Thursday, August 7, 2014

Transition pan

I have been meaning to write this for a while now as most of the work has been finished on this piece.  After I had the seat riser in, I moved onto the transition pan.  Originally, I thought I could save it and just patch the rusted areas.  Sadly it didn't work out that way.  If I had continued it would have ended up being composed of several dozen patches.  Better to just replace it and save myself the time and effort.

I had to cut it into two big pieces in order to get it out.  Other than that it really wasn't that hard to remove.  Fitting the new one ended up being more "fun".  I had to cut the spot welds on the cross-member as I could not figure out a way of installing it and the pan together without destroying both pieces.  I then cut the tunnel back in order to have space to slide and maneuver the pan into place.

First thing to do was to fit the cross-member as close to the original location as possible.  I had to grind back a couple of the tabs a little bit in order to get the best fit.  Once it was located, I squeezed it all together with the rail and tacked it in place.  Next I slid the pan in place and with the help of some prior measurements, and the holes where I cut the cross-member out, I was able to determine where it should be.  During this fitting process I did have to cut the tack welds on the cross-member and make some slight adjustments in order to get everything just right.

Once the fitting was done, I solidly welded in the cross-member, painted everything that would no longer be accessible with Zero-Rust and weld thru primer where needed.  I then did a final fit on the pan and welded it to the cross-member and the rails.  With that done, I worked on re-installing the trans tunnel.  Interestingly enough the tunnel and the pan dimensions in that area did not quite match.  The radius on the pan tunnel was a little bigger than the original tunnel.  Not a big deal, I just made a relief cut in the tunnel, filled it with some spare metal and made it all fit together.

Next on the list is the back part of the floor.  I fit the replacement panel, lined everything up and made a couple of relief cut here and there to make sure it fit perfectly.  I then trimmed it and welded it in.  Nothing to dramatic about the whole thing.  I still have to get all the welds ground down, and I still have the other side to patch, but this is looking pretty good.

Old cross-member out.

Leftovers of a rodent den in the cross-member.

Major portion of the pan cut out.

Just need to get that last bit of the pan separated from the car.

I saw this trick on tv and thought I would give it a try.  I welded a couple of tabs to the pieces, and used some clamps to try and draw them together.

It worked okay on one side, but not so much on the other.

I had to pull out the big pipe clamp and squeeze it together from both sides. (left)


Cross-member located and welded in.  You can see my measurements scrawled on the piece.  You can also see that I have the gas tank back in the car.  I used it and some bolts, to help insure that the back of the pan was exactly where it needed to be.

View from underneath.

Final fitting with clamps, clecos and screws.

Welded in.  You can just see where I had to split the tunnel in order to get it to fit.

Right side.

Left side.

Patch fitting.

Welding it in.  You can see how I would clamp/screw the pieces together.  I then would cut through both sides, and as I peeled the metal away, I would tack the sides together.  Made it very easy to keep it in place and to keep the gaps the proper distance apart.

All cuts complete and everything tacked together.

All welded in.