Sunday, August 19, 2012

Driver's Side Floor - Part 4

As most everyone knows, it's been a really, really hot, HOT summer here in the midwest.  I haven't spent much time working on the fastback since the heat has been so bad.  I decided that I needed to get some sort of AC for the garage in an act of desperation.  I've been checking Craigslist for a used AC to keep my bones cooler.  Finally, after 7 weeks, I found one and was able to close the deal before I got beat out on the buy.  So now, I have this nice AC window unit that will let me hang meat in my insulated garage after an hour....

However, after my purchase, the temperature hasn't broken 84F degrees since.  Go figure.

One interesting facet of getting the AC was the guy I got if from had a '69 Chevelle in his garage that he owned since he was 15.  The restoration was complete and he no longer spent time in his garage working on the car for hours.  It was a sweet car for a Bowtie...454 with Donavan heads, roller cam,  a 5 speed Tremec and a 9" Ford rear with 3.91 gears.   It was mildly tubbed and has a great paint job in a deep blue with ghost flames.  He, like I, have determined, that drag racing gets expensive really fast.  It's great to meet another car guy who appreciates each others cars.

So, I now have the capacity to cool the 3 bays of garage with 12,000 BTU'S of cold air.  But there's still the problem of ventilating the garage of MIG welding fumes.   Well, I didn't have to worry about it since it was 79F degrees this afternoon.  That made it  a good day to get some work done.  ( I won't bore you with the details from Saturday that amounted to finding a place to put a new (used) freezer in the garage and the cleaning/reorganizing carnage that took place instead of working on the fastback.)

I'll skip the details of working on the drivers side floor getting the metalwork done--the welding and grinding...followed by more welding and grinding..  It was a matter of getting the joints between the floor pan the toe boards to the point where I felt comfortable putting a skim coat of "Metal-to-Metal" body filler on the joints to make them look acceptable to me since I am the customer I have to please on this whole restoration thing.

After 4 hours of chasing pinholes in the welds, I'm getting close to calling the bottom side of the driver's side floor "done".   Sort of.

I guess I'm too picky.  I see a little pit, or I see another pinhole, and need to dress it up.  I finally had to close up shop since I used up all my consumables...basically the 2" disc I use on my 90 degree air grinder.  But progress is progress....

This is the rear half of the driver's side floor....

This is the the floor at the transmission crossmember....

This is a view of the front firewall toe board....

This is the driver's side lower toe board/firewall repair....

Another shot of the driver's side floor to transmission tunnel joint.

This is the driver's side joint of the new front floor pan to the existing rear floor pan.
I figure I'm about 90% done with this side of the floor.  I have some work to do on the toe board that's outside the engine compartment along with the inside to guessed it... the remaining pinholes in the welds.   Once I get that done, I'll begin the process of using the "Metal-to-Metal" body filler to make all the little pits and dips level.

I never imagined in my wildest imagination that I would be doing bodywork on the underside of a floor!  How sad is that!  But, as I've said before, I'm building this for me and if I'm not happy, then what's the point?

I'm hoping to finish up some of the picky-uny stuff on the floor and firewall this week.  Then I'll smear some filler on it and see how the results look.  I'm hopeful it will look good.

Then there's still the passenger side to do.  Oh well...It's all part of the process, right?


  1. Gratz on the AC! I'm sure you'll get a couple more 90+ days before summer ends. I kept a box fan under the garage door blowing outside and filled the rest of the opening with cardboard when I needed heat and ventilation during the winter. It's not optimal for keeping the air at a perfect temperature but it worked okay at venting the nasties. Your floor is looking really good as well!

    1. Yeah, the temp is going up as the week goes on. In the winter, I use a torpedo heater that gets the garage nice and toasty. I put a fan in the window that the AC is in now. It's pretty comfortable and pulls the fumes away. I need to do the same with the AC. I'm hoping I'll be done with the driver's side floor by Labor Day. Only time will tell...

  2. Dennis, it's just about time for me to do the opposite; its getting a little chilly around here in the Pocono Mountains so I need to think about finding me a space heater.

    You've done a fantastic job with those floorboards. Nice weld seams.

    1. Thanks Ivan. It's taken way too long to get to this point, but that's the way it goes. BTW, I put a watch list on eBay and picked up a used kerosene torpedo heater for $36 bucks! (I did have to pick it up, though) It's 35,000 BTU's and heats my 3 bay garage easily. Hopefully you can find one locally.