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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jul 2002
      Location
      Mesquite, TX
      Posts
      4,905
      Country Flag: United States

      New floors for my Chevy II (from old board)

      I've gotten started on replacing the floors in my 67. I cut the firewall, floor, trunk, and rear wheel wells out of the car when I welded in my frame. You can pics of the floor-less carcass here in the Chevy II section.

      Anyway, I'm looking for some ideas on how much reinforcement I need to do in the floor. I've gotten away from a tube frame in the floor (most cars with Al floors use something like that ... I'm convinced they can't actually put any weight on the floor).

      I've made a couple of templates out of plywood for the footwells in the front, and jigged up a modest frame for how the tranny tunnel will go. In the back and trunk, I'm trying to use re-pop sheet metal. Small wheeltubs (32 x 15) for the rear wheel well.

      Anyway here are some questions:

      Which way should I put in strengthening ribs in the footwells? Lengthwise? Crosswise? Does it matter?

      What about ribs in the tranny tunnel? How much clearance should I allow? Is a 1/2 inch enough? I don't want to have the tranny bang on the floor, but I don't want to give up my interior room or center console either.

      Rear wheel wells: How should I attach them to the quarter panel? Art Morrison (where I bought the tubs) says to glue 'em in place with silicone. That seems pretty flimsy to me. Anybody ever put in wheel tubs before? Any lessons learned? How much rear suspension travel is typical?

      Thanks for any help or experience.

      John Parsons

      keithq
      Registered User
      Posts: 202
      (11/28/01 10:14 am)
      Reply Floors?
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      Hey John.

      Looks like your starting to have some fun!
      As far as the floors in the front go, you can take two aproaches. Use a thin material that will need to have support added or go to a slightly thicker material that ca support itself and also add structure to the car (like GM did.)
      I would opt for a thicker material, 18-20ga cold rolled mild steel. If you have access to a bead roller you can make some siffening beads in any direction you want or any design, this will stop the floor from oil canning.
      Not sure if you made the tranny cross member yet but if you have not, the one Kyle used in the Twister is very nice. It uses a large crossmember with a loop that goes through the tranny tunnel and then the bottom section unbolts where the tranny mounts. This would give you some extra support for the floor.
      Make the floor pans and the tranny tunnel in seperate peices so that you can install each floor pan first and then add the tranny tunnel to it. I would put a 1" flange up on the floor where ir meets the tranny tunnel, you can then weld and seal this area one the tranny tunnel is in.
      I think 1/2" is good enough around the tranny, judging by your engine mounts there will not be much movement.
      You may also consider making a cross brace at the front and rear of your seat mounting locations. You could make the front one your tranny crossmember and the rear one a driveshaft safety loop, this would also allow you to bolt the seats to the frame rather that just a sheetmetal support you make on the floor.

      Good luck.

      Keith Quinn.


      parsonsj
      Registered User
      Posts: 142
      (11/28/01 1:14 pm)
      Reply Re: Floors?
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      Hi Keith,

      Yes, fun it is. It's been a bit of a dry spell lately. But I'm back in action, making a sheet metal brake and a body rotisserie, and putting the floors in.

      I've got 1020 cold rolled steel in both .049 and .060 thickness (4x8 sheets). I think .049 is 18 gauge and .060 is 16 gauge, so I'm using structurally sound material. My take is that the .049 is fine strengthwise ... using the .060 would just add weight with no real benefit. So your thinking is that using that kind of material, I won't need to add more reinforcement?

      My tranny cross-member is already in: a 3x2x.120 "in-rigger" welded with reinforcement to the perimeter frame rail (2x4x.120, which is directly welded to the rocker panels). The middle 20 inches is removable and is made from 1.5x1.5x.083. The portion of the crossmember welded to the frame rails will also function as the front seat mount point, and I'm going to weld an L-shaped rear seat mount to the frame rails and to the crossmember, so the floor won't have any need to hold the seat.

      I understand what you mean about making different sections of floor and then welding them together ... that's what I had in mind.

      Thanks for the input. Any thoughts on my mini-tubs? Would you just silicone them to the quarter panels?

      thanks,
      John Parsons

      keithq
      Registered User
      Posts: 204
      (11/29/01 11:13 am)
      Reply Mini-tubs.
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      Sorry John, I got off on a rant last time and forgot about the mini-tub question.
      I am not familiar with the stock Nova outer wheelwell. Does it hug the quarterpanel pretty well or does it head towards the inside of the car?
      If it hugs the quarter pretty good this is what I would do. Get a stock replacement outer wheelwell and weld it back into the car where it belongs, then fabricate a new inner section the width that you need or buy the inner also and widen them like I did with my mini-tub. This gives you a solid mounting point to the quarter panel. I am sure since your car is a full frame that it is not required but it will also give some protection to the paint when you bake those tires. At least the crap won't hit the back side of the quarter panel.

      Keith Quinn.


      parsonsj
      Registered User
      Posts: 143
      (11/29/01 1:45 pm)
      Reply Re: Mini-tubs.
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      Quote:
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Get a stock replacement outer wheelwell and weld it back into the car where it belongs, then fabricate a new inner section the width that you need or buy the inner also and widen them ...
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



      Alas, that won't work. The reason I cut my outer wheel well out of the car was because it was too short. I've channelled my body over the frame about 2 inches. That's an easy way to get a lowered stance without all the headaches of lowering the suspension, but it cost me my rear wheelwells: there wasn't enough height in them to allow full rear suspension travel. Another minor problem is that the gas fill is located on the driver's side in the wheel well, so replacement sheet metal is funny shaped to accommodate that.

