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eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
12/3/18 12:02 p.m.

Had some good weather (and some time), so more progress.  All of the destruction variety.  The passenger seat took some finagling, but I was able to remove it normally.  The drivers seat was welded to the rails, though, so it needed to be cut free.  I'll need to keep an eye out for a new seat frame to fit the chassis rails, and I will likely put some seats with better side bolstering in on the replacement frame.  As I was hacking up the driver's seat mounts, I noticed a little bit of green shag carpet on the floor under the seat.  A bit of an odd find.  Once the seat was out, the source was obvious.  It appears someone had used carpet remnants as seat padding at some point.

Anyway, once I had access to the whole floor, I was able to get a better idea of the situation.  The driver's floorpan was definitely trashed, and the passenger side was better, but still pretty wasted.  The aluminum skidplate was riveted and bolted to what was left of the pan, and in the passenger side's case, to another sheet of aluminum on the rear floorpan.  We unbolted every bolt we could find, then drilled out the rivets on the passenger side, pulled the upper aluminum sheet, and ended up with this:

There were quite a few more rivets on the driver's side, and my 3/16" drill bit was about destroyed at this point, so I attacked the driver's pan with a sawzall, in order to fully remove the skidplate.  After inhaling rust, and dirt from goodness knows how many rallycross venues, it looks like this:

Due to space limitations, I am going to try a method of replacing the pans that doesn't involve removing the body.  Before that, though, I still have a lot of cutting, grinding, chiseling, and whizz-wheeling to do.

 

One very positive outcome of this weekend's work - despite there being spray foam stuck between it and the skidplate, the chassis is in excellent shape.  No need to do any repair work there, should get by with replacing the pans, and doing some limited work on the body.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
12/18/18 6:50 a.m.

Been slowly working on getting the old floorpans out, but time and weather have not been the most cooperative.  After cutting some more of the passenger pan out, I tried to remove the small part attached to the center tunnel with a chisel and hammer.  That did not go well.

Last week, I picked up an air hammer and some chisels, and last night, finally had time to try them out.  Wow, what a difference.  Except for a small part of the front and rear, the passenger pan is mostly out.  The air hammer made short work of the spot welds.

 

I learned the air hammer does not work well when their are angles left in the metal.  I think they cause it to be less flexible.  I tried making several cuts perpendicular to the spot welded area to weaken the metal, and that seems to help.  I'll try it some more on the back part, although some of it is so corroded, I may have no option but to just cut it as close to the chassis as possible, then use a flap wheel to clean up the rust, and just put the new pan over the top.  On the front, I'm not entirely sure what is holding it on.  There are still one or two spot welds along the chassis side, but I don't know what's holding the front of the pan on.  I cut out some seam sealer, but I don't think that's it.  If there's more spot welds, I may not be able to get to all of them, and may just have to leave a little bit of the old pan in place.   The driver's side pan is in worse shape, so I hope it's easier to remove.

I need to pick up some weld through primer.  Not sure if that's something parts stores will have, or if I need to order online.

Soon, it'll be time to decide what (if any ) coatings I should do to the new pans.  They already have a finish on them, but I don't know how durable it is.  Right now, I am thinking of just hitting the underside with some Rustoleum, and finding a decent roll on bedliner for the interior.  I'll probably start a post asking for ideas in the main forum.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
1/1/19 4:09 p.m.

It's a New Year's miracle!  The floor pans are now out (or as much out as possible without lifting the body).

While removing the driver's side pan, I found the master cylinder is leaking, so I have ordered a replacement.  I've also ordered a couple of clutch cables, as it appears there was a running change in the design during the 1974 model year run.  The pedal assembly had to come out, and I may see if there are any rebuild kits with springs and such for it, as it looks a little rough right now.

Next up is to test fit and trim the pans.  The passenger pan will be done first, and the driver's pan after replacing the master cylinder, no need for brake fluid to damage the finish on a new pan.  Once they seem properly fitted, I'll clean up and prep the VW chassis, and also drill holes in the pan for plug welds.  I think each pan will also get a couple of 1/4" drain holes drilled into them before I paint/coat them, so I can just pop a few plugs out and let the water out in case any gets in.

Here's the passenger pan in it's unmodified state.  As I understand, the corners usually need a bit of trimming, and I may need to remove a bit of material from the front:

This is the most thorough rust removal I'll be doing.  There are some holes in the rear seat/package tray area that I think I am going to hit with some rust converter, cut some sheet metal panels up to cover the holes, and just bond them on.  I'm afraid if I start trying to cut out and weld every bit of rust, I'll never get it back on the road this next season.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
1/6/19 6:12 p.m.

More progress this weekend.  First, a purchase.  Someone only about 10 miles from me had a driver's side door for sale, so I picked it up.

It's in really nice shape, but I really don't care too much about the door itself, just that I got the glass, the window regulator, door card, and everything else that can be transferred over into my car.  Then, I'll probably sell the bare door, to recoup some expenses.

I started fitting the floorpan, which mainly consisted of trimming a bit off the front corner at a time, and test fitting it under the car.

It also required trimming a bit from the whole front, where the pencil line is.  I may have taken a bit more off the corner than need be, but the gap will be small enough that seam sealer should take care of any mistakes.

I cleaned off the paint on the edges of the pan that will be welded, and attacked them with an air punch.  A piece of advice - if you buy the HF air punch/flange tool, get some hydraulic fluid for it immediately.  I think most of it leaks out while the tool is sitting on the shelf in the store.  Once I filled it up with some hydraulic jack fluid, it worked great, way faster than drilling would have.  Which reminds me, I did also drilled two 5/16" holes in the pan, in order to drain out any water if it gets flooded, or if I clean it by hosing out the interior.  I also cleaned off the paint where the the jacking point will get welded on.  It'll get put on after the pan is in, since it'd probably make the pan less flexible and harder to fit into place.

At this point it was time to clean and prep for the weld-through primer.  I hit the flange on the chassis with a wire wheel, and in the corners, just used some sandpaper.  The floorpan got a thorough wipedown with some thinner and a scotchbrite pad.  Then parts were hit with primer. 

Before it gets installed, I'm going to hit the bottom and top of the pan (except where it's getting welded) with some rustoleum brush on paint for extra protection.  If all goes well, that'll get done tomorrow, and I can weld the pan in the next couple of days, and move on to the driver's side.

Looking at the picture above makes me want to attack all the rust on the car, but I know that if I do, it'll never be done in time for rallycross season, or possibly ever, so I just need to triage it, and fix the worst part, patch a few other spots, and live with it. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
1/14/19 9:20 a.m.

Tried to fit and weld the pan in this weekend, but failed miserably.  The bolt holes in the pan did not line up with the body at all.  I ended up trimming away about 3/8" off the rear off the pan to get them lined up lengthwise, and started trimming away a bit of the inner flange, in order to bring the pan a bit more inward, but it will require more.  I think I need to take about 1/8" to 1/4" off the flange before the bolt holes line up.  I ran out of time, and the next week/weekend will be too busy to get anything done.  I also will need to punch more holes, as the rear holes have been cut completely off, and the side ones may be partially removed.

I'm glad, though, that I did this with the body on, as if I had installed the pans with the body off, and lowered the body back on, it would have been a lot more work to get things to line up after welding had been done.

I'll need to find a better way to measure everything before attempting final installation on the driver's side, to cut down reworking effort and time.

 

 

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