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  #11  
Old 03-09-2018, 05:18 PM
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pplace pplace is offline
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The first real logical area to start on the actual work was converting the 4 doors into 2. This post will show the steps I took to start that process.

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Before any actual cutting of the doors, I first made side profile fixtures (one at the beltline as shown, and a second one at the middle of the door around the side moulding area. I did this knowing that I would be removing all the door skins from the door shells and would want to work on them off the vehicle and this would help keep the correct profile

I removed the skins because of the obvious reason of changing them to 2 doors, but also because of all the rust. It's best to separate all seams and joints and rebuild what I need, so I know I'm dealing with good metal.

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Just showing this picture as a reference of the severe damage the driver's door had. The customer said that in the past they had accidently backed a piece of farm machinery into it.

(As a side note his grandfather purchased this Mercury new)

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With the door skin off, I repaired the major damage as noted above.

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Here you can see how the side profile jigs I made, help hold the floppy door skins in their correct shape. I aligned the doors and prepped the joint between the two.

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Different view looking down the doors as they are clamped into the fixtures.

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Once I decided upon the best visual length for the new doors, I cut the original rear door skin at the correct length.

Again I'm going to withhold the final door length I decided upon, but I will say it is not the length of a stock 2 door Mercury.

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Back in the fixture it went again to weld up the joint between the two door skins. The fixture really was helpful here and will be for holding the doors properly when rebuilding the inner structure as well.

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We now have our start on a 2 door Mercury!! As you may notice I also filled in the door handle and lock holes. Note: The bottom of the door skin is rusty and will need a new bottom fabricated later, but for now it's good enough to use to "rough in" our ideas.

This work was also done on the passenger side as well.
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2018, 06:26 PM
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pplace pplace is offline
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Keeping with the door theme, this post will show a bit of work done on the inner door shell. The plan wasn't to get a complete finished door, but instead a door "roughed" out and basically sound enough to bolt back onto the car to start figuring out the placement of the b-post and latch.

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The first task was to start disassembling the inner door shell. Basically all I wanted in the end is the front (hinge side) and the rear (latch side) of the shell.

As you can see, in this picture I have the rear jamb removed and just slid it back to the new rear edge of the door. Luckily, the shape of the door was an exact match at that area, so it still fit perfectly.

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With the rear jamb slid back and a straight edge spanned across the front and rear jamb you can see the difference in angle / slope for the bottom jamb of the door.

No loss, as you can see the bottom of the door shell was shot regardless.

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Here you can see I have just the front and rear portions of the inner shell temporarily in place and cleaned up.

I've figured out the dimensions for fabricating the new bottom shell (I've copied the design / shape of the original, just changed it to fit the new length and angles as shown with the straight edge in the previous picture.

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The first step was to roll a "Z" bend the length of the panel. This curve matches the correct crown of the exterior door skin.

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After the "Z" bend, I then tipped the next flange over 90 deg. This flange also follows the crown of the exterior skin obviously.

This is the edge that the door skin will eventually hem over and around. That will be later after I fabricate and replace the bottom portion of the outer door skin due to the rust.

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Here I'm fitting the bottom to the door skin and the front and rear jamb portions. Also the top (inner door panel edge) was broke over around 90 deg. This is a straight edge (doesn't follow the crown like the previous bends) This is because the door panel / inner structure should be flat.

As you can see I've re-assembled it as it was built previous. Even used most of the same drilled out spot welds, etc. (This is the passenger door shown here)

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Here the door (driver side) is bolted back onto the vehicle. Temporary "x" brace was added to square up and stiffen the door (much like a screen door rod basically)

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Take a step back and we can see the passenger door hung into place and closing (though no b-pillar or latch yet!)
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Last edited by pplace; 03-09-2018 at 06:30 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-10-2018, 03:18 PM
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This post will focus on the removal and moving of the b-pillar to fit the extended doors and then the fabrication and rebuilding of the rocker panel structure.

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The first step was the removal of the complete b-pillar from the original rocker structure. There wasn't much left of the rockers, but the pillars were in decent shape actually.

