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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The driver side floor is pretty rusted. Rusted, as in, there are extra holes besides the drains. I'm not quite afraid of my foot going through the floor yet, but driving in the rain (with the top on) still results in the floor mat getting soaking wet from water splashing up through the holes.

I'm thinking I need to put some new sheet metal on underneath to prevent the rust from getting worse, as well as to shore up the failing metal that is still there.

Any thoughts about the best way to go about this? What type/gauge metal? How to best shape it to the existing metal? I should probably make matching drain holes. How to affix it on? (I can weld, but I'm a part time hack at it, and sheet metal has always been my bane) I was thinking a layer of rubber sealant spray would be useful, but reading about the heat issues I'm not sure how much that stuff is rated for. So I'm really open to ideas here.

Oddly enough, the passenger side seems fine, even though the rust seems to have mostly come from underneath.
 

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Welcome to the fourm. Just get an old stop sign and some sheet metal screws. In all seriousness you can buy replacement floor pans for about $60.
 

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The driver side floor is pretty rusted. Rusted, as in, there are extra holes besides the drains. I'm not quite afraid of my foot going through the floor yet, but driving in the rain (with the top on) still results in the floor mat getting soaking wet from water splashing up through the holes.



I'm thinking I need to put some new sheet metal on underneath to prevent the rust from getting worse, as well as to shore up the failing metal that is still there.



Any thoughts about the best way to go about this? What type/gauge metal? How to best shape it to the existing metal? I should probably make matching drain holes. How to affix it on? (I can weld, but I'm a part time hack at it, and sheet metal has always been my bane) I was thinking a layer of rubber sealant spray would be useful, but reading about the heat issues I'm not sure how much that stuff is rated for. So I'm really open to ideas here.



Oddly enough, the passenger side seems fine, even though the rust seems to have mostly come from underneath.
Same problem here. Cleaned areas (drs n pass sides) cut thin piece of alum had in garage. "Glued down" with POR 15 jelly patch in a tube! Then put a bead around edges n smoothed. When dry, hit with top coat, flipped carpet down n done! *Anything* POR is awesome!


Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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If I had rust holes in my floorboards, I d buy a replacement panel from one of the online Jeep parts stores. As part of my parts and materials procurement, I'd go to my local auto parts store and buy a tube of epoxy panel bonding glue. The stuff you buy at Home depot or Lowes won't work as well as the 3M or Lord Fusor panel bonder. You may have to buy or borrow an applicating gun for the panel bonder.

I have a compressor and an air powered die grinder with a flat blade. If I didn't have the compressor & air tools I'd buy an electric die grinder. For home mechanic use, Harbor Freight tools usually work well enough.

Once you have the necessary parts, use the die grinder to cut away as much of the floor as necessary to get back to sound metal. Then cut the new floor pan to give you about an inch of overlap all around the hole you cut in the floor. Prime and paint the bare metal areas of the floor and the patch. Apply enough panel bonder to squish out when you press the patch in place. Smooth out the excess panel bonder and allow it to cure. Prime & paint the unpainted areas and undercoat the bottom.

I have a welder and am a certified autobody technician. It's tough to get a good bead when welding around rusty and/or undercoated metal. The panel bonder is sometimes used by auto manufacturers in non-critical areas (like floors). I'd still use the panel bonder rather than welding.

If you have rust on one side of the floor, but not the other, I would examine the windshield seal and the seal at the top of the windshield where the soft or hard top attaches.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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OP - if you intend to keep the Jeep, do not do it on the cheap or the quick and simple. You need to either cut out enough to weld in the replacement piece with very little overlap (just enough to weld to) or cut out the rust area and cut the replacement pan down to fit and weld the replacement piece in.

Leaving overlap leaves an area for dirt and debris to gather and when the area gets wet it will rapidly rust. The original rust spot may have started because of dirt that was on the underside kept it moist.

After the patch is in place it should be painted top and bottom. Find yourself a reasonable local body shop to do the work if you can't. Be sure to stop by and check the work top and bottom before it is painted.

Half way patches can be covered up easily once the carpet is replaced, but it will catch up with you after a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you have rust on one side of the floor, but not the other, I would examine the windshield seal and the seal at the top of the windshield where the soft or hard top attaches.

Good Luck, L.M.
We had a nice solid rain yesterday and this morning the floor mat is soaking wet. I hung it up and water is pouring out of it. Yup, definitely a leak somewhere. Looks like a previous owner did some caulking work on the passenger side underneath the windshield hinge. However on the driver side, there is only signs of abuse on those poor screws that hold on the hinge. Looks like someone tried really hard to get them off and did not succeed. One is heavily scored and rusted (but not fully stripped). Another still has the broken off bit from a Torx stuck in it.

My first question, is really just validation. Is this a common area for leakage?

