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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Now I will admit upfront, that I would have normally never bought a car like this, due to age, value as is, etc..
But this car had all the things I needed to replace my wifes Pontiac Aztek, and the price at 1500 with the miles it has, I thought I would gamble on it.


So this is how the car sat when I bought it from Salvage Auction.






Now the key points to take in the pics is that the door frames on all corners are still fully closed, the doors still opened and closed, and that the rocker is mostly straight. What that means is that it didn't get into the roof, or the floor, and that the damage was localized to the door and B-Pillar.


It also came with a full tank of gas, new Michelin LTX-MS Tires, and only 52000 miles. When I got the car, I cleaned it out, and found some things identifying the previous owner. I found she was a 93 year old lady, who lived in Grand Junction, CO. I did try to contact her, she left a Credit Card, and a Parks Pass, but was unable to do so. It appears she may have been moved to a nursing home, as her home was on the market, and it had a forwarding address to a nursing home. I contacted the bank to where the CC was issued, and they told me that the card had already been cancelled, and to please shred it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So after watching YouTube Videos, I figured out how to remove the seats, and proceeded to remove the doors... And this is what I found underneath.





It looks worse than it really is.. Now I am onto the process of finding a body shop to Cut out, and Weld in the new piece that I have.


Its really hard to tell in the pics, but from the lower hinge up, there is no damage at all, it has been pushed in, but did not bend or kink any metal that you can visually see. Makes repair a lot easier. Even the door seals are complete, with no pinches.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So at this point (about 2-3 weeks ago now), after searching many salvage yards, I found a 2008 Ford Taurus Limited at a local LKQ Pick-A-Part. I went to the salvage yard, and to my amazement, the passenger doors were in mint condition, with the door handles still attached and in good condition. However someone had taken all the window and motor parts out. Not a big deal, because all of that survived on my doors.

The best part was the doors were in silver, which saves me more money on painting. The bad news was they did come off a Taurus, so they are missing the middle of the door bump strip.

So I took the doors home, and started swapping over window motors, power door locks, and attaching my power mirrors. Everything was going along perfectly..... That is until I went to plug in the door to the car to test functions, and the body harness plug was different from the one on the door. My Montego has options in the door that a Taurus door didnt have, namely the door mirror puddle lights. So now I have to take the door completely back apart to swap over the wiring harness.

***Pictures pending, system wont let me upload them for some reason***

Went back to the salvage yard the next day with my SawsAll, and cut out the B-Pillar. Took me a couple hours, having to stop every now and then and let the battery charge back up. I took way more of the B-Pillar than I needed, but its easier to cut down to the size I need than it is to add metal.

So for the doors, and the B-Pillar, the rocker panel cover, the seat frame rail, I spent 120 bucks. Score!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Update for 10-13-18

After taking care of our newborn, I was able to start working on it again. Turned the key on the Montego, and the battery was nearly dead. Put my charging pack on it, and let it charge up for 20 min

Got my good old SawsAll out, and cut the crossrail for the passenger front seat. That took a good hour, had to keep stopping to be sure I wasnt getting the metal to hot that it might start a fire on the carpet, or something else. I kept smelling something, but nothing ever sparked up, or anything. Got the rail cut, and the seat partially out, the seat belt was locked, so I had to dismantle the side of the seat plastics, to unbolt, and unplug the harness for the seat belt. Then rolled the seat forward on the tracks so I could remove the cut bar, and took the seat out.

Removed all the lower, and side, B-Pillar trim. Got the seat belt harness unplugged without breaking the plug, and the seat belt removed.

At this point its just a matter of standing back and assessing where you are at in the rebuild/repair process. It appears I have 85% of the parts needed for the reassembly, I need a new seat belt assembly as the one that came out the chassis was cracked and non-usable, the dealer parts for the rocker plastic reattachment. All the B-Pillar moldings and trim pieces survived, as did the trim and moldings for the doors. I already purchased the seat frame cross-rail.. I think I am sitting in pretty decent condition if I can find a body shop willing to only do the B-Pillar removal, straightening, and welding in the new piece. Then I need to start searching eBay or something like it to find the seat belt in the right color, with the wiring harness attached on both ends. Apparently this was a one year only deal for the belt that attaches to the seat side.

I think I may have gotten lucky on the seat belt, as I found one in the right color, with both harnesses, for 63 bucks shipped on eBay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-05-2005-Mercury-Montego-Right-Passenger-Side-Front-Seat-Belt-Retractor-Brown/192444527533?fits=Model%3AMontego%7CMake%3AMercury&epid=10014192347&hash=item2cce9673ad:g:YgQAAOSwXkNac1~k:rk:5:pf:0

I hate one year only parts, but I guess i should be thankful that I found it.

Pics to come this evening, forgot I put them on my home computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
^ Lotta work!
Yea, but thankfully I wasnt planning on a fast rebuild, as my wife and I still have our main daily drivers...

What pisses me off to no end is that after I bought the car, and she saw it, she decides that she doesnt like it, and will stay with her Aztek.. GRR! So I guess I get to replace my 318k mile Envoy Daily Driver with this car. Not exactly what I was hoping for, I drive a truck because my back has 5 blown discs, and getting in and out of something so low to the ground is a royal pain in the a$$!
 

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Surprised you find it too low -- of sedans, that had one of the highest step in heights. Ford was so proud of that, too, "Command Seating" they called it.

