no matter how bad your frame may be, anything can be repaired...but a total lack of common sense may be required to undertake such a task- heres a couple before/after pics of my galaxie project:
The original frame was rotted from just below the steering box to the rear bumper... saved the front clip, but had to make all new front torque boxes/side rails/rear torque boxes/rear rails, managed to salvage the rear crossmember that holds coilsprings/shocks, but thats the only original piece reused from steering box back...control arms also had to be replaced. I went heavy on the steel, used 3/16" plate to fab torque boxes and rear arches, and used 2x4x1/4" tubing for side rails- I bought a millermatic 210 amp mig welder, and it worked great- a bit big for home, but learned to weld pretty quick...decent machine makes it easy.
if anyone needs frame info, I have a couple diagrams- one from the 65 ford service manual, another from a collision shop, and also made up a drawing for the rear arch sections in CAD- had this plotted to use as pattern for plasma cutting the side sections, then made boxed tubing from these...fabbing the arches took me about a week of evenings, but making the pattern was the scary part- didnt want to waste a lot of time building something that wouldnt fit...took a lot of measuring,double checking...but worked out pretty well. if anyone would want scans of frame charts, or dwg file for arches email me. I'm pretty sure frames were same from 1965 thru 1968.
Any and all information you have that you can share would be appreciated. So if you can send it to me at [email protected] it would be appreciated. If you can scan in the Ford SMs and other Frame info you have it would be appreciate. I have an unlimited upload/DL on email so that should not be an issue.
When you rebuilt the frame did you have to remove bolts that are located inside the car by the kick panel and back under the rear seat mine had the holes and had the rubber there but no bolts from the body to the frame. I am thinking on putting them in because I am putting in a 460 thats going to be hopped up a little bit but I don't want to do it if it is going to twist anything or break the glass.
I'll email you the frame diagrams- the mounts you're referring to are just rest pads for the body- no bolts...on convertibles/station wagons, they did get bolted down. theres one more set behind rear wheels that are just pads also- I believe they did this just to make the ride quieter, and dont know if it would be better or not to bolt to all of them. In looking at it, it would seem that if you bolted them all, you might need to come up with a way to measure deformation of mounts more than bolt torque due to different diameter donuts...perhaps a bunch of mag base dial indicators from frame to body could be used to do one side at a time and get even deformation as each is tightened- but if glass is in body this would have to be done in many small steps to prevent twisting anything...just a thought.
You might want to email Russ Owens([email protected]) thats done a lot of frame transplants, to get his thoughts on full mounting of hardtop bodies- I emailed him before about something on mine, he has a lot of experience on these things...heres a link to his webpage:
If I had to do it all over again, I think I would have removed the glass (on a warm day so adhesive will be soft)before bolting everything down, just in case...I really think mine was already in a slight bind due to sitting on a soft frame for years- then removing rear window trim relieved enough support from the glass to cause it to explode a day after. Surely I aggravated the problem by mixing rubber and urethane mounts- live and learn I guess.
I wouldnt worry too much about the bigblock- these things had 427's available, and I havent ever read anything about structural problems other than the rust issues...unless you plan on putting slicks on it with a steep rearend, I really doubt youd be able to hurt it.
Goodluck- put some pics up if you get a chance : )