Mustang Restoration Part 3

Here's how the 1965 Ford Mustang coupe rear quarter panel for the Mustang restoration looks after sanding.

Checking the Quarter Panel for Flatness

In classic car Restoration or any other body work for that matter, as a final check for flatness, I usually shine a light from the front of the car to the back and look along the edge to see if there are any ripples in the body panel of the car.

1965 mustang quarter panel sanded

Some people will spray a thin shiny coat of lacquer paint in a contrasting color, let it dry and then wet sand it with a fine grit sandpaper to help find the high and low spots on a body panel. If you want to go the professional way, you'd buy a can of "guide coat" paint, which basically does the same thing. It just sands easier and quicker.

Any shiny paint left on the primer background means that, this part of the surface is still low and needs to be further built up with the high build epoxy primer surfacer.

Note: Ultimately, when I went over this panel, I decided there were just too many spot fills for me to be confident that it wouldn't show in the final paint stage, so like the other quarter panel, even though there were no major dents or nicks, there were enough small irregularities and "grocery cart bumps" to fill that it was time to go back to square one and apply a full even coat of light filler and take my long board sander* to the whole surface

Body Panels Requiring More Work

In the course of finding my next project Ford Mustang to restore, (a 1970 Fastback)I again, realized just how fortunate I was, with the condition of my 1965 Ford Mustang coupe.

Save for the usual floor rust, which I've replaced in Part 5 Floor Pan Restoration section (see the link at the bottom of the page) and is common to all classic Mustangs, this little pony was all there.

Yes, it'd had some minor fender benders over the years (one of the things easy to see when you remove all the paint and body parts) but it was all there.

The biggest issues to address on this Mustang restoration and the entire body, are only minor irregularities in the surface of the drivers side rear quarter panel and the rear tail light panel.

1965 mustang quarter panel repair

Next Step

Well, I'm close but not quite there, so seeing as there are no major low spots, I'll follow up with another build up of primer surfacer and do another sanding.

Once I'm satisfied with the flatness, I'll spray on a final primer coat and move on to the opposite rear quarter and do the same.

The situation there, is relatively the same. There are no rust-outs or major dents, but time and shopping carts have taken their toll and there are a number of small, but noticeable dents that would otherwise ruin a perfectly good paint job.

So the same steps taken on the other quarter panel will be done here, from overall skim coat and long boarding, to spot filling, spraying primer surfacer and sanding it for paint prep.

When it looks and feels right to the touch, we'll leave Mustang restoration part 3 and move on to inner and outer fender restoration - Part 4 where we'll tackle the inner fender and wheel well areas.

long board sander

* a long board sander is usually either a hand sander made to take long, wide sandpaper and has two handles, allowing you to make long straight strokes, or an air powered sander which allows you to do the same thing.

Click on the blue link for more information on the Long Board Reciprocating Sander pictured above.

Restoration Sections

Part 1 - Mustang Restoration

Part 2 -Resurfacing Minor Irregularities

Part 3 - Rear quarter panel repairs

Part 4 - Inner Fender Refinishing and Repair

Part 5 - Mustang floor pan replacement

Part 6 - Floor Pan Replacement Continued

Part 7 - Headliner Replacement

Part 7A - Mustang Headliner replacement part 2

Part 8 - Mustang Dash Restoration

Part 9 - Trunk rust repair

Part 10 - Priming and Painting your Mustang Part-1

Part 11 - Gas Tank Restoration

Part 12 - Color Sanding

Part 13 - Mustang gas tank Installation

Part 14 - Mustang gas tank Restoration

Part 15 - Valve Cover Restoration

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