Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Floor Repair – Lucy’s Turn

With Ringo still not road-ready, I had to ensure Lucy was good-to-go for Ariel’s return to PA after her Christmas visit home. One thing I noticed as I gave the car the once-over was the carpet sagging towards the ground. A quick look from pavement level, and I saw the old PO repair to the right rear footwell had been soundly defeated by rust. With Ringo booted from the garage, I drove Lucy in and proceeded to pull the front passenger seat and door sill off and unbolt the seatbelts. This allowed me to roll the carpet up and out of the way to again exercise my tried and hopefully true skill of floor replacement. Some measurements, a few minutes with the cut-off wheel on my grinder, and the insertion of a straight bend and the patch was ready for installation. I decided, given the extent of the decay, it made the most sense to install the patch from the underside. With the floor jack holding the patch against what was left of the floor, I drilled a series of eighth-inch holes near the panel's perimeter and riveted it into place. Then, after replacing the cut-off disk with the wire wheel on the grinder and making sure I still had some welding gas left in the tank, I selectively cleaned the paint and rust to give me a dozen or so weld locations. Protected by leather gloves and apron and welding mask, I laid down some molten metal to finalize the installation of the patch. With the hot work done, I filled all the gaps with silicone caulk and then reassembled the interior. A spare quart of oil was tossed in the trunk and Lucy was ready to be Ariel’s chariot again.

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