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Projects Major damage 1954 Ford Victoria Crestline Project

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by VonMoldy, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Blown35
    Joined: May 20, 2008
    Posts: 209

    Blown35
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    Never ceases to amaze me to see the talent on this board - the wrecks that are brought back from the dead to glory - truly inspiring every time! Congrats on your progress!
     
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  2. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,556

    VonMoldy
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    from UTARRGH!

    I am glad someone gets it but I think most who work on their cars would understand this sorta "Hey this will actually work!" thought.
    Thanks for your encouragement.
     
  3. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,556

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    Wow thanks for that compliment. I hope I am doing a decent job of photographing and explaining so that this is at least entertaining and a bit informative.
     
  4. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,556

    VonMoldy
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    from UTARRGH!

    I hate how life happens and then it takes months to make some progress on this thing! Had to pull drivetrain in my car and replace the clutch and replace seals to fix an oil leak and the broken fasteners and complications that occur when repairing something. I stopped school to be able to find a job and afford school again so I haven't had much time to get to this. But here is the progress...
    P1011807.JPG As you can see the door gap is pretty good but then looking at the vent wing area of the a pillar. P1011806.JPG
    Yeaaaaahhh not as good.. :( This tells me the hinge box area needs tp be aligned better and then the door adjusted.
    P1011804.JPG
    There was some actual progress made in repairing the rust and welding this brace back in which should help a lot with getting everything aligned correctly. This is like some kind of freakin 3d puzzle where everything needs to be in place at once for everything else to relate to it correctly. I think I need to relax and just get everything in place and tacked and then work from there adjusting things around.
     
  5. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,891

    mgtstumpy
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    Do it once, do it right was what I was taught when I did my trade. Nothing nicer that new panels that fit although it takes a lot of work to get there. Nicer when you join as per OEM and when done no one will know how much actual work went into the repair. Another one saved.
     
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  6. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,556

    VonMoldy
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    I have started on this project again. Health problems other projects and crap has gotten in the way. I have the floor pan in and partially welded.
    P7312047.jpg

    Anyone have any tips for getting a door fitted in its frame when the structure the hinge mounts to is loose?
    P7312048.jpg
    As you can see the whole corner of the car is wobbly and don't want to weld anything solid until I am sure the firewall and door hinge structure is where it needs to be.

    I dont understand how it could be so far off at the vent window when it fits well at the back of the door and at the windshield which must mean the a pillar hasn't moved.

    P7312049.jpg
    I am thinking of welding up a form of thing metal rod or strap on the passenger door to index all the angles and such and use it on the drivers side to align everything.
     
  7. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,579

    choptop40
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    Seems as if the door is tilted out on top....may have to separate the welds at the cowl and pull the hinged side in a bit ...maybe a come along ..also remember that the gaps are adjusted at the body mounts by shimming...I'm thinking if I see this clearly that's what's going on....I have a 49 dodge wayfarer , never hit that's got a wider gap at the top of b pillar....you may have to pull the cowel down a bit....hope this makes sense..
     
  8. After seeing your door fit, I wonder if the body was knocked out of square or if the driver side quarter was pushed back. It appears that the A pillar needs to move forward at the bottom, but this would increase the door gap at the quarter if fitting the vent window to the pillar better.

    I'd check the size/shape of the window opening on both sides to make sure they match.
     
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  9. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    Thanks for the replies guys. Well it seems I have made some progress I measured the passenger side distance from the bottom of the A pillar/ hinge mount structure from the frame to it and compared it to the drivers side and set teh drivers side to be symmetrical to the passenger side and i think that is what is making the door not fit right. I assumed the passenger side would be correct but noticed it has had some crappily done weld repairs to the floor brace so who know where it should be. I pulled the bottom of the hinge structure further away from the frame and that made the door and vent wing fit much better.

    I measured as many angles and distances as I could bother using plumb bob and angle finders and tapes and it seems like it matches the door opening of the other side and all references I could use. I will temporarily weld a support in place and go from there. Hopefully in the end I will have a car that the door fits right and shuts nice and doesn't look like a piece of crap with weird gaps and stuff all over.

    I need to see if I have a body repair manual for the car that would help a ton.
     
