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  #1  
Old February 5th, 2006, 00:12
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson is offline
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Holes in the Floor Pan

I've just finished pulling up the carpet, to get to work on the rust holes in the Floor Pan. I've got six of them, most moderate size, 4"-6", the front passenger floor, on the left at the side at the rise for the trans tunnel is the worst one, probably 8"X16" (thats after wire brushing away all the flaked rust, mostly thin worthless metal inside that 8"X16").

I'm going to start looking for sheet metal. Anyone know the Sheet Metal Gauge for the floor pan? I haven't found any info as too the actual size, I'm guessing 20 gauge. Unless I find/hear something otherwise, I'm going to try to use 20 gauge for the patch metal.

Any suggestion on how to attempt this? Any "How To" sites?

I plan on:

*Cutting back the holes to good metal.
*Cut the fresh sheet metal to the same shape with a 1/2" overlap.
*The piece to cover the Front Passenger footwell, will have to be shaped/bent to go up the side of the trans tunnel.
*Paint the metal before assembly, using Rust-Oluem, primer and topcoat.
*Pop rivet the sheet metal patches over the holes, with the Patch Metal on the inside of the car over the holes.
*Grind off the paint around the edges to be welded.
*Borrow a friend Gas 115 volt Mig welder and use 0.023 wire (NO flux core, use the gas instead) and weld the metal.
*Drill out the pop rivets and weld over the holes.
*Grind down the welds, Clean, Prime, Paint any bare metal with Rust-Oleum. Rubberize Undercoat the bottom of the patches.

Any corrections or suggestions on this approach?
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  #2  
Old February 5th, 2006, 05:47
AJPulley AJPulley is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

I think I've read 18 or maybe 16 guage. Come good weather, I'm going to go looking for 18 guage.

Try sending Katarn444 a PM. He had some nice pics and an explination of what guage he used for his patches, I just don't remember the thread.

He talked me into my Hobart MIG and the place I got my cylinder.
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  #3  
Old February 5th, 2006, 06:17
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twardnw twardnw is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

I have some 18 ga. patches in my floor now, the pans are thinner, I would say 20 is much closer. and g/l with welding that stuff, hope you've got more patience than I (I gave up and had a buddy do it, lol)
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  #4  
Old February 5th, 2006, 07:44
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dizzymac dizzymac is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Don't put the carpet back in. Gonna ban the stuff when I become King....lol
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  #5  
Old February 5th, 2006, 08:09
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Matthew Currie Matthew Currie is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Sounds like a good plan, if you intend to do a real restoration for long term, but I would opt for sheet metal screws instead of pop rivets. They will draw the matal down nice and tight, with less initial work, and you then have the choice of leaving them in or simply unscrewing them. Get the little hex head ones with self-drilling tips, and with a hex bit in a cordless drill and a little experimenting with clutch settings you can do it all in one operation, no slip no drill.

You can also just skip the welding and hold the patches with screws. If you cut the holes clean and use a lot of undercoating, etc. they'll probably last just about as long as welded ones, and save a lot of labor. However, there's no argument that welding is the neatest, tightest way to do it. I'd base the decision on how rusty the rest of the floor is and how long you expect to keep it.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 08:50
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Currie
You can also just skip the welding and hold the patches with screws. If you cut the holes clean and use a lot of undercoating, etc. they'll probably last just about as long as welded ones, and save a lot of labor. However, there's no argument that welding is the neatest, tightest way to do it. I'd base the decision on how rusty the rest of the floor is and how long you expect to keep it.
And whether or not you expect to be fording any streams. I have used sheet metal screws to repair the floor of an old pickup truck, but for a Cherokee I want the floor to be as water-tight as the original and I don't trust rivets or screws to accomplish that.
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  #7  
Old February 5th, 2006, 08:55
katarn444 katarn444 is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

I am almost sure that the stock sheetmetal is 20g. I used 18g to make it easier to weld. I used sheetmetal screws like Matthew Currie mentioned to hold the panels in place while I welded them up. The method of attaching your panels to the old floor depends on the area, some areas are go to overlap, other are not. On some areas I welded both side of the overlap (probably a good idea for the trans tunnel area). Your plan sounds good, not much to add, I used a Hobart 135 and Lincoln 255. The Hobart was much better suited to the good, .023 wire and C25 gas.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Here is my site, I have not updated it in a long time but I should still help.
http://userweb.suscom.net/~navitp4/index.html

Here are others that I used for reference.
http://www.wetpaintfilms.com/heep2jeep/
http://members.shaw.ca/Jeep.XJ/content/floor/prep.htm

here are a couple of newer pictures that are not on the site yet.



