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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Regarding moving the car's rear suspension mounts all back 4”, I started with the center “box” mount for the four control arms (2 per side). I layed out a cut line (picture) through the current “box” which will place a new mount, which I fabricated out of 3/16” steel plates, 4” rearward and and inch lower than standard. After clamping the new mount in place (picture), I welded it in place (picture).



Next I fabricated new trailing arm mounts out of 3/8” plate which I cut slots out of for mounting the trailing arm grommets, then put a 70° bend in them (picture) so that their mounting surfaces would be essentially perpendiculat to the trailing links when in the operating position. After locating their proper position 4” rearward and an inch downward from the original locations, I welded them in place to the frame rails (pictures).

It's time to move on to the new strut tower mounts, I intend to use the "old" ones that I had just made to raise the rear end of the car, and simply reposition them.



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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I have started working on the new rear strut tower mounts. Like the original rear suspension mounts they must be designed to take the weight of the rear of the car. I am not an engineer but I typically feel safe building something stronger than the original.


Because I intend to move these strut tower mounts rearward 4” and downward approximately 1.5”, I intend to re-use the new mounts which I have already fabricated the last time I moved the rear end of the car up and re-position them on some flat plates which I will weld to the edges of the original reinforcing ‘cups’ up in the shock tower wells. This will not only place them approximately 1.5” lower but will provide a ‘planar surface’ which is parallel with the original.


I took pictures of them in the car before I cut them out and on the floor after I had cut them out (they’re buggered up in the pictures on the floor because I had to cut them out of the car with a cutting torch - WOW, that was no fun! - using a cutting torch from below with the car so low that I had to do it on my knees).


With the back of the wheel wells already cut out, welding in these new mounting plates is easier than it sounds. First, I layed out lines and cut the back of the fender wells at the plane at the bottom of the standard strut tower reinforcing cups (a distance of about 1.5”).


Then I ‘mocked up the mounting plates” by making cardboard templates (picture), which I transferred to 1/8” steel plates, which I cut out and welded in position (pictures).


To further reinforce the rear strut tower mounts and finish out the wheel wells (which will have to be significanty longer now to accomadate the new placement of the rear wheels 4” rearward) I have ordered a 13” wide x 36” long 14 gauge trailer fender (which should arrive shortly). I plan to cut it in half, and use the two halves to enlarge and reinforce the rear wheel wells in order to accomodate moving the rear wheels rearward 4”.



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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I recieved the new trailer fender, and have cut it in half (pictures).


I located and welded the forward upper ends of these two new half fenders to the backs of the 1/8” plates which I just welded in for the strut tower mounts (pictures). I welded their rear inside edges at the flange to the outer edges of the car’s new frame rails (picture).

Next, I layed out cardboard templates (picture) to cut out 16 gauge inside wheel well walls, a panel to cover the gas filler tube cutout in the back of the passenger side wheel well, and a fender to body reinforcing strong back for each wheel well (much like the stock framing). I transferred these cardboard cutouts to a sheet of 16 gauge steel (picture), and cut them out.

Next, I welded the wheel well inner sidewall panels in place (pictures).



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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Continued from previous…..


With only being able to add 10 pictures at a time I had to add this second post which shows fitting up the sheet metal to make clearance for the gas filler neck (which I am keeping in its original position). The other pictures are of the wheel well strong backs which I added to each side to join to the car body later.


With the wheel wells now structurally sound for mounting the strut tower mounts (thus completing the rear suspension mounts), I will weld in the strut tower mounts next.


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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Well, I welded the strut towers in place yesterday, and its time to take a break for Independence Day”.


Regarding welding in the strut tower mounts: I reinstalled the car’s rear suspension components to their new mounts in order to keep the rear suspension’s ‘geometry’ in the correct position (pictures). This involved reinstalling the “control arms” to their new mounts, and the “trailing links” to their new mounts, and attaching them to the rear knuckles (still attached to the strut towers), and temporarily mounting the strut tower mounts to the tops of their respective strut towers. In doing this I can position the two strut tower’s mounts symmetrically to the insides of thier respective wheel wells, and mark where to trim their bases for a good fit up in the wells.



