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Oh, Gord: my Wagonaire needs welding!

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  • Oh, Gord: my Wagonaire needs welding!

    I was highly inspired by Gord's latest photos of his floor repair, so I ripped into the ugly mess in my '63 Standard wagon that I have been avoiding for a long time. Once I started cutting rusty metal away, there was no stopping!

    The center door post was already loose, so I hooked my come-along to one of the seat belt eyes and pulled it tight, then started cutting away the edge of the floor. Now I have a big hole. There isn't much to tie anything together, and so much of the metal is gone on both sides that it's a little hard to figure out how it is supposed to look underneath.

    The bottom of the front door post is missing. I took the front fender off, another job I had been postponing, so I could see the damage. At some time in this car's past, someone piled wads of Bondo into the rusted-out fender eyebrows so I had to saw the eyebrows off to even get at the bolts under there. I hadn't planned to re-use the fender, anyway. It's amazing how a thin abrasive cutting wheel on an angle grinder will just zip through rusty metal!

    Now if I can just get Gord to leave the bison and oil rigs and come help me weld, the project will go faster.





    [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com
    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

  • #2
    Gary,

    What are you doing to make sure the doors align correctly? Will you weld in the pieces first and align the door with frame cushions on the crossmember later? Or are you not expecting this to be a problem? I'm asking because I'm doing some floor work too, but not as extensive. I noticed that my front doors were already slightly out of alignment before I started (one was too high by the center post and the other was a little low). I'm wondering if this problem is corrected simply by use of body cushion placement and size.

    Scott Rodgers

    Scott Rodgers
    Los Angeles
    SDC Member since 1989
    '60 Lark HT
    '63 Wagonaire
    Scott Rodgers
    Los Angeles
    SDC Member since 1989
    \'60 Lark HT
    \'63 Wagonaire
    \'66 Frankenbaker

    Comment


    • #3
      Gary,

      What are you doing to make sure the doors align correctly? Will you weld in the pieces first and align the door with frame cushions on the crossmember later? Or are you not expecting this to be a problem? I'm asking because I'm doing some floor work too, but not as extensive. I noticed that my front doors were already slightly out of alignment before I started (one was too high by the center post and the other was a little low). I'm wondering if this problem is corrected simply by use of body cushion placement and size.

      Scott Rodgers

      Scott Rodgers
      Los Angeles
      SDC Member since 1989
      '60 Lark HT
      '63 Wagonaire
      Scott Rodgers
      Los Angeles
      SDC Member since 1989
      \'60 Lark HT
      \'63 Wagonaire
      \'66 Frankenbaker

      Comment


      • #4
        order new floor sections from CE. Then cut back to where the new sections go over the bolt holes. This will give some sort of starting point. from there you should be able to align and adust everything. I had nothing left but 1/2 of the trans tunnel and it worked out well for me. Use the frame as you freind.

        Comment


        • #5
          order new floor sections from CE. Then cut back to where the new sections go over the bolt holes. This will give some sort of starting point. from there you should be able to align and adust everything. I had nothing left but 1/2 of the trans tunnel and it worked out well for me. Use the frame as you freind.

          Comment


          • #6
            Scott, the front door fits pretty well with fairly even gaps all around (!!!). My plan is to climb inside, shut the door, and start welding when it comes time to tie in to the front post. Ditto for the center post. Frankly, I don't know what keeps the body from sagging over the frame - it must be one of the forward body mounts.

            For now, I just have to build the sill at the right height and the right distance out. If you look closely in the top picture, you can just see a thin black line from my Sharpie that I drew 19 inches from edge of the sill. That's how far I had to go in to find a place in solid metal to draw a line.

            Of course, the rocker panel was already long gone. How were the original rocker panels attached to the sills, anyway? Were they screwed, riveted, or welded? On the left side, the rocker panel had been replaced, but it had been pop riveted to the rotten sheet metal. At least there is enough sill remaining on the left side to copy the dimensions.
            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.

            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Scott, the front door fits pretty well with fairly even gaps all around (!!!). My plan is to climb inside, shut the door, and start welding when it comes time to tie in to the front post. Ditto for the center post. Frankly, I don't know what keeps the body from sagging over the frame - it must be one of the forward body mounts.

              For now, I just have to build the sill at the right height and the right distance out. If you look closely in the top picture, you can just see a thin black line from my Sharpie that I drew 19 inches from edge of the sill. That's how far I had to go in to find a place in solid metal to draw a line.

              Of course, the rocker panel was already long gone. How were the original rocker panels attached to the sills, anyway? Were they screwed, riveted, or welded? On the left side, the rocker panel had been replaced, but it had been pop riveted to the rotten sheet metal. At least there is enough sill remaining on the left side to copy the dimensions.
              Gary Ash
              Dartmouth, Mass.

              '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
              ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
              '48 M5
              '65 Wagonaire Commander
              '63 Wagonaire Standard
              web site at http://www.studegarage.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Gary,

                This just might be pretty helpful to you (and others) with rust in this area. My Wagonaire needs the floors repaired, but the rockers, A pillars, and supports are all in excellent condition.

