Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another Night, Another Patch

I spent my Wednesday evening cutting, prepping, and installing a second patch in Ringo. This one completes the floor under passenger’s side of the backseat and extends from the front of the previous patch to about 4 inches in front of the interior crossmember that supports the forward edge of the backseat. I made it this long because the replacement floorpan I bought has an opening in it outboard rear corner. This also allows me to plug weld the patch to the purchased floorpan patch.

To get to this point, I measured the overall size of the opening and cut the 18” by 23” piece from the scrap hood.

The hood, by the way, is quickly running out of usable flat metal. I’ve still got the scrap door, but I’m thinking I’ll run out before the floor is complete. Oh well, I’ll try to snag a scrap one from the Ranch when I go up there for their open house.

After de-burring the edges, I came up with the final positioning scheme that had the outboard edge butting against the bottom of the existing floorpan ledge, the rear edge sitting under the previous patch, and the inboard edge riding on top of the existing floorpan. To work around the interior crossmember, I had to make two slices in the patch. Before welding the patch in place, I sprayed some rust converter/primer over the surfaces that would be covered after installation. It was then time to melt some metal. I clamped the outer edge to the ledge and tacked that in place. Then I moved to the rear seam, and by placing the floorjack under the area I was tacking and hammering on the patch, I got a nice close fit between the two pieces of sheetmetal. With that edge tacked down, I continued around tacking the inner edge to the floorpan. First, though, I moved the jack to the forward edge of the patch and using a two-by-six I made sure the patch was a flat as possible. I couldn’t get any of my vise-clamps to reach that far in, so I pushed down on the patch’s inner edge with the end of the hammer while tack welding up the edge. To finish up the install, I welded between the tacks.

I’m pretty happy that I was able to install a patch in one evening. At this rate, I project the floor will be completely patched in only five more evenings.

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