After I had trimmed the mounts, and located where to position them in the wheel wells, I welded them in position (pictures) thus completing the rear suspension mounts for the car.


Finally, I painted all of these parts.




Time to take a break for Independence Day, more to follow…..


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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I need a little bit of "mechanical advise" can someone help me with "emergency brake cables".

Because I moved the rear wheels back 4" I am going to need a longer emergency brake cable on the driver's side rear. Are emergency brake cables (with their housings) standard sizes? I measured my emergency brake cable (on the driver's side) to be roughly 23" housing to flange. I need 10" longer (33" housing to flange). Does anyone out there have any suggestions? Do all Fords have standard fittings at both ends with differing lengths? Is there a vehicle that might come with a 33" length emergency brake cable that I could pick up in a junk yard?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Now that I took a break for “Independence Day” it is time to get back to work.


Moving on to the back end of the car, I need to start by building out the trunk floor so that I have a foundation to add the outer body panels to in order to finish the body work.


I did some measuring and planning (using my modified picture of the concept that I am after) to establish the placement of the rear bumper (height wise and pitch wise). After determining its height (at the bumper), I welded the rear bumper mounts to the ends of the two frame rails, and installed the rear bumper (pictures).


At this point, with the rear suspension in place and with easy access to the frame rails, I turned my attention to attaching the rear sway bar mounts. I reinstalled the rear wheels, lowered the car to the floor, placing its weight on the rear suspension in order to get a good idea of where to place the rear sway bar mounts. After this I welded the sway bars mounts in their new positions to the frame rails (pictures). (Note that I had previously made these mounts out of 2” by 1” by 3/16” channel when I had previously raised the rear end of my car).


Once the sway bar mounts were welded in, I turned my attention back to the rear of the car. My plan was to re-use the old spare tire well which I had cut out of the Taurus. So I cut the base of its frame rails out so that it drops in right onto the new frame rails which I have already welded to the car. I will position it toward the rear (so that access to the spare is easy) so I will have to fill the resulting gap in the trunk floor in front of the new location of the spare tire well. I will do this by simply welding in a sheet of 18 gauge steel. First I trimmed the spare tire well that I cut out at its front edge to fit up against the backs of the wheel wells. Then I welded in a short length of 2” x 1.5” x .09w tubing between the two frame rails which will sit just below the front edge of the spare tire well section in a position where it will reinforce the front edge of the spare tire well (pictures) while providing a rear support for the section of 18 gauge sheet which will fill the gap between the spare tire well and the section where I originally cut the back of the car off.





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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Working on the trunk floor, I cut out and welded in the sheet of 18 guage steel (picture) for a trunk floor section between the spare tire well and the original cut made when I cut the back end off of the car (a gap of just over 11” - pictures). After this I welded in the spare tire well (pictures).


After welding all of this in place, I paint all of the bare steel. It is now time to start planning the general lines for the back end of the car.



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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
It is now time to weld the Riviera’s rear end onto my frame rails.


I started by placing the bumper cover over the bumper (already mounted to the frame rails) to determine what pitch would flow best at the lower end (the line that defines the lower profile of the car’s body from the back of the rear wheel wells to the base of the rear bumper). After determining the pitch which best fit my plan. I determined what height I had to make the perimeter of my trunk floor in order to attach the Riviera’s lower side and rear body panels at the trunk.


After “fitting up” the Riviera’s rear to my modified rear car body (by simply placing it on top of it), I discovered (with not much surprise) that it is too tall (especially at the rear bumper) to meet the lines for the profile that I am after. This didn’t come as a surprise, because I knew that in extending the car’s length at the back end ‘sections through the car’ (including their heights and widths) will become larger on any tappered car (and most are) as they move rearward from their originally designed position. This simply means that I will have to cut the rear end into upper and lower halves, and ‘fit’ them to each other to follow my envisioned body lines.


Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that if I am going to get the body lines that I want at the rear end of this car that I am going to have to sacrifice the Buick Riviera’s light bar. That was not only some money wasted for an unnecessary light bar, but I still have the problem of finding somewhere to place rear lights.


The logical place to split the Riviera’s rear end into upper and lower sections would be right where its plastic rear clip/bumper cover mounts to the sheet metal, as this is not only the widest place, but also the division point between steel above and plastic below. So I layed out and cut the Buick’s rear end into upper and lower sections through the sheet metal 1/2” above the ‘shelf’ where the plastic bumper clip mounts to, and through the center of the light bar in the rear (pictures). This would be a safe place to make my cut, as I would have excess material both above and below this line to make final trim adjustments later.


After cutting the rear clip of the Buick Riviera into upper and lower portions, I used my ‘mocked up picture’ of the profile that I am after to determine the height for the forward ends of the bumper clip (back of the wheel wells) that I thought flowed nicely.


The lower side panels contain the “shelf” which mounts the pastic bumper cover (lower part of the body of the rear end of the car), so I started by trimming these panels to meet three floor panels which I would extend out from my frame rails. To determine where to trim these panels, I mounted these ‘bumper cover mounting panels’ to the bumper cover and clamped the bumper cover up against the bumper at the rear while bracing its two sides at the front edges to a height that I thought flowed nicely to my ‘mocked up picture’ in profile. Once I determined both the height of the perimiter of the trunk floor where it met these three panels, and their profile at the perimeter of the rear of the car (where they would hold the bumper cover in the proper position to meet my plan), I layed out and cut these three sheet metal panels (one for each side and one for the rear) out of 18 guage sheet metal. Once cut out I weled them to the frame rails and rear of the wheel wells to establish the remainder of the floor of my new trunk (pictures).

Finally, I welded the bumper cover mounting panels to the rear floor panels at the right and left sides of the car (pictures).


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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
At this point I added a few panels at the outsides of the rear wheel wells to finish out the wheel wells (pictures).


After mounting the bumper cover to the bumper cover mounting panels (now part of the rear of the car), I layed the upper part of the Riviera’s body on top of the lower part to get an idea of what the car’s profile would look like for the first time.


I rolled it back out of the garage far enough that I could get some pictures of its profile (pictures).


I took pictures and will study these pictures tonight and compare them with my target picture to get an idea of where to go from here.



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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I have determined that he body line at the top of the trunk lid is currently too high and obvoiusly has the wrong pitch to match my target profile for the car (pictures), so it will have to be “fitted” to the car profile which I envision.


In addition, the front of the rear bumper clip will obviously have to be lengthened in order to fill the large distance from the back of the rear tire to the front of the Riviera’s bumper cover. You obviously can’t add 15” (19” in length minus 4” in extended wheelbase) to the rear of a car and expect no gap behind the rear wheels. It looks like I am going to have to face learning how to weld plastic in order to lengthen the new bumper cover at some point (I will worry about that later, I will just add it to the growing list of problems - like finding somewhere to place rear lights, and finding a longer emergency brake cable for the driver’s side rear wheel).



I have to think about this. More to follow…..
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Looks like you can trim the bottom of the Buick trunk panel and it will drop the top profile just perfectly. Also just use steel to fill that gap you are talking about and just attach the plastic to the new profile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Thank you for the suggestions, Automender12345!



We are thinking alike regarding fitting the "trunk panel". The place where I cut the "trunk panel" on its sides originally has left "extra" material, leaving material to cut away on the sides (always a better situation than having not enough material so that new material must be added - with a consequent new welding joint).

The problem that I see with adding a "steel" panel (behind the wheel well) to fill the gap is that (while I will admit it may be easier) it would require a "vertical" joint between plastic and steel which would not look good in that position on the finished car. I feel that the current "horizontal" joint should extend all the way to the back of the wheel well.