    Peanut 1959 likes this.
  10. I am not a body guy at all, but what if you got the door into good gap, then welded it so it didn't move. Could you then align the rest of the body to the door??
     
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  11. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    yeah I thought about that and now that you remind me of it that it might be a good way to go. The body manual shows a big fixture to actually bend the door to fit the body of the car! I think its more if there is a twist in the door but I guess the cars were never that precise to begin with and might be an option.
     
  12. Also, I once saw Dick Dean jam a 2X4 under a door and then pry it up to bring the hinge area into shape
     
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  13. cb186
    Joined: Jul 5, 2013
    Posts: 262

    cb186
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    Is the vent frame out of adjustment?
     
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  14. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    Yeah between this and the machine I saw in the manual for twisting/bending doors I figure I can really bash things into place if needed.
     
  15. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    That is a good question I tried measuring the angles of both sides and they were the same. I have been afraid to mess round with stuff like this being afraid that when things are in place so far out of whack it would leave no adjustment left.
     
  16. eberhama
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 672

    eberhama
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    It looks like the lower front of the a-pillar is pushed back, making the top corner of the a-pillar push up/straighten out. Maybe try to measure L/S vs. R/S and see if its different.
     
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  17. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 827

    DIYGUY
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    from West, TX

    How about making a cardboard pattern and then plywood of the area from the rear top of the door window, along the roof, down the A-pillar to the rocker. Take this from the passenger side. Use this to check and locate the A-pillar on the drivers side. Don't worry too much about the gap at the rocker or rear edge of door. Like choptop40 said, the body can be shimmed from the chassis. over the years the pads crush and the floor support you replaced is part of that too. Until you get that A-pillar tied down you can't begin to adjust that door. The plywood woould give you something to anchor the pillar to while trying to locate it and duplicate the angles from the good side.
     
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  18. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    I did start down this path but quickly realized there are a lot of crappily welded repairs on the rockers and floor supports on the passenger side. The driver side as I had it would measure the same as passenger side but up on the a pillar where the vent window had a larger gap than the passenger side. It became really frustrating.

    The a pillar has really no structure to it right now so it can be moved in every direction. I dont know if there is much use in measuring things but moving around the a pillar I think I can get the door to fit well and close up all the gaps properly. I am hopeful this will work and its just a matter of finding the sweet spot and then weld the a pillar solid.
     
  19. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    Thanks for the reply. This is really good advice and this is something I will probably do. It would locate everything well and even be useful when the welding is ready to be done. I am more concerned with the angle or sag the door might have which could cause the vent wing to stick out the side of the car or have an inconsistent gap and look really stupid. And since the rockers need to be replaced I could just move them up 1/4" or whatever needed. The door gaps could always be made smaller by using solid rod welded on the door edges if needed. My biggest concern is getting the door to operate well in opening and closing or welding everything in and not having enough adjustment at the hinges.

    Could you explain what you mean about shimming the body. I know what a shim is and the general idea but do you mean shimming the body under the floor where the braces bolt to the frame? I am having a hard time visualizing how that will effect the door.
     
  20. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 827

    DIYGUY
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    from West, TX

    IMG_1908.JPG Forgive me for this old school way of information. This is a pic out of a 56 ford car shop manual. The picture and explanation are there if you can make it out. Yes, you shim the body where it bolts to the frame. I saw an incredibly nice 55 last year that had a frame off restoration and the drivers door fit terrible. The door opening can be tweaked to fit the door.
     
  21. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    Dude that makes it totally clear. I have a 1952 ford manual and I believe it has the same type of diagram. I was having trouble imagining how a few shim would do anything but I am so used to unibody cars having such stiff bodies.

    Do you think its a good idea to get my a pillar welded in place where everything fits well but not perfect and then rely on the shims and hinges and stuff to get everything fitting precise?
     
  22. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 827

    DIYGUY
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    from West, TX

    I would tack the pillar as little as possible but so it could not move and then try the door in for fit. This could take several tries to find that sweet spot. You want that vent window to fit the windshield and the top of the glass to fit the roof. IF that roof corner is not pulled down from the wreck. BUT if it is a porta power could push it up after the a pillar is welded in. Thatw why I suggest a pattern from the other side. Maybe information overload!
     
