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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Next in my series of Death by Photography(TM) rambling repair diaries, is about the front passenger side floor pan on my 63 coupe. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing with this stuff. If you're looking for an expert guide, this ain't it. My only redeeming quality is that I have a camera, and refuse to quit. That said, here we go.

Surveying the damage.

This first pic was taken back on 10/24/05. It's what I saw when I pulled back the carpet. As you can see, the toe board is a complete loss, as is the floor pan back to the front seat mounting holes:


Here's a wider view of the damage with the carpet and seats out. You can also see my hole-y kick panel, before repair:


After gutting the interior and grinding off 95% of the grime and old primer, I cut out the worst of the rust, just because:


Knowing what you have to work with.

I got my passenger side replacement floor pan from NIGHTSHADE. It doesn't go very high up in the toe pan area, and, it's not formed correctly at the front seam. The way the factory did it, the floor pan is folded downward on the outer edge, and pinch welded to the rocker rail. Forward of the seam, the edge of the toe board area is folded up to meet the kick panel section. It can be made to work, but I was lucky enough to get an original toe board section from another member:



Locating the seat mounting holes, deciding where to cut.

At CustomJim's suggestion, I'm taking the repair all the way back to the floorpan crossmember, which sits under the rear front seat mounting points. Structurally, it's the soundest place to make the repair. Even if all my welds somehow gave way, the repair section isn't going anywhere. So, here's my cut line, right through the middle of the crossmember. I also circled the spot welds, though of course only the forward row of spot welds (to the right) will have to be cut out:


Here I used a carpenter's square to measure at a right angle from the rocker rail, and locate the center points of my seat mounting holes:


Here's the underside view, where you can see the crossmember, and a bracket for the outer front seat mount that I will have to separate from the floor pan and weld to the repair panel. And also, how much old oil is caked on the bottom of my car :rolleyes: :


To be continued.
 

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Unfortunately that looks all too familiar.. I am in the process of the exact same thing right now. Just finished the passengers side - and am about to start cutting the drivers side out.

My car had damage even higher up on the toe board, which I just used 22 ga sheet metal to repair.

I had some issue with the new pan not matching up completely with the factory braces, but made it work.

Looks like you're doing a great job. Good luck with the rest!
 

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Looking good so far. And I too will be going through this shortly with the 4door.

I for one am very curious about how the floor pan will fit. Not just for my usage but for others as well.

Greg, could you elaborate a little more on the differances in the pan from the original area. Is the seam area a "poor" fit or is it just that the seam is molded and not really a seam any longer??
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looking good so far. And I too will be going through this shortly with the 4door.

I for one am very curious about how the floor pan will fit. Not just for my usage but for others as well.

Greg, could you elaborate a little more on the differances in the pan from the original area. Is the seam area a "poor" fit or is it just that the seam is molded and not really a seam any longer??
That's part of it. I tried to illustrate what I'm talking about. The factory toeboard, on top, has an edge flap that is pointed up. The rest of the floorboard has an edge flap that is pointed down. The replacement piece, below, is folded down, down the whole edge. You can probably fix this with a pair of snips and pliers, but I'm not so sure about the location of the corner on the replacement, either. Again, nothing a little banging on couldn't fix:
 

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Thanks! My hope is that the forum stays stable, and my image hosting, for the long term, and that someone'll be able to use it as a reference one day.
Just in case, take the posts along with the pictures and save it off in a WORD document. If it ever is lost in this forum and another member is looking for the info, it'll be easy to ressurect.

I just got through the same floor pan replacement with my 66 Chevelle SS, I also replace the trunk, rear tail panel, rear window to trunk filler panel and various other pieces on the Chevelle SS that had been rotted out. I received 95% of my sheetmetal from NIGHTSHADE (GoodMark). I'd have to say I was very happy with the fit. As expected with almost any reproduction part, some areas didn't fit "exactly" but they were pretty close, just needed some adjustment - trim here and there - MUCH better than what I pulled out :)
 

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Thank you, thank you, thank you for the pics!

