1965 Ford Mustang Restoration – Prepping for body work and a piant job

This 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe looked good from 15 feet away, but had rust and bondo issues. After taking a closer look, you would notice a few things were wrong. The windshield and rear glass did not have any sealer, and had rust holes as a result. Most of the front bolts on the car were either hand tight or were incorrect. I could go on, but that is not the point of this post. I’ve restored dozens of classic Fords, and I wanted to show the best way to prepare your Mustang for body work and paint. When restoring a classic car, you want to make sure your car’s body is straight, and free of any rust or bondo. If your car is just a daily driver, and is never going to be worth much than masking everything off, and  doing a scuff and shoot paint job will do fine. This is a 1965 Ford Mustang, and is a piece of automotive history that will go up in value. Masking parts off only hides potential problem areas like rust. It is well worth the work to remove all the trim, emblems, glass, and any removable body panels.

Removing the body trim will reveal hidden bondo and rust. I usually find rust holes under windshield and rear window corner areas. You do not want to have to repair those areas after the car is painted. If the body shop has to repair the window channel areas, make sure they have the moldings to test fit while making the repairs. When removing the emblems, make sure you use and awl to remove the tiny barrel nuts that secure the emblems. Removing the barrel nuts after the car is painted will damage the paint and cause future rust. Remove any body panels that can be un-bolted. It’s not uncommon to find the wrong attaching hardware, or panels that were not installed properly. Also, in a lot of cases you’ll find the original body color of your Mustang under those body panels. We found out that this Mustang was originally Midnight Blue.

Once the car is completely apart, it is a good idea to take lots of pictures, and organize all of the old parts. Save yourself a headache, and do not throw any parts or hardware away until your are done with the car. You’ll notice that I wrote all over the Mustang. This is to help better communicate with the body shop what you want done. It is common for old screw holes to become enlarged from rust. Have the body shop weld them in, and re-drill them when the car comes back. Point out particular areas of concern like rust bubbles, bondo, or poor fitting panels.  Another over looked area is roof rail seams. Have the body shop remove the old seam sealer, and take care of any rust issues. Also, body shops tend to forget which holes they drilled to pull out dents. They sometimes accidently fill in emblem holes while doing body work. It is not fun to have to find those holes again.

The last area of concern is the interior. If you’re going to repaint the interior, and replace everything then you’re not too concerned with over spray. The owner of this 1965 Mustang wanted to re-use all the dash pieces, but was going to replace all the upholstery. I removed most of the interior, and put everything in a safe place. Removing the carpet and trunk mat will reveal any hidden rust that the body shop can repair. I would highly recommend to paint all the floor pans with POR15 rust treatment.  Before sending the car off to the body shop, it is a good idea to start ordering all the body parts and fasteners that you think your going to need, so you’re not holding up your project.  Once they start to strip the body down to the metal, they will probably asking you for additional parts.  Lastly, stop by the body shop often to catch any issues before the car is painted. Those un-treated areas will haunt you later. Also, it is nice to have pictures of the whole restoration process. Here is a photo gallery of the 1965 Mustang I recently prepped for body work and paint.

1965 Ford Mustang Restoration

1965 Ford Mustang Restoration Photo Gallery

posted by inlinesix in 65-66 Mustang and have No Comments