                This is my driver's side patch panel being tested for fit:

                http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2310...00242519AdbgWo

                Here's what it looks like underneath:

                http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2415...00242519TvAImi

                Here's a large shot (be careful if you're using dialup, it's big):

                http://image24.webshots.com/665/9/49...9OQMUrc_fs.jpg

                That support brace is spot welded to the floor and the rocker panel. You can see the holes drilled for the weld to the brace in the first picture above. I still need to drill holes in the panel to weld it to the flange on the inner rocker panel flange. There was originally some light spot welding to the floor here. The outsides of the rocker panels were spot welded to a flange on the floor panels (you can see the spot welds in the channel were the lower door rubber mounts).

                Let me know if this makes sense. I can also take and post more detailed pictures if you let me know exactly what you want shots of.

                Scott Rodgers

                Scott Rodgers
                Los Angeles
                SDC Member since 1989
                '60 Lark HT
                '63 Wagonaire
                Scott Rodgers
                Los Angeles
                SDC Member since 1989
                \'60 Lark HT
                \'63 Wagonaire
                \'66 Frankenbaker

                Comment


                • #9
                  Gary,

                  This just might be pretty helpful to you (and others) with rust in this area. My Wagonaire needs the floors repaired, but the rockers, A pillars, and supports are all in excellent condition.

                  This is my driver's side patch panel being tested for fit:

                  http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2310...00242519AdbgWo

                  Here's what it looks like underneath:

                  http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2415...00242519TvAImi

                  Here's a large shot (be careful if you're using dialup, it's big):

                  http://image24.webshots.com/665/9/49...9OQMUrc_fs.jpg

                  That support brace is spot welded to the floor and the rocker panel. You can see the holes drilled for the weld to the brace in the first picture above. I still need to drill holes in the panel to weld it to the flange on the inner rocker panel flange. There was originally some light spot welding to the floor here. The outsides of the rocker panels were spot welded to a flange on the floor panels (you can see the spot welds in the channel were the lower door rubber mounts).

                  Let me know if this makes sense. I can also take and post more detailed pictures if you let me know exactly what you want shots of.

                  Scott Rodgers

                  Scott Rodgers
                  Los Angeles
                  SDC Member since 1989
                  '60 Lark HT
                  '63 Wagonaire
                  Scott Rodgers
                  Los Angeles
                  SDC Member since 1989
                  \'60 Lark HT
                  \'63 Wagonaire
                  \'66 Frankenbaker

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by garyash

                    How were the original rocker panels attached to the sills, anyway?
                    Good question. Also, the bottom weatherstrip appears to be sandwiched between the rocker and the floor edge; how are they installed?

                    Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                    Parish, central NY 13131

                    "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                    "It was the last chance for Studebaker to turn things around. The company was down to its last bullet, and this new small car was it. They called it the Lark"



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:Originally posted by garyash

                      How were the original rocker panels attached to the sills, anyway?
                      Good question. Also, the bottom weatherstrip appears to be sandwiched between the rocker and the floor edge; how are they installed?

                      Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                      Parish, central NY 13131

                      "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                      "It was the last chance for Studebaker to turn things around. The company was down to its last bullet, and this new small car was it. They called it the Lark"



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's a down and dirty drawing that shows the cross section of the rocker and the floor. Hope this makes sense:

                        http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...00242519VxFOqm

                        Scott Rodgers
                        Los Angeles
                        SDC Member since 1989
                        '60 Lark HT
                        '63 Wagonaire
                        Scott Rodgers
                        Los Angeles
                        SDC Member since 1989
                        \'60 Lark HT
                        \'63 Wagonaire
                        \'66 Frankenbaker

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's a down and dirty drawing that shows the cross section of the rocker and the floor. Hope this makes sense:

                          http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...00242519VxFOqm

                          Scott Rodgers
                          Los Angeles
                          SDC Member since 1989
                          '60 Lark HT
                          '63 Wagonaire
                          Scott Rodgers
                          Los Angeles
                          SDC Member since 1989
                          \'60 Lark HT
                          \'63 Wagonaire
                          \'66 Frankenbaker

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great pictures, Scott, very helpful. It looks like all of the cars rusted about the same way.

                            Ken, I'm going to follow the Gord school of floor fabrication and just make the pieces I need. It seems a shame to buy whole floor sections from CE and just throw away 3/4 of the metal, but using them makes sense when your going to cut out most of the floor.

                            I got a bunch of 2x2 angle iron welded in tonight, will start tying things to gether before putting in sheet metal.

                            [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
                            Dartmouth, Mass.
                            '48 M5
                            '65 Wagonaire Commander
                            '63 Wagonaire Standard
                            web site at http://www.studegarage.com
                            Gary Ash
                            Dartmouth, Mass.

                            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                            '48 M5
                            '65 Wagonaire Commander
                            '63 Wagonaire Standard
                            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great pictures, Scott, very helpful. It looks like all of the cars rusted about the same way.

                              Ken, I'm going to follow the Gord school of floor fabrication and just make the pieces I need. It seems a shame to buy whole floor sections from CE and just throw away 3/4 of the metal, but using them makes sense when your going to cut out most of the floor.

                              I got a bunch of 2x2 angle iron welded in tonight, will start tying things to gether before putting in sheet metal.

                              [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
                              Dartmouth, Mass.
                              '48 M5
                              '65 Wagonaire Commander
                              '63 Wagonaire Standard
                              web site at http://www.studegarage.com
                              Gary Ash
                              Dartmouth, Mass.

                              '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                              ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                              '48 M5
                              '65 Wagonaire Commander
                              '63 Wagonaire Standard
                              web site at http://www.studegarage.com

                              Comment

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