Fox T-Bird/Cougar Forums

Technical => Misc Tech => Topic started by: 85CougarCobra on February 08, 2019, 10:27:40 PM

Title: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on February 08, 2019, 10:27:40 PM
Well ... the car has been out of commission for over a year now.  It wouldn't start one day and I eventually diagnosed a fuel pressure issue.  Pulled the tank to find the fuel hose inside of the tank had split and thus not allowing the system to build much/any pressure.  In classic "while I'm at it" fashion, I decided to take it further ...

Once I pulled the tank, I figured it was a good time to address some corrosion on the underside of the car.  A little history ... my parents bought the car brand new around Christmas of '84 and pretty much gave it to me when I graduated from high school in '97.  It needed some minor stuff at the time, but they gifted it to me versus trading it in on their next vehicle, and I worked on addressing the minor stuff it needed.  The "bad" thing in all of this was that we lived in northern lower Michigan at the time ... a place where winter can last months (from October to May one year while we lived there).  The car got driven in plenty of foul weather and was exposed to a lot of salty roads.  I tried to keep it clean and wash it, but there's only so much you can do when it's below freezing.  I undercoated it at least twice, but I knew I was just covering up some of the issue.

So ... with the tank out, I decided I would scrape and chisel off all of the undercoating (from the rear seats back) and wire wheel any rusty areas I came across to clean them up.  I then used the POR-15 three part process to address the rust and re-coat the underside of the car.  After all of the wire wheeling, I degreased the underside, rinsed it, then treated it with a metal prep solution that etches the metal and leaves a white residue in the diseased areas.  When that's all done, you rinse it all off again and let it dry.  These areas aren't horrible, but here's a little of what it looked like before I started the painting process:
Title: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on February 08, 2019, 10:40:25 PM
Here's a few shots of the progress on the painting.  I would consider the POR-15 more of a coating then a paint.  You can brush it on, but I typically used a foam brush.  You can kind of just dab it on and it smooths out pretty nicely ... almost self leveling in a way.  I'm hoping to get a good portion completed this weekend.
Title: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Tbird232ci on February 09, 2019, 06:13:19 AM
That was pretty clean underneath for a Michigan car.

That looks like it's coming out really nicely so far.
Title: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on February 09, 2019, 09:44:51 AM
Quote from: Tbird232ci;468782
That was pretty clean underneath for a Michigan car.

That looks like it's coming out really nicely so far.

Thanks.  I spent a lot of time cleaning it up and there are worse areas than those on the trunk well.  Sucks, but hopefully I can get it addressed and then won't have to deal with it again.  Car doesn't see snow anymore and only sees water to get washed ... so I'm hoping this holds up for a long time to come.
Title: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on February 09, 2019, 03:29:37 PM
Today's progress thus far ... made it over to the passenger's side ... pluggin' away.
Title: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: james cassity on February 18, 2019, 03:44:58 PM
that house shaped stamping into the trunk area,,

thats the part you cut out and convert it into a water tight hinged door.

this way in the future you simply open it up from inside the trunk to go in after your fuel pump next time it goes bad.  no more droping the tank
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on April 22, 2019, 01:59:38 PM
Decided to go further and just take care of the whole back frame.  Getting close to wrapping up the paint piece and can hopefully start putting things back together.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on April 22, 2019, 04:24:18 PM
Wow! that is looking great.  I need to badly do that also. 
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: thunderjet302 on April 24, 2019, 07:41:34 PM
Decided to go further and just take care of the whole back frame.  Getting close to wrapping up the paint piece and can hopefully start putting things back together.

Oooh shiny. I like it.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on April 26, 2019, 08:04:36 AM
Another "while I'm at it" moment ... taking this to get shortened up today.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Mikey97D on April 26, 2019, 08:43:06 AM
The bottom of the car looks great refinished. 

What did the aluminum drive shaft come out of?  Crown Vic?  year?
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on April 26, 2019, 09:12:15 AM
Yep ... 2004 Crown Vic ... $40 at the junkyard.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on April 26, 2019, 10:24:40 AM
Yep ... 2004 Crown Vic ... $40 at the junkyard.

Let us know how it works out cost wise, I need to maybe consider this upgrade.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on April 26, 2019, 05:34:51 PM
I'll keep you posted.  I don't expect the actual shortening piece to be too crazy expensive.  I'm getting a replacement yolk and pinion bracket though so that I don't have to run the adapter style u-joints.  That will probably be adding more cost than anything.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on April 29, 2019, 09:12:44 AM
  I'm getting a replacement yolk and pinion bracket though so that I don't have to run the adapter style u-joints.  That will probably be adding more cost than anything.

Is there a downside to the adapter U-joints?  Sounds cheaper, but I don't know anything about it.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 01, 2019, 10:09:13 PM
  I'm getting a replacement yolk and pinion bracket though so that I don't have to run the adapter style u-joints.  That will probably be adding more cost than anything.

