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jbill
10-02-2007, 08:31 AM
I am replacing the front clip on a 1970 Mustang from the firewall forward. I can't decide if I should cut and splice or replace the rocker panels. Any body done a few of these?

jbill
10-03-2007, 08:18 AM
hello out there.... anybody....anybody?

Serge
10-03-2007, 09:08 AM
Do you mean use patch pannels? To me rockers are easier to replace as one assembly, that what makes for the most permanent repair anyway...Most of the time, rockers rust from the inside out so even if there is only a small rust hole in it, there are more forming inside and its just a question of time before they start showing elseware...You are already doing a big job with the front...

bodymanhelper
10-03-2007, 05:48 PM
i agree with u serge. If your going to replace the rockers. its a hell of lot easier to replace them as one piece rather then do patch panels. You are already making alot of work by doing the front clip.

jbill
10-03-2007, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the input, but I guess I need to clarify and bring you up to speed on my project. It's a 1970 mustang sport roof that at various points in it's life has seen some real hack job repairs to the front end. All four inner finder skirts have been butchered in some way. The front drivers side frame rail has been cut in half and a donor section installed that was welded in with brass rod braising.(not good for structural repairs) The fire wall and the radiator support are also a mess. From the doors back the car is good. I have a perfect 1970 front clip or "dog house" that will restore the entire front of the car. I am joining the two together at the factory seams along the cowl and transmission tunnel. Both cars have perfect rockers. I just can't decide weather to cut the rockers and splice them back together with offset butt welds or try and peal all the layers sheet metal and spot welds apart at the rocker to "A" pillar junction so that I can stick to factory seams for my repairs. It is important that the repair be very strong and that it appears as the factory intended it to. (exposed factory spot welds are very hard to duplicate)

Serge
10-04-2007, 07:57 AM
I even went to the garage to take a look at my 69 that does'nt have its front fenders on right now...

If I understand you will be replacing the front clip as a unit...so you will end up with the two frame rails and the inner fenders from the donor car. Did I understand right that you will not touch the car from the firewall rearward? You don't need to touch the rockers if you do this.

Len
10-04-2007, 11:38 AM
The only reason to touch the rockers would be to replace damaged metal. The rockers should have nothing to do with the front clip. The clip is the sheetmetal in front of the doors.

jbill
10-04-2007, 04:28 PM
I am replacing the fire wall also... From the Radiator support to the fire wall including the "A" pillars and inner vent panels from the donor car.... Roof and Doors back from the other car. The rocker joins the "A" pillar and the torque box and the firewall and the side vent panel in a very complicated multi layer connection at the front of the rocker. This is the junction that I can't decide if I want to carefully peal apart and rebuild or just avoid and splice the rockers between the A and B pillars. The splice would obviously be much easier but I really like to stick to factory seams for strength and appearance reasons.

fortyfords
10-04-2007, 08:32 PM
I would look at the factory seams and see if they would come apart easy enough to alow you to slip the front clip into postion fairly easy.
If not cut and splice

Some times by drilling/ cutting out the factory spot welds, it will help in keeping the body measurments in spec. We used to try and align the spot weld back up .
If you are using same yr clip.they were welded mostlikely by the same auto weld machine with the same x/y/z locations. should line up fairly close.

Which you have to be very careful to get lined up or you will have a basket case ,

Rich

jbill
10-04-2007, 09:17 PM
yeah, measure 5 times weld once thats my motto.

Henry
10-05-2007, 01:55 AM
I am replacing the fire wall also... From the Radiator support to the fire wall including the "A" pillars and inner vent panels from the donor car.... Roof and Doors back from the other car. The rocker joins the "A" pillar and the torque box and the firewall and the side vent panel in a very complicated multi layer connection at the front of the rocker. This is the junction that I can't decide if I want to carefully peal apart and rebuild or just avoid and splice the rockers between the A and B pillars. The splice would obviously be much easier but I really like to stick to factory seams for strength and appearance reasons.
I hung with a guy who did all salvage work and MANY clips. He treated 2 cars as a good front/bad front. He cut at the upper 2/3 of the "A" pillar and across the floor about a foot in front of the driver seat. Each one, a gem. I saw several after hard hit accidents to the front end years later. We all gathered to seriously inspect where the previous clips were done and no sign of anything giving way in those areas. You lose the VIN when you do this however so if dealing with an older numbers matching car, you should seek an alternative. Henry

Serge
10-05-2007, 07:00 AM
It's difficult to do on a garage floor. The front rails and inner fenders are easy to do compared to what you are attempting...it's easy to end up with a basket case...

You could have it done by a frame shop. Doing this on a modern frame rack is easy to get right, the rack precisely positions all the parts...It would not be expensive to have just that done...

jbill
10-05-2007, 08:08 AM
So he cut and spliced the rocker. Thats what I've been leaning toward. I'm going to do it on a frame rack. I just needed to decide where to make my cuts. So I think I will make one cut straight down the outer rocker about 1 inch behind the base of the A pillar and then move down and cut the inner rocker behind the seat pan. Separate the spot welds along the length of the rocker. weld in a backer plate at the seams and put it all back together. Should I bother with a "Z" cut at the seams?