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Old 10-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
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Classic Mustang Issue

I have owned my 65 Coupe since freshman year of high school. When I bought the car I knew little about "red flags". I now know the car has been wrecked. It has run great for years and I have no issues mechanically. However I clearly see now they had to straighten out the driver side engine wall. The whole front driver side fender is off and it doesn't match up with the bolt holes. It looks fine except where it meets the cowl vent. The uneven layer where they meet is causing my paint to chip and rub together. Where do I even begin to fix this? Although it is a simple coupe it holds a lot of sentimental value and I am unable to sell this car.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:41 PM   #2
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Post up some pictures of what you are talking about. Might just be easiest to just replace the aprons they are pretty cheap
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #3
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I will have them up by this afternoon. Thanks for the interest.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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Its kinda hard to see in those pictures but from what i can see it doesnt look that bad. How is your frame rails?
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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They are not perfect. I realize now the pictures don't do much justice. Just in front of the tower there is that rough patch and if you look closely that line runs behind the tower all the way to the bottom of the wall. Is that normal? Does that mean its been welded? It's on both sides and both are a mirror image of the other. There is also bolts in the center of that line about every 5 or 6in all the way down.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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They are not perfect. I realize now the pictures don't do much justice. Just in front of the tower there is that rough patch and if you look closely that line runs behind the tower all the way to the bottom of the wall. Is that normal? Does that mean its been welded? It's on both sides and both are a mirror image of the other. There is also bolts in the center of that line about every 5 or 6in all the way down.
Yeah it looks they welded on a whole front end on your car. It's not ideal, but it's better than trying to straighten it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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There is an overlapping seam in front of the shock tower where the fender is bolted down which is factory. Looks as if it has been repaired from a front end accident. How far off are the fender bolts from ligning up correctly? There should be a little wiggle room when bolting down the fender to keep it from rubbing up against the door/winshield.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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They seem to line up close enough. It seems to me that it's uneven. That it has waves in it causing one to be higher than the other. Would it be possible to straighten it? I mean to take out the pits? Is this a project that is doable or will it never be "laser" straight?
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
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After seeing yours I realize how bad mine are. The car looks great. I guess my question is can mine eventually look as good as the pictures above? If so what is the process?
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #11
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After seeing yours I realize how bad mine are. The car looks great. I guess my question is can mine eventually look as good as the pictures above? If so what is the process?
You wont be able to get that straight with a hammer if you have the tools and skills to replace them then its not hard really just cutting and welding
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:14 PM   #12
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Where would I make the cut?
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:18 PM   #13
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Well i couldnt tell from your pictures but i would cut both front and rear aprons out and replace them with new ones. Look up the parts on cjponyparts or npd or whatever site you use for parts
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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It's a shame because it looks great. It's just the fact that on both sides where it meets the window it is rubbing. I just need it to be moved enough to where it's not rubbing.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #15
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:56 PM   #16
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Do you know if they are reproduction fenders? I had them replaced and the body shop had to make clearance at the ends of the cowl. When compared to originals the originals were already notched in that location in the original stamping. Fenders came down about1/4" . Sorry, no pics.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:41 PM   #17
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I don't think so. There is a lot about the car that is confusing. It looks like somebody already replaced the driver side apron at one point. The vin was obviously taken off. If they went through all of that trouble then why not do it right? If this was any other coupe id say goodbye but I have to much history with the car to let it go. The cowl vent needs patched among other smaller issues with the cosmetics. At this point I plan to just enjoy it and do a full restoration next fall. I went to a car show today ( The Ocala pumpkin run) and I saw what that area should look like.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:04 AM   #18
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I don't think so. There is a lot about the car that is confusing. It looks like somebody already replaced the driver side apron at one point. The vin was obviously taken off. If they went through all of that trouble then why not do it right? If this was any other coupe id say goodbye but I have to much history with the car to let it go. The cowl vent needs patched among other smaller issues with the cosmetics. At this point I plan to just enjoy it and do a full restoration next fall. I went to a car show today ( The Ocala pumpkin run) and I saw what that area should look like.
Does the door plate serial match the fender serial numbers?
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:14 PM   #19
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It was intentionally "erased" off. Somebody smoothed it over.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:38 PM   #20
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The fact that it was intentionally "erased" is a huge red flag, I would strip the paint off around the vin # as carefully as possible and see if it matches the one on the door, there should also be one tucked up under the fender on the apron on the passenger side in the same location.... I would use a chemical stripper if you're repainting the engine bay because the stallings are very fragile and can be sanded beyond recognition
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:07 PM   #21
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It wasn't painted. It was welded or something similar. It's warped with vary fine lines around the area it should be. I wasn't aware of the other location. I will look online to see where exactly it's at so I can find it. The original door tag didn't match the car either. Don't ask me how I got it plated. Why go through all of this trouble to hide the vin? My old mechanic suggested it was in a wreck and the whole driver side is from another vehicle. The frame rails are fine but the apron it bent all uneven. Which again if it were off of a parts car then why is it so bad? If I didn't have so much sentimental value for the car I would ditch it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:46 PM   #22
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Try looking here. When I bought mine, I asked the seller if we could scrape away some paint to find it. I didn't see one at first but we found it eventually under lots of paint. It should be opposite the public one, but you may need to pull back the fender - it could be partially or wholly covered.

