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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    197

    Question How to weld a car floor panel??

    I am currently in the middle of cutting out rust from a car floor pan, and will need to know soon whether i can do spot welds or do i have to run a bead?

    Right now i am thinking that i will first of all:
    1.Cut the sheet metal to size.
    2.Shape it to the original floor pan.
    3.Drill holes through the new floor pan every 1" around the perimeter.
    4.Set it in place with a 1/4" overlap.
    5.Fill the holes with a burst of MIG.
    6.Then seal the seam with sealer.

    Does this sound good? I am thinking of using 20guage or 22guage sheet metal.

    Any advice or tips/help would be greatly appeciated.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    171

    Default

    mig weld do 4" at a time and move around
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, TN
    Posts
    229

    Default

    You can weld in panels by over lapping and plug welding them, but this method is prone to trapping moisture between the panels. The best way to do the over lap style repair though is make shure you have good metal to weld to on the original panel. Then, strip to bare metal on both panels anywhere they contact each other. Next, make your holes in the replacement panel about one inch apart around the perimeter. To help protect against rust coming back between the panels use a "weld thru" primer (3M or SEM brand are great) on the areas where the two panels will overlap. Using a few sheet metal screws to the hold the panel in position while you weld it up is handy. The wire size for MIG welding this should be .023 ga. and LOW heat (its best to practice on scrap of the same gauge to get heat and wire speed right) do two or three plug welds then move to other side of panel and do some more then back to other side while welding to keep heat down. Finally, clean any weld thru primer off that you can see (most of them don't work with anything over top of them) before adding seam sealer (on both sides of panel) and paint.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Thanks alot for the advice! Is it best to complete a full seam in total around the new piece if i decide to do it that way? Anymore pictures would be a great help since i can see a whole lot more that way.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    197

    Default Is sheet metal the best way to do it?

    I have another question. What guage sheet metal should i use? Is there any where that sells ribbed steel like an original floor pan?? I am on a tight budget right now so i don't want to be ordering $100 REPLACEMENT pans which i will have to cut anyway. Sorry i keep asking questions and no showing of the actual work. My camera is getting fixed righ now but when its back i will show pics.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    Pictures are great as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    378

    Default

    If you don't buy a replacement floor pan, you will not find the metal ribbed to match the factory piece. People making the patches from raw metal stock work the metal to match the factory profile themselves. When you weld, stitch weld the replacement a few inches at a time and alternate sides after each stitch is finished to keep the heat from warping the metal. Try to match the thickness to the surrounding sheet metal. Some people "hammer weld" patches in. After welding a stitch, back the weld up with a dolly on the back and hammer the weld seam flat. I've never found this to be required, but I know some people that restore cars for a living and swear by it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    812

    Default Hey Sammy

    What kind of car are you working on? You might get a replacement panel from a wrecking yard. Plenty of rust free ones here in Arizona.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    213

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
    I have another question. What guage sheet metal should i use? Is there any where that sells ribbed steel like an original floor pan?? I am on a tight budget right now so i don't want to be ordering $100 REPLACEMENT pans which i will have to cut anyway. Sorry i keep asking questions and no showing of the actual work. My camera is getting fixed righ now but when its back i will show pics.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    Pictures are great as well.
    The ribs in the new sheet metal can be made with a tool called a bead roller. If you only need it for one job, it would be too costly to buy one. Any sheet metal shop could run a few beads for you.

    I bought a bead roller a while back and it's amazing how easy they are to operate and what a neat job they do.

    For pictures, go to Google Images and use keywords, "Bead roller floor pans". You will see hundreds of pictures and examples of how they operate.

    Good luck.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I have actually had good results butt welding floor panels. It is a lot of work but the end result is great when you can't even tell that a floor was ever done on a car. I am no body guy but in working at a speed shop building hot rods I have came across a few cars that needed floors done. One thing that is worth its weight in gold is a spot weld drill bit! It saves a lot of work in peeling the old floor off of the floor supports and doesn't leave unneeded holes like a regular drill bit would.

    As for welding it, I have never had much luck running beads. I find it a lot easier and less risk of burn through/warping when just doing a bunch of start/stop tacks in one place then moving to another corner. Use a body hammer to work the metal into place as you weld to get the edges lined up nice.

    I have a picture of an old floor cut out and a new floor fitted on a 67 camaro I did like this but I am having trouble finding the finished pic. I will try to dig it up, but you couldn't tell a floor was done until you looked at it REALLY close and that was before high build primer and paint. I have never tried that hammer/dolly the welds trick mainly because it was always just me doing the work but it sounds like an awesome idea if you have two people. God knows I would have saved a ton of time, consumables and clean up from metal dust doing that instead of grinding the welds flush.
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