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Projects How would you approach this floor repair?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NAES, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Thanks for the good advice above Gene.

    In the long run a sheet of steel is the way to go for me. The fuel and brake system is gutted so no worries about killing that stuff. I have a Rebel wiring harness as well which looks like the wise way to go so slicing through existing wiring isn't a huge concern either.

    So I have the Brake and bead roller. Lapping the sheets instead of butt welding will be a huge plus for my success. Girlfriend is buying me electric shears and an air nibbler for Xmas. Looks like I'm pretty well setup to do some work soon. I'll post pics of my progress as it happens.

    Played with the bead roller to see where I'm at and where I need to be!




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  2. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

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  3. 4EyedTurd
    Joined: Jan 20, 2014
    Posts: 35

    4EyedTurd
    Member
    from Texas

    Gene- as far as lapping the parts for ease, would you suggest seam sealer over the lap afterwards? I've got a lot of rust to tackle myself.
     
  4. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,561

    ems customer service
    Member

  5. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,969

    gene-koning
    Member

    I usually wait and do the seam sealing until I have all the panels welded in. I buy the seam sealer in a caulk tube, once its opened, you pretty much loose what you don't use within a few hours. I usually only seal the top side of seams, I prefer that any water that might get between the panels has a way out and gravity does a pretty good job of that. Floor pans tend to rust out from the inside of the car outward. Unless water can get trapped, very few rust out from under the car up.


    That looks like some nice stuff.
    I didn't see a listing for the OP's Caddy.
    I checked yesterday, a 4' x 8' sheet of 18 gauge costs around $100. I'd be pretty surprised if your selling your super floor kits for anywhere near that. Before he gets done with the Caddy, he may have to buy a second sheet of 18 gauge. His floor may, or may not look as nice as your stuff, and of course, there is his time investment. Costs may be getting close, but since you don't show a kit for his car, he will have time modifying your stuff to fit. Gene
     
  6. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

  7. I didn't see it mentioned, but brace the body before you start cutting out big chunks out of that floor. You may find the the door pillars end up being completely cut free before all the rust is removed, and in that case, the bracing will help keep things located.

    Take lots of pictures before you start to help remind yourself of how things are shaped.

    Check out the build thread on my '62 Merc, I replaced most of the entire floor, rockers, and quarters, using the Elephant Eating method.

    Don't be afraid to pull the body to do it right the first time, rather then fighting with it and doing a half-assed job.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1962-mercury-monterey-custom-wagon.959751/

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First Side Done
    [​IMG]

    Complete
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  8. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    An odd source...Osprey books from England. The English have worse salt hell than we do, have practically no old cars from postwar times that survived in even half way decent condition, and are insane optimists who will try to restore a 1962 Morris whose only recognizable part is the back half of the roof...
    Their books are pleasing because of this optimism, because of all the meatheads who only own one hammer, and because of a get-it-done attitude. AND their instructors are regular meatheads too, not Ridler show gods who could turn a Coca-Cola sign into a duesenberg body that looks good in bare metal...
    One of the authors seems to do his best work with Shoe maker's last.
    Any way, get these two books for inspiration. By George, if THAT idiot did it with a rock and a stump, I should be able to do it with my Eastwood catalog and coupon!!
    And, you haven't seen rust until you've seen ENGLISH rust. Detroit ain't nothin'.

    [​IMG][​IMG]This one is slightly more upscale, but really low tech.
     
  9. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 390

    patsurf

     
  10. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 482

    junkman8888
    Member

    You say you want to get the car back on the road as soon as possible, yet you've rejected the quickest and easiest way to make that happen which is to replace your floor with one from a donor car. Before you start something you can't finish you need to make an honest assessment of the trunk floor, rockers, quarter bottoms, wheel houses and body mounts, are they solid or do they need to be repaired or replaced? Taking your skills and experience in account your best option may be to sell the vehicle and find something better.
     
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  11. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,561

    ems customer service
    Member

    O.M.G!!!!----ARE YOU REALLY TRYING TO COMPARE A FLAT SHEET OF STEEL TO A FLOOR KIT, THAT HAS STAMPED RIBS, INNER SILL STAMPED AND FORMED, DRIVESHAFT TUNNELS , OVERSIZED TRANSMISSION COVER, DIE STAMPED 16 GAGE FLOOR BRACES
     
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  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,030

    anthony myrick
    Member

    No disrespect but this is what is listed at EMS for a caddy
    25011D55-ABD7-4CB0-B8F8-6AB9D78F021B.png
    I’m sure you have a nice universal floor
    But I can make something that fits faster than modifying something that doesn’t . Replacement parts that are made for a spacific model even require work.
     