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I added more square bracing (which I forgot to mention I had added previous to cutting the roof off)

After much measuring, fitting, testing, etc. I place the b-pillar in the correct location. From the additional bracing I actually made temporary mounts that I could bolt the b-pillar to while working on rebuilding the rocker panels. When needed, I could just unbolt the pillar out of the way and bolt it right back into the same exact position later.

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Here is a picture from the backside showing the temporary bracing / mounts to bolt in the pillar (two bolts at the top and two near the bottom)

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Once the pillar was in the correct spot and the door was closing and latching good enough I started cutting away all the rockers to start rebuilding them. Here the outer skin is removed, and it shows just how bad the inner structure was.

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Progressing further, the inner structure of the rocker is being removed here. Technically there is a 90 deg. edge from the floor and a second inner panel that creates the "box" structure of the rocker panel.

Here you can also see how the b-pillar is actually just "floating" in mid air only bolted to the temporary bracing inside.

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Even with the rocker panel completely removed and the b-pillar just "floating" in mid air, the door still closed and latched just fine.

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The next portion of this update is about rebuilding the rocker panels.

This simple drawing shows the original construction of the rocker panel (upper left drawing) This shows how the factory "pinch weld" was done on the bottom.

Note from left to right:
3. The outer rocker skin
2. The inner rocker structure
1. This is actually the edge of the floor, which I had to replace as well.

The drawing on the bottom is how I changed it up a bit. I prefer not to have a visual pinchweld. So I basically just folded the flanges of part 1 and 2 back onto each other and plug welded them as normal

Again 1, 2 and 3 are the same as described above. Here you can see how the floor edge (1) and inner structure (2) create a nice strong box structure.

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The first piece of the rebuild is piece 1 (the floor edge) I trimmed back the original floor and butt welded this piece to it.

This piece also follows the floor braces (thus the "kink" or bend in the part roughly in the middle)

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Here is a view looking down the first piece installed. You can see the "kink" in the part as it follows the original floor braces underneath.

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The next piece fabricated was piece 2 (the inner structure) This piece also has a "kink" but this time the kink is at the b-pillar. This is done so eventually the rocker panel / door edge structure is straight in the door opening and follows the edge of the door shell bottom.

This picture also shows an additional "bridge" or stiffener I added where the b-pillar mounts. This will help strengthen up this area as well as spread the load out just a bit more.

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With piece 1 (floor edge) and piece 2 (inner structure) installed I was able to bolt the b-pillar back in to see how it fit to the new structure. Lined right up!

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This picture helps show the "kink" I was referring to. As you can see it's straight from the a-pillar to the b-pillar, then kinks in to line up with the original structure at the quarter panel.

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This is a good picture that shows how I "keyed" in the rocker structure just as the original. This is the structure at the rear quarter panel. It slipped right in and I plug welded it all together just as original (It's the same at the a-pillar as well basically)

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While doing the driver's side I made up all the "mirrored" parts to do the passenger side as well.
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Rush too much trying to get to the end when the end is closer when you take your time.

Dane

Last edited by pplace; 03-10-2018 at 03:27 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2018, 03:56 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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Nice use of the fixtures there to help things along.
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2018, 07:39 PM
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In this post I will explain and show how I fabricated a new inner structure for the quarter panel where the rear door used to be as well as the exterior sheet metal work for the same area.

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On the Mercury the bottom half of the quarter panels unbolt and are removable.

Here I've begun fabricating the new inner structure to take the place of the original rear door. This first horizontal piece is the separation between the top and bottom of the quarter panel.

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This view shows a vertical panel that goes from the floor up to the previously fit horizontal inner panel. Effectively these two panels now seal off the exterior wheel well area from the interior portion of the vehicle.

These pieces are just temporarily screwed into place while fabricating / test fitting.

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The view from inside. I added several beads to give the panel a bit of strength and to help give it a bit more "factory" appearance.

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With the inner structure figured out. I then took the top half of the rear door and test fit it into place. Eventually I added a 90 deg. edge to the front for the door jamb edge and a second 90 deg. flange to the bottom that is spot welded to the horizontal inner structure panel shown earlier.

