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Tech Week Model A floor

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by niceguyede, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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!

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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!

    [​IMG]

    Until it is all one piece!!

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    More to come!!
     
  2. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now back to the transition.........
     
  3. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,749

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    Thank you for a cystal clear and well-illustrated procedure for this job. Great work. That'll help a lot of guys get it.
     
  4. T Hudson
    Joined: Sep 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,399

    T Hudson
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Wow, nice tech. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  5. Dragrace66
    Joined: Sep 13, 2001
    Posts: 190

    Dragrace66
    Member

  6. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,437

    bct
    Member

    nice technique.
     
  7. 4950ford
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 265

    4950ford
    Member
    from cushing,ok

    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
     
  8. 07travis
    Joined: Sep 15, 2011
    Posts: 38

    07travis
    Member

    That's awesome!
     
  9. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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!!

    [​IMG]

    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...

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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: Sep 5, 2012
  10. grf-x
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 293

    grf-x
    Member

    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.
     
  11. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    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.
     
  12. grf-x
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 293

    grf-x
    Member

    Definitely gonna implement this technique. Thanks for skoolin' me.
     
  13. 31Vicky with a hemi
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 12,431

    31Vicky with a hemi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great tech! Good luck
     
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 17,792

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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.
     
  15. JEM
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,035

    JEM
    Member

    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.
     
  16. Model A Mark
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 995

    Model A Mark
    Member
    1. Holley 94 Group
    from dallas

    yep, very nice.
    thanks for taking the time to post this.
    Iv got a 30 pick up I'm goanna implement your technique on..
     
  17. 383 240z
    Joined: Oct 28, 2007
    Posts: 429

    383 240z
    Member

    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
     
  18. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    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.

    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.
     
  19. matt 3083
    Joined: Sep 23, 2005
    Posts: 136

    matt 3083
    Member
    from Tucson, Az

    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
     
  20. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,809

    Gigantor
    Member

    Awesome idea and very well written - even I could do this.
     
  21. chevy3755
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,011

    chevy3755
    Member

    good tech article
     
  22. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    Thanks again guys. Worthy of the sweet ass brake or not, I'm glad some of you guys can use this.

    Like matt said, the best thing about this is that it's reusable. The only thing to remeber is Henry had pretty sloppy tolerances! I left an extra 1 1/2 inches on the left and right pans for final fit, and this "jig" was made for this truck! Always leave yourself some wiggle room....especially if the floor you're building isn't going in the car you made the floor frame for!

    The other nice thing about it is if you make the trans tunnel frame removable or bolt in, you can set it up for whatever motor/ trans you are building it for. This build being a baby hemi and a T-5 we set the motor a little higher in the frame than say a sbc or sbf. The only real difference is the trans tunnel heights. The floor pans are going to be the same, most being wider than these.

    Another thing, the original perimeter frame may not be exactly square. Always take lots of measurements and notes when using a "jig" or "buck" made off of an early ford. I know for sure the perimeter frame in this truck is not perfectly square, but everything fits nice and all the lines are good, so I don't waste time trying to make EVERYTHING "perfect".

    Something else to remember.... I have hung the doors on this truck probably 100 times making sure everything lined up. I had the doors hanging when I marked the cab mount holes. I bolted the cab down after I welded the nuts in the frame and hung the doors again. After I had everything tacked in....I hung the doors...you get the point. Check your work and make sure it is going in the direction you want it to. It's much easier to fix a small hiccup than a major D'OH!

    Point being, make sure everything lines up before you weld in the floor or else it will be a major pain in the ass to get it to line up after. The doors are the easiest way to check. If the reveals line up you are good to go...If not you need to work on that before you worry about the floor. I have a good 3 days aligning the doors and hinges on this truck. And honestly I could probably spend another day easy getting everything exactly balls on. As it is, everything is within under 1/16.

    Any other questions just ask.... I have done this for a while, so what is second nature to me might be big news to the guy who is on his first or even fifth build....I won't bust balls, much! hahaha!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  23. Chemin
    Joined: Mar 4, 2009
    Posts: 325

    Chemin
    Member

    Great tech. I gotta ask. How many Model A's have you built to come up with an idea like this?
     
  24. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,906

    Rich Wright
    Member
    from Nevada

    Very nice work. Well thought out and well presented...
     
  25. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    Only 2. The first being a stocker AA truck and this one being a hot rod. But I have been working on cars since I was 15. I've been dreaming of a 30-31 Tudor since I was a wee lad though, but I don't know if that counts... I've just learned over the 20 years that easy on the body = more cars built. If you can simplify you will save yourself time and greif.
     
  26. You're more thana weee laddy now;)
     
  27. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 625

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGG!!!!! Tis for shure maty!!!
     
  28. George G
    Joined: Jun 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,230

    George G
    Member

    Holy Shit. Great work!
     
  29. Toast
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,757

    Toast
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Jenks, OK

    Nicely done!
     
  30. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,437

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    yup, gets my vote

    nice tech on the floor, even I could do it;)
     

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