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  13. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,969

    gene-koning
    Member


    Anthony has the right thought process on this one. I stated the same thing in my response.
    A floor kit is great IF:
    1) There is a floor kit available for the car or truck you are working on. You do not have a kit for the guy's Caddy. A kit that is not made for your car will probably be more work then building a floor from scratch out of a lowly piece of sheet metal..
    2) You intend on lifting the body off the frame to install the floor kit. The OP has stated that he does not intend on lifting the body off the frame.
    3) You have the equipment to lift a body shell off a frame and reinstall it. I would venture to say a high percentage of the guys on the HAMB do not have a safe way to lift a Caddy or most late 40s and newer bodies off the frame. If you can't lift a body off the frame, most full floor kits are pretty worthless. Maybe your's can be build from inside the car while it is still on the frame, but I suspect that is not the case.
    4) Cost. It is, after all, a floor to be covered by maybe some insulation and probably carpet. Your floor kit started life as a sheet of steel before you (or whom ever you paid) ran it through a bunch of stamping processes. For you to assume a person is not capable of producing a quality floor pan from a sheet of steel, at home, is pretty short sighted. Guys were repairing and building floor pans long before you started stamping them out.

    You probably have a great product for something you make a kit for. It just doesn't work for this application. Gene
     
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  14. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Thanks everyone for all their input, good and not-so-much. Back to the topic at hand, I have personal lines drawn in the sand. I could pull the body and have the means to do so but am not going to invest years into a project in order to address every single issue. To do this car "right" would require the entire thing being blown apart and every piece rebuilt, replaced or addressed in some form. Simply put, that's not happening for this build.

    Its going to be built "right" from a safety standpoint. Meaning brakes, steering and suspension have or will get a thorough going through. The frame is solid from front to back and the floors simply need replacing which is where this thread started.

    So today the passenger side got cut out. The inner rocker is rock solid except for a few holes that will be patched. I saved the identifiable pieces to make patterns from. The cross bracing is solid and usable. I still need to disect up to the toe board but for now I'm very happy with the metal I have to work with. I forgot to take pics after Ospho treatment.

    The plan still remains to get some 18ga sheets, cut to shape, bend them in a brake and roll some beads in them. I own all the tools to do the job and more importantly, thanks to many of you, I have the confidence to do the job.

    So please continue to follow along and enjoy the ride. Afterall, this is just a chill cruiser that will be reliable and safe. Nothing more, nothing less.

    NAES 20181219_133132.jpeg 20181219_133143.jpeg 20181219_133151.jpeg

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  15. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,030

    anthony myrick
    Member

    You could do some rust mort/por15 to your frame as you did the floor. Then undercoat every thing from the bottom when finished welding.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
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  16. Kirby50
    Joined: Nov 4, 2012
    Posts: 14

    Kirby50
    Member
    from san diego

    NAES looks like you are doing a great job. I started the same project on my '53 Caddy. I some aftermarket patch panels that really didn't fit well and I probably could have made better ones but they came with the car when I bought it. I found an air chisel helps with some of those spot welds on the braces that run under the car. I only finished the passenger side and that took two days. I then had to leave to go on deployment so I wasn't able to start on the drivers side. I also have limited sheetmetal experience and learned a lot doing this. There are times that it will get frustrating and overwhelming but you have to remember that anything worth fighting for or doing most the time has to go thru hell before it gets to heaven. Nothing like jumping up and down on new floor boards screaming look what I did!!!
     
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  17. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Thanks guys. After these pics were taken I sprayed the frame down with Rust mort. I'll get out and do a little more surgery on the passenger side and get it repaired before moving on to the deivers side.

    The silver lining to removing the floor is that I now have full access to the master cylinder which is getting replaced with a Wilwood dual circuit instead of the single circuit that is stock. I may make the trans tunnel removable similar to a C-10 truck for the inevitable time this 600lb trans gives up the ghost.

    NAES

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  18. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    That trans cover idea sounds like a good one, I may steal it one day in the future.
     
  19. HotrodHR
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 205

    HotrodHR
    Member

    A great source to find new and used books is www.abebooks.com. Typed in the author Tommy Sandham and several copies of the book "Chassis and Monocoque Bodywork" were available. Prices ranged from $2.50 and up plus $5.05 shipping from U.K. To USA. Didn't see the other book mentioned earlier...

    May be an interesting read... just not sure if it's worth the hassle to order a book from the U.K.
     
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,513

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is it done yet?
     
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  21. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Not done yet Gimpy! The nibbler and electric shears are Christmas gifts. I have trimmed almost everything back to good metal and started making card stock templates.

