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My GY8 '71 Road Runner

Today I decided to fix the flanges on the pieces that are on the sides of the firewall. I’m not sure what they’re called. The flanges on both sides were pretty much toast:

I did the right side first:



New flange in:



I have to add a small piece to the top. And a few small patches to the side.

And then the left:



I have to add a small patch to this side too.

After completing that, I decided to finish removing what’s left of my floorboard:


After doing so, I found a lot of pieces of rust piled up in the torsion crossbar member. Not good:


I poked around a little bit with my pick and uncovered this, the hole to the right of the circular hole:


Pretty good sized hole and looking closer at the entire torsion bar, it’s pretty crusty. So, i’ll Be replacing this, as well. Super...i guess it’s only money :).

Honestly, I was not expecting this much rot. It’s always where you can’t see it from the outside. I keep reminding myself that this is a long-term project and it does not need to be finished next week/month/year.

Thanks for looking!
I had some time after work today so I decided to try my hand at fabrication. The left corner of my cowl was destroyed by rust. As you can see from the images below, there is a radius that runs along the cowl. I had to figure out a way to recreate this radius. I used an extra bolt I had. First, I bent the bolt to match the downturn in the radius. Then I cut the head off of it. I then used my dremmel and small sanding drum to hollow out a piece of MDF to use as a buck:

This is the radius i’m trying to recreate:


Then I clamped a piece of sheet metal over the bolt and beat the hell out of it.

I then cut the metal to size and ended up with this:


After welding in place:


I still have a lot of cleanup to do but, I’m thinking this didn’t come out too bad for my first attempt at something like this.
I got a few things done today. I received my donor torsion bar crossmember from Moparmarks, thank you Mark, on Friday. I then put together my HF 10 gallon sand blaster that I bought about 10 years ago. Most of it was “pre-assembled” but, of course, whoever assembled it forgot teflon tape on one of the fittings and a few of the fittings were pretty loose. This is what I started with:



I read up on the blaster on the web prior to use and learned that all media should be sifted prior to going into the hopper. So, I cut a big piece of window screen material I had leftover and folded it over itself creating 4 layers. I then bungeed it to a homer bucket. I also put some of the screen in the funnel too:



Initially, the blaster worked very well for about the first 5 minutes. Then it was just blowing sand out with very little pressure. After fiddling around with the valves, it finally staterted working consistently. The instructions it comes with are terrible. It worked pretty well for what it is. I’m going to epoxy the hell out of the inside of the crossmember and framerails.:




This is the media I used: HF glass bead:


After cleaning up the crossmember - grinding off spot weld remnants, etc., I added some cross-bracing and 2X4’s to support the rockers when I cut out the existing crossmember. I also put the doors back on and mocked up the lower control arms/torsion bars to take some measurements. I was going to take my time and drill out all of the spotwelds to remove it in one piece. Now I’m thinking what’s the point, its trash and will take a lot longer. I’m going to cut it out in pieces then drill out the spot welds. This wil give me better acces to them, as well.



Hopefully, I can start removing the crossmember in the next few days.
Not much to report. I Spent the day fighting the sandblaster. Apparently, it does not like moisture and crushed glass! I’m pretty much out of glass bead and so is Harbor Freight. Tractor supply had crushed glass and coal slag. I tried both. First, the cole slag. I didn’t realize it needs a 1/4” nozzle, which of course I don’t have. I had to dump all that from ther hopper... lot’s of fun. Then I tried the crushed glass. I had some glass bead left over so I mixed the two. It worked great at first. I was able to strip my donor rear frame rail. I then went to recycle the media; sift twice and then put back in the hopper. I’m thinking there was some dew built up on the tarp I was using, it was an overcast, moist day today. This caused the crushed glass, which is like a powder to clump up. Sooo, I had to dump that out too. At that point, I called it quits for the day.

Here’s the before of the rear frame rail:




And the after:



I just have to clean up some of the spot welds and it should be good for epoxy. Hopefully I get all the exposed rails cleaned and epoxied and then remove the torsion cross bar and replace it with the donor. Fingers crossed!
At it again. Yesterday I started removing the torsion bar crossmember. I was almost finished when fate struck me...literally. I forgot that I left my replacement firewall on the roof of the RR after I test fitted things. I had to use the air hammer a bit trying to pop a few of the spot welds I couldn’t reach with my drill. All that fibration caused the firewall to slide of the roof and onto my head. Super!


Nice little gash on the back of my head and a quick run to the ER. Thankfully, it wasn’t quite deep enough for staples so, they sent me on my way after cleaning it out. I decided to take the rest of the day off.

Today, I was able to remove the old crossmember. I then had to patch a few small tears in the rockers that I made...because I’m an idiot.


I also replaced one of the side flanges on the driver’s side framerail that got a bit messed up:




And the bottom flange of the passenger’s side framerail:



I used donor flange material from the removed crossmember:


Test fitting the donor:


And...make the noise:


Framerails and rockers are still level. The body jig is working well.

I ran out of time today. Hopefully this week I can finish getting the donor crossmember welded in and then getting the insides of the rails and crossmember in epoxy.
ouch! sorry about your head.

