Our rigs aren’t getting any newer and I bet our number one enemy is the same, rust. I’m creating this multiple part series on our “war on rust” to keep your rig looking shiny new! Well close anyway..
Floor pans, I look in some vehicles that are only a few years old and can usually find some bubble rust poking it’s ugly face through the floor! Let alone our decade plus “old reliable” with leaky tops and cracked weatherstripping. Being the highest traffic zone in the vehicle; muddy boots, water, salt ect, makes floors go quick! Luckily for us, some great aftermarket companies offer perfect fit floor pans if your not the “steal the corner sign and hammer it in” kind of guy.
We’re tackling drivers front today, it’s pretty much as bad as it can get. The replacement pan we used: Quadratec Part No: 22507.0001. Made by KeyParts Inc These are beefy 18 gauge cold rolled steel, laser cut to a perfect fit. We like the fact they come up the walls on each side a couple inches.
- 4.5″ cut-off wheel’s
- 4.5″ flap disk
- Wire brush
- Body panel seam sealer
- Welder (optional)
- Primer (weld through primer if welding)
- Top coat
- Painters tape
- Straight edge
- Measuring tape
If it’s as bad as our’s, take a chisel or flat head screw driver and scrape away all you can. We ended up with a pile of rust that would make Honda owners proud.
Put on your safety gear (gloves&goggles) we’re breaking out the death wheel! Grab your grinder with a flap disk wheel and start working away at all the rust until you get to clean thick metal on all sides. Uncover as much of the clean metal as you can so you can mark a clean diameter for the new pan.
Take a straight edge and mark a clean edge on all sides leaving at least a half inch or more of a lip for the new pan to sit on. Measure twice even though it would be hard to over cut with this pan since it covers so much. Switch to your cutting wheel and go slow! Pay close attention around the centre as your frame has very little clearance from the floor. There is also a brace with a single rosette weld, just tap the weld with the cutting wheel and give it a tap with a hammer.
This is what we were left with, hopefully yours will be smaller. None the less, moving on. Measure your new “massive raging hole” adding on your half inch or larger lip to your measurement and transfer it over to the new pan. Chalk works wonders for marking the black powder coat. The benefit to our being so large is we only had to cut about 4.5″ off the top of the new pan for a perfect fit.
Before going any further clean the area really well with some degreaser, and give all the clean metal a few coats of primer. The more the better (rust protection).
This is only if your welding, which is recommended but not absolutely necessary. We just rosette welded every couple of inches around the whole pan. To do this, mark with your chalk a dot about a quarter of an inch in on the pan or the centre of the overlaying lip you left while cutting. Go all the way around the pan every few inches and mark a dot. Take the smallest drill bit you have and punch a hole in each dot. Clamp the pan down (found it easier to clamp only opposing sides as to the whole pan) and take your trusty welder and fill each hole with a small pool of metal. Return to the flap disk on your grinder and hit those welds smooth! Another coat or two of primer please!
Next is the sticky stuff, back to the gloves. I mean use gloves you really hate, they are not recovering from this. Seam sealer can be had at most any auto parts store either in a quart can or caulking gun. It is permanent and dries like a rock. Ours is Eastwoods seam seal in a caulking gun and was actually quite simple to lay down.
Do one side at a time! Lay a good size bead down on one side only or it will dry before you can smooth it out. Make sure to cover your weld as well. With the bead down, take your scraper and lightly smooth the bead in one motion. Do your best as this stuff does not like to be sanded (learned the hard way). Continue until all sides are done. Do the bottom seams as well.
Wait until the sealer is fully cured, as per instructions. Give some good coats of paint and you sir or mam are done! Seriously’ pat yourself on the back and have a cold beverage. You’ve earned it.
To be continued..
Writer- Ty Reid