  23. VonMoldy
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    Not information overload. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain some of this to me and wrap my head around it. I think I will try this. The wood pattern will really help simplify it and I have been using a porta power to hold the a pillar bottom in place while I checked the door gaps. Luckily by using the windshield put in place I dont think it really messed up the structure around the a pillar it just wrecked the door and rocker. I think if the damage was worse the whole corner of the windshield and roof and stuff would be tweaked out of place. Luckily having the porta power I could move it around if it needs it.
     
  24. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 827

    DIYGUY
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    from West, TX

    If that roof corner is right then thats where you need to start your alignment. Roll the window up and get that and the vent to fit the roof/windshield. Then make the rest of the door openings fit the door. It's a trial and error time consuming job even on a non wrecked car.
     
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  25. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
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    This is how I would start to tackle it, lots of bracing tacked in for alignment, once you get the A pillar in the right place , more bracing if you can't yet fully weld it. You could weld tabs to the door and 1/4 panel and bolt them so the door can come off fast. I love the challenge of fixing something like this. Good luck , I can't wait to see it progress .


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  26. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,680

    1-SHOT
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    IMG_5932.JPG IMG_0909.JPG Cars are like houses, they are built from the ground up. Check the door gap to rocker on the un damaged side , I use the flat end of a open end wrench because they are handy 5/16 or
    3/8 depending on the size of gap you want. Then put the rocker in with some screws and line the bottom of the door up to rocker and it will tell you where everything else goes.
    Stand back 20 feet from the car and look at the whole picture starting at the BOTTOM and working up. You will see if your cowel is laying back and needs to be pushed foreword .
    Just start at the bottom and the door will tell you where everything else goes.
    I have been fixing damage like that for over 50 years and it always works. I seen people start at the top and have to fight it all the way thru.
    From your picture the cowel looks like it back tight a bottom of wind shield and a big gap at top. You can either put a clamp on the cowel and pull it foreward or use a porter power to push it forward it depends on what you have available.
    Also the roof is held up on 4 points and it can move also, because of all the rubber gaskets. New cars are bonded in ant they are part of the structure of the body. You pick a hell of a job to learn on .
    P.M. Me your number if you need help, I be glad to talk you thru it Frank
     
  27. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
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    1-SHOT
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    The welding wire is E70S6 it has triple deoxifiers in it for welding and some people call it easy grind.
     
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  28. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,680

    1-SHOT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    IMG_0911.JPG IMG_0910.JPG To understand shims take a 2/4 about 5 ft. Long stand it next to a wall mark the wall where the edge at the top and bottom then stick a shim under the bottom corner be sure not move the bottom off the mark and see how much it moves at the top. This is a 1 by 2 that's 4 ft. long and it moved over 1 inch with a quarter older the edge, the longer the board or metal the bigger the variances It will surprise you. Frank
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  29. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
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    Thanks for your replies. Its really nice to have people try to help me out and take time to write explanations of things and help people they have never met. So thank you again for being so generous. This is a major repair and though I have experience welding and making patch panels and fabrication type things I admit it really makes me nervous trying to get a car with this much damage back together especially with a door that needs to fit right and work right! I know this was a really tough challenge to take to learn on but I guess I figured with the repair panels and a new door I could fit things together by eye and get me most of the way there and then just move things around here and there. I wasn't naive enough to think it would be at all easy but just thought taking it slow and thinking things through and asking here on the HAMB would get me through! I like the idea of fixing a car that most would have written off especially when looking in old books and seeing the total wrecks that would be repaired 50-60 years ago. Your explanations have really helped giving me some confidence to complete this. You photos are great and the shim explanation really does put it clearly. I guess its similar to flying a plane a matter of a or so degree off course after hundreds of miles can put you in another country. I am going to tackle this and will definitely PM you my number if I get stuck!
     
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  30. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,556

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    Getting sick of working on this thing. Dudes in the 50's and sixties have no idea how good they had it working on non wrecked non rusted to crap cars. I am sick of trying to fix this massive amount of damage and keep finding more rust and seeing all the rust I already know about and feeling totally overwhelmed. Every time I work on this thing I think at least 3 times throughout the day that i should just sell this piece of junk as it will never be something nice something clean and cool.
    Am i crazy or is this worth the time and effort?
     

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