Dynacorn Front Floor Cross Brace and Seat Platform for 1983-1993 Mustangs.The front floor cross brace goes across the front floor pan from rocker to rocker and over the transmission tunnel. Also called a seat platform, the front of the bucket seats bolt to this part. These braces are often damaged where the front seats attach.
Included are the four studs that the front of the bucket seats attach with.
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One of our longtime sales guys recently picked up this '91 coupe behind me. This car is rough but it has a lot going for it. Originally it's a 5 liter 5 speed notch, makes it desirable in its own right. But best of all it's an SSP car. SSP stands for special service package meaning that at one point in time this car was most likely used for police service.
The owner of the car does plan on doing a lot of the work himself but one area that needs help is the cross member. The cross member is a weldable part and a lot of people have asked how to install this so today I'm going to show you how using this '91 Notchback.
More and more restoration sheet metal parts are becoming available for the Fox body Mustangs. You can get complete floor pans and also this front floor cross member also known as a seat platform. This is a commonly damaged part. This will figure 1983 through 1993 Fox body mustangs. What typically happens is the seat actually rips these studs out of the floor making it impossible to bolt your seat down properly. If it gets too bad you have to replace it and today I'm going to show you how.
This is typical of the cross member failure, this car is not even safe to drive. The seat literally pulls out of the floor when you push down on it. The first step in the installation is going to be remove the seats, carpet consoles, so we can get to the actual cross member itself.
I'm going to start with the seats. Now we'll slide the seat back and release the front nuts. Our front seat does actually still have the original covers which are hard to find. Do it there, just grab a little screwdriver, push on the clip, pop them off. Now let's tilt the seat forward, lift it up. We want to make sure there's no wires underneath. If you have a lumbar car there could be wires there. In the case of ours we know there's nothing there, we'll remove the seat.
Once we have the seat out we're going to remove both the seatbelt sides, our door sill plates, our kick panels, and our rear trim panels.
Next remove the door sill plate which is going to be held in by four screws. In the case of ours it has one left. These are all excellent parts to consider replacing while you have it out.
Now we're going to remove the kick panel which normally would have a pushpin here that somebody already removed for us. Once that's out, simply pull out and pull down on it to release and remove. May want to repeat the process on the driver's side, then we'll move on to removing the backseat.
Now we're removing the backseat. Stick your hand between the two cushions, get a grip on the bottom, simply pull up and out.
To make it easier to remove the carpet, remove the bottom screw from the trim panel. That will separate the two. The other side is riveted so there's no reason to mess with that. That gives you more room though to get underneath the carpet and pull it out.
Now we're going to remove the console storage bin. We can pop off these little caps here and remove the nut inside. Do the same thing on the other side and release the storage bin.
I'm going to remove the rear screws for the console top plate. Remove the shift boot, just lift on the inside, pop the clips free. And remove the additional two screws in the front here to remove the top plate.
To remove the rest of the console there's two screws down here, which in our case are already missing. You want to pop the glove box open, squeeze it together, there's two more up here.
This side's the same way, there are two screws in the side and two screws in the top. The side you can reach easily, the top you got to remove this kick panel or knee panel to get to the screws. Now we can pull it away from the dash a little bit, reach back and disconnect the stereo.
We're going to remove the radio to make it easier. They do make these tools you can pick up at pretty much any stereo store, makes it easier to remove a factor radio. Most of you probably don't have a factor radio anymore in which case its just four screws and the radio is going to come out.
We're going to remove our shifter handle. At this point lift the console out, lift it out. In our case we have an aftermarket shifter, it's got a very tall stud, we're actually not sure what kind of shifter this is. It's going to make it a little bit tighter. With a stock shifter, or most aftermarkets, it will come out pretty easily.
The last thing we need to remove before we can install our new carpet is a bracket back here for the console.
Now you can remove the carpet. Best thing to do is fold it towards the center of the car.
With the carpet out it's easy to see the issue with ours. Our stud is supposed to be right in this neighborhood here, this whole area is completely torn out. There are ways to patch it but replacing it is your best bet.
Before we can remove this panel we'll start getting the wires out of the way, remove both these screws for the bracket and the ground.
To remove the factory cross member you got to drill out all the factory spot welds. To do that though we have to find them first. All the sound deadening that's over them has to be removed so you can see the panel all the way across.
Drilling at the spot welds is a long and tedious process. We're not going to show you every one of them, we're going to show you the concept so you know how to do it. What you want to do first is find the spot weld. Most of them are pretty easy to see. If not you may have to take a little bit of paint off to be able to find them.
Once you do that you're going to use a punch, take your punch, punch the center of the spot weld, then we're going to drill a small eighth-inch pilot hole, then we're going to use a spot weld cutter to remove it.
