Welding a front clip on a classic car? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 08-21-2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Welding a front clip on a classic car?

I have a brother in law who is an amazing welder. He has almost all the welding certifications available, including underwater, and he can even weld aluminum. The problem is he doesn't do much welding on automobiles. I need a new front clip installed on my 1967 Mustang. The problem I have is that I live in Wisconsin, where classic car shops are few and far between, and auto body shops can't be trusted with a job like this. I'm wondering if I should trust an experiences welder such as himself on a job like this. He custom made and welded new floor pan patches for this car, but that is quite different. The front end has to be square and true or it will never drive straight or support a drive train correctly. Should I trust him? Is there special tools to use during the process to make sure the new front clip, which comes in several pieces all which need to be welded together, stays perfectly square during the process? I need a lot of help with this one. Please give me some good answers. I've had this car for 7 years and only put about 1,000 miles on it because the front end is shot. I am dying to get this thing on the road
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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Welding a front clip on a classic car?

If your brother in law has this much experience, part of his skill will be knowing his limitations.
The next issue will be which welding process he will use, and these days using a gas torch is rare, so mostly M.I.G with the use of the correct filler wire and the process itself minimises the heat and resultant warpage created in the proces is how it's done, although T.I.G and a good operator can do just as well but is a lot slower.
The main difference for welders is experience in thinner materials compared to thick, say if he is used to welding 1/2 thick materials or greater it's quite different to welding .025" sheet metal.
Again I would say his experience will win out.and the distortion is part of the process and he will minimise it or make it work for him.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Welding a front clip on a classic car?

i would rather have him help me then a body shop. At least you can trust him. The body shop you can't . Give him a chance , see what he can do. Be there when he does this , if you don't like how he is doing , you can stop him. good luck
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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Welding a front clip on a classic car?

If the Mustang hasn't been disassembled as yet, I would recommend taking the time to build a jig based on clearly marked points on the old clip and use this jig to align the same points on the parts of the new clip to be welded into place.
Once the clip alignment is spot welded into place, it sounds like your brother in law is more than qualified to complete the necessary welding.

Note: If you have any doubts about the original alignment as it sits, you can get exact frame scehmatics which detail the measurements between specific spots as originally engineered.
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