You, however, have got me thinking about adding some steel to the front half of the two rear wheel wells (the portion that is currently steel) to help fill those gaps.


Thank you, for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
After giving it some thought and comparing it to my ‘target’ drawing, just as Automender 12345 has suggested, I have trimmed down the sides of the upper section of the Riviera’s rear end clip - the “trunk panel” (pictures). After this I cut out a sheet of 18 gauge sheet metal and welded it to the rear trunk floor panel which I had previously welded in, in a position where it will join to and support the rear of the trunk panel frame to the body of the car (picture).


After resting the trunk panel frame/ upper section of the rear of the car onto the rear upright panel I determined what height its forward edge should be placed at (so that the profile of the trunk lid meets the theoretical base of the window in profile). Once this was done I welded the rear of the “trunk lid frame/upper section of the rear of the car” to the upright panel at the rear of the trunk (picture) and its front corners to the “trimmed-to height” strongback panels at the rear of the wheel wells.


At this point the car’s basic flow lines in profile have been determined, so I rolled it out for another set of pictures to study (pictures).



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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I am going to go with it, I think it looks pretty close to my vision for lengthening my Taurus, at least in profile (a side view).


While I believe that I have the heights in profile (side view) between the Taurus' Body and the Riviera's body pretty well matched, I can see that there are still issues with getting the curvature of the Buick’s rear end to flow into the ‘wavy’ section of the Taurus’ body at the top of the wheel wells.


My plan is to further trim the horizontal line at the bottom of the two sides of the Riviera’s trunk panel to further bend its sheet metal sides inward for as close a fit as I can get to match the Taurus’ body panels just above its rear wheel wells. (Note that the Riviera’s sheet metal does move fairly easily in and out and I feel that I can match it fairly well to the Taurus’s sheet metal just in front of it.)



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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Now that I have the basic shape of the rear end of my car, its time to start filling in the “openings”.


I have openings at: …the back of the wheel wells, …at the rear end between the bottom of the trunk lid and the top of the bumper cover (used to be where the Riviera’s light bar was), …and between the rear window and the new trunk lid frame, …and on the sides of the car between the old body panels and the new rear clip; all of which I will fill with 18 gauge panels. The process is the same that I have been using for the larger panels. I simply make cardboard ‘cutouts’, transfer their profiles to 18 gauge sheet metal, use a cutoff wheel to cut them out, then weld them in (all with the objective of minimizing the number of panels and their size).


The first major opening to fill is the space between the base of the rear window and the front of the new trunk frame. I started here because this is the largest gap that I must fill, and also because it will add a lot of rigidity to the rear of the car so that consequent other welds don’t change the shape of the rear of the car.


To fill this gap the first thing I did was to establish its front and rear ends. The front end will be the base of the window which will support the window when I finally set it in the car. I bent a strip of 2” by 1/8” steel flat bar to conform to the profile (curvature) of the base of the window. I then cut its lower profile to fit the car body at that point. After bending and shaping its lower profile, I welded it in (pictures).


Next, I welded in a vertically oriented strip of 1” by 1/8” steel flat which I bent to conform to the front of the trunk lid’s profile (curvature) in a position where it would frame the front of the trunk lid (picture).


After welding these two vertically oriented strips in place, I layed out and cut their top surfaces to match the curvature of the car (side to side) in these two particular sections through the car. I used the trunk lid (set in place) to lay out (transfer) the rear strip's profile (picture).


After establishing the front and back borders of this section of the car, I layed out and cut a horizontally oriented panel of 18 gauge sheet (picture) and welded it to these two upright sections (pictures).


To further strengthen and add rigidity to this new section of the car, I layed out and welded in right and left 18 gauge reinforcing webs (picture) which run transverse from the rear wheel wells to this new trunk shelf frame (picture).



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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Moving back to filling in openings around the trunk area, I cut out 18 gauge panels to fill the gaps at the back corners where the Riviera’s side clips meet the rear clip and welded them in (pictures).