It was there as another check in case the other vins were damaged/removed/tampered with/etc.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:23 PM   #23
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Unless its under several layers than no luck. It looks and feels smooth with no hint of a vin. Any clue why they somebody would go through all the trouble?
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:43 AM   #24
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Unless its under several layers than no luck. It looks and feels smooth with no hint of a vin. Any clue why they somebody would go through all the trouble?
My guess is that it may have been wrecked and had a salvage title. Someone took the front off another car that had a good title and a good front end. Then they got the car titled and sold it. Probably why it says it's a coupe. You could get a Marti report on the VIN from fender and see what it shows if you're curious. Otherwise you're titled and good to go.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #25
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Yep, it should only really become an issue if you sell, and it doesn't seem like you plan that soon. There could be other, more sinister reasons for a vin swap like a stolen car but that seems less likely since the whole front was changed. I wouldn't sweat it too much, if ever you sell I would just be open about the front end issue.

I would look very carefully though. The seller and I were looking along that whole panel in broad daylight and neither of us saw it at first. There was a hint of irregularity where we decided to look and it was buried under there.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:38 PM   #26
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I will pull it outside and take a good long look. What kind of effort will it take to take the fender off?
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:17 PM   #27
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You have to loosen all the bolts, remove the ones up top and don't forget about the one bolt between the door/fender (assuming your setup is about the same as a 67). We didn't actually remove the whole fender, just (carefully) pulled it back enough to reveal the metal. It took maybe 5 mins and a 9/16" socket go get access, finding the vin and scraping the paint took much longer. Just be sure you got all the bolts before you put too much into it.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:18 AM   #28
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My 68 was 1/2 bolts holding the fender on
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:58 PM   #29
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I played with the fender on my bad side. I can't get the space or level I need to keep it from rubbing. It's frustrating because I can't move on to anything else until I get this out of the way. I even contacted a classic car restoration place nearby and he said it was a tricky procedure and he wouldn't have time for it until next year. If he could even fix it at all. It seems like an easy fix for a body guy.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #30
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I played with the fender on my bad side. I can't get the space or level I need to keep it from rubbing. It's frustrating because I can't move on to anything else until I get this out of the way. I even contacted a classic car restoration place nearby and he said it was a tricky procedure and he wouldn't have time for it until next year. If he could even fix it at all. It seems like an easy fix for a body guy.
Can you elongate the fenders holes and give yourself enough play to get it off the windshield lip
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:52 AM   #31
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I thought about that but I think it will throw my headlamps off.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #32
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Unless its under several layers than no luck. It looks and feels smooth with no hint of a vin. Any clue why they somebody would go through all the trouble?
Ever hear of chop shops, only reason to weld a vin is to keep the cops from lifting it.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:47 AM   #33
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It's possible but It's been inspected 4 times in the last 5 years. One of those we're by a state trooper. He saw the vin on the engine and was satisfied.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:45 AM   #34
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You adjust your headlights
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:24 PM   #35
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I have owned my 65 Coupe since freshman year of high school. When I bought the car I knew little about "red flags". I now know the car has been wrecked. It has run great for years and I have no issues mechanically. However I clearly see now they had to straighten out the driver side engine wall. The whole front driver side fender is off and it doesn't match up with the bolt holes. It looks fine except where it meets the cowl vent. The uneven layer where they meet is causing my paint to chip and rub together. Where do I even begin to fix this? Although it is a simple coupe it holds a lot of sentimental value and I am unable to sell this car.
I can relate to your situation. I own the 65 Mustang convertible my dad bought in 1967 and which I drove to school in 69-71. I had one wreck in it, and it went through five brothers and sisters while I was away in the service. I think it may have been wrecked at least one more time. I finally bought it from my dad in 1983 and had it professionally restored (frame up) during an 18 month period from 1998-2000. I had the frame professionally straightened at a frame shop. It was money well spent, because the car now drives great and everything fits. The only original steel on the car is the passenger door and trunk lid. The driver side door is a donor and the rest of the sheet metal is Ford NOS. Very hard to find, and very costly, but the cheap Chinese stuff simply doesn't fit without alot of cutting and fitting. The Ford NOS steel went together like . . . well OEM parts!

Here are a few photos to which you may be able to relate. The car is 100% concours:

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If you have the money, a professional frame repair will go a long ways toward rebuild quality and driving pleasure, especially for a car that has sentimental value.
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