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72 Grandé Coupe project, starting Fall 2017!
#1
I am finally going to build my dream car! I have always wanted a 71-73 Mustang, always put it off, now I am 51 years old and decided it's now or never!

The past 30 years, we have raced cars circletrack. Started with streetstocks, did a little sportsman class, and finally into FWD with Dodge Neons. We are still running those. As far as street cars, we did a 71 Chevelle for my wife that she still has. We are working on a 67 C10 for my daughter. She just turned 16, and that is what she wanted for her first vehicle. Hey, it's better than a Honda or Toyota! lol. I have a 79 Pinto, bone stock 4 cylinder. It came from Arizona, very clean, I haven't done anything other than drive it. I myself haven't ever really had a fast cool streetcar since high school, with my 75 Mustang 302. Well, it was cool to ME!!

I bought 2 Coupes from an impound in California, and had them shipped here. I am in Michigan. The one I was going to build is a 71, 6 cyl. The other was going to be parts, as it is 351C. The plan was to switch the 9" rear end, power brakes, and front disc's onto the 71. Then, after closer inspection, the body on the 72 Grandé is actually better underneath and at the trunk lid filler panel. So I am going to build it, and as a bonus won't have to swap all the brakes, ect.

So the 72 is the one! A little about it... It has the 351C, but there was a small hole in the oil pan, we had it running but it was low on oil and has a slight noise in the bottom. It has an aluminum intake, but I robbed the Holley carb for my daughters truck. So it is coming out, and am building a 351W to put in. The trans is a FMX, that worked other than has no park. So the C4 from the other car, that worked, is going to be rebuilt and installed.

The front end has been banged up, but looks to be just in front of the core support. The front end from the other car is good and will be swapped, other than the hood that will be switched to a new NASA hood. I am also planning on a change to the grill, going with a Mach I style.

The doors have had the hinges changed to Lambo type style, that didn't work anyway. They will be changed to normal. I will prob use the doors from the other car, they are slightly better. Deck lid is dented, but the other is good.

This had a vinyl roof, that has been removed. The top has some pitting, but not thru. On the sides though there are several small holes that need to be addressed. I am not going to put a new top on, I want it painted body color. I will be removing the trim at some point, as it is still on there. The right 1/4 is banged up a little but solid other than a tiny bit at the bottom. The left 1/4 is pretty good. The floors and shock towers all look great, with just a small spot on the passenger side floor that will need work. But overall very solid.

So for the most part, the body itself is good, with most of the work needed will be bolt-on stuff. I am more mechanically inclined than bodywork, so this is a good car for me. There is some bodywork needed, but I feel I can handle it. My plan is to get the new motor and trans in it, and have it drivable for next summer. I will work on the body some this winter, but will prob not be able to finish the body and paint it till next winter. But hey, the rat rod look is in, right?!

This is the first time I have done a build thread on a vehicle, so bear with me. I will try to document as I go, for my own self and for others that may benefit from my experiences either good or bad. I really appreciate this forum, I have already been getting tips and help thru here from other members, and maybe this can help give back. And with that being said, let's begin!!


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#2
This white/light gray one is the 71 I will be using for parts. Someday, when I am all done with my build, I will prob put this up for sale. It is still saveable, the worst thing is the trunk filler panel at the bottom of the backglass (That I can put my fingers thru!) .  The 1/4's have had some Bondo put in them, no idea on how bad they were or how much is in there. But since the other is better, that is the one I am building.
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#3
Always good to see more projects especially another coupe
Will look forward to your progress and some pictures
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#4
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#5
Got the old front end off. It looks like everything on the car itself is good, other than the little tab where the front bumper mount plate bolts on is bent a little, but 30 seconds with a hammer will fix that! The core support and front structure all looks straight.

The old hood bent at the hinge, and the PO bondo'ed the outside up. It is going to scrap, and a new NASA hood will be going on. I have a good flat hood on the other car, but I want the looks of the Mach I type hood. Next, going to remove carpet and seats to see what awaits me in the floor... Hopefully not too bad!
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#6
Seats and carpet out...  Looks as good as I was hoping! There is a small spot on the driver side in the back seat area, like 3 inches square, that needs a patch. And the passenger front floor needs fixed, that I saw from underneath so no surprise there. Pretty much just a flat section, I was planning on buying a floor section, but may just use flatstock, I'll decide when I get to that. I just wanted to evaluate it for now. I hit some of the floor with a wire wheel to make sure there weren't any other spots, and it looks good other than those 2 areas.

