Author Topic: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath  (Read 429 times)

Offline A12pilot

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68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:52:59 PM »
Hey Gang,

Been starting into the Mustang now that the Bee is just about done, and been searching the site as well as online for info.  As a reference, my car is a 68 GT Fastback, Dearborn plant, scheduled to be built 12-11-67, actually built 12-19-67, released on the 22nd, and sold 1-6-68.  I've been scouring the undercarriage for clues and found that under all the undercoating, there is a very dark gray/blue/green color, almost black, all over the undercarriage from tow boards to transition panel over the axle, to around the gastank and rear frame rails.  I know you all know this, but I figured I'd post it anyway! 8) ;D

Cheers! 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 06:37:48 PM by J_Speegle »
Dave
-1969-1/2 A12 Super Bee
-1970 Challenger T/A
-1968 Mustang S-Code GT Fastback
 (8F02S)

Offline A12pilot

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Re: Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 12:55:56 PM »
That red oxide you see if what I sprayed after I took the old floor out in preps to put in the new one.  Now I know that's incorrect for my car.   ;)  Luckily, I haver a gallon of a dark gray mixed DP I used on my Super Bee that I can tint to match this color and use the leftover paint from one car to do another.  After all...isn't that what Ford did?!?! :o :o :o

Cheers
Dave
Dave
-1969-1/2 A12 Super Bee
-1970 Challenger T/A
-1968 Mustang S-Code GT Fastback
 (8F02S)

Offline nham3407

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 10:44:01 AM »
Others will confirm, but I think they were still spraying red oxide on the pans in 67/68 at Dearborn.  I believe the transition was in 70 model years production.
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Offline Laurie S.

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 02:09:26 PM »
Not on my June-built 1968 coupe.  They used the leftover paint, mixed it into a batch and sprayed that.  The batch on my car is a dark gray metallic and is a perfect match for the paint for style steel wheels.  Makes touchups easy.  :)


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Offline J_Speegle

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 02:48:50 PM »
Others will confirm, but I think they were still spraying red oxide on the pans in 67/68 at Dearborn.  I believe the transition was in 70 model years production.

Batch or a combination of left over colors added to a base was used for a majority of all the Mustangs built at Dearborn from 64-73. From the firewall rearward

There were short periods where red oxide was used, possibly when they were not able to mix the colors for some mechanical reason, in limited, identifiable periods and years from all the data I've seen. Would report that this was more of an issue in 69 Dearborn production but then only in specific time periods
Jeff Speegle

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Offline brennancarey

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 09:13:24 AM »
Batch or a combination of left over colors added to a base was used for a majority of all the Mustangs built at Dearborn from 64-73. From the firewall rearward

There were short periods where red oxide was used, possibly when they were not able to mix the colors for some mechanical reason, in limited, identifiable periods and years from all the data I've seen. Would report that this was more of an issue in 69 Dearborn production but then only in specific time periods

What would be the reason for the firewall forward frame rails been painted red oxide? I am guessing they came already painted like that from the factory who made up the front frame rails?
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Offline drummingrocks

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 10:31:41 AM »
What would be the reason for the firewall forward frame rails been painted red oxide? I am guessing they came already painted like that from the factory who made up the front frame rails?

I don't believe the frame rails would have been painted by the manufacturer.  If they received any coating at all, it would have been galvanized.  If the rails or other parts were pre-painted, it would have been almost impossible to spot weld the unibody together.
--1965 fastback, 289/4-spd, built Feb. '65 at Dearborn
--1965 convertible, 289/4-spd, built Mar. '65 at Dearborn
--1966 GT fastback, 289/4-spd, built Dec. '65 at Dearborn
--1966 coupe, 200/3-spd, built Dec. '65 at NJ (in the family since 1968)
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Offline caspian65

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 10:43:46 AM »
What would be the reason for the firewall forward frame rails been painted red oxide? I am guessing they came already painted like that from the factory who made up the front frame rails?

The underside of the car from a line straight down from the firewall edge to the back of the car would have been painted using automated spray jets as the car passed over.  The bottom of the front frame rails with a line from the firewall forward would have been done by hand as it would prevent paint from blowing through the engine bay.

This is a detail a lot of restorers have gotten wrong over the years.  If one pays attention and cleans original areas carefully, the paint difference can be seen.  Sometimes it isn't as obvious as maybe it's just a different shade of red-oxide.  In others, it is quite obvious as mentioned where the front frame rails are red-oxide and the rear of the car a totally different color, like slop gray or other variants.

Of course, this can vary from plant to plant and also during production years.  The process is generally the same throughout all the plants though.
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Offline J_Speegle

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 01:57:20 PM »
I don't believe the frame rails would have been painted by the manufacturer.  If they received any coating at all, it would have been galvanized.  If the rails or other parts were pre-painted, it would have been almost impossible to spot weld the unibody together.

