Tools Needed

Cutoff wheel Angle grinder Flap disc

Scotch-Brite Roloc pads Drill

Spot-weld cutter Hammers and dollies Oxyacetylene torch MIG welder

Once all the bad metal was gone, we began prepping the area for the new parts to be welded in. The students sandblasted the remains of the floor and sprayed the perimeter with a zinc-rich weld-through primer. They also punched (or drilled in some areas) holes to plug-weld the metal in place.

Drill out all the spot welds. Though you can use a standard drill bit, a spot-weld cutter is faster and more efficient.

Once all the bad metal was gone, we began prepping the area for the new parts to be welded in. The students sandblasted the remains of the floor and sprayed the perimeter with a zinc-rich weld-through primer. They also punched (or drilled in some areas) holes to plug-weld the metal in place.

Drill out all the spot welds. Though you can use a standard drill bit, a spot-weld cutter is faster and more efficient.

Stubborn sections are merely an opportunity to break out our old friend the acetylene torch. Nothing softens metal in a hurry the way a 6,000-degree flame does. Heated up and hammered into place, the new floor soon fit like a glove.

To get a final fitment before welding it in, we _dropped the new panel in place, holding ¡twithvi^ snpsw sheetmetal screws, in the case of our floors. Thenew panel probably won't fit exactly so be prepared to _ do some bodywork. Here, Omar Martmez homered a section of the new floor to fit the contours of the transmission tunnel.

After verifying fitment, the students where the sheetmetal screws had been.

After tack-welding, they proceeded^ st'tchdw'eeIWWt,metai"ie^sn-closing up the entire gap between tlie old and new ir.^. Basi caosiT^t^eldn is a string of tack wdds ^Ked up °ne after ^nother. This technique is preferable to a angte, continu-ousewaeiotbeardTb.;caesh it puts less heat into the pa°el, reducing the chances of warpage.

Jason "Mighty Mouse" Tapapia then ground the welds smooth and the floor was ready for finish work. Since this panel will be hidden under the carpet, we only covered the welds with seam sealer. If this were part of the exterior of the car, we'd have gone over the weld with a coat of filler.

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Finally, the students welded in the seat braces and installed the floorpan drain plugs. The braces were welded in, but the plugs were glued in with seam sealer.

Though it was mentioned earlier, here's another exampte of why y°u should take the time to always check what is behind or under the area y°u are working °n. When fitting the floor, we inadvertently punctured one of the transmission cooler lines with a sheetmetal screw and dumped about a gall°n of ATF on the floor within seconds of starting the car.

lntamag.com

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