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Thread: Floor Pan replacement - need advice

  1. #1
    Hiding in plain sight jeepfever's Avatar
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    Default Floor Pan replacement - need advice

    After three years of sitting idle (in three different garages), my CJ-7 rebuild is starting to get back underway. I had initially bought four replacement panels to repair the cancer in my front floor pan, but when I started cutting everything out, I found that the PO had already fiberglassed over a lot of the bad areas. The glass job was pretty fair, so there was much more rot than I thought. I have the tub off and will be getting rid of all bad steel. While agonizing with myself over how to proceed, I ran across a full replacement floor pan that I just couldn't pass up.

    Now I have a dilemma. Once I get the entire front pan cut out, how do I get the new one in and still ensure that everything is going to line up correctly once it's welded in? Would it be better to sit the tub back on the frame and just slip the bolts into their respective holes on the frame supports and then fit the pan? How about bracing? Do I need to tack in some supports to keep the tub from "skewing" while the pan is out of it?







    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly screaming -- "WOW! What a Ride!""

  2. #2
    Recovery Whore RescueJP's Avatar
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    ooo how I dread the day I have to do this to my jeep
    1981 CJ7- 4in lift on 33's, Twin sticked dana300, aussied D30, Custom bumpers,Herced inside. Riddler covers.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    I would one of two things (or a combo of them during the process)

    1 (I would most likely start it this way) Flip the tub over, laying the 'windshield' part n some blocks.
    Then level it in the back corners, so the entire tub is level.

    Use a center punch, and mark some reference points near each corner. Using a tape measure and measuring in an "X" pattern.
    This will give you a reference to keep the tub square once the old pan is cut out.

    Cut out the old floorpan, and tack in the new one.

    Or:

    #2 Other option. Set the new floorpan on the frame, and drop the bolts in.

    Cut out old floorpan, set tub over new floorpan, and tack it in.

    remove for doing the full weld out.

    I think if you have the room, option #1 would give you the best results.

    Setting the new pan on the frame will work, but it might be a bugger to make sure the frame is square/true/level.

    Not to mention, trying to get the tub to set just right, while you line it up.


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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    I will second on HillBill and allow me to add:

    TIP: Being a welder and more than once having got 'burnt' (no pun intended) the thinner the metal the more it pulls/shrinks when welding up. So throw your tacks on as if you were torquing down a cyl head or putting on a wheel. Think 'X' patteren. Since the metal is thin, the start out with just a small tack almost like a spot weld, then check everything for alignment, go to the other side and tack it again. Continue working back and forth until you get a good solid tub feel then begin widening your tacks as you go. You can torque you entire body out of shape if not careful.

    This is why they spot weld so many items from cars to any kind of thin metal. I will sometimes forget as a lot of my welding is 3/16 - 3/8 and you can throw on a heavy tack, you also need to as the stuff (bumpers, trailer builds, etc) use too small of a tack and a piece that weighs 75 lbs falls and can break 2 toes...ASK me how I know.
    Don

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  5. #5
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Good point Don! I wasn't happy with the hole I cut in my tail light housing (use the plasma arc, was to shaky) So I welded the piece back in.

    Being as I had been at it for bout 3 hours, I was sore and my paitence was getting thin, and I rushed it. (3-4 hours a day is about all the time I can spend in the shop-over do it, and I'm in bed for a week)

    The metal I'm using is like 14 guage, just a bit thicker than the CJ tub material.

    I went to fast, even though I was using the "X" style and small tacks, being a 3" circle I was welding back in, it got hot and warped.

    I spent another 20 minutes with a dead blow hammer and a chunk of woof, straightening out my tail light housing.

    Tomorrow I'll use the 3" hole saw for the back up light hole.

    So, like Don says, work the tack welds like you would torque down a head, or the 'star' pattern when tightening lugnuts, and you should be OK.


    As long as the people remain armed,
    government knows that it cannot rule over the people by force.
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  6. #6
    on top, usually
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    with that much and it being your first time i would recommend finding a new tub. people dont realize that these are the worst vehicle to try to restore. the flat sides show EVERYTHING and once you get to the interior theres so many curves and tack lines from all the plates being welded together its a big pain in the butt. not saying you shouldnt try it but with all the headaches and heartbreak over how many times it "may" and i use "May" cautiously, take to get everything right you may be ahead with a new tub. im not saying dont do it at all, but you may have better options.

    are you using SMAW or innershield?

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    Hiding in plain sight jeepfever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91YEEPER View Post
    are you using SMAW or innershield?
    I have two options, but I am now using Innershield. I haven't been able to get my welder with the (75/25) to dial in correctly. It's old MIG that works great on bigger metals, but I was blowing holes in the sheet-metal no matter how I set it up. I'm sure it's me more than the welder, but since I switched to a Millermatic 180 with the flux-core, my welds look much better, and I'm not blowing holes. As a side note, all of my welding was being done outside of my garage in my driveway, so that may account for some of the issues I was having with the Outershield. It gets a bit breezy here at times.

    Also, $3,000 for a "new" tub just isn't in the budget right now, but if I hack this up, then I'll rethink that approach. I'd like to try and salvage this before shelling out some major coin for another tub.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly screaming -- "WOW! What a Ride!""

  8. #8
    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    1) HillBill mentioned something about the workpiece getting too hot. While not likely to happen on a piece as large as your floorpan. But you do want to make sure it stays cool to the touch with the ungloved hand.

    2) If you are blowing holes in the workpiece, experiment with turning down your gas flow and amps...
    Last edited by SavageSun4x4; 03-28-2011 at 17:50.
    Don

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    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

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  9. #9
    project Roadkill brian613's Avatar
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    ive done extensive body repairs on my jeep and its a little overwhelming at first but if you take your time and pay attention to what your doing its not bad at all.. it is how ever very time consuming so what ever time you plan on it taking to do the repair just double that to be on the safe side and you should be good.

    thin metal can be hard to weld so if your blowing holes you should do what savagesun4x4 suggested and experiment on a piece that's as thick as what your going to be welding but is not part of your tub that way if you screw it up it doesn't matter.



    do those pic's you posted show the worst part of the rust? if so that isnt bad at all compaired to what i was repairing on my tub
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    Hiding in plain sight jeepfever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian613 View Post

    do those pic's you posted show the worst part of the rust? if so that isnt bad at all compaired to what i was repairing on my tub
    Brian,

    Those pictures are the worst of it. The risor panel has some rot right at the area that the roll bar foot mounts, but I've already cut all that out. I have a replacement risor, but I don't think I'll use it. Once I cut out the entire front floor panel, all of the rust will be gone (with the exception of some places on the cowl). I still have to see how much fiberglass was poured over the front floor where it meets the side panels. From the outiside, you can't even tell that there has ever been any rust or rot, so hopefully I won't have to cut into the sides. If it's too bad, then I'm not sure how I'll proceed. I have to get the fiberglass out and thoroughly examined before I can make that decision about the sides. If necessary, I'll get new side panels.

    SavageSun4x4, your suggestion is something that I haven't tried. I haven't tweaked the gas flow at all when working with sheet metal, so maybe that is the problem. I have played with the amps and wirespeed, though. I'm using .030 wire and have the amps set at the lowest possible setting. If I dial it any lower, I don't always get an arc. When I do, I'm not getting a good burn. I do have a good ground. Since I can't seem to dial it any lower, would I benefit from moving my ground further from the area that I'm working on? Or, perhaps I should try a smaller diameter wire like .025?

    HillBillE, I have the room to go with option 1. I'll take precise measurements like you suggested and then make my cuts.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly screaming -- "WOW! What a Ride!""

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