I also cleaned out the trunk of trash. The floor looks good back there, I didn't wire wheel it, but there don't seem to be any spots that look like anything at all. Overall, very pleased with what I found today!
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#7
Got a little more done...  Cut out the small hole on the driver side rear floor, and welded in a pice of steel. I cut it a little oversize, put it under the car, and welded it in. There was a spot that was still thin in the floor on an edge, took a little welding to build it back up after blowing thru it. next time I know I need to go a little further on the cutting out.  I ground the welds a alittle and covered with chassis saver paint. I was not concerned with making it look too pretty, it will be covered up anyway, and this is just a "Driver". I need to do the big spot on the passenger front floor before I can finish cleaning and painting the floor.


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#8
New wheels and tires are here! I don't need them yet, of course, but part of the gathering... Plus I wanted to see what they are like! lol

Fronts are 15x8 with 4.5" BS, and 235-60-15 tires. Rear are 15x9  and 5" BS, with 295-50-15 tires. Wheels are from US Mags, and tires are Mickey Thompsons.

Front suspension is apart, but put a rear wheel on to check fit. I have about 1 3/4" from edge of tire to leaf spring. At the top about 1 1/4" from tire to the bracket with the rubber stop. (The pic angle makes it look closer than it is at the top) The only problem is the top of tire to the wheelwell is 4 1/2"! I want an old school jacked up look, but this might be too much. Hard to tell in the garage and on jackstands, plus it has new 5 leaf springs that haven't settled. Plus all the weight off the car right now, motor/trans, doors, ect, so hopefully will drop some. 

Overall, pretty happy. If I had a choice, I would go with 10" rear wheels, and about 5 1/2" BS for a nice fit. This style wheels aren't available like that, these were the closest I could get but should work ok.


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#9
Got the front passenger floorboard fixed! This was the worst part, the rest of the floor is good, other than the other small patch already done. This section was bad basically between the rocker and the subframe. 

I cut out that section. I almost just used a flat piece of steel, buy decided to put a pan in it. I debated on how I wanted to do it for a bit. That section was bad. The floor above the subframe was pretty good, but had a couple of pinholes in it. I didn't really want to cut that out, as the subframe was really good. I thought about just a little metal fill or undercoating. I finally decided to just put the pan on top and weld on. It is kinda overkill as far as strength, but doesn't hurt anything. So the old piece now has fresh steel, and the rest of the floor is basically double thick. I was able to weld all around the outside of the patch up top, and under I welded the new floor pan to the subframe and all around the edge where the old was cut out.

I did use chassis saver paint on the old floor before putting the new in place. Once everything was welded, I did a little grinding. I wasn't too concerned about grinding everything smooth, just knocking down some of the high. As I said earlier, this build is a daily driver, I have no intention of selling or making this a show car. And, this will be under carpet anyway, so while not a "Proper" repair for a concours restoration, it suits my needs ok. 

I threw some chassis saver on the new floor, and will use some seam sealer at some point. Then it won't hardly be noticeable unless you know it is there and look for it... Or if you put it in a build for everyone to see!! lol

There are a couple of screw holes in the floor from the old exhaust I want to weld up, otherwise I just need to do some wire wheel cleaning and the floor will be ready for paint.

As a side note, while I was in the middle of this patch, my welder died. It was a Hobart Handler 180, 240 volts. It was a little tricky to use on thin metal in bodywork. The "Feed" quit, I need to see about getting it fixed. In the mean time, I bought a new Hobart 240MVP. It will run either 110 or 240 volts. I used it to finish the patch, and using it on 110 was much easier to use and not blow thru the metal! I think I will use this as my main unit, and hopefully get the other fixed as a backup. Can't complain too bad, it was prob 15 years old, and never had a problem till now with it.


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#10
Looking forward to the updates!

1971 Mustang Grandé, 351 Cleveland 2v, C6, 9"
-Fitech EFI
-Comp Cams 284hr
-Aussie Heads
-Weiand Xcelerator intake
-Long Tube Headers
-Boss Hogg "Street Bandit"


My Build
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