Ford's design is such that the shock towers are spot welded to the engine mounts, and that is...well...that's it. The theory is that by welding up the gaps at the edges will increase strength in this area and reduce body flex under cornering and/or hard acceleration. It also looks incredibly cool...provided you're not going for a concourse restoration.
Some of the gaps were almost an eighth of an inch wide. I tried closing them up by applying the force of my BFH, but I just couldn't bring myself to hit the car as hard as I needed to in order to affect significant change. So, where necessary, I forced a welding rod into the gap before I got cracking with the MIG.
|The first bit of welding that will be visible when the car is done.|
|Extended the weld around the top of the shock tower...|
|...and invested some time with the angle grinder.|
I'm not a very experienced at welding, but as my buddy Mark is fond of saying, "you don't have to be good at welding, you just have to be good at grinding." I got a fair bit of grinding practice when I lowered the seat platforms in the car. One of the issues that rapidly became apparent is the need for a variety of disc options - grinding disc, sanding disc, wire wheel, etc - and hence the amount of time spend switching out the various discs. A nice solution to this problem is to invest in a couple of dirt cheap Harbor Freight angle grinders, so that a selection of media is always available. I still use my beloved DeWalt, for the serious stuff, but the other tools save me a lot of down time.
|Piled a bunch of beads over the welding rod...|
|It all made a satisfying heat marks on the other side.|
|a whole day welding in short sleeves and with...|
|....holes in my gloves left me beat up.|
|next day I bought some proper gloves...with fur inside!|
|driver side finished up.|
|moved on to the passenger side.|
|this is where I started to look for more stuff to weld up...|
|The finished look (after much grinding!).|