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Hot Rods Cost of replacing floor pans

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DrDragon, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. That's the grandson, about age 15 at the time. We totally stripped down that car (pretty rough), patched the body sheet metal, rebuilt suspension, added power steering, power brakes, AC, rebuilt a 2004R tranny, wired painted, upholstered, did glass, restored a ton of chrome and stainless and aluminum trim. Basically he now knows how to build an entire car. 2 of the best years of my life.
    pigfluxer and DrDragon like this.
  2. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,748

    from SW Wyoming

    As a former Crown Victoria owner, do check the frame for rust. There are reinforcing strips welded to the bottom of the frame rails and they like to rot quite badly there. Mine was from Columbus, and was really bad. Front crossmember too.
    DrDragon likes this.
  3. Thanks, it's a southern Kentucky car but they rust too.
  4. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,529


    There is a huge difference between replacing floor pans, and a rotisserie rebuild. That is a huge step for someone that has not yet learned to weld. A car takes up a lot more space when its apart then it does when its together, putting one on a rotisserie means there will be a lot of extra parts that will need to be stored. That rotisserie idea will open up a huge can of worms and will eat a lot of time and money. Give that a lot of thought.

    Removing patches someone else "screwed up" and replacing them probably means the replacement floor pans are not going to be big enough to do the job. What ever the PO attempted to weld to is probably not useful anymore, so you will have to remove that metal as well, and patch the body before the patch pan can be welded in. Once you get past the "normal" floor pan patches, things can get complicated pretty quickly. Did the guy that gave you the price know the floors had already been patched?

    You noted that you believe the frame has been changed from original, do you know if it is even the correct frame for the car, or has something been adapted in? Installing a different frame can give the appearance of "screwed up" floor pan replacement, because body mounts are likely in a different location, and some floor modification would need to be done to merge the body and frame together. Are you replacing the floor pans because they have rusted through, or because they "look screwed up" to you? Please note, I'm not saying the floors are not screwed up, or that they don't need to be replaced, just that I am unsure at this point. Lets see pictures of the floor/frame problem areas.

    There is nothing wrong with getting a welder (and its related equipment, a pretty long and expensive list on its own) and learning how to weld at a welding class. I'm not a very big fan of self taught welders. Most of the stuff I do at my little shop is fix other peoples' failed or poor welds. Some people should not try to be welders.

    I suggest you have 31Vicky with a Hemi look at it for you. Gene
    clunker and DrDragon like this.
  5. Very good and welcome advise gene-koning, My brother has friends that know these cars in particular. When it gets home and opened up I'm confident they won't have any problem pointing out everything that's ugly with it. This is one of those times I've wanted something so bad for so long I took a leap of faith and rescued her. The frame looked good from my vantage point laying on my back in the grass but when I get her home it will be exposed. The body is coming off the frame whether I set it on jacked up 4x4's or on a rotisserie is yet to be seen. If the frame is out of something foreign I know I'll have great body parts to sell or use on another project. I did see that the patches used were of straight sheet metal and there was plenty of original floor around them to the sides and the rockers were good. I have met with 31Vicky with a Hemi. He's a good guy and he knows his stuff. Great work.
    pigfluxer likes this.
  6. triman62
    Joined: Sep 2, 2013
    Posts: 276


    I was inspired by some of the builds on the H.A.M.B. to save an old car. They do some top notch work too. I wanted to do it with only basic tools also, and I can say that it can be done, I built my own floor pans out of scrap metal bent on a sawhorse workbench. Which ever way you decide to go good luck with your project. IMG_0523.jpg IMG_0451.JPG
    willys36 and DrDragon like this.
  7. That's what we did on our '59 Elky. Floor pans just have to be solid and pretty good for all but the 1000 point Concourse restos. They get covered by carpet on top and undercoating on bottom, a reasonably well done repair can't be detected at all on a driver so why waste time making them perfect? Good job!
    triman62 and DrDragon like this.
  8. I saved those pictures triman62, going to try to replicate.
    triman62 likes this.
  9. Fabber McGee
    Joined: Nov 22, 2013
    Posts: 790

    Fabber McGee

    One of the local welding supply stores used to have basic introductory MIG classes for homeowner guys that wanted to build a little trailer or patch up an old car. Didn't cost anything, told anyone that was interested to bring along any buddies that wanted to join in. Spent 3 or 4 hours in one evening showing a few guys at a time the basics and he sold a shit load of welding machines because of it. Check with your local welding suppliers for something like this.
    jazz1 and DrDragon like this.
  10. That's a great idea Fabber thank you.
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 602


    I was always thinking about starting up a small fab shop and doing nothing but floors. I have a rotisserie, a 2 post lift, 220 volt Mig, 4 foot finger break and shear. The only addition would be a bead roller. I would take the car in pull the body, put it on the rotisserie, brace it, cut the whole floor out and fab new floor panels, finish off with a coat of POR 15 or lizard skin all for 2500 bucks. Now that I have said that, that is a lot of work. I wonder if I could do a car a week.
  12. haileyp1014
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 918

    from so cal

    $99.00 harbor freight welder,YouTube videos (free) sheet metal $200 ha ha
  13. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,529


    How many floor replacement jobs have you done? Might be a great business if you only do cars that have full replacement floor pan units available, depending on who is paying for the new floor pans. Most people expect a replacement floor pan to look like the original car's stamped pans, not fabricated sheet metal pans.

    You might be able to do one car a week, but at $2500 for labor & materials, I wonder what your profit margin will be, and I wonder if there will be that much demand. Gene
  14. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,246


    The floors in my 50 Chevy are a mess, meaning the floors, inner and outer rockers and braces are gone. I'm tackling it myself with a manual Eastwood bead roller and a Lincoln mig from Home Depot. I figured I could get a 4x8 sheet of 18 gauge steel for $55, and could make everything I needed from two sheets. It's coming along well. Even if I make a handful of mistakes, I'm still not out that much, but have learned more than if I hadn't done it.


    These aren't welded in yet in this pic, but I spent an afternoon making these two pieces.
    rjones35 and triman62 like this.
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 602


    Your profit would be in fabrication of your own floor pans, stay away from the pre-production stuff. I have done many floors and have found to replace as much as possible, what is not rusted today...will rust tomorrow. But you know it is a lot of work, but at one or two cars per month, would be a good work at home, in your spacious garage retirement job. I also don't see why the need for pre-form floor panels in a hot rod or custom, the car is not stock, so why the extra expense. I see a lot of pre-production floor panels welded to rusty sections of the floor only to be replace sooner or later. Just cut out most and replace with new metal and be done with it.
  16. Check the Eastwood store in Parma.
    The info is not available on line.
    They have all sorts of workshops and classes.
    The next Mig welding 101 is Saturday 8/26/17 at 10:00.
    DrDragon likes this.
  17. Thank you I will do so.
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  18. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,553

    ems customer service


  19. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,475


    They hold welding classes and metal shaping camp for 12 to 15 year old this past summer. It was a success so its extending to evening classes for kids. We need more trades people.
  20. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,755


    Trust me when I tell you, after Media Blasting you'll find a lot more then floor pans that need replacing.
    jazz1 likes this.

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