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G'DAY Boys

I'm about to cut my the front section of my utes floor pans and put new ones in from a donor -not rares ones.

I've got basically a whole great condition floor i'm going to cut them from.

I've outlined where i'm going to cut with engineers chalk.

The [Naughty Pottyword]e part is a few rust holes on the chassis cross member(not gearbox cross member) just forward of the seat mounts, i'll have to try unpick the floor from the donor pans and just weld the new ones over the old ones.

Is there anything i should be aware of in relation to where i've planned to cut in both the pics? Any DO NOT CUT sections etc?

Thanks

Comments

Are there any fuel or brake lines under the floor, I set fire to one years ago using oxy to cut the floor out of a donor.
I assume you are going to overlap the new floor by 20mm to make it easy to weld, not butt fit.

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Yep, i'll overlap them it's no show car. I'll still make it neat though.

Good tip about the fuel and brake lines.

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-Neil

My Shed

I have to do the same to one of my HRs. So when you do it, any chance of a few pics..? I also have a donor car to cut from, I think the hardest bit is finding the spot-welds along the door/sill, so you can drill them out for easy/neat removal...

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I'll try take a few pics mate.

I'm just going to grind/cut them out where they're buggered in 1 piece, lay them on the donor floor, give myself 20mm all around then cut it, slap it in then weld.

Sounds easy when i say it like that.

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-Neil

My Shed

there is some stuff in streetneats shed about replacing floors, click on the sheds link, streetneats shed is the first shed on the page

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Thanks Dave

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-Neil

My Shed

How I did it, rightly or wrongly... I first cut out the rusty bits then cleaned the floor up, then I maed a template out of cardboard, and transferred that to the good floor, most liky wasted a bit of time, but once its cut its CUT lol, so take your time regardless, post heap of pics please.

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no car but want a rusty panelvan shell to fix, or a HR rolling shell.
email me at markjohn_stone@hotma...

Geelong, Victoria

no worries mate, i need to do some floor replacing myself, the floors in my ambo [http://gallery.oldho...|need replacing] there a little rusty :-O

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Yea yours look a bit worse than mine.

I really should unpick the rusty bit from the floor support members but i'm going to have overlap either way so i'll rust convert and just leave it there and wack the new one straight on.

I've also got a patch above the accelerator pedal thats going to be a proper bugger.

I'm a horrible welder with stick but apparently anyone can go alright with MIG gasless or not, not sure if it's true though?

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-Neil

My Shed

think about doing a test weld on some old similar metal first mate. go for mig with gas, its a cooler weld, will distort your floor less. dont weld big long beads either, just little welds at a time, to just do 20mm on one side then go the the other side and do 20mm there and so on. keeps the heat even and also keeps the heat down. personally id go to the trouble of buttwelding it so there is no moisture trap from where you overlap it, or just keep your overlap to 5mm. takes alot more paitence anyway. i aint a panelbeater though so disregard everything ive said.

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hmm.

Yea just got off the phone with my cousin who says i can borrow his MIG, so i'll get a bottle of gas and give it a bash. Good suggestion about keeping the heat down.

Not sure how much overlap i'll go but it is something to think about with the moisture trap so i'll keep it in mind.

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-Neil

My Shed

MIG with gas is without a doubt best and easiest, as for the overlap I just picked 20mm out of my head, 5 is probably not quite enough and 10 to 15mm should be good. You can sikaflex the joint after welding to keep moisture out if you wish.
If you have to cover existing floor supports, grind the old floor off the support then drill a few holes in the new floor over the support about 8 to 10mm diameter and spot weld the new floor through the holes to the support.

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Thanks for the info.

So i can't just weld onto the existing one i want to overlap? Where i would weld it looks structurally fine, just a few holes forward of it.

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-Neil

My Shed

Sorry to confuse you.
In the photo, the section with the crosses? are you leaving that in place? because I would just remove the lot if you have a full donor floor in good condition,and that is what I meant by spotting the new floor to the supports while working from above, or if you want, don't drill any holes and you can then mig the new floor to the support from under the car. Give thought to replacing the lot.
Hope this helps.....Gary

And yes, mig is easy once you get your settings correct.

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The place with the crosses represents where the floor support member is but also where the floor needs to be replaced. I had just planned on welding straight over it as i'm not so sure about how to unpick the floor from the cross member without cutting into it and buggering it etc.

I thought id i killed all rust in the area and put the new pan over lapping there it might be ok because i'll already have overlap.

