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Old 01-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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I'm getting ready to replace the front floor pans in the CJ7, had a few questions for you guys first. First question, do you think these need total replacing or could I make do with patch panels?



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There's a lot in there that needs replacing, but I'm focusing on the front pans right now. The eventual plan is to herculine it once it's got solid metal.

Supposing I need to replace the front pans, where should I look for those, and is there anything year-specific I should look out for? I have a 76, and I've heard that year has some oddities, like the shape of the cutout for the gas tank neck, etc.

Thanks for all your help! I'm new to bodywork!

EDIT: some of the crap there is fuzz from when I pulled the carpet

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Old 01-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #2
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Where is the rust in the front pans? The pics are more of the back.

Do you have a mig welder? Have you worked with spot welds before?

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Old 01-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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The rust is mostly where the seat risers were mounted and then there's a few small holes at the feet where water's been collecting. Those are all 1-2" in diameter. Theres a really big rusted section under the driver seat that I was worried about, it's about a 6-7" section that's so bad you can pull it up. That section is just barely hanging on.

I've never welded a day in my life, but I have a friend who's good with it and he works for beer, so that shouldn't be a problem!

A lot of it is surface rust, but it's pitted pretty deep and then there's those holes.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJPete
The rust is mostly where the seat risers were mounted and then there's a few small holes at the feet where water's been collecting. Those are all 1-2" in diameter. Theres a really big rusted section under the driver seat that I was worried about, it's about a 6-7" section that's so bad you can pull it up. That section is just barely hanging on.

I've never welded a day in my life, but I have a friend who's good with it and he works for beer, so that shouldn't be a problem!
Mine had some rust there as well. I also have a 76.

It is a lot of work either way. The floor is connected to the side by spot welds and to make a full replacement be as strong and look good it will need to be done the same way.

But to be honest it is tough to do. More than likely if you look under the floor the rust is where braces connect to the floor. You will have to repair that as well.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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You can look in my build thread and get a idea of how it connects. I put full side panels in my cj.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Not to sound sketchy or stalkerish, but I've read through all your threads. lol. The side panel replacement you did is what made me think I could do it myself rather than dropping it off at a body shop. Do you think I should replace the whole floor like you did with the sides or can I just weld in new metal where it's gone? I don't exactly have a shop anymore, everything I've done and will do with this is in the parking lot of my apt building with extension cords. It works out alright, my neighbors come out and help when they see me wrenching.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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That is why I posted the stuff.

Well a shop always makes things better. If you will post some pics of the side of the floors where it connects to the side panels. If you have sufficient material to weld to it might be a smaller job.

Feel free to pm me anytime with questions.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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I'll post some up in the morning when I've got some light. There's not a lot of good metal there either, my side panels look a lot like yours did. I was just hoping to get the floor done first if I could. There's more rust on this tub than metal, but I'm far too cheap to replace the whole thing. Maybe once I'm rich and famous I will, for now I'll just keep welding bits and pieces.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:38 PM   #9
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I'll post some up in the morning when I've got some light. There's not a lot of good metal there either, my side panels look a lot like yours did. I was just hoping to get the floor done first if I could. There's more rust on this tub than metal, but I'm far too cheap to replace the whole thing. Maybe once I'm rich and famous I will, for now I'll just keep welding bits and pieces.
Sounds good. I'll be happy to give you my best guess. I understand 100%...everybody told me to throw mine away.

There are some tricks I have picked up working on mine. I am by no means a metal expert...frankly I ain't real good at anything but I am very proud of what I did but it isn't perfect either.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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I will gladly chime in & give advice, I have probably put over 100 floors in automobiles in my life.

I have also helped walk through the training of 5 people online to make welders out of, plus calling to talk them through phases, & looking at pics.

I am not a professional welder, but I have been doing it for a hobby for aprox 35 years.

as for patches? versus the whole floor, what is your confidence level?

patches may in reality take more time than to replace the floor. a normal can I can replace a side in roughly 10 to 15 hours, or aprox 25 for a whole floor in an american 1960's car.

do you want to make patches contoured to your metal, & figure a little heating, & hammer / dolly work, then having holes drilled in the patches, to do plug welds, & to tack weld aprox every 2 inches, seam seal, & maybe treat with POR15 or similiar. versus cutting spot welds from floor braces, & cutting around perimeter, trimming a new floor to fit, & drilling holed to match floor braces for plug welds, & then spot weld around perimeter, & to braces & seam seal, & treat / paint. etc...

I didnt even get into if have to remove bracing for seat or seat belt re-inforcement, as some floors can be bought either way for american vehicles, & then re-welding to new floor.

I did a Camaro a few years ago, at a shop I was working at, & a customer wanted full perimeter welding, top & bottom, ground smooth, seam sealed, truck liner coated, undercoated, & painted the whole under cariage, as well as floor & then complained why it took 56 hours, lol... you couldnt tell the floors had been replaced when I was done, but I thought I would never get finished or satisfy that customer.

patches will be cheaper, & based on skill lever maybe easier? I have done metal work off & on most of my life as well as autobody / vintage Harley fabrication of parts.

what part of the NRV are you? that covers a good sizeable area, I am down in Stuart VA.

