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Old March 19th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #1
FONZY
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I wanted to let everyone see how I replaced the floor pans in the Hooptie... and since I am turning a sedan into a convertible, I fabricated my own reinforcement rails, which I like alot more than Volkswagen's and these cost a whole hell of alot less.

First... the swiss cheese...





These guys have been patched, undercoated, warped and rusted through in various layers. Out they go! Cutting the floor pans off is pretty easy... just realize you are not cutting them off flush with the tunnel, but about 1/2" away from it, this way the factory ledge is left in place.Once the pans are removed, grind everything down to bare metal on these ledges, making sure to get rid of all of the factory 'tar' sealant and rust.

A few things to keep in mind when fitting your new pans to the frame is to make sure both halves are going to be symetrical (seat frames even with each other) AND more importantly that the body bolt holes on the outer edge of the pans are in the correct place. This means alot of measuring, checking, and double checking.

Now once you have them placed correctly, use some short self tapping screws aprox. ever 3-4 inches to pull everything together.







At this point you are ready to weld em back on. I would recomend a low amperage setting since the ledge on the frame is much thicker than the sheetmetal of the pan, to help prevent brun through.

Now for me, I am adding a 2 by 2 inch tube along the outer edge of each pan to reinforce them, helping to eliminate door area flex in the body. first i cut off the stock jack mount...



then I attacked the rolled outer edge of the pan, making it a right angle instead, giving the 2x2 a place to mount sqaurely to.








Some fabrication work on the 2x2...



I put a nice 45 degree angle on each end of the 2x2 so it will be less likely to snag on speedbumps and potholes.



Then I did a few 'pie-cuts' to conform to the outline of the pan...



Up near the ront end, I cut the pan edge and made it overlay the 2x2, gaining a little more strength and tire clearance for the front wheels...



I then welded the 2x2 to the pans, on top and on the bottom, and then welded the pans to the frame.



I did a little bit of a boxed section near the front, again for strength and tire clearance...







I also flipped the frame up on it's side for access to the bottom...

Welded the pan seam along the frame on the bottom, as well as the two rear 'ledge' mounts...



I then put some nice 35 year silicon based latex caulking along the seams of the pan, top and bottom. This is a very necessary step to keep the seam watertight as well as a rust prevention.





Last but not least... I ground off all the old 'undercoating' and paint, shot two coats of rustoleum rattle can flat black primer, and 5 coats of rustoleum gloss black paint on the bottom of the entire frame.



"Hey boy! You sure gotta perty ... umm... pan!"

Hope this helps any first timers out there wanting to tackle something like this.
And just so you know, this CAN be done without completely lifting away the body. Undo all of the body bolts and then prop the body up a couple of inches above the chassis. Cut, weld, drive. One nice benefit of doing this with the body 'hovering' is that you can actually align all of the bolt holes very easilly.

Anywho... good luck!
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Old March 19th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #2
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I like the idea of the 2x2 tube but as with driving a lowerd car with support that hangs lower than the pan (again sorry Steve about the Buncher, Bill did it!) I am concerned about it dragging.

What is your take, and others, of putting the tube in the channel where the body to pan bolts go? I know it would require longer bolts when the body goes on but it would make for a cleaner install with no loss of ground clerance.

you plan on doing reinforcing inside the bug body, similar to what a vert has or you think the 2x2 is enough.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 02:35 PM   #3
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Looks good! I made originalstyle on my Hebster. They measure 50mm width and 60mm hight. (50mm = 2 inches) As wall thickness I used 2mm sheetmetal. I think that is just enough support for the heaterchannels.

My personal experience says that you would atleast need the crossmember between the B-pilars to avoid doorslammering and doors opening while curving on the road...
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Old March 19th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #4
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If yas look closely you can see that the 2x2 barely hangs down below the level of the pan itself... and in fact they are above the bottom of the front beam by about half an inch... so these rails aren't really the lowest thing on the car, and I think they do a pretty damned good job of stiffening the car. I weight 280 and I can stand on the rails without ANY deflection. ANY! :)

I still plan on doing the reinforcements that VW did in the back seat area, and since I got a whole front vert clip with my windshield I will be grafting the footwell area plates into my car... but I think I will skip the 'rounded corner' stuff in the door openings... prolly overkill.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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thanks for sharing this info FONZY, i'm at this exact point in my build right now

keep up the good work!!!!
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Old March 19th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #6
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Works for me. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif[/img] I will prob so some side bracing like was mentioned to keep the door from slamming and shacking.