Muffler area


Passenger side wheelwell to floor


Gas filler area


Driver toe board
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  #8  
Old February 5th, 2006, 20:23
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzymac
Don't put the carpet back in. Gonna ban the stuff when I become King....lol
I see they make vinyl matting for the entire floor now.

That would probably be worse, at least the carpet would allow some evaporation, yea, not enough that moisture still doesn't lay on the floor.

But vinyl, any fluid that does make it underneath, would never leave and be trapped to create rust.

I'm seroiusly considering the truck bed liner applied to the floor after all the repairs. If wouldn't have exposed wire bundles along the floor, I'd do it in a heart beat.
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  #9  
Old February 6th, 2006, 07:42
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Thanks for all the suggestions and tips guys. A few questions;

*The sheet metal screws instead of pop rivets, I like, I assume, after welding the seams, I remove the screws and weld up the screw holes? What size sheet metal screw to use for that, I guess the smallest possible.

*Patch panels that go across frame rails, I see that in the examples (I've read about the thechnique also) that you drill holes in the patch panel over the rail, welding the panel to the rail below thru the holes, sorta like a home made spot weld. Any guidance on a size of the holes and how far spaced apart? Just use some common sense and pick evenly spaced spots in enough numbers to join the two pieces of metal with strength?

*Any guindance on cost effective paint and sealer for the patch panels and the rest of the floor and underside, to include treating the rust spots that haven't rusted thru? I'd love to use POR-15, but its too expensive, everyone tells me the toughest metal paint that I can find in the local stores is Rust-Oleum. Any experiences with using that paint? is there a better paint, that isn't too expensive out there to use?

I'm probably going to go over the entire floor and rotary wire brush on a drill, clean and hand brush prime with Rust-Oleum and several top coats of Rust-Oleum, maybe even spray rubberized undercoating on the floor, for the carpets to lay upon. There are several sections that the paint is softened and peeling on the floor with no rust yet, so to finish this job once and for all, I have to redo the protective coat of the entire floor after finishing the patching.

The biggest hole in the floor, by far, is directly below where the prevous owner had added a POOR CUP HOLDER, that the cups can tip out of easily. I think the hole is the result of spilled soda, the acids like to eat the paint.

Last edited by Rick Anderson; February 6th, 2006 at 07:45.
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  #10  
Old February 6th, 2006, 08:36
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by katarn444
Your plan sounds good, not much to add, I used a Hobart 135 and Lincoln 255. The Hobart was much better suited to the good, .023 wire and C25 gas.
Are you saying that I need quality .023 wire to do the job properly? My local hardware store sells 0.023 wire, for mild steel, for $8. I saw online, a spool of Hobart .023 wire, for automotive sheetmetal, for $55.

*Should I be looking for a specific wire to use, other than the .023 size?

Remember, I'm on a budget, I'd rather purchase cheaper wire, unless it will really effect the end result of the job.
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  #11  
Old February 6th, 2006, 09:12
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87manche 87manche is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Anderson
I see they make vinyl matting for the entire floor now.

That would probably be worse, at least the carpet would allow some evaporation, yea, not enough that moisture still doesn't lay on the floor.

But vinyl, any fluid that does make it underneath, would never leave and be trapped to create rust.

I'm seroiusly considering the truck bed liner applied to the floor after all the repairs. If wouldn't have exposed wire bundles along the floor, I'd do it in a heart beat.
Go and get yourself some wire racetrack at the local home improvement place to handle the wiare issue. You'll still see where the wires are, but they would be protected, and you'd have easy access to the wire harness to troubleshoot electrical demons. Wiremold is the route I'm taking when I tackle the cab of my MJ this spring.
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  #12  
Old February 6th, 2006, 09:18
katarn444 katarn444 is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Anderson
after welding the seams, I remove the screws and weld up the screw holes? What size sheet metal screw to use for that, I guess the smallest possible.
Exactly, get short small ones, so they have a smaller chance of hitting anything when they go through the floor(gas lines). Just weld them up when you are done. I just got a couple of tubes of 3m seam sealer, but have not tried it out yet.
Quote:
*Patch panels that go across frame rails, I see that in the examples (I've read about the thechnique also) that you drill holes in the patch panel over the rail, welding the panel to the rail below thru the holes, sorta like a home made spot weld. Any guidance on a size of the holes and how far spaced apart? Just use some common sense and pick evenly spaced spots in enough numbers to join the two pieces of metal with strength?
Again exactly right, Just pick a reasonable size (3/16's) and about 1-1/2" spacing for flat areas closer for curves (for instance in my pictures where the panels go up the framerails under the rear seat)
Quote:
*Any guindance on cost effective paint and sealer for the patch panels and the rest of the floor and underside, to include treating the rust spots that haven't rusted thru? I'd love to use POR-15, but its too expensive, everyone tells me the toughest metal paint that I can find in the local stores is Rust-Oleum. Any experiences with using that paint? is there a better paint, that isn't too expensive out there to use?
I used por15 and was not happy with it, everything needs to be super clean before you can use it. I was doing this in the garage so I could not hose things off. Also there are cracks and crevices that you cannot clean off. I think it would work well for easy to access areas. I note there, you can get POR-15 cheaper if you call them up and ask for a local distributor. I would just go with the rustoleum, they do offer a heavy rust paint so you may want to try that. I used duplicolor undercoating after painting the underside of the new floor with a combo of rustoleum and POR15. You can also try bedliner which will probably be tougher.
Quote:
I'm probably going to go over the entire floor and rotary wire brush on a drill, clean and hand brush prime with Rust-Oleum and several top coats of Rust-Oleum, maybe even spray rubberized undercoating on the floor, for the carpets to lay upon. There are several sections that the paint is softened and peeling on the floor with no rust yet, so to finish this job once and for all, I have to redo the protective coat of the entire floor after finishing the patching.
I used "Aircraft Remover" to strip all of the paint of of the old floor (the section I left) It is a really good painter remover. Then I just roughed up the bare metal and painted it. the rotary brush on a drill is a good idea but not quite powerful enough. I would recomend a wire nough brush on an angle grinder. If you do not have an angle grinder you are going to need one. You can get a cheapo from harbor freight if you just want to get through this project.