There's a part of me that wishes I could buy it off you, honestly. But before you PM me a number--I've got no place to put it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Surprised you find it too low -- of sedans, that had one of the highest step in heights. Ford was so proud of that, too, "Command Seating" they called it.

There's a part of me that wishes I could buy it off you, honestly. But before you PM me a number--I've got no place to put it!
Not only that, Im a LONG way from New York!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Seatbelt Part #



B-Pillar with all the trim removed





The Seatbelt CrossBar that I had to cut off.



New B-Pillar and old B-Pillar




New Doors

 

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Looks like a pretty neat project and hopefully you can find a body shop to do the cut and replace. Seems like an easy repair to fit up and weld for a DIY welder. The only thing I can see that you may have a issue with, is that car manufacturers sometimes prescribe were cuts can be made to fit in new replacement parts to meet original strength and collision protection. They define the crumple zones and what absorbs energy during crashes. It may not be an issue at all with the car or location of damage.


Are the pillars filled with foam?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Are the pillars filled with foam?
Nope, no foam. The B-Pillar would not be considered a crumple zone, those are forward of the windshield, and behind the rear glass. The doors, and A/B/C pillar are considered the safety cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So was able to work on it a bit more. Was in the process of replacing the seats rear frame cross bar. This is when I realized that the damage is a bit worse than predicted. The lower sheet metal floor is straight, however the upper sheet metal floor has been pushed in. So now I have to find a body shop to pull the upper sheet metal floor out, about an inch (-1-), and then I can work on the cut/weld and seat cross bar replacement.

That being said, I was able to get the B-Pillar pushed out enough to hang the new doors, and take the car on a small test drive. Other than I could tell the car has sat for awhile (flat spotted tires), it drove out really well. That CVT trans is a trip to get used to. Good power, and after about 15 miles, the flat spotted tires cleared out, and it drove really well, and quiet, considering I have the interior mostly taken out of the car at the moment.

The body shop I had been hoping to use turned me away. Not because the work was to much, but that they had 9 months of work sitting on their lot, or already committed to and coming in (massive hail storm recently). So I have to find something else.. Hope I can?!?!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@Automender12345 - You are correct about the manufacture prescribing where cuts can be made. Ford requires it be no less than 2 inchs from a door hinge, or striker. The plan is to cut it pretty much inbetween the lower door hinge, and the striker. Which is at 5 inchs. So in the middle, we will be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, Plans changed... Or should I say my back changed the plans for me.

I still have the Montego, but with the 5 blown discs in my back, I was only able to get so much work done before my back said no more...

So it sat sulking and forgotten until my neighbor decided to call City Code Enforcement. I got her started and move to my RV Storage spot on the side of my house.

From there I started calling body shops. And every single one of them said the car isnt worth it, junk it, and move on. GRR!!!

Last week I was headed out to the DMV for work. Got stuck in local traffic, and while waiting on the flagger to let me thru, i noticed sitting next to me was a hole in the wall body shop.

I looked at some of the cars they were working on in their parking lot, and at the cars in the bays. The body work looked good. So I found the owner. He said no problem, and even gave me a quote, without even seeing the car!

I dropped off the car on Saturday. I went and looked at it today, he is already half way done. Has pulled and straightened the frame. Cut and sectioned the B-Pillar. And said it will be done tomorrow!

If all pans out, I will have the car put back together by this weekend, or next (my back permitting), and just need to get it inspected by the state to get it back on the road.

On a side note... Those CVT transmissions are a trip to drive!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Its worthless without the pics right!?!?



Still has a full tank of gas.. And the Brand New Michelin Defender tires havent flat spotted yet.

As soon as I get it back, its a matter of going over all the welds from the body shop with some primer and silver paint, than putting the interior back together. I know I saved all the nuts and bolts.. But that was 6 months ago. If I dont have them all, I will have to make a trip to the yard and go on a pocket parts trip. I can think of only 5 nuts that I couldnt locate in my bolt bucket. But they may be in the center console. I put nuts and bolts in there that I thought the body shop may need.

Than its to the state inspector to clear the title.

Than to the insurance agent to get insurance put on it, and lowered on my normal daily driver.

Than to the emission station (no check engine lights, so it should pass)

Than to the license office.

Than to install some tint and a bluetooth adapter. Way to much sun coming thru all those windows. And I need bluetooth to listen to the news every morning.
https://www.usaspec.com/p-320-bt45-ford1.aspx

Than I get to drive it for a week to make sure there are no bugs (since it has been sitting since August last year).

Than it will become my wifes car for 2 weeks, as her rear AWD differential is going out.

Than its mine for the daily driving, and that includes adding a little thump in the trunk!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
This body guy is just singing along...



Says he will have it done by tonight at closing. Cant pick it up until the weekend, so thats ok.

Some of you might have noticed that I made a mistake.. But only if you are looking.

My car is a Frost Silver Metallic. The donor doors are from a Ford Taurus, and that color was not offered. Ford had a Birch Silver Metallic. The birch is slightly more grey, but if you look at the pic above, you can see a color difference, but only ever so slightly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Went by the shop to see it.. Was hoping for a finished product.... Well it wasnt LOL. Few alignment issues so.. Not in a hurry, just want it done.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As of this evening on my way home from work, doors are hung. They had to remove the front fender to get to the door bolts.



Said it would be done tonight or in the morning, depending on if the welding goes smoothly or not.
 
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