I was gonna round the door bottoms but not for reinforcing , just to soften up the lines a bit.

Thanks for the pics [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clapping.gif[/img]
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Old March 19th, 2006, 09:01 PM   #7
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(FONZY @ Mar 20 2006, 01:09 AM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
... but I think I will skip the 'rounded corner' stuff in the door openings... prolly overkill.
[/b][/quote]

I made them on Hebster. You would be surpriced what difference they made... [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif[/img]
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Old March 20th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #8
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I agree with Hebster52, The lower door corners will need the braces to stiffen up the body. It made a big improvement on mine also. As well the channels you added to the pan look great and should work well once bolted up , however the orig ones were on the heater channel to brace the body. I'm sure it will do the same but while the shell is off the pan it's going to flex a bunch. Even with my shell off the pan (on work stands) and the channels in place you can see the windsheild post move when you close the doors.

Keep up the great work it's looking good!
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 06:04 PM   #9
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Fonzy -

Excellent work dude, have any recent photos of the Heb project?

I'll be installing new pans latter this summer, would you suggest doing this on a pan being used for a sedan? I plan on chopping the top and wanted the car to be as solid as possible and thought it might be worth it to strengthen up the car?

How far does the body stick out beyond the pan rails, the tubing won't interfere with running boards will it?

What you guys think?

Rick
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 06:05 PM   #10
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Fonzy -

Excellent work dude, have any recent photos of the Heb project?

I'll be installing new pans latter this summer, would you suggest doing this on a pan being used for a sedan? I plan on chopping the top and wanted the car to be as solid as possible and thought it might be worth it to strengthen up the car?

How far does the body stick out beyond the pan rails, the tubing won't interfere with running boards will it?

What you guys think?

Rick
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 07:37 PM   #11
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Herbie 66 @ Mar 22 2006, 08:05 PM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
Fonzy -

Excellent work dude, have any recent photos of the Heb project?
[/b][/quote]

Well thanx for the compliment! I do liken my work to that of Walt ... just without all the talent...
and tools...
and experience...
and good looks...
did I mention talent?
anywho :)

The most recent pics of the bodywork are in my intro (the Mary-anne" build in my sigature) It's been on hold while I have been getting the running gear finished... I want to have a completely done frame / drivetrain before I drop the body back on... I hate hate HATE gettin up under lowered bugs to do some teeny little thing I forgot to do while the body was off:)

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Herbie 66 @ Mar 22 2006, 08:05 PM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
I'll be installing new pans latter this summer, would you suggest doing this on a pan being used for a sedan? I plan on chopping the top and wanted the car to be as solid as possible and thought it might be worth it to strengthen up the car?
[/b][/quote]

It certainly couldn't hurt to reinforce a sedan, but it really will be overkill and a half. The roof (even chopped) adds huge amounts of torional rigidity to the body. These 2 by 2's I installed are really to keep the car from trying to fold in half thru the door openings.


<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Herbie 66 @ Mar 22 2006, 08:05 PM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
How far does the body stick out beyond the pan rails, the tubing won't interfere with running boards will it?
[/b][/quote]

It should come out just flush with the actually outer edge of the body and no it won't interfere with running boards since they stop right at the bottom edge of the body. You could actually build wider rails that would protrude out from under the body, as much as 2 inches maybe? since the running boards would cover them ... anywho heres a pic I gleened off of Gkaffer's build site (HERE)



As you can see the black rails on his car are just a little shy of flush with the outside bodywork. This is a stock vert reinforcement rail (welded to the bottom of the heater channel, not the pan like mine is)

the 2 by 2 I used is slightly (1/8"?) wider than these so it will end up flush with the body.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 02:21 PM   #12
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Fonzy -

Forgot to ask in my last post, were can I get the drawing with the dimensions of the body mount holes you use to align the pans?

Thanks

Rick
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