Monday, November 21, 2011

driver's side floor repair--If at first you don't succeed...Part 2

Car restoration could be like life and a deck of cards; you play with what you're dealt.   Alex and RJ have weighted in and my friend Glenn who helped me find the fastback have all agreed that the gaps aren't that bad and there are some work-arounds.   So that's the direction I'm going to go in and ditch getting a new floor.  Like Alex commented, "Metal is metal", right?

So here's what I'm going to try.  I have some small pieces of the floor leftover from trimming the edges with the air saw.  I'm going to experiment with the "Alex method" of using those pieces to fill the gap and then grind off the excess.  Then I"m going to try the "Glenn method" which is to take a piece of small diameter wire, like 1/16" or 3/32",  and tack that in place to fill the gap and then grind that flush to the floor.  I'll swing by Thrifty Supply on the way home and pick up a piece and then let the experiments begin.   I promise I'll document it all with photos for the next person with the same or similar issue. 

That's what I love about this blog and others.  Everyone gets to learn from each other and get support to carry on.  If it weren't for that, I'd probably be ordering a new front floor today.  

Thanks guys!  I appreciate your encouragement.


  1. Yay! Can't wait to see the fixes. Those are way more interesting than when things go perfectly anyway! :-)

  2. Alex is right, the way you work yourself out of a corner is always more interesting that when everything goes like clockwork (if it ever does....)

  3. P.S. - Use Glenn's method first. It's will make a much better joint. Then, if you have trouble bridging certain gaps with wire, try strips of sheet.

  4. I think I am ultimately late on this, but gaps are afact of life in this game and butt welding is not easy, even for the pros. I like to use ER70S6 TIG welding rod as a gap filler. Thes can be purchased in avrying diameters to fill even fairly large gaps and the alloy is probably already a match for the spool in your MIG. If the gap is 1/8" or less, I use 1/16" wire and use the "lay wire" technique to fill the gap. Tack the end of the wire where it fits tightly in the gap and then carefully tack across the gap. If at all possible, recruit a helper to hold a piece of flat copper against the back of the weld seam to prevent the wire from whiskering out the back and to pull away heat. You can make a very effective copper backer plate by annealing a piece of 3/4" to 1" copper pipe and hammering it flat. By turning up one end, it can be gripped in a pair of locking pliers. Be patient and tack, tack, tack! Once you have the wire tacked in place, you start connecting the dots by stacking tacks randomly around the seam, cooling each one with compressed air before moving to the next one. It's very slow and tedious, but it can be done. Best of luck! You most certainly can do it!