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Discussion Starter #1
need some advice on the best way to replace floor pans. I have a full set of floor pans to install, including the pan to firewall piece. the fronts by the firewall on both sides are shot, and under the rear seat on one side is bad...figured if I am replacing three corners, might as well do it all.
what is the best way, one piece at a time, one side at a time?
cutting torch to remove or grinder? I imagine a wire mig welder is the way to go. any other tips would be greatly appreciated.
bmaker
 

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Id probably do 1 side at a time. Just dig in you'll see, a cut off wheel, a grinder, saber saw and air chisel will all help. Also a spot weld cutter would be nice. Yes a mig is the way to go and butt welds are the nicest but you can overlap them as long as you weld both sides. Some weld through primer is good to spray the overlaps with to prevent corrosion. I never done the pan to firewall piece and imagine it will be the hardest. mm
 

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I agree with the overlap is easier remark. I like to overlap about 1/4" and weld both sides. It's a lot of work, the car needs to be worth the effort. If you are restoring a 289 2V Cougar standard coupe it might be better to just get a different car. Replacing all that metal is very time consuming to get good results. No doubt you also have bad quarter panels and trunk floor too right? You can buy a Cougar in Southern CA for $2000 that will be rust free and drive it back to Indiana. Spend $200 for a plane ticket, another $400 for hotels, food and gas. It will be a lot more rewarding than replacing rust for 200 hours of work.
 

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Oops,
Just noticed it says you have a 390GT. It might be worth the effort. I know where there is a rust free 390GT in So Cal for sale at $4000 which still might be a better option.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the tips guys. yup, its a 67 XR7 GT The only major rust is the floor panels in the corners...quarters are almost perfect ( about 5 square inches of surface rust at the bottom of the rear passenger 1/4 panel). The car had sat for almost 20 years (15 of them garaged)...leaky windows the last 5 years let water pool up on the floor pans.
I like your idea of flying to cali though...would have been an option if I hadn't got a real great deal on this car.
bmaker
 

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Bmaker,
Follow the link below, it shows photos and a pretty complete description of my floor pan removal and replacement.

http://home.sprynet.com/~pamar/cougarfloor.html

If you have any questions feel free to contact me. The most inportant thing is to be sure the car is jigged, blocked and leveled. And definately do the pans one at a time so that the other pan helps hold the car in place.
Good Luck,
Paul G.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the link Paul. Any tips on jigging and blocking? I know I need to keep the frame and body straight...I imagine this is even more important on a convertible. should I put the firewall to shocktower brace back on? (it's off right now, no engine or tranny, it couldn't hurt to have that on....right?)
again, thanks all for the help.
bmaker.
 

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Welding

It would definately help to have the brace back on. I used eight jackstands to brace and level the frame rails. I had four on each side of the car before and after both wheel openeings supporting both ends all four frame rails and most all of the weight of the car.

Not having the engine in should make it a lot easier. I wanted to get the body up off the suspension so that I was sure it would be level. I used a couple different size & length levels, a hydraulic jack and some wood shims to get the car level side to side and front to back, along the frame rails, without the weight on the suspension. I then used a couple large "C" clamps to hold the car to a few of the jackstands as a sort of homemade jig. Having the car up off the ground also helped provide adequate space to get under the car to do the welding.

This may all be overkill, and others may have any easier way or other suggestions. It is definitely more important to do with a convertible than a hardtop. But I must admit when I put my car back together everything lined up perfectly, and you would be hard pressed to notice that this car had new floors, rocker repair and a whole new front clip swapped on.

Having the car jacked and level made removing the old sheet metal and welding in the new stuff very easy. It took 5 days from the first jackstand to having the back on the ground with tires and carpet underlayment in place. It also made it easier to line up the doors again when I took the car down from the stands.My car now sits very level with no noticeable lean to any corner . Also this was all done in a gravel driveway!!
Paul G.
69 XR7 Convertible
 
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