My 69 e-cat restoration thread (posting all info here now)

Changed the name of this thread and will be posting all of my pics, progress, discoveries and questions here from now on. Please follow along and add your input!

So after a a winter of tinkering on engine pieces and other small issues I drug the beast out of hiding and went for broke this weekend tearing apart and cleaning. I made some good progress and found some issues.

Progress on puckered rear quarter:

Started with this

Now looks like this


The tail light panel was pushed forward about 1 1/4 inches and took significant persuasion with the porta power to get back right. The trunk lid fits perfect now when it wouldn’t even close before.

How can a floor that looks like this:

Have a problem like this:

This gaping hole in the front floor and torque box area is bizarre, No rust in the underside or front of the torque box and the problem wasn’t really visible until I hit it with a pressure washer and a slight crack appeared. I picked at it a little and the top layer began to peel revealing the typical rust layers of decomposition. The hammer came out next and of course went right through and I kept after it until all of the rotten crap was exposed. Good thing I have another car with solid floors to pilfer the piece out of, unless it is hiding issues as well. I also exposed the typical shock tower rust in two of the four spots after I aggressively pursued it with the pressure washer.

The damage is most likely from the cowl vent leaking from above.

It doesn’t take long. Last spring when I replaced the carpet in my 68 I found some surface rust on the driver side floor from a leaking cowl. I wire brushed it and sealed it with rust converter. Unfortunately I should have spent the time on the cowl instead. I now see that the rust has eaten its way through leaving a great big gaping hole in an otherwise solid floor.

The old saying “rust never sleeps” fits. I hope the parts car isn’t hiding that type of rust like the Eliminator was. Good luck. If your floors and shock tower turn out like the taillamp/ rear quarter area you’ll be fine. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for the pictures! I’ll be watching this one.

Glad to see you’re getting busy on this one. I’m looking forward to following your progress.

We’ll be in CdA this weekend. If you plan on heading over there, give me a ring.

With your talent on the quarter panel repair,…BTW, I love my Port-a-Power…sure that you’ll make short work on the cowl leak. Hey at least the cowl panel cover unbolts in '69’s,…Bright Side…could be a '67-'68 and then find yourself tearing half the front end off for the repair.

Checked the cowl, no leaks whatsoever so all I can figure is either the heater core leaked over time or it came from the torque box area. Two sandwiched layers of metal anywhere is a recipe for rust no matter where it is. The repair really won’t be that bad, and I most certainly will use a pristine piece for the repair. Thanks for the compliments on the crinkled quarter, the primer is just temporary as I will most likely strip the car for body work.

I may just take the 68 for a tour up to CDA since you are coming Jeff, I’ll call.

Today started with harvesting the floor pan and torque box out of a car I bought and didn’t think I would need. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good!
Then came butchering up the e-cat and getting everything ready to go back together,

New floor area against the offensive area:

The New torque box top and floor pan vs. the old:

Cleaned out the torque box and wire wheeled the crap out of it

Finished torque box interior after using rust converter

By the way, I am thinking the rat who had made a home in the heater box had been pissing in there for years, dripping down onto the floor and having severely corrosive urine ate the hole in the floor. So far that’s the only logical explanation I can find.

Lucky me, the donor car has a reasonable date code for my car.

Top of torque box welded in ( I ground all the welds down so the floor pan would fit right)

Finished job: