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Getting started on my floor pans and torque boxes

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Vtx531

Vtx531

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I bought a set of 1/32" cutoff wheels to cut out the edge of the existing floor pans for my butt welds. Started a little bit on that and then decided I want to replace the section under the seat mount.

I ground out the spot welds with 3" cutoff wheel and removed the rusted piece. Still need to smooth out the edges, spot welds, and fit the replacement piece.

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Macrosill

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I love this thread. A regular guy trying some new things, gaining skills and getting it done! I have very similar repairs in my future and will be using this thread as reference. Keep up the great work!
 
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Vtx531

Vtx531

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I love this thread. A regular guy trying some new things, gaining skills and getting it done! I have very similar repairs in my future and will be using this thread as reference. Keep up the great work!

So glad to hear that you are enjoying it, thank you!

I started tacking in the front pan. Not going quite as well as the 2-dimensional flat rocker panel but I am taking my time and trying to get the fitup as good as I can.

I couldn't really use the buttjoint clamps because I dont have access to both sides at the same time. But another shortfall is they dont bring the pieces in together. ——-To solve that, I bought some little corner angle brackets for 48 cents to tack to each panel and then I am able to pull them together with some vice grips to bring the panels close and get them flush. The method worked really well!

Some of the gaps actually completely closed up so I will simply cut the joint with the 1/32 cutting wheel for perfect gap.

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Vtx531

Vtx531

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Ingenuity. Love it. Definitely have seen improvement over this thread. Glad to see your welding skills get better and moving away from screws and rivets.

Thanks Andy. Sorry to disappoint you but I'm still going with rivets where all the original spot weld/lap joints are! They worked too good for me not to use them.

I got the front pan lined up, tacked into place, and proper gaps.

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And welded in! Again, less good than the rocker panel but much improved over the driver side pan buttjoint. "That aint goin nowhere." Seam sealer and carpet on top anyways. Made sure to put on the sunscreen haha.
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Vtx531

Vtx531

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Great day in the garage today - rear pan is welded in. Came out better than the front. I might have had my welder settings off for some reason on the front. Same technique as the front pan. I got the replacement piece between the two pans welded in too.

Pays to take your time and get the gaps right. The best technique I have found is to overlap and cut through both pieces...then tack in place close together...then use the cutting wheel again to obtain the gaps...run about 10 spots of weld in a row between tacks with eyes closed...then cut off the tacks and get the right gaps there with the cutting wheel...then do 10 spots in a row eyes closed skipping around until it's all filled in.

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Oh - and I am using an 1/8" thick flat bar as a cutting guide anytime I cut metal now and want to get a straight line. Here it is tacked underneath for the straight cut below the seat mount that goes front to back. Did that part a couple days ago as well as pre-paint the piece.

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Vtx531

Vtx531

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Wow, you’ve come a long way. It’s looking great!

Thanks Matt! I got started on the FUN part today - putting in all the screws.

It is almost like doing a paint job in that there are hours and hours of prep and getting to this point and then the actual painting takes hardly any time and gives the big payoff. That's putting in the screws.

For anyone doing this job (whether welding, screwing, riveting) there are two really important spots to line up. One at the front corner near the rocker and one at the rear corner by the rollbar.

Here is the front spot, there is a flange underneath that you need to make flush with the bottom of the floor pan. This is where I chose to put the first screw.

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Here is a view from underneath where it needs to be flush.
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Here is the rear part that needs to be aligned vertically. This was the second screw I did.
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All the others should be easy and just go one after the other. I missed this key detail when I first did the driver side but nice to have everything lined up more perfectly this go-around.

And the tool of choice to get the screws into the tight corners as well as drill the rivet holes in the tight corners - air drill with magnetic nut driver.

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Vtx531

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Well, I always post the good with the bad. I ran into a little issue...

First off, did some plug welds and they came out pretty good. A lot better than my last sides attempt. Credit this to having the metal completely clean and holes of proper size.

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Problem is that the exterior rocker panel is being sucked in too much when I clamp it, I must have been a little off when I welded the pans and filler piece in. The inner flanges needed to be out 1/4" more.

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I beat on it a little with wood and a hammer and used pliers to pull it out a little bit which made the gap slightly better.

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It's not sitting very flush with the door. Hopefully a little more hammer and pliers and maybe some door adjustment will help? I think as long as I pull the bottom edge out where I need it, body filler will work in the depressed area since it is less than 1/4". Maybe next time I'll do better 😂

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I learned the hard way 10 years ago when I did a poor rocker repair job that you will see it after paint if the flat sides don't sit perfectly flat with a straight edge
 
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Vtx531

Vtx531

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Screws are done (I think)! I had one screw left out of the box of 100 after all was said and done (including three or four wasted screws that broke or dulled out).

View from underneath
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Good photo from inside that shows how the torque box sits relative to the floor pans.
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Rear section all screwed together.
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Underneath at the front. Strong like you wouldn't believe.
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Spot welds went really well. I still need to grind them smooth but didn't want to get the floor all messy while I'm crawling around with the drill underneath.
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So, next thing is to pull out each screw, one by one, deburr and place rivets.

I would TOTALLY recommend this method to anyone. Whether you have the welding equipment and ability or not - It works extremely well

Also ordered some replacement fenders from eBay that were delivered this morning.

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Vtx531

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Well here is where I'm at...not ideal but I think it will work out at the end.

I used some flange pliers and a piece on flat stock for backing to pull the bottom edge of the rocker out. I think that particular edge is important to get straight. Should be able to fill in with body filler.

The other options I thought of were:
1. Cut a long slit on the inside floor pans front- rear to allow the side to come out a bit. Then I would have to somehow fill that gap created and weld it up.
2. Put 3/16" filler strip in between the outside rocker and inside floor pan flanges. Would be hard to attach to both sides and the difference isn't an even 3/16" all the way from front to back.

So, I guess part of doing a job like this as an amateur is encountering problems and figuring out ways to make it work and keep it moving... on the bright side, the plug welds came out decent and finished off nicely.

When 3/16" looks like a mile:

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Vtx531

Vtx531

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I set 52 rivets today and got the front side of the floor mostly done. Good workout for hand grip strength, wow.

First pic is midway through the process... Remove screw, drill hole, deburr, set rivet. So satisfying hearing that POP.

Last pic is where I stopped for the day. Definitely got my moneys worth out of the $5 HF rivet tool over the last year.

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