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Old March 19th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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FONZY's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Sanger, TX
Posts: 2,820

I wanted to let everyone see how I replaced the floor pans in the Hooptie... and since I am turning a sedan into a convertible, I fabricated my own reinforcement rails, which I like alot more than Volkswagen's and these cost a whole hell of alot less.

First... the swiss cheese...

These guys have been patched, undercoated, warped and rusted through in various layers. Out they go! Cutting the floor pans off is pretty easy... just realize you are not cutting them off flush with the tunnel, but about 1/2" away from it, this way the factory ledge is left in place.Once the pans are removed, grind everything down to bare metal on these ledges, making sure to get rid of all of the factory 'tar' sealant and rust.

A few things to keep in mind when fitting your new pans to the frame is to make sure both halves are going to be symetrical (seat frames even with each other) AND more importantly that the body bolt holes on the outer edge of the pans are in the correct place. This means alot of measuring, checking, and double checking.

Now once you have them placed correctly, use some short self tapping screws aprox. ever 3-4 inches to pull everything together.

At this point you are ready to weld em back on. I would recomend a low amperage setting since the ledge on the frame is much thicker than the sheetmetal of the pan, to help prevent brun through.

Now for me, I am adding a 2 by 2 inch tube along the outer edge of each pan to reinforce them, helping to eliminate door area flex in the body. first i cut off the stock jack mount...

then I attacked the rolled outer edge of the pan, making it a right angle instead, giving the 2x2 a place to mount sqaurely to.

Some fabrication work on the 2x2...

I put a nice 45 degree angle on each end of the 2x2 so it will be less likely to snag on speedbumps and potholes.

Then I did a few 'pie-cuts' to conform to the outline of the pan...

Up near the ront end, I cut the pan edge and made it overlay the 2x2, gaining a little more strength and tire clearance for the front wheels...

I then welded the 2x2 to the pans, on top and on the bottom, and then welded the pans to the frame.

I did a little bit of a boxed section near the front, again for strength and tire clearance...

I also flipped the frame up on it's side for access to the bottom...

Welded the pan seam along the frame on the bottom, as well as the two rear 'ledge' mounts...

I then put some nice 35 year silicon based latex caulking along the seams of the pan, top and bottom. This is a very necessary step to keep the seam watertight as well as a rust prevention.

Last but not least... I ground off all the old 'undercoating' and paint, shot two coats of rustoleum rattle can flat black primer, and 5 coats of rustoleum gloss black paint on the bottom of the entire frame.

"Hey boy! You sure gotta perty ... umm... pan!"

Hope this helps any first timers out there wanting to tackle something like this.
And just so you know, this CAN be done without completely lifting away the body. Undo all of the body bolts and then prop the body up a couple of inches above the chassis. Cut, weld, drive. One nice benefit of doing this with the body 'hovering' is that you can actually align all of the bolt holes very easilly.

Anywho... good luck!
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