I have been out of town this past week and had very little time in the garage this weekend, but here is where things are at. Looked at both Lowes and Harbor Freight for a replacement body saw and ended up with Harbor Freight’s body saw located here. Also purchased an air belt sander for grinding down welds.
Put the body saw to work and was happy with the performance with cutting out the remaining metal:
Should be well within the range:
Need to remove where the floor is connected to the rockers:
I think I will use an air hammer and grinder to remove where the floor is welded to the rockers. I wanted a higher quality air hammer, so went to Lowes and purchased a new Ingersoll Rand. Now to remove the final piece and will be able to get a better idea how the patch panel will fit and where to trim next. Hopefully, I will get some more garage time in towards the latter part of this week.
Started cutting out the toe-boards
Started out the bottom straight section with my cut-off wheel then switched to my air body saw. The saw was working good until it shook itself apart – what do you expect from a Harbor Freight tool? I re-read the reviews and stopped when they commented that it shook itself apart. So now things are on hold until next weekend when I decide between a replacement saw from Northern Tool or Lowes. I am leaning towards Northern Tool as it has good reviews and is a little cheaper than Lowes.
What is left of the Harbor Freight junk:
Now for the moment of truth to see if my measurements were acceptable. I took the piece I cut out and it fits well within the piece I will be patching it with. So once I get it all cut out, I can trim my replacement piece to match what was cut out. You will notice that the inner piece is raised some which provides me with even more wiggle room!
I won’t be able to do anymore work on this until next weekend! Check back then!
Had a little bit of time today so played with the patch pieces because before I can replace the firewall brackets, I need to patch the toe-board areas. I must also take into consideration where my patch will connect with the full floor pan I will be replacing. So after studying some pictures of a full floor pan, I cut into my two partial floor pans for the pieces I will use to patch.
Used some tape as a guide so I cut as straight as possible:
Cleaned-up the edges a bit and decided on focusing on the passenger side first where the rusted-out area was bent up from removing the firewall bracket:
So I used the plasma cutter to trim some of it away so the pan will sit in there better to give me an idea of where to cut next:
The plan for tomorrow is to cut the floor area smaller than the patch panel, then – if time permits, trim the patch panel to fit in the cut-out area. I should also mention that there are two ways to do this: either lap one piece over the other (easier) or butt them right next to each-other side-by-side (harder). I want to butt them together which is a little more work and difficult, but should have better results in the long run.
Started out using my Harbor Freight plum bob and crayons to get some reference points. Because the body is on jack stands and not 100% level, the measurements are slightly off from what the manual says.
Firewall bracket to floor and mark with Crayon:
Subframe mount under seat to floor and mark with Crayon:
A little off from what the book says… Repeated five times to ensure the measurement was accurate.
Now start drilling spot welds from inside the car:
and from side bracket:
Start working from middle of car to outside of car using the seam buster (from earlier post) and pry bars to gently pry the bracket away from firewall:
I wasn’t sure if there were two columns of welds like the passenger side – there weren’t:
Floor and toe-boards to repair before putting new firewall brackets on and BEFORE replacing with the full floor pan:
Tonight after work I re-arranged the jack stands to their final resting place until after I complete the floor pan. Also got the shell as level as possible using jack stands. You’ll notice the jack stands are supporting the rockers – the rockers are also what I used as a reference to ensure the body is level. Now I should be able to get some good measurements to record and compare to the manual.
I realized today I had my Spam filter to auto-delete comments older than a month old. I have turned that off so people can now add comments for posts of any age.