Second question. Any suggestion for getting off those screws? (Penetrating oil would be my first step, but I'm unsure how deep it can get since the screws are counter sunk into the metal and the fit looks pretty tight) It seems pretty likely I will finish the job stripping that rusted one. I do have screw remover items, but that can be an ugly road to go down.

Third question. Assuming I can eventually get that hinge off, what is the right material and process to seal it up to prevent further leaking?

Last question. What is the best source for replacement screws? Looks like a few of them could use new ones.
 

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In my experience with these old heaps, there are four areas that allow water into the passenger area.

#1 is the easiest to fix. The cowl drain can become plugged with leaves, dirt and other debris. Simply remove the fat hose on the firewall by the battery and clean it out.
In your case, I doubt that that's the cause, but cleaning the cowl drain takes so little time that it's a good thing to do "just in case".

#2 is what I find to be the most common cause of water leaks. That's rust on the windshield frame behind the rubber molding between the glass and the frame. Water stays behind the molding and causes unseen rot holes, then water seeps in through the holes, down through the wiper gallery and onto the floor. The cure for this is replace the windshield frame.

#3 is as you suspect on your Jeep, a leak at the cowl gasket. The cure for this is to replace the cowl gasket. The aftermarket gaskets are reputed to not fit properly. Make sure to buy an OE gasket.

#4 is the seam on the cowl between the horizontal and vertical pieces that make up the cowl assembly. If you see that the factory caulking has deteriorated and cracked, it's an easy fix. Simply mask off a 1/8" area along the seam and seal it with clear waterproof silicone caulk.

As far as removing the torx head screws, apparently the factory used threadlocker (Loctite) on all torx head screws and bolts. You need to heat the bolts to break the bond of the threadlocker. A #2 tip on an oxyacetylene torch works quickest. It's almost certain to burn the paint if that matters. A plumbers propane torch should make enough heat to loosen the bond in a reasonable amount of time. The plumbers torch may or may not blister the paint, depending on how patient you are in building enough heat to do the job.
A butane torch might do the job, but just take longer than the propane torch.
A heat gun might do it if left pointed at the hinge from close enough and long enough.

For the tools, you'll need a properly sized torx bit. Once you think you have the correct bit, try the next size larger bit. It's real easy to make a mistake and use the smaller bit and strip out the teeth of the bolt head.
You'll also need an impact driver. A hand held impact driver that you whack with a hammer works best. Harbor freight has them for around $10.00. I use a pneumatic impact wrench but it's easy to strip the bolt heads with the impact wrench. The hand held driver works best because it drives the bit deeply into the bolt head and the shock of whacking it with a hammer helps to loosen the bolt from the grip of the threadlocker and corrosion.

Quadratec has the torx bolts. It's way more economical to buy a pack of 25 or so than to buy them individually. Jeep used the same bolts on the door hinges and on the roll bar struts to the windshield frame.
As you see on your hinge, the cheap torx bits shatter. I don't buy many Snap-On tools, but I do buy Snap-On torx bits.
Once you have the bolts broke loose, you can use a ratchet and socket with the torx bit in the socket to completely remove the bolt and when you're done, to install it firmly but not tight. Use the impact driver for the final tightening.

With all that said above, you don't have to disconnect the hinges to replace the cowl seal. Just unbolt the spreader bars (struts) from the roll bar to the windshield frame and the two large torx bolts that connects the "mickey mouse" brackets to the dash. The windshield frame should fold forward, giving access to the gasket. I suggest soaking the hinge area of the windshield hinges with penetrating oil for a few days before attempting to fold the windshield frame forward. The hinge pins rust and make it difficult to fold the windshield frame forward. With the bolts out. if the windshield frame is difficult to move, work it back and forth and keep spraying the penetrating oil as you work it.

Let us know how it goes.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow. That's a great write up! I'll have to look up a few terms I'm not familiar with and pick up one of those hand held Tools. This looks to be a great learning experience. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
IMG_20191030_112213.jpg

This is a picture of the passenger side windshield hinge top. This is not leaking.

IMG_20191030_112154.jpg

Here is the same view of the driver side windshield hinge top. I continue my belief that this is where it it leaking.

I took a look on the inside just after it rained and I can see fresh water on the inside of the truck, near where the bottom of the hinge is. I can follow the path down the inside of the driver door frame, to water droplets just above the floor.

Looking through the parts list for that area, I didn't see any sort of seal that goes between the hinge and the windshield frame to prevent water from entering a gap like that. Am I missing something?

Seems like the simplest solution would be a bead of silicone along the edge of that hinge to seal the gap. Am I off the mark on this?

(I did order new screws, floor pan, impact Torx bits and Impact driver this morning, so this is not the direction I expected I would be going in)
 
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