At this point the trunk frame is rigid and well stabalized (its going nowhere). So I am turning to filling in the gaps at the sides of the car where “old” meets “new”.


As I mentioned before the Taurus’ body panels just above the rear wheel wells have an “S” shaped profile, while the Riviera’s body panels in this location have a simple curved profile. I have tested the Riviera’s body panels (free-“flapping” at the moment -anchored only at the trunk frame at the top) and they can be bent into an “S” shape to match the Taurus’s. (Note that the driver’s side is far easier than the passenger side because of the rigidity added by the gas filler opening on the passenger side.)


Before joining the Taurus’ body panels to the Riviera’s body panels just above the rear wheel wells, I must frame in the rear wheel wells, and place them in a position where they will best allow the panels from both the Taurus and the Riviera to flow together. To do this I will establish the shape of the rear wheel well openings by forming some 5/8” square tubing with a .063” wall. This small of tubing should be easy enough to bend over a wooden form so that I can make the two sides identical (not that differences could be detetected anyway because you can’t view both sides of a car at the same time). I will bend 4 tubes (two per side to add rigidity).


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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
After cutting out a plywood form to bend the square tubing for the wheel well frames, I bent the four tubes (pictures). Next I welded the front halves of these tubes to the fronts of the Taurus’ wheel wells (pictures). At this point I cut the Riviera’s trunk section body panels to fit to the next section of the wheel well framing tubes and welded them together to further finish out and strengthen the rear wheel well frames (pictures).

With the wheel well framing now strong enough to take some side bending, I formed the last sections of the wheel well framing (the lower rear sections which will act as ‘framing’ to attach the new extended sections of a ‘modified rear bumper cover) by bending the framing tube inward to match the curvature of the new rear plastic bumper cover. Once I had the first wheel well framing tube shaped and welded in, I bent the rear lower section of a second framing tube and welded it parallel with and just inside the 1st tube (picture) in order to increase the rigidity of the rear wheel well framing.


At this point, in order to close in the wheel wells and further reinforce their rigidity, I cut and welded in a few more panels between the wheel well framing tubes and the existing wheel well liners at their rear lower ends (pictures).



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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I have apparently moved to a new thread on this forum.


For anyone who might be interested in a project that I started about a month and a half ago, I have been invited to share the project on this thread. I am relatively new to the Ford Taurus forum (I joined on June 12th of this year) and have been posting my progress on extending the length of my 2004 Taurus on the thread “Lengthening a 2004 Ford Taurus” under the forum category “Aesthetics, Interior, Wheels and Tires”.


As a quick introduction on this new thread, I previously raised my 2004 Taurus approximately 3.5” at both the front and rear ends and placed larger diameter wheel/tire combinations on it (pictures). I did this for aesthetic reasons, but recieved the added benefit of making it far easier on my knees to get in and out of the seat which is now 5” higher off the ground than standard. I can describe this project if anyone is interested.


My current project is lengthening this car for aesthetic reasons. Being 65 years old, I fondly remember the cars out of the early sixties with their long rear ends. I am trying to make my Taurus look more like a 1960 Chevrolet Impala or Chrysler 300 (actually any number of cars out of the early sixties which all had long trunk sections).


Fortunately, the entire thread has been moved so I don’t have to duplicate information which I have already posted.


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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Starting in where I left off, it’s time to fill in the gaps at the sides of the car where the Taurus meets the Riviera. As I mentioned before the Taurus has a “S” section through here and the Riviera has a simple curve section through here (picture).

Once I had the rear wheel well framing rough framed in, I cut panels and welded them in that will fill these gaps on each side of the car (pictures). After welding these panels in, I finished the sides of the car (the steel part anyway) by fitting and welding in a narrow sheet of 18 gauge to form a border between the car body (steel) and the new elongated section of the rear bumper cover (plastic) (pictures).


Once I had this border established on each side of the car; I cut, shaped, and welded in panels to fill the remaining gaps in the sides of the car in the front of the trunk just behind the wheel wells (pictures).



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