Thanks a lot for your help

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-Neil

My Shed

Yea Mick, I understand where the supports are, you probably already know they have a lip about 15mm which the floor is spotted to.
I believe in do it right the first time and you will be a lot happier later.
If you have a full good donor floor then cut the lot out and replace it all and weld right round the outside, I am talking about from up where your feet go to behind the seat, don't weld good floor over rusty floor because you will see it from underneath, besides it will only cause moisture as mentioned before.
You don't need to unpick the floor from the frame, simply cut up to it then grind the old floor off at the spots leaving the frame in place.
Get yourself a good pair of both left hand and right hand Wiss Snips or similar.
You use the snips or a mini angle grinder with cutting disc to get close to the lip before using the grinder to remove what's left of the floor.
Also a cheap carpenters wood chisel is good for cutting away at the spot welds and floor.
When cutting the donor floor, cut the support out as well so you can turn it over on the bench and remove what is left of the support.
I found the worse bit was getting rid of the sealer/deadener on the floor and cleaning everything before final welding.
It's not a hard job, just fiddly and you need patience.
I should have asked you straight up what work do you do.......Gary

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Sorry its taken me a while to respond.
Anyhow if you want a neat weld use around about a 12 mm overlap to begin with. I butt weld with an Oxy however mig is fine if you are not too sure about welding. Practise first!


How to

If you want a good finish you can trim the overlap as you go, thus butt welding it. However an overlap in your situation and given your experience will be just fine. You can hide the overlap over a floor brace - then its easier and undetectable later from underneath

Use a 1mm thick cut off disc on your four inch grinder for all cutting, as this keeps the distortion down and cuts neat. Tin Snips rarely come into it - i have always done most of my trimming by grinder and cut off wheel. Tin snips if not used properly will make a unclean and awkward cut, but are still handy tools to have close by.

When removing the donor floor- take more than you will be using - like the sill area where the floor brace meets the sill. Its much easier to unpick once out of the car - dont try and do it in the donor car. Take it out above the firewall to floor flange too - you may as well put it all back in as per the factory. The will require the subframe to be removed. By doing it in one lump - although scary at first will be more accurate when it comes to put the subframe back on. This will have to happen before final welding anyhow as you need to check the subframe fits before getting too carried away!

Un picking of parts you wont be using ( like removing a floor brace from the donor floor sill segment) can be done by trimming away the bulk and then you are left with a mounting flange full of spot welds. I carefully trim between each one being careful not to cut into the donor piece. I use pliers to break away each fragment and spot weld individually.

The 1mm cut off disc is a useful tool to use its edge as if you were cutting and gently grind away the spot weld for the tougher ones. You will see the metal going blue as it gets close to the parent metal you are saving. This is actually the most common way of removing spot welds- despite owning a spot weld cutting drill as I find it faster and more effective for most spot welds.
I break most spot welds by using a stainless steel $2 ruler as its thin, strong flexible and makes a good chisel - and is cheap. I still have the same one after 20 years and it still works as a ruler too!

What you are trying to achieve is in effect a new old stock piece. You are not repairing - you are re- manufacturing - there is a difference so keep that in mind. A repair is often a patch of new over old. I find it a cop out when folk - say - "...yeah its not a show car" Its immaterial - you should always aim to do the best job you can as its good practise for the future. Do it once do it right.


Prep and treatment

Firstly take your donor floor to the sand blasters and get it cleaned up. Spending $100 now will save you days of work and make all the difference of making life much easier.... believe me! It makes every spot weld obvious and means you are not just welding more rusty metal back in.

What ever you do - never weld new bits over old bits of rusty steel - this just defeats the purpose. Clean up as much as you can with 3M clean and strip discs, wire brushes ( both hand and drill type) and prime with plenty of black etch primer ( Wattyl or PPG or Killrust - any of those) You can treat surface rust with Phosphoric acid - Killrust make one or just buy a 5 litre bottle of metal prep from a trades automotive paint supplier - its works out loads cheaper than the hardware variety and better!

Use a good seam sealer on both sides to keep moisture out. Sikaflex works well but is a bit messy. I use a proper brush on seam sealer.
Dont use silicone, liquid nails or no more gaps - its not designed for it... Brush on tar works OK too - but is at the lower end of the list for proper treatment, but is quite acceptable. With better products available why not use them?

Hopefully I'm not too late - and this gives you a better idea of whats involved.
Cheers streetneat-Andrew.

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Cheap, Fast, Good - pick two.
If its cheap and its fast - it wont be good.
If its good and its cheap - it wont be fast.
If its fast and its good - it wont be cheap.

StreetneatShed

G'Day Andrew,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to write all that info. I read it all and found it really helpful.

You're right i had just planned on slapping effectively -some patch work on the floors but i should do it right and i now will.

I have a few questions though.

If i do as your recommend and install the whole new floor and join from basically where they did it at factory (where the black tar stuff is) just behind the pedals and back to where the rear line of seat bolts go into the floor. How do i get the new floor in? I mean physically, i could unbolt the door but i don't think i'll have enough room to pass it in? It's going into a ute.

Also if i do that there is still one hole left to cover up. If you look here http://gallery.oldho... you'll see a picture of a hole next to my accelerator pedal on the seam of the side and the firewall it's gone all the way through. How would you tackle that?