    Thanks for keeping me accountable though!

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  22. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Ok its been a little while since I got back to the Caddy.

    The past 2 days I've finally been able to start on the floor pans. The electric shear makes cutting so much easier than a cut off wheel. Hand shears won't cut it.

    I got the beads nice and deep after multiple passes and even though the panels warped in the process they're super still. Still plenty of trimming left to do as well as trans tunnel fabbing but overall I'm super happy with the results thus far.

    The HF bead roller flexed a bunch in spite of reinforcement and I stripped the clamping bolt but no biggie to fix. My home made finger brake is OK for this work but I wish the flanges were sharper. Oh well.

    Pics
    20190130_113121.jpeg 20190130_113157.jpeg 20190130_183849.jpeg 20190130_115938.jpeg

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  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,271

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Best and cheapest way to go, sell that car and buy one with a good body.

    If you insist on saving that one, see if you can find a body you can buy the floor out of. As you are in California it may be possible to find a good floor. One from a 4 door sedan will work, it doesn't have to be a hardtop.

    Or maybe you can find a donor car complete. To get some idea what is involved, check out this series of videos.

    And keep in mind, this is the easy cheap way to do it.

     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  24. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    You can pre-stretch the places where the beading is going to be by marking the beads with a sharpie, and some hammer and dolly work.
     
  25. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Cool video Rusty. Way more work than I'm willing to put into this Cadillac. I'm keeping it for sure and leaving the body in place. The plan is a short-ish term project and I am realistic about how in depth I'm willing to go.

    I'll look into relaxing the beaded section before I roll the next panel. Thanks for the tip.

    NAES

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  26. I have a complete, very nice 4 door hardtop 1958 series 62 floor that may help. I would love to contribute if you can find a way move it from SW Idaho to your place. PM me if interested.
     
  27. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,969

    gene-koning
    Member

    NAES, what you have done so far looks good. Its good that many of those braces under the floor pan are still good, it wasn't looking like they were going to be that way from the first pictures.
    When your ready to begin the welding process, I suggest to put the new part in place and tack it at the 4 corners to hold it in place. Then you can start on one side, and put a tack about every 6" or so, the move on to the next side and do the same thing. Its easier to keep the new pan in position if you do some spread out tacks, all around the pan, one side at a time. There always seems to be at least one side, or part of one side that just doesn't fit up as well as you planned. Tacking allows to to cut a tack or two (or maybe more) if you need to reposition the patch.

    Once you have it tacked all around, you can go back and hammer and dolly the side tight against each other again. When the fit like you want, I suggest you do another round of tacks, this time splitting the difference between the previous tacks. If your first tacks were 6" apart, the second round you want a tack about every 3" apart, again, do one side, then move to the next side. When your done tacking all the sides, hammer & dolly again. As your tacks get closer together, you will find the old and the new sheet metal will want to spread apart.

    I use an old heavy duty screw driver to push the top metal against the bottom metal then do a tack right next to the screwdriver. Don't push too hard, the purpose to the mate the two pieces of metal together for a good tack. This tends to ruin the screwdriver for any other purpose, but those big flat blade screw drivers work well for this for many years.

    I like to do the tack welds until there is about 3/4" (or less) between the tacks. More then that tends to warp the metal as the weld grows longer. When I get this close, I will use the big screw driver and maybe a small hammer to be sure the area between the tacks are tight against each other, then weld . When I weld those last 3/4" segments, I skip every other segment, other wise it builds up too much heat and things warp bad. When (not if) you get to a section that burns through easy, I might just put a single tack between the existing tacks and move to the next segment. If you feel your building too much heat, skip around on those last 3/4" segments, they don't have to be all done in a row.
    Have fun. Weld short sections at a time. Don't be in a hurry, its not a race. Expect to get pretty good at filling holes in the sheet metal. Gene
     
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  28. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,195

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    You have so many good answers for advice the correct way to repair it , I guess my suggestion to start with an axe wouldn’t be fair or smart would it !
     
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  29. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 805

    irishsteve

    Just a thought....if you purchased a 57 Chevy two piece floor panel it might save a lot of Fab work.It has a hump in it already.You could widen it as needed,or lengthen it.
     
  30. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 479

    NAES
    Member

    Fan Attic. I genuinely appreciate the offer. Unfortunately I don't have the means to bring down the floor from Idaho. Man this forum has the best members!

    Gene. I will follow your advice to the letter. Thank you for the well thought out post. Tons of great advice there.

    Irishsteve. I thought about buying another floor but fabbing is kinda fun.

    NAES
     
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