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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a 1964 tempest convertible with rust in the typical area right behind the front wheel and in the center / boxed section (the whole weld bead on the bottom is rusty and the metal is thin.

My question is if I can take a 1965 hardtop frame and box it. From the attached pictures (from the 1964 shop manual), it looks like all you need to do is fabricate a section and lap weld it in the center section between the front and rear tires and box the rear section behind the rear wheels to the trunk. Pretty easy, right?

However, what concerns me is that the same shop manual says that the convertible frame is made of "heavier metal thickness". Is this true? I own both a hardtop and convertible and the thickness looks the same. Really looks to me like they all they did at the factory to make a convertible was to weld the boxed section in in the center and rear sections.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Sorry but I do not know the exact thickness of the convertible frame material. But I am just in the process of completing a frame off restoration on a 65 convertible. Just visually comparing the frame to my 65 HT frame the convertible is definitely beefier. You have to remember that the convertible body gets a great amount of its stiffness from the frame. I am not sure if just boxing a HT frame will be enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
!964 Frame Repair

Thanks for the insight. It just seems like the gauge metal is identical in the convertible... And the diagram makes it look like they took the hardtop frame and welded additional metal onto it to make the convertible one (via a crappy lap weld. :) ) I am going to pull the body off of mine and take a deeper look. It's eother going to be weld and repair what I got are try to modify the hardtop one.

Anyone used a modified hardtop frame on a convertible?

Many thanks!
 

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Just a suggestion; when removing the body, you will most likely take the doors off to reduce the weight. Make sure you add stiffener bars across the openings as the body will fold up and end up looking like a pretzel.
 

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Can you take a pair of dial calipers or a micrometer to measure that frame thickness to compare the two? With proper reinforcement I would think a hardtop frame would suffice.

Also, a competent sheet metal shop should be able to bend up those "box" sections for you and you might want to consider making them 1 gauge heavier and/or longer. Just a suggestion :cheers.
 

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I boxed my frame when I separated it from the body. I welded up the frail rails in between the front and rear tires and welded gussets in front of the rear crossmember and from the rear shock towers to the rear crossmember. If you copy this i believe it should be enough to withstand the flexing.
 

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