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Thread: tutorial on replacing rockers and floor pans

  1. #1
    President Member 5brown1's Avatar
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    tutorial on replacing rockers and floor pans

    Although I did run across something similar a few weeks ago I have not been able to find it with the search feature here.
    I have also looked at Bob Johnstone's site and did a Google search with no relevant results.
    Anyway, I am considering rebuilding the 58 Golden Hawk but it needs inner and outer rockers and partial front floor pans as
    well as the frame to A pillar support.
    Is there anything posted describing and picturing the procedure and sequence to replace these parts.
    I am sure many have done this and I am not wanting to reinvent the wheel so some guidance would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Having almost completed a total floor/rocker install I understand your "pain". I found the more I looked the
    more floor needed to be replaced, heck, in the trunk, I was showing my wife the trunk as I worked on it
    and she pointed out rust that I hadn't seen or wanted to see. It was almost like she was a sales rep
    for Classic Enterprises My welding sheet metal skills have advanced considerably as I have welded the
    floor in, a couple of days ago found me butt welding a part of the floor under the car, welding overhead with
    a degree of success.
    I X braced the body at both the A pillars and B pillars on my 53 C Coupe, when I was all done I don't
    think I would have needed to because I did one side at a time and the X bracing made it very
    difficult to work in the toe board area. Your call. If it is a K model it probably is more important. I actually
    took the X brace out so I could move the A pillar.

    I learned as I went, on the drivers side I cut the floor out from the rear wheel well forward
    to the toe board, cutting less than what the patch panel was so I could test fit as I went
    but not cutting too much out. I had new A and B pillar supports (as well as the
    A pillar repair piece) since the original units
    were really not much good, even for a pattern. I tried where I could to build the floor
    as the factory had, so I trimmed the original floor from the B pillar and slid the floor (I
    used a full floor piece from Classic Enterprises) under the B pillar and then test fit the floor
    and slid the B pillar brace under and used to Self Tapping screws to temporarily tie it
    together. Note, the B pillar needs to line up with the quarter panel attachment point
    so you need to at the least hang the quarter to properly align the B pillar brace.

    The driver door wouldn't latch properly because the pillar had moved substantially, I fabricated a strap
    using threaded rod to pull the A pillar into placeIMG_1232.jpg Note, it was braced so well
    that I had to cut the bracing out to move the A pillar into it's correct location. I need to mention
    that I welded the pillar repair piece to the A pillar brace and was unable to position it under the repair
    like I would have preferred.
    This picture shows the X bracing and the general placement of the "adjustment tool". I had to notch
    out as little as I could around the A post repair piece (Classic Enterprises) again using self tappers to
    keep everything in line. The Classic Enterprises floor isn't perfect, I had to bend the outside of the floor
    to matched the angle of the A and B pillar posts, I also found that the toe area didn't fit exactly and
    I ended up sectioning the drivers side and looking back, I should have done the same on the Passenger
    side which I did first. The picture shows the Drivers Side A pillar as I found it.

    Another thought, I am not a great welder so......you can flange fit the old floor to the new floor
    which I did is some places where I drilled out spot welds and slid the floor under or in some cases
    I tried to make it a butt connection but used an approximate one inch wide strip that I plug welded
    then finished with a but weld, again using sell tappers to hold the strap up. I saw that technique on
    a YouTube video of a 15 year old girl working on an old VW bug and then later saw a really good
    fabricator using the same technique on an old Ford Pickup Door.

    Good luck, I am retired and wanted one last project to keep my mind active and out of my wife's hair
    IMG_1217.jpg
    Last edited by 1953champcoupe; 11-14-2017 at 11:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    IMG_1182.jpg
    Here is a picture of the passenger side and will show a little better how there were
    some flange welds and some but welds. I used a Harbor Freight flange/punch tool
    to make the myriad of holes to plug weld, you can do the same thing with a drill
    but it takes longer. I have sand blasted much of the body just to find good clean
    metal to weld too (and you find holes too), I think I've sandblasted three different
    times and will have at least one more trip outside to blast areas just so paint
    will stick better. You won't see my work on TV, my welds are less than perfect,
    I am on a Welding forum also, they poke fun at welds and make a person think
    that if they use a grinder they are not much of a welder. I am a grinder

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    There is an archive for both Tech and General on the site you mentioned,
    http://www.studebaker-info.org/

    I suspect there may be answers to all of both your questions and mine, I wish
    I knew if there was a search function for both of those archives.

    I think Bob has forgotten more than I will ever know

  5. #5
    President Member 5brown1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information Marv. I am hoping my project won't be as extensive as yours. I am particularly interested in how that A pillar is supported. I think mine is in much
    better condition than yours is but am unsure how the support piece attaches to it. Do you have any pictures of that.
    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    You will have to trim part of the pillar away on the inside so the repair piece will fit into the pillar. The repair
    piece is welded to the A Pillar body mount, you can just see it in the lower part of the picture.
    IMG_1132.jpg


    I will assume you are going to have to replace part of the floor in the area of the pillar. I drilled out the spot
    welds that affixed the floor (or what was left of it) and then you insert the repair piece using the lower
    hinge bolt to properly locate the repair piece. The picture below illustrates how much I had to cut out (passenger
    side) to slide the repair piece in, note that you will have to carve a hole in the forward side for the lower fender
    bolt. There is an excellent chance that the hinge bolt won't come loose I used heat, Freezall (sp?) but the best
    tool I had to use was a homemade tool that used an air chisel to vibrate the screw (using part of a hand impact
    screwdriver). I hope my pictures and verbiage adequately describe what it took for me to fix the pillar.
    IMG_1218.jpg
    Last edited by 1953champcoupe; 11-15-2017 at 12:09 PM. Reason: mssing pictures

  7. #7
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    Such a fine line between having a lumpy weld and blowing holes in the (thinned) sheet metal. If they look too lumpy you set it to the next highest level and the next thing you know you are blowing holes everywhere. It seems hard to win. Yes, I too have used a grinder (significantly) to take that embarrassed look off my face. Anyway, they only need be strong (not pretty) as they will be under carpet or undercoat. But, yes, I concur with you and appreciate your honest. At least from my perspective it all looks good enough to me.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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