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April 2005

I decided to clean up and fix the bad patching done to the floors. As I cleaned them up though I found
more rusting and also that one of the seat rail mounting bolts was broken. This was the one inside
the crossmember meaning you can't easily get to it to repair. So I decided to replace both floor
pans. I have done this before on Vicky 1 so I know exactly how to proceed. First I cut out three
sections of the floor pan. The easiest way to know where to cut so you avoid the crossmembers is
to drill small holes from under the car. The holes are in the corners of the shapes to cut out.
Then from the top of the car you can draw lines between the holes to know where it is safe to cut.
Cutting out these three sections makes the next stages easier since you only need to remove the
strips from the edges. To do that I first sand the steel to show up where all the spot welds are.
The welds show up as small depressions in the steel. Once I know where they are I use a grinding
wheel on the angle grinder to grind them out. You don't need to go all the way though. Just make
the steel thin enough to easily tear. I then use a hammer and cold chisel to hammer away the steel
strips. If you grind the spot welds enough and get them all you can often pull the strips up
easily by hand. Usually though some welds need more grinding and there will also be a few missed
earlier. When doing all this you must wear a face mask, googles, hearing protectors and gloves.
Metal dust goes everywhere.

Once you have the strips removed you are left with a sight like this. You can see into the rails and
crossmembers the floors usually hide. They are typically full of rust but as long as it is on the
surface and the steel hasn't been weakend it isn't anything to worry about. I will apply rust
killer to the insides of the crossmembers and then paint with rust killing paint/primer. Eventually
when the floors are back on I will spray an anti rust treatment into all the cavities. The last
image shows the edges after I sanded them smooth ready to have new floors welded onto them. 7

This is the special gun and also the underbody spray I bought. The gun goes onto the top of the can.
The underbody spray is a 3M product and it provides a tough, black coating to the underside of the
car for protection from stones and rust. I already have some on the front of the car but that
coating is thinner (non 3M from a spray can). I will redo the whole underside with the new gun to
get a thicker coating. The gun can also be used with anti rust wax. The long tube is attached to
gun. You then feed that into any hidden cavities in the car. You pull the trigger and slowly pull
out the tube which is spraying body wax in a 360 degree pattern from the tip. That gives a nice
even coating of rust protection all though the hidden spaces in the car.

When I finally reassemble the car I need to be careful the steering column properly aligns to the
steering rack pinion shaft. This is so that there is no sideways force on the steering u-joint.
At the factory they used a special tool consisting of two cones. These fit over the ends of the
two shafts with the u-joint removed. The rack and steering column are then shimmed to get the
points of the cones to align. I quickly made up my own version of this tool that hopefully allows
me to check my alignment. I machined up two cones from aluminium on the lathe. These are bored out
to slide snugly over the ends of the shafts. The shafts have a groove machined in them that the
clamp bolts of the u-joint fit though. I carefully measured the distance from the centre of the
u-joint to the centre of the clamp bolts. I then measured the same distance down from the point
of my aluminium cone and I milled a slot into the side of the cone with a cutting tool the same
diameter as the u-joint clamp bolt. I then lay a bolt in the slot and hold it firmly in place
using a rubber band. It's not particularily high tech but it works! I can slide the cone over the
shaft ends until the bolt clicks into the groove in the shaft. The centre point of the cone is then
exactly where the centre of the u-joint will be when it is on the shaft. With one on the end of the
steering column shaft and one on the end of the pinion shaft to the rack I should be able to work
out if I need shims or not.

I will post more pics of the tool in use once I get to the point of reassembling everything.

May 2005

This is the special tool I used to punch the holes around the edge of the new pans so I could plug
weld them in. The holes in the middle sections I had to drill the old fashioned way. The tool is
a panelbeating one called a joggler (and other names). The head rotates. One side allows you to
make a flange in thin steel so you can overlap joints. The other side allows you to punch holes
in thin steel. I punched holes about every 2 inches around the floor edge. With the holes along
the middle of the pans there ended up being 120 holes per floor. So that means 240 welds! Welding
in the new floors is a little tricky. You're working in a cramped space and there are a lot of
welds to be done. You must make sure the floor is held down tight to the steel underneath. This can
be hard as the heat from welding makes the steel expand and it can lift. I found the best thing
to do was tack each hole first with a tiny spot of weld then weld it later as quickly as possible.
The last picture shows how I primed the inside of the chassis rails and crossmember. On top of the
car is the front crossmember and various bits of the front suspension painted black. And yes, my
sheet dropcloths happens to be the exact same colour as the primer.

Once the floors were welded in I sanded the top to make all the welds nice and flat. I then started
the underside. This has to be one of the most awful jobs you can do. I had to lie on my back
the car in a very confined space. Under there I used the wire brush on the angle grinder to
clean the bottom of the car and remove any old and flaking underseal and paint. When doing this
you have to wear ear muffs, goggles, gloves and a respirator. Crap goes everywhere and you end up
very, very dirty. The little wires from the brush can also break off so you end up with nasty
wire splinters sticking into you. Once I found a tiny piece of wire sticking out of my leg. I
pulled it out and it was a splinter about half an inch long! After wire brushing I washed
the entire underside with a scotch pad and hot, soapy water. This is to remove any dirt and dust
created by the wire brushing. Since you have to do all this lying on your back under the car dirty
water and muck runs down your arms and you end up lying in a big dirty puddle. I let the underside
dry for a while then came back and went over the whole thing with wax and grease remover to make
sure the surface was clean. I then put grey seam sealer around all the floor edges and anywhere
else I thought water might get in. The easiest way, although messiest, is to wear rubber gloves
and smear the sealer in with a finger. Once the sealer dried I painted the underside with a rust
killing primer. Painting with a brush upside down is also a complete bastard of a job. Paint goes
everywhere. It continually runs down the brush until eventually it becomes stuck to your hands by
drying paint. Gloves are essential! I did one coat and allowed that to fully dry before doing a
second coat. Once that is dry I will run Fisholene rust proofer into the floor seams from the top.
Since the bottom is sealed it should creep in between the panels and hopefully stop rust forming
in there. I will then clean and seal from the top also. The interior will then be painted. First
with the anti rust primer (in it's lovely pink/beige colour) then body colour. The underside will
then be sprayed with black under body sealer and finally I will spray some sort of creeping rust
proofing over that to seep into any remaining pinholes. I have only done as far back as the heel
board so far. I will do the rear section when I rebuild the rear differential and suspension.

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Copyright © 2004-2009 Simon Jansen