How-To: No-Weld Rusty Floors

Zukey14

New Member
Dec 6, 2018
7
1
Lambertville Michigan
#1
New to the forum and thought I would share my floor pan and torque box repair. Just purchased a 97 Jeep Wrangler Sahara with 135k for very cheap to be used as an off road toy. Being that its spent its entire life in Southern Michigan it has been salted to near death. My frame is still solid but rusty, no soft spots however all three body mounts on both torque boxes were completely rusted through as were the floor pans front and rear on both sides. Probably would have been easier to get a new tub however there are some significant headaches with that I had no idea how to tackle, like how to move an entire tub by yourself.

These are the front pan:
IMG_0278[1].JPG IMG_0755[1].JPG
These are the rear pan: (Yes that's the body mount)
IMG_0757[1].JPG IMG_0759[1].JPG
What's left of the drivers torque box:
IMG_0277[1].JPG

I have only done the drivers side so far but to repair it I cut off everything that was rusted, drilled out all the spot welds and ordered new pans and the torque box from amazon.

Torque box
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MS4UGFV/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Front Pan
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZBBDXC0/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Rear pan: Key parts from Quadratec

No floor:
IMG_0767[1].JPG

After removing all the rust I cut my new pans to have a +1" overlap to the holes in the front and rear floor, placed the new pans and sanded all the overlap on the new pans and old floor down to bare metal. I liberally applied 3M body adhesive to the overlap and placed the pans in. Then used 3/16 stainless rivets to attach the pans. Once the pans were in and riveted I smoothed out the push out from the 3m adhesive to seal the seam on the inside and outside. I used an entire bottle for the pans, which was probably a bit excessive but it sealed up nicely and is solid. After letting the pans cure I used the same process with the torque box.

Front pan:
IMG_0779[1].JPG
Rear Pan:
IMG_0780[1].JPG
Torque box:
IMG_0810[1].JPG IMG_0811[1].JPG IMG_0812[1].JPG

Pop Rivets used:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FAUF1SQ/?tag=wranglerorg-20

3m Adhesive and applicator:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KSF9TCW/?tag=wranglerorg-20

New body Mounts:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C62R1PQ/?tag=wranglerorg-20

I know this is not the traditional repair but being that I don't know how to weld it was the best repair option for me. The combination of the 3M adhesive and rivets on paper should be stronger than the tack welds but I am not going to try and convince anyone. I am not recommending this to anyone just sharing my experience in trying to bring a rust bucket back to life.

IMG_0278[1].JPG


IMG_0277[1].JPG


IMG_0767[1].JPG


IMG_0755[1].JPG


IMG_0757[1].JPG


IMG_0759[1].JPG


IMG_0810[1].JPG


IMG_0779[1].JPG


IMG_0811[1].JPG


IMG_0780[1].JPG


IMG_0812[1].JPG
 
Likes: MaloStapalo
#2
That seems like a very good improvement.

You'll probably hear about how it should have been welded or the tub totally replaced and maybe even a whole new frame while you're at it but I've lived with worse cars and Jeeps and did various repairs, some better some not so great.

I'm not sure if your off road toy will be driven on the road to get off road but I wouldn't have a problem with it if it was.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
31,836
19,413
Salem, Oregon
#3
Well that looks night and day better! Do you think rivets will present a problem versus being welded in? I wouldn't think so.
 
OP
OP
Zukey14

Zukey14

New Member
Dec 6, 2018
7
1
Lambertville Michigan
#4
Thanks for the positive feedback! I sort of expect the negative comments but I thought it was worth sharing. I use the Jeep on the road sometimes in the summer when I can cruise with the top off but mainly its just driving to the off road park. Its the back up vehicle if something happened to my truck or my wife's car.

I don't think the rivets will cause any issues except maybe a way for water to get in, but it would be minimal if any plus I don't have the plugs in either so that would be the main source of water if I got that deep. I plan to monsta-line the inside which will seal them and I truck bed lined the underside so that sealed the bottom ones. I have seen pans riveted in before and the only downside vs welding I have heard is the cosmetics since they aren't smooth.
 

Ranger_b0b

Rust Belt Heavyweight
Supporting Member
Feb 28, 2017
3,348
3,559
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
#6
I'm gonna say Kudos for thinking outside the box. I think your method of repair for the floors will work out great. However, the torque box is a structural part of the body...I don't know enough about that body adhesive to know if it will hold or not. What is it's shear strength? The rivets alone won't do it.

Welding is recommended because people understand it, and say negative things about what they DON'T understand.
 

59 wagon man

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Nov 15, 2017
358
258
Hollywood, FL, United States
#7
the 2 part adhesives are great. there is a guy on the tv car shows named kevin tetz I believe, he did a video series about bodywork and highly recommends it for body panels but as stated for structural it doesn't pass. for the floor pans it is great and it does look good
 
OP
OP
Zukey14

Zukey14

New Member
Dec 6, 2018
7
1
Lambertville Michigan
#9
I'm gonna say Kudos for thinking outside the box. I think your method of repair for the floors will work out great. However, the torque box is a structural part of the body...I don't know enough about that body adhesive to know if it will hold or not. What is it's shear strength? The rivets alone won't do it.

Welding is recommended because people understand it, and say negative things about what they DON'T understand.

Thanks, I was concerned about using it for the torque box as well. 3m's data shows the shear strength is 3935psi with a 10mil thick application to 18 gauge steel, which the steel and adhesive will fail together. The Jeep uses 16 gauge steel so it would potentially be higher. It performs as well or better than tack welds and has a uniform load distribution vs tack welds which are localized, except for the peel test. The rivets are all additional to this and will perform similarly in shear and peel as tack welds. Rivets are more expensive and not cosmetically appealing so they are not used but mechanically they perform similarly to tack welds if used correctly. But again this is a garage repair and I am not an auto body engineer but I do know that before the repair I had no torque box and the body mounts were literally sticking through the floor so its better and safer than it was.
 

MaloStapalo

МалоСтапало
Supporting Member
Mar 26, 2018
455
371
Vail, coloRADo
#10
Not quote sure yet. I am going to start with mats and see if its too hot/cold. Hopefully I wont need the carpet because the carpet I have is trashed.
Last year I had my old SE with no carpet and the drain plugs removed in winter and I really didnt seem to suffer too much.
 

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