Is there a downside to the adapter U-joints?  Sounds cheaper, but I don't know anything about it.

I'm not exactly sure.  The stock drive shaft has 310's on it ... the bigger aluminum driveshaft has 330's on it.  I'd guess that a full 330 u-joint is stronger than a 310/330 adapter style u-joint ... but I'm not putting any type of crazy power to it, so I wouldn't foresee it being an issue.  I'm sure the stock non-adapter style are probably more readily available, but when you can order just about anything "special" online does it really matter that much?
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 01, 2019, 10:16:52 PM
Almost there ... put an enamel rattle can top coat on and getting ready to finish everything off with rubberized undercoating.  Sucks to cover up the nice shiny paint, but that was always the plan.  So, spent weeks scraping and removing all the old stuff, wire wheeling and cleaning up corrosion and rust, degreased everything, applied a metal etcher, applied POR-15 by hand, applied a spray on top coat, and getting ready to apply a spray on undercoat.  Hopefully I'll have the undercoat wrapped up by the weekend and can start the reassembly process.  Not exciting stuff per say ... but it was a long road and a lot of time spent under car.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Mikey97D on May 02, 2019, 08:16:47 AM
Wow.  Looks great.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on May 02, 2019, 10:23:27 AM
That is impressive, makes me feel sad about the shape of mine.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 02, 2019, 12:05:44 PM
That is impressive, makes me feel sad about the shape of mine.

Thanks ... but don't feel too bad ... even after all that work, it's hopefully in better shape than it was ... but I know there are spots that have definitely seen better days.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 03, 2019, 11:16:13 PM
Need to finish up some of the undercoating yet, but hoping I can start putting things back together this weekend.  Bought a new gas tank quite awhile ago and had it powder coated ... it's been sitting around collecting dust while all the underbody work has been going on.  Gonna try to get everything plumbed back up and just make sure it all works before fully installing it.  Picked up my shortened aluminum driveshaft today.  The shortening and labor piece was $155, so not too bad.  I had some extra funds sunk into it on new u-joints, the yolk, and pinion bracket.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 03, 2019, 11:23:23 PM
The car hasn't been started or run in about a year and half due to the initial fuel hose failure inside the tank.  Pulled the distributor and bought an oil priming tool to drive the oil pump and cycle the oil through the motor before I try to fire it back up ... I'm sure the top part of the motor is fairly dry.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 04, 2019, 10:43:17 PM
Finally!  The undercoating is now all done.  Time to start putting her back together.  Doesn't feel like I accomplished a lot today, but just having all of the painting behind me is a big relief.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 04, 2019, 10:54:28 PM
Got a "little" done on the install front as well.  Cleaned and re-conditioned the rubber of the fuel filler floor gasket with some Vaseline and got it back on the car.  Had the quad shock brackets powder coated and reinstalled them as well.  Hoping to have the rear suspension all back in the car tomorrow.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Mikey97D on May 06, 2019, 08:37:38 AM
I am curious how the nuts go on that powder coated thread.  i am guessing you will need to run a die over them first.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on May 06, 2019, 08:58:17 AM
Wow!  That car is coming along great.  Thank you for the update on the drive shaft.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 06, 2019, 10:46:55 AM
I am curious how the nuts go on that powder coated thread.  i am guessing you will need to run a die over them first.

Yeah, I'm sure I'll have to chase the threads.  I put the quad shocks on yesterday and had to gently sand the threads/shaft in order for them to slide all the way into place.  Suppose I could have ask them to not paint that area, but not too big of a deal.  The good news is the mounting bolts into the frame still cleared their openings in the brackets.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 06, 2019, 10:49:37 AM
Wow!  That car is coming along great.  Thank you for the update on the drive shaft.

Thanks, and no problem.  The hard part with the aluminum driveshaft is finding a shop that can do it.  I had my stock one shortened many years ago when I put the 5.0/AOD in the car, but that same shop can't/wouldn't do an aluminum one so I had to look elsewhere.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 06, 2019, 10:56:06 AM
I didn't get as far as I would have liked over the weekend, but got most of the rear suspension back on the car.  Lower control arms and springs went back in and used this as an opportunity to replace/upgrade my shocks and quad shocks.  Just need to torque everything down and then should be time to move on to the fuel system.  Don't mind the rusty brakes ... ha!
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 07, 2019, 07:48:03 AM
Aluminum driveshaft now installed.  Got most of the suspension torque'd ... just need to do the passenger lower control arm bolts and the rear most quad shock mount bolts and then I'll be able to get her back on the ground.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Mikey97D on May 07, 2019, 08:51:30 AM
Did you have to eliminate the emergency brake crossbar to put the frame connectors in?

