1959 Thunderbird convertible rust repair

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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:58 pm

1959 Thunderbird convertible rust repair

Post by Fhogeweg » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:11 pm

Hello everyone,

I just purchased a '59 Thunderbird convertible. The car has the 430 engine, power seat, steering, brakes.

The car was sold in a very hard to reach place, but for a very good price. So maybe bought the car a bit to quick, but still happy with it. The seller told that the car was restored somewhere in the USA about 10 to 15 years ago. After that it was probably parked above wet grass, or maybe some water. Reason to believe this was that there was only rust in the trunk area.
After a closer look on the lift at my house, I discovered the they put on new rockers over the old ones with tons of rust underneath. Also on the floor pan there where metal plates welded over the rust. Quarter panel same story. Everything was the made flat with putty and repainted.

Now my most important question, how should we replace the inner and outer rockers? Of course I understand that we should cut out, and weld new ones in, but since this is my first unibody car is am a bit afraid of the stiffness of the car, and how to manage all this. We own 4 other '59 Ford cars, but they are all on chassis. I was even wondered about the fact my Thunderbird did not have a chassis!

All help and tips of welding on Tbirds are welcome! I am 100% devoted to get this beauty back to its former glory, and add it to my collection, and keep it with me the rest of my live.

Thanks Ferdy

Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:50 am

Re: 1959 Thunderbird convertible rust repair

Post by partsetal » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:34 pm

Your goal would be to replace the 'boxed' section of the inner rockers with new metal. I've had success in fabricating bent pieces of 14 ga that can be inserted and welded together to form a box channel. I've seen where others insert steel rectangular tubing and weld this in position. With either of these methods, connections must be made to good existing structural components, and the body must be jigged up to retain correct dimensions while removing and replacing the inner rockers. Good luck!

Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:29 am

Re: 1959 Thunderbird convertible rust repair

Post by jdrax » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:02 pm

If you contact me I can supply a lot of pictures and helpful hints on doing this repair. I have done several convertibles already and all years using my method of adding in a square tube from front to back inside the rocker panel area

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