My donor floor is from a sedan or wagon i believe. I only plan as you know to use the section at the front of the floor, will this make a difference being from a different body shape? (still hq)

Thanks a lot for your help

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-Neil

My Shed

Sorry - I should have double checked - for some reason I thought you were fixing a HG - now I see its a HQ. In short its the same principal. If your tunnel has no problems and its only pans that need doing then use the pan sections only. If floor braces are stuffed then think about using the whole thing. I tried your link but its password protected so I couldn't view it.

The body style shouldn't be an issue- I'm fairly sure they will all happily interchange.

To try and fit the whole front floor in one hit can be done - its a bit of a juggle and yes doors will have to come off. It sounds like you may only need sections not the whole floor. This will mean less cutting - but will mean more welding.

You can use a Rares floor pan and save yourself a lot of work - but be sure to fit the whole pan they supply - not just part of it as some swage lines may not line up. I stopped using donor floors some time ago unless I had to replace more than just pans. Have a look on my website via the link below and you will see lots of floor pan work on lots of cars.`

Hope this helps
Cheers streetneat-Andrew.

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Cheap, Fast, Good - pick two.
If its cheap and its fast - it wont be good.
If its good and its cheap - it wont be fast.
If its fast and its good - it wont be cheap.

StreetneatShed

Sorry the link didn't work.

Maybe this one works? gallery.oldholden.com/Perth+Mick/

As for the hole next to the accelerator i'll just have to cut a bigger hole than i need i think and weld a donor patch in. Let me know if you can view the picture with the new link mate

Anyway thanks for your feedback, i'll just cut where i have outlined with chalk and weld the new ones in. I'm planning to cut the old ones out in 1 piece then put them in the donor floor and give myself 12mm extra all around, have them sand blasted. Then slap them in and weld, then use the sealant you suggested. I wont overlap the passenger pan as i had earlier planned, i'll give a bash at unpicking the new one and do it nicely.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to help.

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-Neil

My Shed

Onya Mick!- ah my work is done here :-)
Good to see you have got a grasp on it now. Its not brain surgery, just a bit of nuttin out.

Sorry the new link thing didn't work either..

The 12 mm overlap is fine. For smaller holes that you want to make up a patch for and but weld - start with some card - like a cereal packet. Cut the hole you will be patching, place the card over it and run your thumb around the edge - this leaves a nice perfect mark.Now simply cut that out with some scissors, transfer that to some steel and you now have a perfect replica patch.

Its that simple and easy to achieve - you will wonder why folk make such a fuss of us dumbass panel beaters!

If you want to go one better stop off at a printers and grab some white scrap card pieces. These they throw out as they are off cuts. Its even better and simpler to use than cereal packets.

I will be uploading a new series shortly on how to do the perfect patch panel from a recent job here in NZ. This time its not floor pans for a change but how to make a rusted roof, gutter and support rail repair, file finishing and other interesting stuff!

Cheers streetneat-Andrew.

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Cheap, Fast, Good - pick two.
If its cheap and its fast - it wont be good.
If its good and its cheap - it wont be fast.
If its fast and its good - it wont be cheap.

StreetneatShed

andrew, you make it sound soooooooo easy hehe

really it is, just takes time ans a great deal of patience, and the best advice i can give anyone is to just focus and sometimes the thought of it is actually worse than the deed, stay positive

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I'm just on my way down to go get some 1mm cutting disks. I'll start cutting out the floor today. I'm looking forward to having a nice new floor in.

Thanks for all your help.

I'll post up a pic in a new thread so you can see it, i'll also have to nut out why other people can't view my shed.

Keep us updated about the new series mate, it's great inspiration!

Mick

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-Neil

My Shed

As you requested HR ambo/Tim and Yogie i took a few pictures so heres how its going along so far.

http://gallery.oldho...

Thanks to StreetNeat for your help, you made what i have to do a lot clearer. I'm not finished yet and won't be for a while but i'll post up pictures on my shed so you can see how its going.

I also owe you a picture of the hole next to my accelerator, sorry it has taken me a while but i will get around to it i'm just focusing on doing the floors right now.

So many little projects on the go at the moment on my old ute i'm losing track.

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-Neil

My Shed

Thanks Mick, I'll keep watching.
You're doing great, I'm too scared to make the first cut...

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........𝓣𝓲𝓢.

βœ„--------------------------------------------------------

-_--_--_ _______._
_--_-_ -/___+__|__\__
.,.,.,,.,|_O ________O_|

nice job mate!

nice pic's, i'll be tackling this job soon(ish) myself, it makes it easier if you can see how it's done first

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Glad you like them,

I went out for a while today and cut out the section i need from the donor, thats the harder part for me becuase i had to go right to the sills and in the corner meaning i have to unpick a lot of spot welds but i'll take it slow and see how i go.

I'll keep yous updated.

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-Neil

My Shed

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