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Old 09-05-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
niceguyede
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Default Tech Week Model A floor

Since this tech week seems to have a few metal forming threads going I figured I'd jump on the wagon and throw in my bit! I have done a few floors in model A's and doing them piece by piece in the car (or truck) sucks for your back and knees! The flat parts aren't bad, but the firewall and trans humps are killers.. So on the last one I did I made a semi permanent frame so I can pull it out of the car and build everything on the bench first. This way all you have to do is some final fitting and weld it up!

First I started with a perimeter frame around the outside edges of the bracing and the clearance distance for the transmission. In this case it's a T-5. I used 1/2 square tubing that I had laying around. I used 1/4 and 3/16 round rod for the trans frame.



I forgot to take pics of the trans frame coming together, but you can see what I did here. I just bent and welded round rod around the trans to the perimeter frame with about an inch clearance between the trans and the OUTSIDE edges of the wire. This way the sheet metal will be as close to the trans as possible with plenty of room for wiggle.



After I was happy with the fit, and the ability to pull the frame in and out of the truck I started making poster board templates for everything.



With the templates made I pulled the frame out of the truck for the last time and got down to making the pans. I started by cutting out the metal and laying out the beads. Once I had my layout I bent em up in the brake and put the beads in. Then I started on the tail. I use a plastic shaping hammer and a sand bag to get a rough shape started and then finish em out on the planishing hammer. If you don't have these, go to northern tool or horrible freight. Cheap and effective! But get some hearing protection while you are there, planishing hammers are stupid loud!



Once I had the tail fitting pretty good I trimmed the shifter hole and started on the center section. A little more pounding and planishing and bending over your leg, stepping on it, pounding, planishing....etc.....you get the point. It doesn't fit the first time, ever! A little practice and patience will go a long way!

Fitting good and cleko'd in.



When I had it fitting the way I wanted I trimmed and tacked it together. A little more hammering and weld and dress. If you are using a mig welder, the easiest way to get a good fit and finish is to leave everything cleko'd together. I use a 4 1/2 electric angle grinder with a 1/16 cut off and start cutting. In this case I started at the center of the top and cut to just before it starts to curve cutting through both pieces at once. I take a small flathead screwdriver and push the sheetmetal on the bottom away from the cut. Then I put a few tack welds to make sure it stays where I want it. Make sure to keep the surface flush! Otherwise when you dress the welds you won't get that pretty seamless look! Once you have it tacked and flush, start at one side or the other and weld inbetween tacks. I tack about every inch, so when I weld I weld an inch then dress the weld. Weld the next inch and dress until it is solid. You will have to do some hammer and dolly work to keep it in shape as you go.

With the last piece of the tunnel it is just more of the same...cut, shape, fit, weld.....





Once I had the tunnel all welded together I fit the floor to the truck to make sure everything is staying where I want it. Of course it is, it is cleko'd to a metal frame that doesn't flex enough to let it get out of whack!!
With everything fitting I started welding the tunnel to the pans. Tack, tack, tack, weld, grind, weld, grind.....again, you get the point!



Until it is all one piece!!



Then I fit it to the truck and cleko it where I want it so I can start on the firewall.



More to come!!
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

I don't want to make the firewall match the transition, I want the transition to match the firewall, so I start by copying the passenger side of the firewall recess on paper. Then I transferred that to the driver side and start cutting.



I used the original stamp line that was in the left side, I just moved it over to give more symmetry to the firewall. Then all I had to do was form the recess curve, not the lines. This makes it much easier with limited tools.



Same thing, cut through both pieces and tack as you go.. once it's tacked just weld and grind till it's in.





Now back to the transition.........
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:44 AM   #3
pasadenahotrod
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Thank you for a cystal clear and well-illustrated procedure for this job. Great work. That'll help a lot of guys get it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Wow, nice tech. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:32 AM   #5
Dragrace66
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

good job
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

nice technique.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Damn Eddy, I thought all you did was body and paint, wow dude, you did a great job on the floor and trans cover. awesome
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

That's awesome!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Thanks guys, but....We aren't done yet!
The transition is the hardest part because you are trying to bring 4 pieces together that are all going different directions. I spent more time on this piece than any of the rest of the floor. It's ok if you don't get it the first time....I scrapped the first one I made because it wasn't going the direction I wanted it. Patients and persistence, and some moving the firewall and trans tunnel around (beating it into shape with one of those trusty plastic hammers) will get everything where you want it. You want the overlap where the pieces come together to be pretty flat on one another. If not you will have to beat stuff around as you tack it together. In this case I had both! The transition met the left and right pans really well, but was not as close to the firewall as I liked.



