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This winter it was my intention to get the rocker panels and any rust the previous body shop missed addressed on the T-bird, since some he missed broke through on the driver's side a couple years ago. I found a reputable local shop and met with them in fall and had them look at the car, and agreed to drop it off after the weather turned to get it addressed over the winter.

I dropped the car off a couple weeks ago and they called me back the other day. They put the car into the air and started poking around underneath to get a better idea on scope. Much to my disappointment, they said that in their opinion the car "isn't worth putting any more money into". Essentially they said the inner rockers have continued to deteriorate and are weak and don't provide anything to weld the new outer rockers to. The previous guy didn't weld the driver's side rocker panel patch in at all - he just used body filler without clearing any of the old rusty stuff out (ughhh!).

So it looks like I'll be on the lookout for a good, clean rust-free chassis to swap everything over to in the next few years. Not looking forward to all the work, and I'm quite disappointed that the chassis I had taken steps to preserve some 10 years ago has gotten past the point of no return. :(
 

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B, I'll look around and see what's here.

That ******* sucks, tho; you paid someone to spread peanut butter on a rust sammich, when you paid for a hoagie. :zsoapbox:
 

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Come over to the Cougar side. I have a clean title chassis sitting on cinderblocks out back :) It has some minor upgrades that come attached such as 5 speed manual and a 1500hp rated subframe lol. No rust on these rockers, and the back 1/2 of the car has been undercoated with 3m product just for S&Gs.
 

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Christ, that does suck! Why do people do that? That guy must have known what this car meant to you, and he does an ******* move like that!

You should get some pictures of the rust that's on it now and send them to him, and tell him thanks for nothing! :rant:

Joe
 

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Christ, that does suck! Why do people do that? That guy must have known what this car meant to you, and he does an ******* move like that!

You should get some pictures of the rust that's on it now and send them to him, and tell him thanks for nothing! :rant:

Joe
Give us his facebook/yelp/whatever address, and let us ALL remind him what an ******* he is, lol.

Nah, B's too nice for that. Probably. >:)
 

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Earlier message deleted. Forgot which car this was at the time.

Inner rockers are difficult but they can be done. They were also bad on my SC when I was going through its rust issues. I say fix it. You have a bunch of work in this car already, itd be a shame to see it go away like so many other cars on this site recently. Plus this body means something to you, even more reason imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was thinking about that too, but the trick would be finding a shop who would be willing to undertake the job. I'd prefer to go that route even if it costs a few extra grand; this was my first car and it's been in my family since 2004, so it's worth it to me to hold onto it.
 

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Hope you find a shop that can accommodate. My 95 needs new rocker panels, too. Will learn if I can tackle it in auto body welding class at the local community college this semester.

Seems hard to find quality work without doing it yourself. I was very disappointed with a paint job from a local shop and named names in other forums pertaining to that type of vehicle. Repainted it myself in auto body class to get it done right.

Good luck with your repairs.
 

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Hope you find a shop that can accommodate. My 95 needs new rocker panels, too. Will learn if I can tackle it in auto body welding class at the local community college this semester.

Seems hard to find quality work without doing it yourself. I was very disappointed with a paint job from a local shop and named names in other forums pertaining to that type of vehicle. Repainted it myself in auto body class to get it done right.

Good luck with your repairs.
Dang.

Wish you were closer, I'd be willing to pay you to learn on my truck (body AND paint) and the Cougar (minor body, no major rust I know of, and of course paint.)

RwP
 

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I feel for you. My 95 is in a similar predicament. Have you looked under the trunk carpet lately to look at your rear shock towers? Those and the rockers are the problem areas (and the doors).

Few body shops in my area have any interest in anything that involves much welding and actual body work. We are possibly entering the age where we will need to seek out restoration shops as opposed to body shops to do this sort of intensive repair.
 

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This sucks :( It’s been a long time since I saw the progress pics in your thread, but if I recall right one of the things the shop did to repair both the rocker and quarter panel rust that happens at the seam was cut it out and replace it with one flat piece of new sheet metal, eliminating the seam alltogether. I had wondered what they did inside considering the original internal metal was still presumably there, but I guess we now know.

I firmly believe there is more than one way to skin a cat with these kinds of repairs though, but it takes creativity and unfortunately profit doesn’t favor that. Either good shops are going to do it strictly by the book - preferring to replace the entire stampings of metal front to back and rebuilding the structure to OEM spec like they would a major collision repair(if they can’t source the stampings then you’re SOL, as is the case here) - or less than reputable shops will be “creative” in that they’ll cut out the rust and craft you a fine sculpture... of bondo. There isn’t much middle ground, which is unfortunate since even OEM spec doesn’t guarantee a permanent fix since the design is inherently rust prone and a shop can never effectively duplicate Ford’s internal coating processes after welding, which is legitimately effective when there are no water traps like these cars are riddled with.
 

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We need to laser-scan a non-rusted good shell and then make 3D models of it that can be 3D printed, so we can print out entire new frames to put our parts on :D unlimited MN12s! Super Coupe kit cars! We can re-engineer the suspension as we go to use easily sourced parts >:) :rofl:
 

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What are you going to make a Tbird out of Plastic ???

For what its worth, I have a few "non rusted" Tbirds here if anybody wants to buy one to scan.
 

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If youre interested

Theres a 97 bird by me thats knocking on deaths door. Been for sale at a junkyard for a few months. Car has 190k, but is solid except for the fingers on the top of the front shock towers. They are wanting $700 for it, so maybe you could use it as a parts car for yours.
 

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What are you going to make a Tbird out of Plastic ???

For what its worth, I have a few "non rusted" Tbirds here if anybody wants to buy one to scan.
Now,now

Not only do they make sintered metal 3D printers, with good enough scans there's complete CNC systems to take sheet metal and make almost anything you can program into the controllers.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When I go to pick up the car I'll have a conversation with the manager about any other places he might know who could/would do the work, or whether he's interested in even attempting it (or what the complete scope/cost might be). That shop does do restores, but they may perceive the car to not be worth the investment due to the niche nature of the chassis. We'll just have to see where this goes. Last time I checked the trunk shock towers they looked just fine; the worst of the rust that I know of is what's going on in the rockers (most evident on either side of the gas tank).
 

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He's not close, but you might talk to MadMikey about it; he's done the most hardcore rust resto I've ever seen. (Grandma's Car, IIRC.)

He can at least give you useful advice.

He may read this and think "Grog6 is such an *******..." :)



I'm down for investing in disassembling one to 3d scan; I want a sintered titanium MN12, and we can upgrade certain parts while it's in Solidworks. :)

Rework the K-member, Make the IRS bushings match the still available Mustang bushings, move the dash bracing to make the heater core come out easier; I can think of several upgrades. :)

A nice, thick 'frame' a la built in frame bracing setup would be nice.
 

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+1 talking to Mike. He got me a lot of parts and info when I was working on the SC that I would have been SOL without. Plus Id say he knows these cars as much as the people who designed them.
 

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Yeah, I'd feel comfortable trusting him and his assessment of things. Looks like he's ~7.5 hours from here one way, very doable driving. I'll leave it up to him as far as whether it's something he'd consider doing; I know he recently opened a shop so I'm sure he's plenty busy with that.

In the meantime I'm keeping my options open back here. At least I see the writing on the wall, so regardless of the outcome I'll be prepared for it.
 
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