I got my pans from Nightshade last week, and hope to start in the next week or two. The pics help a lot, keep up the posting please!:D
 

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Greg

A friend of mine was just here looking at my Acadian floor pan project. He has taught autobody at our local high school for about 25 years. I was telling him I hope to start soon. He said to make SURE that I block up the car from underneath in many areas. Also he said as I am cutting to keep checking the gaps to make sure nothing is sagging. Also he said not to be kneeling on the sill when I am welding or cutting. I never asked him, but I assume that I could kneel on there as long as I have it well supported. I wanted to make sure to mention this to you as I see you working on yours.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good points, Carl. I currently have jackstands under the front frame members, and the rear is on the wheels. The car is sitting at ride height, so I'm not worried about any big changes when the front wheels go back on. The front floor pan is pretty well boxed in, with the rocker rail to the outside, the front subframe in front, the crossmember that I'm cutting to in back, and the transmission hump to the other side. I've been watching carefully, and I really don't see much chance of flexing while working on this particular area, since the car is level.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, as of last night, I'm much closer to having my final cut. All pitted metal is now removed. I will probably cut higher on the transmission hump side, so that I will minimize my trimming on the new panel. It's time to clean and cut the toe board patch from the donor metal, and also I'll take this opportunity to clean out the exposed floor braces and paint them on the inside with rust preventative. As you can see, my cut to the rear is straight down the middle of one of the braces:

 

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Any more progress or pics?

I was out measuring on mine tonight. I took a bunch of dimensions for the seat track holes using the sill plate screw holes as reference. I made up a page for each side showing dimensions so I have something to go from once the floor looks like yours. I think I will be putting in the whole pan up to the front seam though.

I am a bit concerned about the rails that come back from the front under the floor pan. Will they not sag at the rear if I have the trans crossmember attatched? Even without it, will they stay in place?



 

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Hey Greg,

making good progress. I went through the same battles you have been...floor,side cowls,etc. Just wanted to throw something at you in case you didn't consider it. How you split the pan along the center of the cross brace, that will work good to hide the weld underneath, and save alot of grinding and smoothing. But make sure you use the holes in the braces to hose in some undercoating when the new pan is welded in together because you will have bare weld exposed to the moisture that will collect inside if you don't treat it, plus the burn away of any coating in there from the welding. I had to put new braces on mine, so I was able to treat all the metal where the pans came together before spot welding the braces back on. Just trying to save you a hidden rusting zone after all the hard work

Brett
 

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Discussion Starter #16
More progress

Made some good progress this week on the floor pan. I should finish within a week, work permitting.

Cleaning out the floor braces
The front floor brace was full of a mixture of motor oil and mud. Fortunately, it seems to be a pretty good rust preventative:


After scooping it out with a chisel and wire wheeling the inside and the edges, I hit it with a coat of master series silver. I probably will spray some truck bed liner inside as well:



Cutting the toe board patch

After cutting away most of the un-needed parts of the toe board, and cleaning off the surface rust and old primer, I clamped the rough patch in place:


Then I went around to the outside of the patch, and traced my cut opening with a sharpie, then clamped the patch in the vise for cutting. I stuck to the outside of the lines:


It's a pretty good fit. I did some hammer and dolly work to straighten it out after drilling out the spotwelds and prying it away from the subframe member:

I'll mark the holes that are on top of the frame member in this picture, then grind away those areas, but leave the rest of it as protected as possible.

Those welding magnets work pretty good in a situation like this to pull your surfaces level:


Almost ready to weld
Now both patches are cut, and fit well, though they are not quite in perfect position here, you get the point. What remains now is to clean the underside edges of all my weld seams to encourage a clean weld, and drill all my plug weld holes:
 

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Great work. You are a real inspiration for me to get going on mine. I just won't have time to for the next 2 weeks or so, but then I hope it's full speed ahead!

Thanks again, and keep it coming:D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thanks, guys! It's good to know people are watching what I'm doing, helps keep me motivated. Of course, I'd really like to drive the car...:D

bbqrat, I have stripped almost the entire car with those paint/rust stripper discs by 3M that attach to a drill.
Here's a thread about it. They are made of a hard, sponge-like black nylon material, and look like hockey pucks on sticks. There is a one layer and two layer version. I find the 3M brand to be superior to Norton, which has an almost identical product.
 
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