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This picture shows the jamb edge added to the top half of the quarter panel now.

The bottom half of the new quarter panel section is 100% new (not salvaged from the original door skin) I did this because the door was in poor shape (rust on the bottom) and the fact that I would need to extend the front edge like I did on the top panel, as well as the added length to fabricate the new rocker portion.

Here the panel was very rough fit, just checking before I refined the shape a bit better.

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Showing the fit of the top and bottom panels with the door shut.

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Here I've progressed a bit further with the shape of the new lower panel and have it tacked into place. After I had started on the panel, I realized I should have added more length to the rear, as the original quarter panel had bad rust issues that I had to replace on the "dog leg" portion in front of the wheel opening. I just made that little wedge piece separate as well as a new wheel opening edge. (No real problem with my oops.....just a bit more fitting, welding and planishing that I could have / should have avoided)

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Here I'm doing a little "brainstorming" in my head in how I want the bottom rear corner area of the door eventually. I wanted to radius the door corner as well as maintain the ability to unbolt the lower quarter panel. So I took the original section of the rear rocker / quarter seam and came up with a look / location that looked nice.

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I've finished the welding and initial metal work on the quarter panel extension (good enough for now)

You will also notice I've added the lower radius and extension to the quarter panel / rocker edge. The front edge is a hemmed over edge to give it more strength and a finished look.

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I bolted the quarter panel back onto the car to see how it looked to the door.

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A view from the rear of the extended quarter panel.

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A bit closer look at the junction of the door, quarter panel and future rocker panel.

NOTE: At this point I'm not worried about my door gap for 2 reasons:

1. The door skin is just temporarily screwed and clecoed to a roughed out inner door shell so things will change slightly later. (I made the quarter panel jamb edge correct, and will fit the door to that later)

2. I don't want to refine / finalize any of the panel gaps until I have the body more structurally sound and actually on the correct body mounts, suspension (to come later)

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In this close up I'm holding up the original rocker section with the "joggle" that the quarter panel edge fits into. Eventually when I fabricate new quarter skins I'll add this feature with new good metal. (Again, don't mind the door gaps)

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This view from below of the quarter panel / rocker roll, shows a nice smooth bottom with no vertical pinchweld.


On the inner portion of the quarter panel I've added a 90 deg edge that turns up vertically. This flange "hooks" on the inside edge of the rocker panel structure and is bolted from there for a 100% hidden fastening method.
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  #16  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:24 PM
onya onya is offline
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Hello Dane,

This build has got my attention, nice work.
Do you use a Mig to tack most of your parts and what is your weapon of choice for filling in between the tacks?
I'm only asking because i use Mig for everything and i am wondering whether this is the correct way to do it especially when welding Panels.
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  #17  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:35 PM
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MP&C MP&C is online now
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Dane, nice work!!
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  #18  
Old 03-12-2018, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onya View Post
Hello Dane,

This build has got my attention, nice work.
Do you use a Mig to tack most of your parts and what is your weapon of choice for filling in between the tacks?
I'm only asking because i use Mig for everything and i am wondering whether this is the correct way to do it especially when welding Panels.
The method depends upon the type of panel. If itís a cumbersome hard to clamp panel or just a quick small panel Iíll tack in a few spots with the MIG to just hold it. Once itís secure Iíll then go back and do more tacks with the TIG and then follow up with a full TIG pass.

However, there is certainly nothing wrong with using a MIG 100% if thatís what you have (thatís what I did for the longest time) I just prefer the TIG when possible due to its control and the nicer weld to work with afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MP&C
Dane, nice work!!
Thank you! I appreciate the comment and you following along with the project.
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2018, 07:50 AM
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Steve Hamilton Steve Hamilton is offline
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Hi Dane
Nice to see a new design for the 49 - 51 merc.
I like the 3 window styling, it will turn a few heads!

Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and ideas along with the process.

Steve
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  #20  
Old 03-13-2018, 10:10 AM
blue62 blue62 is offline
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Dane
Your A man with vision and the ability to achieve it.
A rare breed these days.
Thanks for posting your work.
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