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Cutting out rusty floors

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  • Body: Cutting out rusty floors

    I am in the process (on and off) of cutting out the rusted sections of my floor and trunk pans.So far all of my efforts have been with the use of sheet metal shears and and a few pairs of vise-grips doing a small section at a time.I know that this would be a 'wham-bam' job for my metal guy, but I'm trying to save some $$ on labor.
    As a professional CASO I don't have access to air operated tools, torches or anything of the kind.I was considering using a nibbler attachment for my electric drill.Has anybody had any experience with these?Will they work, or would I be wasting (more of) my money?
    YES I will be replacing the metal with Classic Ent. products, and NO I won't be the one doing the work.I'm leaving that up to the pros.
    There are several companies that manufacture/distribute these products (Falcon,ARTU,etc.).Which ones, if any ,would you guys recommend? Thanks and have a great 2016!

  • #2
    I'm an air chisel kind of back yard guy. If you're gonna goof around with old cars, I'm not sure how you do it without air tools. The next best thing to an air chisel to cut out panels is an elcheapo electric grinder from Harbor Freight fitted with a cutoff wheel. You can do a lot of damage with one of those. Like a lot of guys here, we have about 30 air tools, five or six electric grinders, two drills, but no nibbler for a drill.
    And good luck with your project. Send us pictures as you go along.
    Bill
    lClick image for larger version

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    And of course anyone can tell that the coupe shown below is not the Speedster shown above.
    http://www.rustyrestorations.org/index.php
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Rusty65,
      I replaced almost all the floor in my 50 starlight from a 51 4 door doner that I had.
      The only tool I used was a $20 odd 4 1/2 grinder from Autozone and several 10 thin packs of metal cutting discs from HF
      I also bought the mixed packs from them too with 5 cutting discs,4 flap wheels and one grinding disc for around the same cost as the discs only pack.
      Geoff

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      • #4
        Use the cheap 4 1/2" grinder with the cutting wheels. The nibbler works well on straight sheet metal but not worth a darn on metal with bends and depressions, like floors. As far as damage , just know where you're cutting and stay with a shallow cut.

        Remember there will be sparks. Bob

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        • #5
          "Bit by bit with sheet metal shears "(do you mean tin snips?). Some folks view time as money; unless retired and well to do. What your body shop might spend a half hour doing at a cost of $30-$50, you may be spending an accumulated four or five hours of your own otherwise profitable time. Though I have done what you are doing, I'm just saying, make satisfying choices of your resources. There are also reasonably inexpensive electric or air tools that will serve you better than your metal shears.
          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
          sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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          • #6
            As Bob said "remember there will be sparks" so make sure all glass is protected & that also goes for headliner & seat upholstery. All those sparks flying can do a lot of damage in the form of small burn spots or worse. 3M makes a welding paper just for this job.
            59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
            60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
            61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
            62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
            62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
            62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
            63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
            63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
            64 Zip Van
            66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
            66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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            • #7
              see post #5

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              • #8
                Hi Mark, and a Happy New Year to all.... As Brad mentioned in post (5) the shops today have many ways of accomplishing the task of removing old rusty parts that save so much time. Also as a big concern, sometimes a customer will spend all there hard earned free time, and when it arrives at the shop, the parts have to be trimed to a precise fit after all. However a small amount of your efforts are not at waste, as we don't have to discard the larger rusty parts you have already removed. I would work on rust bolts that fasten the seats in or any related parts that need moved or removed entirely, this saves huge time. Some shops, even invite there customer to the shop to trim some of those hours by lending a hand, but with really cool equipment. There's nothing better than having a customer going away with a better understanding of there repairs.

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                • #9
                  Seems the guys have all given you good advice in their various posts, I would only add that before I cut anything out I`d make sure I have the replacement floor panels first !!!
                  I know the Classic made panels are not full floors they do not go all the way in to the center tunnel.
                  When I did mine I had the problem of the O/D hump and around the gas pedal in that center tunnel also rotted out.
                  As you will not be the one fitting the new panels I would talk to the guy that is, to find out how he will fit them and show him the new panels as well as the rusted out floor too.
                  So you know exactly what and how much to cut out.
                  Geoff

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ProMetalShop View Post
                    Hi Mark, and a Happy New Year to all.... As Brad mentioned in post (5) the shops today have many ways of accomplishing the task of removing old rusty parts that save so much time. Also as a big concern, sometimes a customer will spend all there hard earned free time, and when it arrives at the shop, the parts have to be trimed to a precise fit after all. However a small amount of your efforts are not at waste, as we don't have to discard the larger rusty parts you have already removed. I would work on rust bolts that fasten the seats in or any related parts that need moved or removed entirely, this saves huge time. Some shops, even invite there customer to the shop to trim some of those hours by lending a hand, but with really cool equipment. There's nothing better than having a customer going away with a better understanding of there repairs.
                    Good thought,Steve.The interior and dashboard are out of the car, only the door panels remain.I guess I'm just trying to 'chip away' at this a little at a time.The more I look at this the more I see that needs replaced.I'll probably lay low and just save $$$ for more materials before I farm it out to get it done the 'right' way.

                    Thanks for the suggestions, fellas!

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                    • #11
                      If you don't have air then one of these will work nicely......they make them in air too.
                      http://www.harborfreight.com/electri...saw-65766.html

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                      • #12
                        Another precaution when cutting with an angle grinder is the sparks embedding in the glass. So often we get concentrated with the cut that we forget about molten metal/abrasives. Then when the project gets near completion, you go to clean the glass and ... !
                        '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                        • #13
                          The Harbor Freight electric body saw, in post 11, is handy for a lot of things but I think you will find it extremely frustrating to use to cut out a floor. I.E. every time it slips out of the cut or hits something underneath the blade will bend or break. If you want to use a saw, get out the sawzall and hack away with it. BTDT. Bob

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wittsend View Post
                            Another precaution when cutting with an angle grinder is the sparks embedding in the glass. ... !
                            Yep! The last car I paid a pro shop to do without my supervision still has those spark pits in the windshield.
                            "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                            Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                            sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                              ...every time it slips out of the cut or hits something underneath the blade will bend or break. If you want to use a saw, get out the sawzall and hack away with it. BTDT. Bob
                              True enough if you haven't much experience with those small saws; and true as well with the SawzallSawzall
                              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                              sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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