View Full Version : Help Needed - The Dreaded Rust

Mr Mike
06-02-2007, 11:43 AM
Hi All - I've discovered some pretty severe rust (see pictures at)


I'm pretty much an amateur at this stuff so I'd appreciate any and all help.

Most of the rust seems to be concentrated in the joint between the kick panel and the floor. At some point in time, someone put in some floor patches using galvanized sheet metal and screws then undercoated the underside. I haven't removed the fenders so I don't know what's behind the kick panels. I also don't know how to judge the severity of the problem although I understand that the front pillar supports a lot of weight.

I see that Classic Enterprises has new floor panels and pillar base supports that can be put in. They also have an inner fender kit that is supposed to, at least, help eliminate some of the problems in these areas.

It does not seem that there is a problem with the rocker panels. There are no paint bubbles or other indications there. The rear floor panels all seem quite solid as does the trunk.

I know it's asking a lot but if someone could give me some insight on how far I need to go to repair the problem, I'd appreciate it greatly. If more pictures are needed I can do!

Mr Mike

06-02-2007, 02:41 PM
first thing you want to do is find out the extent of the rust, then make a plan. Whether to patch or replace depends on the extent of rust. Take it apart and clean it real well to see what is there.

06-02-2007, 02:44 PM
If the pillars are still solidly attached, cut out the old floors and weld in new Classic floors with some homemade sheet metal patches welded in to fix the kicks. If the pillars are flopping around, made damn sure everything is lined up before welding. BTW, you'll need a torch, a big hammer and lot of patience to make the floors fit correctly.


63 GT R2
63 Avanti R1
63 Daytona convert
63 Lark 2 door
62 Lark 2 door
60 Lark HT-60Hawk
59 3E truck
58 Starlight
52 & 53 Starliner
51 Commander

06-03-2007, 08:27 AM
As JDP says, it can be done. My Hawk looked about the same as
yours, maybe a little worse... I bought CE floor panels and
went to work with a MIG welder after cutting out everyhing rusty.
I took quite awhile but it came out nice. And belive me, I'm
an amateur. You can do it. Good luck.

06-04-2007, 05:30 PM
The important thing here is, to assure the door jamb pillar has not been compromised, but even so, it can be repaired. Remove all the badly rusted material and see what you have left. You'll have to get a mig welder to effect the repairs.

The way it works from the bottom up is, the outer tip of the removable cross member bolts up into the outer edge of the front floor brace (which is welded to the floor). The bolt then, extends up into the cup making up the area, below the door hinge. All this supports the door and cowl area of the car

Classic makes pieces to fit this entire scenario. You may have to 'massage' them a bit to work for your specific problem, but the parts are much heavier gauge than the stock components and work well.

Bob Johnstone

06-04-2007, 10:41 PM
Mike, You have a nnice looking car. The floors are a very important part of the stablity of the hawk. I had a guy assist with the floors and frame supports under the car. I will need help with the floors. We had to break the support from the pillar base area because it was fragile, after we did that we repaired the kick panel and reattached it to the floor panel.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v145/mr1940/IMG_0451.jpg to see the other side the fender would have to be removed.This area maybe rusted as well, removing the fender will help in making your hawk sturdy.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v145/mr1940/IMG_0452.jpg

Studebakers forever!

06-05-2007, 12:59 AM
That's looking good, Studelover.

I was doing exactly the same work today. Instead of using a manufactured patch panel, I used pieces cut from the under-seat area of a scrap 2R truck cab. That area has ribs pressed into it the same width as the ribs in the Hawk floors.

For what it's worth, the original floor, and my patches, too, have the ribs going right round the bend between the floor and the toeboard.
Starting at the "A" pillar side, I have got two out of the three ribs replaced. Once it's sandblasted, only the weld bead will tip you off that it's not factory. Well, maybe that's stretching it a bit, but the end result looks good, and it feels solid already. With carpets on top, and undercoat on the bottom side, only a psychic (or a Forum reader) could tell it had ever been rusted.

Still lots of floor to do, but the job is going very well, and I'm pleased with the progress I'm making.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Mr Mike
06-05-2007, 06:51 AM
First, let me thank all of you for your responses and encouragement. The pic's are a welcomed added bonus. Keep em coming :-))

Progress Report:
Further inspection found that the A pillars are still solid. The floor supports are warped so that the floors sag noticeably on the outside and, to do the job right, will have to be replaced. This has become a major project, best done with the body off or raised. I've decided to make some temporary repairs to get me through the summer, I have several other committments already scheduled, then tackle it this winter when I'll have the time.
Mr Mike

06-05-2007, 06:23 PM
Mike the best thing to have is a plan, as I said your car looks nice and if you can enjoy it for just a little while , do it! ONce your car is apart, man it takes a long time to get it back together. My car just kept showing more and more rust as I cut deeper into it. My motor was stuck and after disassembling it I saw that it would have never run no matter how much mystery oil I put in the cly. You are way ahead of the game as your car runs. The hawk is a great car and the design is out of this world. Enjoy it, while you are stock pile your parts so you will have them when your ready..good luck


Studebakers forever!