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Old 01-07-2012, 10:24 PM   #11
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I live in Radford, work in Christiansburg and drink in Blacksburg, so I'm about even through the whole thing. You're about an hour and a half down route 8 from me I think?

I don't know a whole lot about welding, but I'm not sure I've got enough good metal on the sides. I'll leave that to you guys to determine once I get those shots up tomorrow.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:58 PM   #12
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I live in Radford, work in Christiansburg and drink in Blacksburg, so I'm about even through the whole thing. You're about an hour and a half down route 8 from me I think?

I don't know a whole lot about welding, but I'm not sure I've got enough good metal on the sides. I'll leave that to you guys to determine once I get those shots up tomorrow.
I live on the Woolwine side of Stuart, I am roughly 25 miles from Floyd, I head up shooting creek to Floyd a couple times a month, & not been to Radford in 4 or 5 months, I usually head across mudpike? from route 8, over to the BP station, or I take the "airplane road" about 1/2 mile above the BP. I like to eat at SALS when I can afford that kind of meal.

I myself drink at home, I stopped drinking out, except for very, very, rare occasions, or I get wife to drive, & normally I prefer my shine at home to buying anything out. I think I have drank out maybe 1 time in 8+ years, & drove, & even then I only had 2 shots & I was at a friends house maybe 6 hours, it doesnt pay to drink & drive, I been very lucky, or maybe too lucky, been through a few road checks drunk when I was young & cops didnt notice, WHEW!

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Old 01-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #13
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Sorry to keep you guys on the edge of your seats today, I work second shift so my day starts at the crack of noon.

Here's drivers side floor, feet first, then under the seat.


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Here's passenger side, feet then seat.


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Sorry about all the fuzz, I'm still wirebrushing that out. PO put the carpet in with superglue or something, idk.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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And here's where it meets the side, driver first then passenger.

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Old 01-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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Well I got on the desktop computer so I could see the pics better.

Ok. Your rockers are in a very similar condition to the ones on my cj. The rust runs just above the connecting point of the floor and fenderwells and where the side supports touch on the front and rear of the door openings.
The driver's floor is much worse than the passenger...same on my cj. But you floor looks "worse" than mine was..however your rockers are "better"...loose terms.

Now lets talk options.

#1: The most correct way to fix the floor on the current tub is to cut out the floor (at least the bad), match that to patch panels and weld in new side panels. Here is the problem with that...it's expensive. Might as well figure on $600+ worth of panels. There might be cheaper panels but they are very thin material.

#2: Purchase/Make patch panels for the floor in the worse areas. Leave side panels alone for now. But I don't think you will be happy. And your don't have a lot of good material to weld floors in to the rockers. What is there is thin and going to be hard to work with...trust me.

#3: Replace with some aftermarket tub: Fiberglass, steel, aluminum. They are all expensive so lets not even discuss anymore.

#4: Replace with a YJ tub. Getting to be a more common swap. Although some have rust it is much, much less. These can be picked up for under $500. A buddy of mine got one for $150 that had 1 spot in the floor. Requires some mods of the gas tank, tailgate and defrost. But a YJ tub swap is cheaper and faster than doing full panels. You know how long it took me to do the side panels in my cj.

#5: Nick's Idea. This may be stupid or crazy or just a bad idea.

Buy a set of steel rocker guards like the ones below that connect to the body mount. This was a cheap set in a quick search for you to get the idea.
76-86 Jeep CJ7 Wrangler Rock Crawler Sliders Rocker Guard Side bumper W/O Bar | eBay
Install the floor pans/panels, etc. and use the rocker guard as strength. Gives you plenty to weld to. You can install panels with the spot welds up versus down as they are in the jeep now and essential use the guard as a new rocker. This will tie the floor and rockers together, provide support to hold the weight of the driver and passenger and also cover up much of the rust on the exterior.

I've had to fab up several mounts on my cj. Done a ton of work but having a shop is awesome for that. Doing that work in a parking lot would be tough and based on the pics you will need just as much structure repair. Replacing body mounts, etc. are all crappy jobs. I am not trying to be negative and hope I'm not doing that. I just want to be truthful in the amount of work it takes.

Honestly I would do some form of repair so you can enjoy the jeep and I would save up for a YJ tub and find somewhere to swap it over a 1-2 week period down the road. But I will help in any way possible whatever your decision. Trust me I was told the same speech I just wrote my multiple people. I already had the panels and the experience in welding sheetmetal so it was a challenge I wanted to take. And I had a good couple friends that pushed me hard to finish it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:54 PM   #16
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Well I blew a hole in the side of my 258:


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So that's where my money's going for now. :'(

I was planning on buying some armor to cover up the rocker rust until I can afford a serious repair, I didn't even think to weld to it. I might do that for now, then grind off the welds and deal seriously with the rockers later. That's a great idea. I think I might just ride that around until I get the money together for a replacement steel tub. Fiberglass is cheaper, but I can't hammer out cracks and I can't weld to it so no go.