I just had to put spacers on my crossbar to fit the exhaust in without it rubbing (Stinger 3").
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 07, 2019, 10:54:06 PM
Did you have to eliminate the emergency brake crossbar to put the frame connectors in?

I just had to put spacers on my crossbar to fit the exhaust in without it rubbing (Stinger 3").

No, I just need to reinstall it.  I bought the hump style one that the Turbo Coupes use to get a little more clearance over my stock flat style one.  i had it powder coated while it was out of the car as well.  It's one of the next couple of things on my list to go back on the car.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: thunderjet302 on May 07, 2019, 11:06:18 PM
Wow. Everything looks great. Nice job!
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 08, 2019, 09:09:27 AM
Wow. Everything looks great. Nice job!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 08, 2019, 09:16:07 AM
Finished tightening up all of the suspension, the only piece left in that regard is the rear sway bar but that will probably be one of the last things I put back on.  Any of the small misc. brackets that I could pull off and have powder coated, I did.  The fuel filter bracket was another one of those.  Got that reinstalled and connected back up.  Also did a minor mod ... the rear most fuel tank mounts had these rubber style pads mounted to them.  I pulled an additional set out of a junk yard car, drilled small holes in the front mounts, and added the pads there as well.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: thunderjet302 on May 08, 2019, 10:23:33 AM
Did you do all that work and not paint the subframe connectors?
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 08, 2019, 10:30:22 AM
Did you do all that work and not paint the subframe connectors?

I considered it, but they were never painted to begin with ... installed 15+ years ago.  They have the Kenny Brown manufacturer serial number label on them, didn't want to cover that up but suppose I could tape it off and paint around it.  They are only painted where they are welded in the front and back.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 10, 2019, 12:55:41 AM
Mundane stuff, but got the fuel filler surround and door reinstalled.  Replaced the fuel tank wiring loom with new stuff.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 21, 2019, 09:25:15 AM
New to me (used) humped powder coated exhaust cross member installed and parking brake cables re-secured.  All the fuel lines and brake lines have been coated and reconnected.  I'm probably going to redo the exhaust in the next few weeks.  With the new cross member, the intermediate pipes don't need to bend the way they do ... never did like that.  Need to tweak the h-pipe a little and get more of a direct shot.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 21, 2019, 10:22:30 AM
Got the gas tank installed and added the 87-88 style plastic protective cover.  Had the tank and straps powder coated, spray painted the exposed part of the filler tube.  Need to finish getting the exhaust system put back together. 
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on May 21, 2019, 03:59:56 PM
Damn that is clean!  You must have a powder coater in your closet or something.  LOL
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 21, 2019, 05:16:06 PM
Damn that is clean!  You must have a powder coater in your closet or something.  LOL

Ha!  I wish!  There's a place local to me that does a nice job and is very reasonably priced as far as powder coating goes.  They usually turn anything that is black around fairly quickly, the "wilder" colors is where it can get a little interesting.  It's a lot more durable than me just rattle canning it.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 23, 2019, 09:43:08 AM
Finally got her started for the first time in about a year and a half the other day.  Got a bath and took a short little drive around the block before pulling her back in for the finishing exhaust work.  Got most of the exhaust reinstalled, just need to do the driver's side tailpipe and then go back and tighten everything up.  Almost there ... 
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Chuck W on May 23, 2019, 11:39:50 AM
I just noticed the T-Bird-specific KB stuff. Haven't seen much of that stuff in the wild.

Car looks great!
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: mcb82gt on May 23, 2019, 11:54:02 AM
I may have missed it, what tailpipes are those?  Stinger?
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 23, 2019, 12:25:54 PM
I just noticed the T-Bird-specific KB stuff. Haven't seen much of that stuff in the wild.

Car looks great!

Thanks.  Have followed some of your posts and I take it you worked there?  I have the Kenny Brown adjustable upper and lower rear arms as well as their subframe connectors ... all were purchased around 15-20 years ago now ... hard to believe ...
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 23, 2019, 12:42:33 PM
I may have missed it, what tailpipes are those?  Stinger?

They are actually custom bent stainless steel pipes that I had done at a local hot rod shop years ago.  Same principle as several of the Fox LX 5.0 Mustang style ones, just longer in length.  I have aluminum tubing exiting the mufflers and going over the rear axles.  From there, the stainless steel extensions bolt on and run the rest of the length of the car.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Chuck W on May 23, 2019, 12:58:12 PM
Quote
Thanks.  Have followed some of your posts and I take it you worked there?  I have the Kenny Brown adjustable upper and lower rear arms as well as their subframe connectors ... all were purchased around 15-20 years ago now ... hard to believe ...

I worked there until '01.

