Floorless fabrication (aka puns help you deal with grotty work)

When I took my car to Brendan’s shop back in February I thought the boot (trunk) floor needed a few touch-ups with a grinder and MIG welder but – at the time – I figured I could just spot-repair them and then spray some Bully Liner over the top to seal it all.

But then I ran over the whole panel with a grinder fitted with a wire cup, and I saw how badly corroded it actually was. It needed to get the chop, so Brendan grabbed some flat sheet metal and we worked out a rough way to throw a new floor in.

Brendan has been working on getting the bodywork dialled so I mucked in yesterday (Sunday) and chopped the boot floor out, which I will run through below. While it seems simple there are a few tricks to making it easier.

I tried to cut out as little as possible, taking note of challenging areas like the rounded or sloped sections. I also had to avoid cutting through the two rubber body mounts, and not cutting the two supports sitting under the 2 flat sections in the middle of the floor. I used masking tape to set straight lines, which were easy to follow with a 6in grinder using a thin cut-off wheel. It took 2 cut-off wheels to do the entire trunk, working slowly and carefully.

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After I cut around the outside I tried to drill out the 20 (approximately) spot welds that hold the centre of the trunk floor to the fuel tank supports under the middle of the trunk. Blunt drill bits killed that idea quickly, so I cut around the supports as Brendan said he was going to make the new floor in 3 pieces as a way of making it stronger and easier to fit.

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It took approximately 30 minutes to get here. It will take a lot longer to fix this up!

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It is a bit difficult to see, but the insides of the fuel tank mount are filled with dirt and rust scale. This will clean up easily, but if I had left it there is no double these parts would have rusted, which is concerning given the fuel tank mounts here! 

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The consensus was made to get the new fuel tank mounted before we weld the floor in, as it will be far, far easier to do this without a trunk floor in the way.

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After giving the fuel tank supports a quick wire-wheel I hit them with some Anti-Ox rust converter to get rid of the scale and surface rust.

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