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Thread: Help with floor pans...

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    Default Help with floor pans...

    Guys, i'm almost finish painting my 1978 280z, but I still have to fix the floor pans on both driver and passenger side. I have read several forums about welding and mig welders but get very confuse and discouraged. I have done several things to this car to give up on it. I don't know nothing about welding or steel. I have read that I can use 18 gauge steel to make my floor pans, they don't have to look pretty, I just want to be able to drive the car. I read on this site that someone else also had bad floor pans and Dave said that he purchased a flux welder from harbor freight for $100 and used a grinder cut of tool and a saw-all tool, I have everything except for the flux welder. I have painted my car using forums and following advice and it has come out ok and would like to do the same for welding my floor pans. Has some one used the harbor freight welder and if so what was the settings that you used it and what gauge of steel did you us. My floor pans are pretty bad and what I was thinking of doing is getting some steel and folding it at the ends and welding it to the car from the top. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Registered User esmit208's Avatar
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    DRCUZ
    If you have never welded I would not suggest learning with floor pans. One can go the ultra cheap route and use sheet metal but (1) These chassis flex enough as it is and a floor pan without the frame rails will flex even more. (2) A welder cooled by Co2 is my personal preference but I have welded for a living in the past. (3) By the time you get what you need to do the job you could have paid the restoration shop or a welding shop to do the job properly. (4) Flux welders are very tricky even for individuals with welding experience. A Lincoln Co2 fed welder is in my near future but as I said I have welded for a living before and I have sheet metal fitting experience. With all that being said consider this, you can have a bigger mess than you currently have or you can have your floors installed properly. Once you cut away the bad stuff or the entire floorboard you have to know how to fit the replacement piece properly. If the seat mounts have to be removed they have to be re-installed properly also. Here take a look at this story complete with photos before you decide on anything. http://www2.zhome.com:81/Classic/240...loorboards.htm. Good Luck!
    "HAPPINESS"....isn't just around the corner......"HAPPINESS"....is the CORNER"

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    Registered User grantf's Avatar
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    I have had some mixed results with flux welding. I suggest going for mig gas wire feed, especially for someone new to welding. it does not cost that much more, the welds are stronger, cleaner and have better penetration. I would also use replacement pans they should be stronger. Practice welding on scrap steel, sheet metal can be tricky as it warps with heat and you can easily blow through the metal. Settings on you're welder can vary so again use scrap for practice. you will also need other tools, an angle grinder or pnumatic grinder and clamps, ect.
    Last edited by grantf; 02-16-2011 at 07:00 PM.

  4. #4
    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    dcruz, I replaced my floor pan in my 240Z and used the pans form Zedd findings. Charley Osborne makes them. I understand that there is someone else using his name but makes a inferior product. Just be aware.
    Zedd's are a first rate pan and it comes with the rail that is under the middle of the floor from the firewall to about the seat support. They take vary little fitting , just wait until you receive the pans before you do any cutting. This way you will see how high the lip extends. I took my car , after I fitted the pans in place , using self tapping sheet metal screws, to a certified welder. He tig welded the pan in place and when he came to a screw he removed it and filled the hole. First rate job and it cost me $350.00. Plus the pan. I had cleaned everything prior to installing the pan so he didn't have to do this part. Saves you a lot of money and his time.
    One thing you must remember trying to do some of these thing on the cheap. The floor is a major part of the ''frame'' on a unibody car like a Z. Since there is no real frame. So if you do this project wrong and with too thin of sheet metal you are weakening the structure of the whole car. It will show later when the seams on the roof separate or crack and so on. My welder tried using MIG to weld the metal and went to his TIG because he had some trouble burning through the thin metal. He is a professional welder.
    My 2cts. Gary
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

  5. #5
    Registered User esmit208's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beandip View Post
    dcruz, I replaced my floor pan in my 240Z and used the pans form Zedd findings. Charley Osborne makes them. I understand that there is someone else using his name but makes a inferior product. Just be aware.
    Zedd's are a first rate pan and it comes with the rail that is under the middle of the floor from the firewall to about the seat support. They take vary little fitting , just wait until you receive the pans before you do any cutting. This way you will see how high the lip extends. I took my car , after I fitted the pans in place , using self tapping sheet metal screws, to a certified welder. He tig welded the pan in place and when he came to a screw he removed it and filled the hole. First rate job and it cost me $350.00. Plus the pan. I had cleaned everything prior to installing the pan so he didn't have to do this part. Saves you a lot of money and his time.
    One thing you must remember trying to do some of these thing on the cheap. The floor is a major part of the ''frame'' on a unibody car like a Z. Since there is no real frame. So if you do this project wrong and with too thin of sheet metal you are weakening the structure of the whole car. It will show later when the seams on the roof separate or crack and so on. My welder tried using MIG to weld the metal and went to his TIG because he had some trouble burning through the thin metal. He is a professional welder.
    My 2cts. Gary
    Well stated G-MAN
    "HAPPINESS"....isn't just around the corner......"HAPPINESS"....is the CORNER"

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