Here's a close-up of the spot weld bit that we actually carry here at CJ Pony Parts. It's made by Eastwood, it actually is double-sided so you can use it and then flip it over and you have another drill bit on the other side. The drill bit ends here are replaceable and includes a pilot that actually goes in. Once you drill a pilot hole this will center the bit making it easier to drill out your spot welds.
There's three located right here. There's one, two, and this removed the paint to make it easier to see is your third one down here. We're going to start with this one so you can see the process. Again, work your way around the entire outside lip removing all the spot welds and this panel will come right off.
With a spot weld cutter I'm going to suggest using a corded drill. You can do it with a cordless if it has a good battery but you're going to burn through batteries pretty fast. A cordless will make it more consistent, make the job faster.
You'll know when you get it free because it will actually … The metal will pop up a little bit. You can see now we have some play there. Move on to the next spot weld.
Once you get all the spot welds drilled out it will still be held in place. What you want to do is grab a hammer, some sort of a chisel, flathead screwdriver, and just start hammering it loose. I'm going to grab a little bit of a bigger pry bar. And remove it.
Now that we have the original off we're ready to begin the installation of the new one. You might notice we actually did some floor repair while we had the interior out of this car.
To install the new cross member the first thing you want to do is anytime you drilled through the floor you want to weld those holes shut, then we'll go through grind them down, and grind down any remaining pieces from the original spot welds.
I'm going to use a ripper but your grinder you were just using will work fine as well. What we're going to do now is go over the section and then what we're going to be welding, we're going to remove the paint to get a nice clean metal surface.
Once the metal is all cleaned up down the bare metal, we're ready to spray some weld through primer. You don't want to use a normal primer because you won't be able to weld to it. Get some Eastwood weld through primer, we're going to spray over all the bare metal to protect it, then we can start fitting our new cross member.
Okay now we can put the cross member into place and get an idea where everything is going to go. See how well it lines up. Probably have to press down in the middle. Make sure it's going to sit flat. I'm just going to put two small marks on either side of the back line.
There's two ways you can do this at this point. You can measure from the back bolt hole to the front bolt hole, or better yet put the seat in the car, make sure it lines up before we put our final marks in, begin to prepare to weld.
I ended up putting both seats in just to make sure everything was where it needed to be. Especially since we did some floor repairs in the rear of this car as well. Now that we know everything is in the right place we'll pull the seats back out, we have the cross member marked, we can get ready to start welding it in.
We're going to be spot welding out new cross member in the same way the factory did with theirs. What you will want to do is grab your factor cross member … You can hold it in front if you want or put it on top. Either way get it lined up just roughly where it's going to be. Then we're going to mark our new cross member where the factory holes are. That way when we're actually drilling the holes, we're welding, it's the same place the factory welds were.
Once all the holes are marked now we can start drilling. You want to drill them out to three-eights of an inch. I'm going to use a uni-bit, which works fine, or you can use a standard three-eighth drill bit. The three-eighth drill bit you may want to drill pilot holes to make it easier depending on what kind of drill you're using.
Once you have the holes drilled you want to deburr and clean up the area around these holes, take the point off. Do the same on the top so we can weld.
Once the holes are drilled and the paint is removed, on the bottom we're just going to touch the surface of our floor, all the empty areas here, again grab your weld through primer and I'm going to spray it before we put it on.
Now we're ready to start actually welding it into place. What you want to do is you can get some help because you want to hold down the center, start in the center and work your way outward. What you want to do is put the tip in the welder in the center of the opening, start to do little circles to fill it in to complete the weld.
If you have a couple lips that are sticking up too high you want to grab a hammer, just push them down make it easier to get the welds to penetrate.
Once we're finished welding all the spot welds into place, we're going to go in with some primer to make sure there's no rust in the future.
The last step of for the installation of the cross member is to install the studs for our seat track. They won't thread all the way in, so basically just get them started, make sure they're straight. Get a few turns out of it. Grab a vice grip and tighten it down. Get them nice and tight, repeat the process for the other three studs, and your installation is finished.
That's the basics on how to replace the front cross member on your Fox body Mustang. Since the cross member is structural to the seat of the car, if you do damage yours you do want to replace it because it is a safety issue when driving.
This is not a first-timer installation, but if you're looking to learn to work on your car and get into welding it's a good place to start since the welds really aren't visible once the installation is finished.
If you haven't done it before give yourself the better part of a weekend since you do have to remove the entire interior, repair the panel and reinstall it. It's going to take some time. Take your time, replace your worn parts while you have it apart, and you'll be back on the road in no time.