Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Battle Begins - Front Right Inner Fender Apron

This is the sheet metal section in the engine compartment where the battery tray is mounted. It was rusted through pretty bad so I decided to draw first blood by removing this panel and trying my hand at spot weld removal.

Basically, there are a ton of spot welds holding this thing in the car. A weld every 1.5 inches or so. "How do you cut spot welds?" you might ask? Well, with a spot weld cutter of course.

This cutter makes pretty quick work of a spot weld. The point in the center doesn't allow the cutter to cut deeper than about 14 gauge. I pre-punch the center of the spot weld with a spring loaded center punch to make a divot for the cutter point to ride in so it doesn't wander around and I dip it in lubricating oil every couple of spot welds to keep it from wearing out too fast. When I was done, a hunk of car was missing.

I posted a message on Vintage Mustang Forums (VMF) to request an opinion as whether or not to purchase a Canadian make of replacement panel. The thread initially indicated 'yes' but later changed to 'no'. Too late, I'd already purchased the panel which soon arrived was really not the right size or shape. NPD graciously offered to replace the panel with an import panel free of charge so I awaited the new panel.


  1. I'm curious as to what didn't fit. Was it not the right year or some other issue. I'd heard the canadian panels were good, so I'm confused.

  2. Hmm... 2 years ago. I'd like to tell you exacly where the problems were but I can't remember. I want to say that the curves for the battery tray were not sharp enough to allow the edges to mate up with the shock tower and/or the core support.