The underside of the car from a line straight down from the firewall edge to the back of the car would have been painted using automated spray jets as the car passed over.  The bottom of the front frame rails with a line from the firewall forward would have been done by hand as it would prevent paint from blowing through the engine bay..........Of course, this can vary from plant to plant and also during production years.  The process is generally the same throughout all the plants though.


+1 on both accounts and plenty of examples to support the processes.

Front frame rails were not always red oxide, all years and plants,  but we are discussing 68 Dearborn so its much easier to be specific
Jeff Speegle

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Offline A12pilot

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 07:50:09 AM »
I don't see any evidence on my car of red oxide primer, and it's definitely a dark, dark blue/gray almost black color from the firewall back.  100% positive and that's how I'll repaint that detail.

Now, concerning the front frame rails I do have a few questions.  Let me see if I am understanding this correctly.....if you were to take a profile shot of the car and extend the line from the vertical portion of the firewall straight down onto the front frame rails, that is where the red oxide up front would start.  But wouldn't this be all covered in black when the engine bay was painted?  Or are the undersides of the front frame rails, front strut rod mounting rails, not painted black and they'll show the red oxide underneath?  This is how it's done on my Bee, but the underside was a dip gray primer.  The car was painted with two painters walking the car and when they sprayed the engine bay it was from the top down.   So where they couldn't reach it remained gray:  under side of the frame rails, battery tray, firewall lip, etc.  Would this be the same detail on my 68 Mustang?  From the top view down inside the bay, black.  But looking upwards from the bottom, the underside of the rails, strut rod mounts, front core support, etc would all be red oxide....specifically on my 68? 

I'm well versed in the Dodge realm of things, but not the Mustangs yet, so I'm scouring for info.  Understanding the paint process aids the understanding of what was painted what color and why.  It's interesting for sure!

Cheers

Dave
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 07:59:09 AM by A12pilot »
Dave
-1969-1/2 A12 Super Bee
-1970 Challenger T/A
-1968 Mustang S-Code GT Fastback
 (8F02S)

Offline caspian65

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2017, 11:22:51 AM »
Here's a '65 example (2/65 San Jose) where there is black, on the main undercarriage and red-oxide on the bottom of front frame rails.
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Offline caspian65

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2017, 11:24:21 AM »
A '66 mid-year San Jose car.  Can see that the primer under the front frame rails and even into the engine bay is a salmon color.  The main undercarriage is a typical red-oxide shade.
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Offline J_Speegle

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Re: 68 Dearborn - Dark Gray/Black underneath
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2017, 03:41:55 PM »
I don't see any evidence on my car of red oxide primer, and it's definitely a dark, dark blue/gray almost black color from the firewall back.  100% positive and that's how I'll repaint that detail.

Good as expected


Now, concerning the front frame rails I do have a few questions.  Let me see if I am understanding this correctly.....if you were to take a profile shot of the car and extend the line from the vertical portion of the firewall straight down onto the front frame rails, that is where the red oxide up front would start.

Close enough. Normally its slightly behind that surface closer to the bottom of the center of the firewall where the angled section transitions to the floor. Sometimes the red oxide can be found as far back as the leading edge of the floor brace above the transmission. of course the edge is very soft and can fade to floor color over a 1-2" section


But wouldn't this be all covered in black when the engine bay was painted?

Worker sometimes wasn't tall enough, young enough to want to bend over in the engine compartment or didn't put out allot of effort that car.  Its a reasonable range not a fine edge your looking to fall into unless you have documented proof of something else on your specific car.


 
Or are the undersides of the front frame rails, front strut rod mounting rails, not painted black and they'll show the red oxide underneath?


Little to no effort was made to bend over and paint the bottoms of the rails and pockets since they were already painted and were out of view from an owner from the sides or front. The vertical surfaces of the strut rod brackets, and other brackets that hung down would have gotten some paint, heavy to light from painting the engine compartment or front cross member at Dearborn.  Since the other plants finished their front wheel wells differently they often received even more.  Ford was fairly particular with blacking out areas of the body they didn't want seen. Along with the pinch weld black out some years had small mounting tabs, sides of head light buckets and other things blacked out on purpose

 
This is how it's done on my Bee, but the underside was a dip gray primer.  The car was painted with two painters walking the car and when they sprayed the engine bay it was from the top down.   So where they couldn't reach it remained gray:  under side of the frame rails, battery tray, firewall lip, etc.  Would this be the same detail on my 68 Mustang?  From the top view down inside the bay, black.  But looking upwards from the bottom, the underside of the rails, strut rod mounts, front core support, etc would all be red oxide....specifically on my 68? 

Just depended on the effort the guy(s) put out on that car. You can find originals with shadows under the firewall to cowl pinch weld while others the painter was standing further away and the shadow wasn't produced. Bare spots on the radiator support under the hood bumper bracket are sometimes found but if too noticeable an inspector could and did sometimes have it fixed
Jeff Speegle

Anything worth doing is worth doing concours ;)