Midlife Stripped (and you don't want to see!) and now Repaired
As before, italic text indicates pictures with aluminum patch panels removed, and bold text for finished product.
The UGLY. Yes, it gets worse. Let's look at the lower side cowls: Passenger, then Driver side. They rust out from the undercarriage, where the kick panel stops supporting it.
After patching in small pieces at the corners and painting the cowls...
OK...that's not so bad you say...well, what about this? These are the front rails under the seats. First, two pics of the driver's side, then one of the passenger side. Notice the small rust hole in the passenger floor pan/toe board area.
I replaced both seat frame rails, patched two holes on the passenger side (toe board, floor board - rear end of picture above)...
Midlife once had an accident, apparently to the right front corner. The radiator support and passenger front apron were replaced with Ford sheet metal (remnants of yellow stenciled numbers remain). The rear passenger side fender apron was not replaced. Here's a view from the inside, then the outside. It's buckled pretty bad. I hope to cut out most of it, leaving the very top section with the VIN and the hood spring support area.
I used a hammer and dolly to get out most of the buckling on the rear fender apron, but I couldn't get the OEM depressions very good. Nevertheless, I think I did a reasonable job....
The accident also caused some damage to the undercarriage, buckling the tranny tunnel some and the floor pan under the seat riser.
I needed a helper to use a dolly and hammer for this area. We removed the seat pan and "whacked" away. While not OEM perfect, it appears to have fixed the majority of the buckling.
You want to see more? Really? OK...here we go! You ready for the dreaded battery apron? At least someone did a very good job of brazing.
The brazing job done previously was excellent, so I didn't do much except treat for surface rust and paint:
Still not had enough? You ready for the dreaded "shock tower" disease? This was caused by lube grease getting down onto the rail and clogging up the drain hole. Once that happens, water just sits, and rusts away everything. This is on the driver's side. The passenger side is perfect, considering the age.
This was a difficult repair. We ended up patching in the entire front section of the frame rail and the shock tower. My friend is an excellent welder, and you can't see where the joint is on the frame rail.
And now for the very peculiar and perverse. The PO cut the panel adjacent to the trap door going to the trunk for an unknown reason. What's wierd is that the cut isn't all the way through the metal, as it still is intact up high. Whoever tried to weld didn't know how to do anything, as there's a 1/2" gap, and very bad welds. Why was it cut? Was it moved forward for the floor support? Who knows, but it'll take some effort to straighten out. The left is from the interior; the right is looking from the trunk. The PO also painted the area in the trunk surrounding the trap door black. I guess he figured he couldn't remove four bolts to remove the trap door.
There wasn't much to do on the interior to fix this, as it will all be covered by the interior panels. I did smooth out the trunk area, however...