Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
January 19, 2014
Photos By: Rusty Gillis

To that end, Eastwood sent an Air Tool Essentials Starter kit, which includes a ½-inch reversible drill, air hammer with chisel set, ½-inch impact gun, a 3-inch cut-off tool, a reciprocating saw, and a ¼-inch angle die grinder. They also sent me a number of abrasive discs, spot weld cutters, and other tools to help excise the trashed metal and clean up the areas in anticipation of the new metal. Planning ahead, I also ordered a number of items to aid in the assembly, such as locking pliers, fabrication gloves, and several items for when I start welding. That's a ways off yet, as you'll see from the photos, but I'll get there. Next up, I'll be pulling the drivetrain to get some weight out of the car, and then I might need to weld in some supports since the entire back end of the car is likely coming off.

13. In addition to the air tools, I ordered an assortment of grinding and sanding items to figure out what worked the best. The discs and bristle brushes are for a 4-inch angle grinder, and I think they’ll be better utilized once the metal fabrication and welding comes into play. For now, I’ve been employing three-inch sanding discs on the ¼-inch right-angle die grinder.
14. I’ve been around enough fabrication shops to know that you can never have enough sets of locking pliers around, so I ordered a few sets from Eastwood. They also sent a pair of fabrication gloves, wire brush, MIG welding pliers, and a can of the company’s weld-through primer.
15. While it would seem like a good idea to leave as much of the good quarter-panel on the car, Rusty pointed out that it would be much easier to remove the whole panel, especially considering we were replacing a number of items that attached to the quarter-panels. I started by sanding down the paint to find the lead seam, and then I used a propane torch to melt the lead while scraping it out with a screwdriver. While sanding the area down, I also came across of few small rust holes in the roof just above the seam.
16. Using this wire brush from Eastwood, I cleaned up the window channels, as well as the lead seams once the lead had been removed. Keep in mind that the wire brush isn’t designed to operate at the higher rpm of the die grinder that I am using here. If you can maintain a slow speed, protect yourself with eye protection and have at it. I found the die grinder easier to use than the drill.
17. While I’ll likely be removing all of the metal in the car from the C-pillar back, I used the cut-off tool to start cutting the metal out piece by piece. You could start the quarter-panel removal process by drilling out all of the spot welds, but Brian Gillis recommended cutting the majority of the panel off first, as this will allow you to get underneath the portions of the panel that are spot-welded from the underside.
18. With surgical precision (not quite, but it sounds good), I removed the quarter-panel to reveal the inner workings of the Mustang’s rear flank. It took about 20 minutes tracing the edge out with the cut-off wheel, but I expect to spend at least a few hours drilling out the spot welds and removing the panel edges.
19a. With the quarter skin removed, you can see the small holes in the window channel, as well as the water damage that occurred below it.
19b. I’ll fix most of it simply by replacing the upper deck panel, and the new quarter-panel will replace the window channel part. Then I’ll just have to patch a few small spots on the inner C-pillar support underneath it.
20. I’ve seen much worse looking outer wheelhouses before, but this one will get replaced, as well as all of the metal behind it. The driver-side trunk drop off you see here is in far better shape than the passenger side, which isn’t saying much.
21. As I mentioned earlier, there was a repair in the lower front portion of the quarter here that wasn’t visible from the outside. I was happy to see that there was no rust beneath it or in the rocker panel itself.
22. The doors were next and I was happy to find that the door pillars are in great shape. The same could not be said of the doors, however.
24. Well, that’s it for this month. Since I’m going to be cutting all of the metal off the back of the car, I’m going to pull the drivetrain next to take as much weight out of the car as possible. I hope to have that accomplished for the next installment, along with a few more items on the checklist.
23. This is the largest rust hole in the driver’s door, but the water damage has rusted part of the inner structure out as well. The outer skin looks like it went a few rounds with Mike Tyson, and Brian Gillis plainly said that going with replacement doors would save a lot of time otherwise spent trying to repair these. If you have time, it would be a great way to hone one’s fabrication, welding, and bodywork skills. I have to find a balance somewhere, so it’s likely I’ll just go with aftermarket replacements (the passenger door was just as bad).