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Convertible rocker panels in 86 Roadster??

 
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86MclarenCapri



Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 190
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Convertible rocker panels in 86 Roadster?? Reply with quote

I read somewhere that the 87 and up roadsters had the convertible inner rocker panels shipped with them from the factory and then ASC installed them during the conversion.

That might explain why my 88 was so much tighter than my 86--the 88 just seemed like it was done better than my 86. I have installed the weld-on sub frame connectors, which made a big difference, but it is still a creaky squeaky car.

has anyone tried to install the rocker panels? Would it be too much of a job?
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Dan
Norfolk, VA
86 Capri Convt Silver/Charcoal/Black
67 Mustang GTA Convt
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svo413



Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 706
Location: San Mateo, California

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:12 pm    Post subject: Rocker Reply with quote

I have several versions of the asc and Ford verts. I can take a look and see. I don’t recall seeing anything unusual as in any of them missing it. I do know Ford did offer it as a kit, maybe it was intended for the 83 Fords. They are all riveted on.

I will try to take a look this weekend.

I do know the 85 did not have the bracing in the trunk but the 88 did on the asc.
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Kevin Gold card MCA Judge for Fox Body
85 ASC Vert #612205
88 ASC Vert #542 20,550 miles
84 SVO 24,000 miles
03 Mach I 7,900 miles
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86MclarenCapri



Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 190
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 86 has that cover or bracing that goes across the rear hump. I thought the 85/86 Musatang convertibles had the convertible rocker panels, but the Capri wouldn't have had it. I was thinking that adding it to the 87 and up was a lessons learned from the 86 and older cars.

I would think the rocker panels would weld on--I don't see how rivets would be that structurally sound.
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Dan
Norfolk, VA
86 Capri Convt Silver/Charcoal/Black
67 Mustang GTA Convt
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svo413



Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 706
Location: San Mateo, California

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Brace Reply with quote

The bracing I was speaking of is riveted along the rocker panel pinch weld. Ford calls it the Underbody Reinforcement Kit. It lists as 87 and up models. It’s 3 pieces on each side and probably 20+ rivets.

I checked my 84 GT, not present
I checked my 85 ASC, not present.
I checked my 89 LX, present.
I checked my 92 GT, present. Hard to see with ground affects.
My 88 ASC, pretty sure it’s present.

It seems to go along with the door alignment kit.
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Kevin Gold card MCA Judge for Fox Body
85 ASC Vert #612205
88 ASC Vert #542 20,550 miles
84 SVO 24,000 miles
03 Mach I 7,900 miles
89 LX Vert
14 CA Special
69 Mustang coupe
67 T-bird 47,000 miles
16 F250
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86MclarenCapri



Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 190
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting--I read that it was the convertible rocker panel that had to be welded in to place. It would require modifying the floor pan and seat panel as well. Then, of course, it would require new carpet.

I spent a little time searching for the kit and couldn't find it. Could you provide a link?

This is the only thing that I found that was close:
https://lmr.com/item/STF-SRM02/Stifflers-Subframe-Connectors-Mustang-79-93-SRM02

It also occurred to me that I need to replace my hinge pins and bushings, so that could also explain some of the squeaking and rattling.
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Dan
Norfolk, VA
86 Capri Convt Silver/Charcoal/Black
67 Mustang GTA Convt
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86MclarenCapri



Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 190
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:57 pm    Post subject: Found it! Reply with quote

I went to a Mustang/Camaro salvage yard near Richmond this weekend--During a monsoon, no less! I asked the owner about the 'kit' and tried to describe it as best as I could, but, having never seen one, I didn't do very well. He sent me to his guy in the back of the yard who knew everything about Fox Body Mustangs.

I found the guy in a makeshift garage with a shell on a lift and three other guys standing around looking at it. I asked him about the parts and he pointed up at the car (he was standing right next to it) and said, "This thing?"

It was incredible timing because they were taking the exact part that I wanted off the car!! It was an 88 Mustang convertible that had an engine bay fire but was otherwise a show car. they had stripped it of everything and cut off the frame at the firewall. It was barely recognizable. The last thing to go was the frame strengthening kit.