Once it was tacked in where it fit the best I welded it to the pans and the trans tunnel. Nothing new, same procedure. Cut tack weld grind repeat!!



Now that the transition is solid on three sides you can move outside to the firewall recess and start working it with the trusty plastic mallet. I moved in and out to get the two pieces to come together as smoothly as possible. It helps if you can have someone around to sit in the cab with a sandbag over where you are hammering. It will move faster, but is not necessary.

When done you should have something like this...



With the hard part done, the rear pan is the easy one. Make your template, cut metal, lay out your beads, roll beads, and lots of welding and grinding. The hardest part about the rear pan is that it is flat and heat will travel more. This means take more time tacking it in. Once it is tacked in and you are ready to weld, give it a little more cool time between welds. I will weld and inch and grind that inch, give it a minute and repeat. I don't like to jump around when welding, this can get you in trouble if you aren't an experienced metal beater. Take time and start and end at the same spot. It will save you grief in the end.





Wit this done I went back to the front pans to finish some details which I will keep to brief descriptions and pics..
The old floor flanges were no longer needed, so I cut them out and moved the corner up so it looks like it should. I left the flanges while I was welding to help keep everything where it was.






I wanted the floor to look like ol henry did it back in 30, so I continued the stamp at the top of the toe board into the pans. I cut a piece a little bigger than the stamp and transferred the lines where it would carry into the pan. I used poster board to make a template for the curve of the stamp to be bead rolled.



On the driver side I did the same, but cut it out and welded two nuts on either side. This way I can make a 2 piece column cover that will bolt in like it would have.



And there you go!! Fill the rest of the holes in the firewall and you are ready. Keep in mind, all the tools I used for this was a couple of hammers, a sand bag, a planishing hammer, a bead roller, a grinder and a welder. The planishing hammer is under $150 at northern tool. A little practice and patience is all it takes.

Last edited by niceguyede; 09-05-2012 at 09:40 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

okay... one question... how much of the semi permanent frame you made was left installed?

It is hard to tell from the photos. I looks like some is still there but it is obvious that some has been removed.

AND great f-ing tech article. Well written and photographed.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

none of the frame was left. once the tunnel and pans were welded together the frame was set aside. the only purpose for the frame is so everything can be formed and fit on the bench. this way it takes less time and is much easier on the back and knees.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Definitely gonna implement this technique. Thanks for skoolin' me.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Great tech! Good luck
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

I'm saving this for later when I get to the floorboards on the Model A I just picked up.

Nice work and I like it that you made it removable.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

I like that this is a nice job but the tech involved is not so far over my head that I could never touch it.

Sometime by (hopefully) the end of next year I'll probably need to do something a bit like this, might have to do a bunch of stuff three times to get it right, but this will be a good reference.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

yep, very nice.
thanks for taking the time to post this.
Iv got a 30 pick up I'm goanna implement your technique on..
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Did you leave the edge a single thickness? My floor has a 3/8" recess that I am thinking of using, plan was to build a framework and drop it in, Now I'm thinking of filling it and running floors over it. Keith
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Thanks guys. If i can give a little something back to the place I have learned so much from it is all worth it. If I can win that sweet ass magnetic brake....Heaven maybe??? But really this has been turning in my brain for a while and I'm glad to share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 383 240z View Post
Did you leave the edge a single thickness? My floor has a 3/8" recess that I am thinking of using, plan was to build a framework and drop it in, Now I'm thinking of filling it and running floors over it. Keith
I left the floor flange under the cab, I just got rid of the firewall flange. If that's what you're asking?? I welded it flush with the top of the original perimeter frame. This way it is all still really rigid and adds strength to the cab. Once the cab is off the frame and primed, everything will get seam sealed so there will be no worries.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:02 AM   #19
matt 3083
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

This is a really common sense way to do a floor.
I really liked the simplicity of it. Straight forward
and logical. Best of all it can be used on several
different vehicles. Thank you.
Matt
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tech Week Model A floor

Awesome idea and very well written - even I could do this.
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