I like the idea of having a galvanized tub, but I'm too much of a CJ purist to allow for a YJ swap.

So the plan now is to use Nick's idea and see how it goes. Where should I start? This is really the first serious bit of bodywork I've ever done, my knowledge base is mostly mechanical.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #17
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No good on the motor. time for a 304.....

I understand on wanting to keep a cj a cj but you can convert everything over and nobody would ever know. But a new tub would sure be easy and purty. I'm no fan of glass either.

Like I said the idea is a little crazy but it gives you strength you need. I'd probably start on the passenger side since it is in better shape and you can learn for when you go to the drivers.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #18
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ouch. lol.... I have seen worse, way, way worse in a few beaters I did some patches to just to drive, & I have a old Opel Kadette that I am going to use a piece of heavy angle iron in, & weld it to what remained of rockers & then sheet metal to tie floor back to the rockers.

as said, you can form some metal to tie it in, but unless you have experience welding thin rusty metal, you wont enjoy, I would, lol, but I have alot of experience welding up thin rusty metal, & it isnt for someone learning, or if you have a cheapo welder, or if trying to use flux core wire, you definately need a decent machine with fine adjustment, & preferably a 220 volt high end model, but at the very least a Miller 140 in 120 volt will work provided your running argon/CO2 mix gas, I was at a shop over in Tenn for a seminar, & there welder was out sick, & I sorta volunteered, & next thing I know they are begging me to come to work for them, I was welding to 80+ year old extremely rusty metal, vintage 20's model cars that had sat in excess of 50 years outside, & they seemed confused how I was doing it so easy, & without a copper backing, I shrugged my shoulders, & kept welding. too much practice? man I need a nice welder, presently I only have a crappy mig welder, planning to try to buy a nice mig with my tax refund.

but back to this, with a home made bending brake made from angle iron, you can bend some sheet metal, then cut notches so it can be formed, easier to explain verbally than it is to type it out. it can be made strong, if you can weld it up, but it may not look pretty, there are several options to strengthen it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #19
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with a home made bending brake made from angle iron, you can bend some sheet metal, then cut notches so it can be formed, easier to explain verbally than it is to type it out. it can be made strong, if you can weld it up, but it may not look pretty, there are several options to strengthen it.

I'll be quite honest, I read this about ten times and I still don't know what you're saying. Like I said earlier, this is my first foray into bodywork, so lack of experience maybe?

Can you rephrase maybe? Just pretend like you're explaining it to a 5yr old.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:02 PM   #20
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Also, if you'd like a laugh, look at the way the PO painted around the seat mounts. The original orange was under the washers when I pulled them up.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:02 PM   #21
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ok, sorry, 1 is you can bend metal around a piece of angle iron, or second, use 2 pieces, bolted together, slide metal between, & clamp. & bend, you will have to tap the final edge to get it bent correctly, if you want a 90 degree, if you need a radius, you can use a piece of pipe, or metal line the size you need, & it can be tacked to angle iron to bend metal around, so you have a small countoured curve, instead of a 90 degree right angle sharp edge. for other radius, we bolt 2 pieces of pipe together, & slip metal between tighten & bend that way.

is that any better?

I have a hard time sometimes trying to explain what I mean, & have made home made tools all my life, & always end up giving them away.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:37 PM   #22
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Haha I think I got it. If I understand correctly these are all ways to bend angles and curves in the sheet metal right? Sounds like you've got a lock on cheap ways to do complicated work, which is great for me since I hate spending money.

Sorry for not understanding at first, you're like a graduate school professor explaining things to a first-grader.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:09 PM   #23
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Thanks, lol, I am just a guy that has had to make do with nearly nothing & make the best of things all my life. alot of backyard / redneck ways, but will do the job, I know how to use proper tools, but most of the time, they are not around, what I wouldnt give to have a fully outfitted metal working shop, that specialized in custom cars, & Harleys.

if you find yourself over your head, just holler, I can be a phone call away, or maybe pop in to get you going if necessary, to me this is fun, seriously, doing metal work, is something I enjoy. carpentry around the house, thats another story, I am all thumbs. lol, I know my weaknesses & limitations.

now back to the metal bending tools, if you have a heavy work bench, it can help to weld a heavy plate to bottom of the home made bending devices, so you can clamp in a vice on a work bench, instead of working on the floor, or bench.

also if you need a different angle, it can be done, by bending (closing, or opening) angle iron, just make a wood template of correct angle, & use a torch to heat & bend the angle iron to match template, remember the wood burns, so just quick comparisons as you work it, then you can bend sheet metal to the correct angle you need, sorta like a bending brake, but on the cheap.

Randy

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