Turns out it is a 6 piece 'kit' It has 1/4" thick double angle bracket bars that rivet to the rocker panel and the pinch weld under the rocker panel. There are 20 1/4" x 3/4" rivets on each side of the bar, making 40 holes. There are plates on the front and back that have 5 rivets attaching them to the bars and more attaching them to the sub frame. I haven't had a chance to compare to my car, yet, but I'm hoping it will be obvious.

I think the end pieces get riveted to the bars first, but... I have a feeling that they sandwich some support piece. The front ones have two very large holes for either the X brace, or K member.

I really need to see a factory car with them to make sure..

The kit is heavy--I would estimate 50-60 pounds, but it looks like it will be worth it.
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Dan
Norfolk, VA
86 Capri Convt Silver/Charcoal/Black
67 Mustang GTA Convt


Last edited by 86MclarenCapri on Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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plumkrazy



Joined: 27 Jul 2005
Posts: 1102
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep that is the kit. I reattached many in the day because of loose or missing rivets. Nice score and timing.
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86MclarenCapri



Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 190
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a lot of grinding on the parts to clean them up--I was going to just rust treat them and paint them, but I thought that since I'm restoring the car, I might as well do it right, so I dropped them off to get powder coated. It is only going to be $110 for all 6 parts!

I went with black satin on the connector parts and silver (my car is silver) on the rocker panel brace parts. They would have come from the factory painted black, and ASC would have repainted the car thus over-spraying them in silver, so I just went ahead and made them silver. It didn't cost extra since the shop had some extra silver (BMW silver) on hand.

I did some research on installing the parts and... I kinda went out of order. I had full length frame connectors installed, and the plates for the stiffening kit should have been installed first. I'm going to have to trim them to fit around the frame connectors and then weld them to the frame/frame connectors. It will be a little bit of a challenge, but I'll make it happen.

I'm also planning on using 1/4" truss head screws to attach the rocker panel braces to the pinch weld and use 1/4" self-tapping screws to attach to the upper rocker panel. That would only be for fitting, I will then use 1/4" steel rivets to attach to the rocker, but I may keep the screws on the pinch weld. I will probably use bolts to connect the 4 brackets to the rocker braces but I don't know what kind of clearance I will have.
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Dan
Norfolk, VA
86 Capri Convt Silver/Charcoal/Black
67 Mustang GTA Convt
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86MclarenCapri



Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 190
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

While researching the stiffening kit, I saw that there was an "X" brace that I think came out starting in 1987. It consists of two "V" shaped rods that connect to the front reinforcement panels, to the K member, then to the radiator support. They look pretty worthless as for as structural support, but I thought, what the heck? I might as well go all the way since I'm adding this kit.

The same salvage yard I got the other parts from had the X brace kit on eBay, so I bought it and had them hold it for pick up. The yard is about 2 hours away but I had plans to go to Richmond, anyway.

They didn't have the hardware listed, so I asked that they put a set together. It really is 6 bolts with fender clips for the end pieces, but is has really long fender clips for the K Member bolts.

So, I get to the yard, and they send me to the back to talk to Johnny again. I reminded him (and the other guys standing around) that I bought the kit the previous weekend and that I was back for the X brace.

And, again, he pointed up at the car on the lift and said, "What, you mean this thing?"

Amazing. They had a SECOND 88 convertible on the lift and they were taking off the EXACT piece I was looking for. Very weird timing. again.

But, it turns out they had already taken off another X brace and had it waiting for me in the office with all the hardware on it.

Unbelievable. So, now I'm working on getting those parts cleaned up and on the car.

Another comment on the kit: It appears that Ford installed the 4 brackets that attach to the rocker and then to the frame on some cars without the heavy duty brace that rivets to the rocker pinch weld. I think that brace piece may have been an 87 thing, because none of the older cars there had it. Some had the 4 brackets, but most of the 86 and older had nothing. It seems like maybe the convertibles got the pinch weld brace and some of the coupes/hatchbacks may have got the 4 brackets. My 86 Capri didn't have any of the kit.
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Dan
Norfolk, VA
86 Capri Convt Silver/Charcoal/Black
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