Great work on the car! It's awesome to see people taking interest in the '71-74 cars.

I haven’t had much time to work on the Bird. I decided to patch a small area on my rocker that sits behind where the crossmember attaches to on the driver’s side. I chewed this area up while removing the original crossmember. The donor crossmember tabs were not sitting flat against the rocker. Here’s the spot:


You can see the areas where I was heavy handed with the air hammer :cursin:

This is what I cut out:


And this is what I pulled out of the rocker:


Damn rodents. I will not tolerate infestations!!

Patch after the first round with the welder:


And the second:


A little copper primer (front and back), and Bob’s your uncle:


I was surprised at the size of this nest. There was also several acorns in there too:


Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more done this weekend.
Once those critters get into a car,they can do a whole lot of damage! I pulled a similar nest out the torque box area of my Road Runner convertible project. It rotted out the torque box, lower cowl gusset and the inner rocker panel.
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View attachment 1038752 Once those critters get into a car,they can do a whole lot of damage! I pulled a similar nest out the torque box area of my Road Runner convertible project. It rotted out the torque box, lower cowl gusset and the inner rocker panel.

Yup! They suck. They did this to the top of my firewall. When I first cleaned out my car, I pulled a huge nest out of this area.

I got some work done today. I finally got the crossmember installed. I was having a bitch of a time because I didn’t take my time removing the original. I dented the rocker on both sides. It was just enough for the tabs on the crossmember to not sit flat against the rocker. You can see in this pic what I was dealing with:


I debated for a bit whether or not to run to HF to purchase a stud welder to pull this out a bit. Instead, I used some shady tree ingenuity. I welded a few common nails to the area, modified my slide hammer to accommodate the nails and had at it.


I was able to pull most of the dent out. Then I inserted a thin chisel and different size screw drivers into the hole on top of the rocker and was able to push the dent out the rest of the way.

And, after triple checking all my measurements and checking everything with a level, the crossmember is in:



And make the noise:



Sorry bad pic. The crossmember is level, the frame rails are level and the torsion bars are level. Now I’m planning on either blasting or sanding all the rust in this area and then spraying epoxy on everything before the floor goes back in.

And, of course, found another nest, this time in the passenger’s rocker.

View attachment 1039347 9D43A824-742E-4ABA-B9F4-8F38956FD16C.jpeg
I had some time after work today to get a few things done. It was recommended on here (thank you Dadsbee!) to reinforce the torsion bar mounting area on the crossmember. I wanted to make it look kind of factory. So I made a rough template out of poster board and transferred it to some 16g metal. I then drilled some holes for plug welds and then crudely bent it up in my vice:


Then I sprayed weld-through on the back of it and inside the crossmember where I was going to be welding. I forgot to take pics of all this, of course. Here is how it looks installed:



Now I have to cleanup all the surface rust, etc. and put everything in epoxy before I start putting the floors back in.
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Still plugging away. Today I media blasted the rockers, floor perches, inside of frame rails, etc. in preparation for reinstalling the floors. I basically turned my car into a blast cabinet by throwing a huge tarp I had leftover from the house remodel over it. I then put a fan at one end with a furnace filter to pull the dust cloud out. This time I used glass bead from Home Depot. It was cheaper than Harbor Freight’s and free delivery to my doorstep. It was pretty dark in there and of course, my rechargeable light died about halfway through. I recycled the glass bead twice by vacuuming it up at sifting it through a double layer of window screen over a bucket.

This is with the tarp over the car:

This is looking inside from the front, where I placed the exhaust fan:

This is the driver’s rocker area before:



And the after:



Not too bad. I’ll have to touch up a little with the sander. Then I’ll cover everything in epoxy.
And more snow..yea!!
Nice work. Blasting inside like that had to make a mess!
Nice work. Blasting inside like that had to make a mess!

It did. Thankfully most of it was contained inside the tarp. Visibility wasn’t all that good either. The shop vac wasn’t happy with me.
Stil plugging away. After blasting the rockers, I found another rotted area. I cut it out and patched it:



A little weld-through on the back:

And ready to be welded:

I used a stack of rare-earth magnets as a handle. After cleanup:

I was also planning on getting everything in epoxy but, I’m still waiting for filter cartridges for my mask that I ordered from Amazon last week that were supposed to be here this past Monday..then Tuesday...then Wednesday by 9:00 then December 24-25 now “Running Late”. So, I decided to address the pitted/thin metal on the firewall extension pieces (I forget what they’re actually called). I cut out the top portion surrounding the circle that is pressed into the metal:

You can see a lot of the pitting and holes in the metal, even after I sanded it. This is where I am now. As you’ve probably seen from previous pics, this area on the driver’s side got hammered by what appears to be years of getting soaked with mouse urine. This patch really kicked my ***. I was chasing blowthroughs in a few spots. I’ll need to cut another small patch to put to the left of the circle. Fun times!!

I called it a day because I could feel myself getting really pissed and nothing good comes of that (stupid mistakes). 1 step forward, 2 steps back :mad:

Thanks for looking!
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