I'm the reason those parts ever existed. ;)
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Tbird232ci on May 23, 2019, 04:37:58 PM
Going to be coming out to Carlisle?
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 23, 2019, 05:22:49 PM
Going to be coming out to Carlisle?

That's my plan/hope.  Didn't go last year, well, at least not with the car ... just walked through the swap on Friday.  Tentatively scheduled to get the car inspected tomorrow and then gotta get some miles on her.  Hope there is some good Fox T-bird/Cougar turnout.  I didn't see any Cougars last year and maybe only 2 or 3 non-turbo birds.  TC's usually show in decent numbers.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 23, 2019, 05:26:50 PM
Quote
Thanks.  Have followed some of your posts and I take it you worked there?  I have the Kenny Brown adjustable upper and lower rear arms as well as their subframe connectors ... all were purchased around 15-20 years ago now ... hard to believe ...

I worked there until '01.

I'm the reason those parts ever existed. ;)

Many thanks!  Yeah, they kinda disappeared as an available item not too long after I bought them ... Probably got them in '99 or '00.  With all the newer non-fox/non-SN95 Mustangs, a lot of this niche stuff has gone by the wayside.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 24, 2019, 01:13:35 AM
"DONE!" ... still have some small odds and ends to finish up, but everything is back on the car.  Installed the driver's side tailpipe, tightened up all the exhaust fittings, and installed my new rear sway bar.  Also got my door molding put back on.  Getting my state inspection done next.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Tbird232ci on May 25, 2019, 12:10:50 AM
That's my plan/hope.  Didn't go last year, well, at least not with the car ... just walked through the swap on Friday.  Tentatively scheduled to get the car inspected tomorrow and then gotta get some miles on her.  Hope there is some good Fox T-bird/Cougar turnout.  I didn't see any Cougars last year and maybe only 2 or 3 non-turbo birds.  TC's usually show in decent numbers.

I was actually pretty surprised that I didn't see your car there. Would have been the perfect time to take home a first place trophy...and all of the other trophies!

"DONE!" ... still have some small odds and ends to finish up, but everything is back on the car.  Installed the driver's side tailpipe, tightened up all the exhaust fittings, and installed my new rear sway bar.  Also got my door molding put back on.  Getting my state inspection done next.

It looks good! Going to have enough time to get it inspected?
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: 85CougarCobra on May 26, 2019, 03:37:22 PM
I was actually pretty surprised that I didn't see your car there. Would have been the perfect time to take home a first place trophy...and all of the other trophies!

For as close as I live, I actually don't show the car there all that often (or at all for that matter)... probably 6 times in the last 20 years or so.  I bet I didn't go for a solid 10 years.  Got a little re-energized the year before the the 50th anniversary show in 2017.  I've gotten a few first places at Carlisle over the years, but it's always a crap shoot and definitely not why I do it.  The classes are a little screwy, but when it's based on turnout, it's kind of hard or argue.  It's just cool to have someone show some interest in the car ... makes the all the time I have sunk into it feel a little more worthwhile I suppose.  Don't get me wrong, it's always nice to take home an award, but I'd rather not place and have 20 cars there then place and only have 3 cars there.

It looks good! Going to have enough time to get it inspected?

Thank you.  Got it inspected on Friday, so should be good to go.  Went to a little cruise-in pancake breakfast that a neighbor invited me to on Saturday morning.  Got a little highway time.  Have an annoying exhaust leak I have to solve, but otherwise things seem to be good.
Title: Re: Rear Underbody Resto/Gas Tank Install
Post by: Tbird232ci on May 26, 2019, 05:10:00 PM
For as close as I live, I actually don't show the car there all that often (or at all for that matter)... probably 6 times in the last 20 years or so.  I bet I didn't go for a solid 10 years.  Got a little re-energized the year before the the 50th anniversary show in 2017.  I've gotten a few first places at Carlisle over the years, but it's always a crap shoot and definitely not why I do it.  The classes are a little screwy, but when it's based on turnout, it's kind of hard or argue.  It's just cool to have someone show some interest in the car ... makes the all the time I have sunk into it feel a little more worthwhile I suppose.  Don't get me wrong, it's always nice to take home an award, but I'd rather not place and have 20 cars there then place and only have 3 cars there.

The lack of turnout is really why I'm pushing to get my car there. The TC's make an okay appearance, but 10-15 years ago, there would be 2 full rows of cars. Now we get maybe 12-15 cars. It feels like as more people show up, it motivates more people to bring their cars out. Bringing more attention to these cars can only help the community in the long run.

Thank you.  Got it inspected on Friday, so should be good to go.  Went to a little cruise-in pancake breakfast that a neighbor invited me to on Saturday morning.  Got a little highway time.  Have an annoying exhaust leak I have to solve, but otherwise things seem to be good.

Glad it went well. It's always nerve racking to pour a ton of work into a car, and have things not go very well.