Quote:
Are you saying that I need quality .023 wire to do the job properly? My local hardware store sells 0.023 wire, for mild steel, for $8. I saw online, a spool of Hobart .023 wire, for automotive sheetmetal, for $55.

*Should I be looking for a specific wire to use, other than the .023 size?

Remember, I'm on a budget, I'd rather purchase cheaper wire, unless it will really effect the end result of the job.
There are two really good affordable wire wire out there in my opinion Hobart HB28 and Lincoln L56. They are more expensive then the cheapo stuff, but they are easier/cleaner to use. They are not a neccesity but it will just make your live alittle easier. I am quessing that the $8 spool is 2lb's which may not be enough depending on how many holes you have. I got this http://store.cyberweld.com/hobhbmigwir1.html You might be able to get it locally but I know you can get the Lincoln wire locally, almost all lincoln distributors carry it.

Here is a great welding website.
http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/index.php?

I do not know how much welding experience you have but I had almost none before I started and it is tough work. It is really easy to burn through the thinner metal. I started out using the Lincoln 255 and that this was out of control, way too powerful and with thick ass wire. When I purchaced the Hobart 135, my life got alot easier. I would recommend getting some scrap and practice spot welding and some butt and lap joints. You are going to be working at the very low end of the machines power range.

Think things out before you act, I made alot of stupid mistakes that made the work alot more difficult.

Good luck and keep us updated.
K
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  #13  
Old February 6th, 2006, 11:20
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by katarn444
I do not know how much welding experience you have but I had almost none before I started and it is tough work. It is really easy to burn through the thinner metal.
Thanks Again, Katarn444;

I had metal shop in Junior High School, where I learned to weld and use a cutting torch. But that was, ummm more 20 years ago. I really enjoyed the welding and did it just for kicks, when ever we had free time in shop class, so I got really good for a Junior High School Ameature.

I also used the cutting torch every free moment we had also, if you've used a cutting torch, you could see the attraction for an adolescent male. My shop teacher freaked the one day he found the scrap "I" beam he had in the back, that he was saving for a special project, had been cut into hundreds of tiny pieces.

I've used an arc welder or mig welder every couple of years since then, on various much smaller projects, and it is a skill you lose, even with a little practice my weld joints looked horrible, but worked and did not break. Time is on my side, I plan on acquiring lots of extra scrap and spending several days just practicing before attempting this.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 22:56
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dfreeman616 dfreeman616 is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

bring up the old threads, once again...

i need to do some pretty serious replacemnt of the drivers side and up onto the trans tunnel on an 84 2-door. i have an extra hood, and was thinking about stripping the skin off it and using that rather than buying sheet metal. anyone have thoughts on this?
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  #15  
Old April 7th, 2006, 06:06
katarn444 katarn444 is offline
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Re: Holes in the Floor Pan

I will work but it is a little thin in my opinion. I am not sure how thick it is but probably 22-20g. I used 18g, which was probably mentioned above, and was happy with my selection. The main concern with the thickness is if you are welding it in, the thinner it is the tougher it is to weld in.

Have you searched for metal suppliers? I recently found one that sells scrap fairly cheap, maybe you can go that route instead of buying new.

Good luck
K
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