floor. See all that seam sealer there? First all of that has to get ground out, then underneath it will be a whole bunch of spot welds. Each spot weld will need to be drilled out, but only through the upper layer of metal, leaving the lower layer untouched so that you can weld the new piece to it. Once you have your rust area cut out, you now need to either fabricate a new one, which will be difficult if not impossible given the compound curves and the thickness of the metal, or go do this same thing all over again on another car in the junkyard, making sure to cut the new piece bigger than the hole in your car. Once that is all done, you will have to measure everything, make sure the hole for the shock tower is in the right place, and weld it back together from both sides, then re-apply the seam sealer where it meets the trunk floor, and the undercoating in the wheelhouse. After doing all this, I would also want to reinforce it with at the very least a shock tower brace between the 2, and possibly tying it into the package shelf as well. If this car has sentimental value to you, and it is important to keep this body, and if you are handy with a cutoff wheel and a welder and have several days to devote to this problem, then have at it! If the intention here is to make the car sellable, here's something else to think about; the right way to fix this, according to Ford, would be to replace that whole wheelhouse assembly, which can only be done by removing the quarter panel and installing a new one. Ford does not specify a location where you can safely section this piece, so if you sectioned it, and the weld location failed, you would be just as liable for selling an improperly repaired car as you would be for selling it as is. Matter of fact, you would probably be more liable because if you sold it as is, you have the plausible defense of saying you didn't know, but if you repair it improperly, you can't plead ignorance.

So figure a week of work for a repair that won't be proper, may rust out again, and still won't let you sell the car with a clear conscience, vs $1000 for a rust-free shell and a few days swapping your engine/trans/suspension into the new shell, then scrap this body for $400. It's your car, so its your call, but that is why most of us say the car is done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Our cars are expensive to fix? Say what? :)

Rockers are a year old now, but before they were replaced, only the driver side was rusted, and not too badly, really. The only other rust spot (I know of) is the passenger front wheel well. Everything else has been replaced and the spots weren't structural.

Mike (I assume), great explanation, thanks. I'm still on the fence with selling, but would never not make this issue known to prospective buyers; I assume the quickest sell for me would be the parts, anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
It might be a difficult repair, but not impossible. If you find someone skilled enough they could do it with no problem. I just had the Cougar welded last weekend, the guy said the sheet metal is definately tough to weld, however doable, but when you find someone who can weld paper thin aluminum, paper thin steel is nothing. It will cost you some serious money, but if you like the car enough it could be worth it, otherwise I'd opt for a new body as the others have stated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm really not wanting to part with the car. I don't really have sentimental attachment to the body, so I'm not opposed to finding a new one, I'm just lazy, and with all the repairs made on the car so far and this really being the last issue, I'd like to see what can be done.

In the interest of hypotheticals, does anyone have any say on how a roll cage might play into a repair here? Let's assume money is not an issue, but also assume making a perfect "cut-and-replace" weld repair is an issue (let's say finding a rust-free body in Southwest Ohio is tough). In my model, I think some sort of patch/plate/sandwich job with some way to address the rust or prevent it from worsening, in addition to a cage that connects to the shock mounts may do the trick? I'd love some input and other possibilities if there are any.
 

·
The Parts Guy
Joined
·
7,357 Posts
Covering up the rust isn't the answer. Cut it out and weld in new metal. It's an involved repair, but it is a VERY doable job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I know that covering up the problem is not the answer, and apologize for my lack of clarity in my previous post. I am wanting to know how or if a cage and mount crossmember will relieve stress from the area that is now rusted that will be repaired.

I'm also fairly certain I won't be able to find a rust-free body in the area, let alone one with rust-free shock mounts, nor do I believe it's more cost-efficient, even in relation to the car's monetary worth, to swap bodies than to make this repair if one in good condition were available to me. The point I'm trying to make is that I'm wondering how doable this will be for a good body shop without a cut-out spare from another body, but I might bite the bullet and give it a shot. And I was wondering how this type of repair is any different from replacing rocker panels aside from the structural loads of the shock mounts (very involved and very costly are after all relative terms).

I appreciate everyone's input as always.
 

·
Super Moderator
1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
Joined
·
17,481 Posts
To do it the way Mikey describes would probably match the cost of finding a rust free southern/western car, and then the cost of paint(since the quarter will have to be removed) would far exceed the cost of getting the car too you. Plus, if you found a doner car with those pieces rust free, you should just swap everything to THAT CAR.

A cage throws a wrench into the equation since you can effectively create a separate structure within the car just repair the rust in whatever fashion and tie it all together, but that's not exactly cheap either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Matt, now you're speaking my language. My thoughts are that if I'm hoping to go through the trouble, and if I care to keep the car or upgrade it further (or to sell), I might consider a cage. Has anyone tied a cage to the rear shock mounts with or without a crossmember?

At this point, I will probably have the body shop free form new panels, and whatever advice is given as far as a roll cage goes, I'd like to tie the mounts to that as well (I will be getting a cage, the question now comes down to timing with this repair).

EDIT: By cage I mean roll bar, before someone goes off on me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
ebecker54, I'm in the exact same boat as you, except mine broke completely through. I'm considering the same concept as you in that I know that I can't feasibly "fix" the body, but if I think I could create a framework inside the trunk area that would be able to not only firm up the rear, like the tower braces, but could also add in mounting points for the shocks as well. Will it be pretty, no, but neither is an MN12 in a junk yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I will be speaking again with the body shop this next week to work things out, and will do my best to follow through on the outcome.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,210 Posts
Nooooo! Where's the post showing such?
Newbie Forum

Cars For Sale

But of course if you provide FULL contact information to a Forum Administrator including your legal name, a valid mailing address and contact phone number we'll see what we can do! :D

Joe
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top