      What about a similar (but different) method: fabricate an outer wheel well that's really just a flat piece of sheet metal with a flange that welds to the fender lip and rocker panel and another flange that welds to the wheel tub. In other words, "box" the wheel tub. The flanges would be hard to make since I'd be curving a piece of sheet metal that's bent at 90 degrees. Seems like I saw some pre-fabbed flanges with one side cut every 1/2 inch or so at Eastwood. Perhaps I could persuade something like that to fit ... thoughts?

      So you agree with me that silicone isn't good enough?

      John Parsons

      keithq
      Registered User
      Posts: 205
      (11/29/01 3:31 pm)
      Reply mini-tub
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Hey John.

      That would work just fine I think.

      I have a nice little tool that rolls a 1/4"-3/8" edge up on the edge of a sheet. that is what I used to make the new flange when I did my minitub. I am sure you could find someone in the area that has one. Try any sheetmetal shop, they are used to make the interlocking joint of a pitsburg lock used on custom sheet metal fittings (The same lock that is used on aftermarket wheel tubs.)
      If you took them a template made from bristol board that fit into the rear wheelwell I am sure they could cut a peice allowing for the extra 3/8" and roll it up for you. It will be a little bent out of shape when you first do it but it is easily straightened.

      Good luck

      Keith Quinn.


      Jim Nilsen
      Unregistered User
      (12/3/01 6:16 am)
      Reply silicone wheelwells
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      I would not use silicone. It has no real strength after about 5 years of heat from the sun or other sources.
      There is a company called Fusor that can be found at www.Fusor.com and you can glue your whole car together with it if you want to. A freind of my nephew works at a body shop and they have been using for a few years now with out one failure. You absolutely no warpage and it will keep the seem from any corrosion. If I had foynd out about it earlier I would have glued my whole car together.
      I heard of a crash test that was done with this stuff and the car held together so good that the car didn't even fold up in the crumple zones. I am certain that it is the best way to attach the wheel wells to the quarter panel since you can choose the area and not worry about warpage from welding.

      Jim Nilsen

      parsonsj
      Registered User
      Posts: 145
      (12/3/01 10:10 am)
      Reply Re: silicone wheelwells
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      Keith,

      I can get that wheel well adapter flanged like you say. Working in the third dimension could be tricky, but I can cut little pie shapes out of the flange and work a curve that way. Tedious, but quite doable. I could even prototype something up using three pieces of metal: two flanges and the base shape. Then I could take it over to my sheet metal buddy and ask him to duplicate it for me. Or I could just use three pieces of metal (maybe more ... perhaps several flanges) and use body seam sealer to seal up any holes left over ...




      Hey Jim,

      Thanks for the pointer. I checked out their website and sent off an email telling them about my wheel well problem. I'll pass on anything I hear back from them.

      So, next question: assuming I can attach the wheel wells to the quarter panel, should I? What I'm getting at is will I end up with some weird resonance since the factory designed the wheel wells to be tied to the quarter panel at the wheel opening ... not 8-10 inches up the quarter panel and near the belt line. Certainly, I'd tie the quarter panel to the frame behind the wheel well (so that the wheel well isn't what's keeping the quarter panel from flapping in the wind).

      Any thoughts?

      thanks for all the help and advice.

      John Parsons

      Edited by: parsonsj at: 12/5/01 10:25:32 am

      parsonsj
      Registered User
      Posts: 147
      (12/5/01 11:30 am)
      Reply Re: silicone wheelwells
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      Here is a response to an email I sent to the Fusor company (my original note is below that)


      Quote:
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      John, Fusor 108B is what we recommend for bonding quarter panels. In the wheel house area I would say if you add 3/8"-1/2" lip that give more contact and work very well. The metal should be bare at your bondline. The adhesive will seal off the joint. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Jeff Miller
      Application Engineer

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Parsons, John [mailto:[email protected]]
      Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 11:50 AM
      To: '[email protected]'
      Subject: Use of Fusor products in special application



      My name is John Parsons and I'm looking for a product to solve a problem I'm having as I build a custom car.

      In the rear wheelwells, the inner wheel housing contacts the quarter panel at a 90 degree angle all the way around. Will any of your adhesives allow me to directly attach the housing to the quarter panel? Welding is out ... too much distortion. If it helps, I can fabricate a flange to the inner wheel housing so that there will be a 3/8" contact patch with the quarter
      panel. Any help or guidance you can provide on your product is greatly appreciated!

      thanks,
      John Parsons
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



      Looks like you could glue a car together with this stuff.

      John Parsons


      keithq
      Registered User
      Posts: 207
      (12/5/01 2:05 pm)
      Reply Wheelwell
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      Hey John.

      Are you considering bonding the wheelwell to the quarter panel above the wheelwell opening?
      I would not do that if it what you are considering. The bonding material hardens, under flex you will end up with "print though" like you get in a fiberglass panel that is not isolated properly. That is why they recoment silicone, it is only there to stop water and road crap into the trunk.
      I would make a complete wheelwell with an inner and outer panel, then have the outer edge cut and rolled to match the wheelwell opening and then bond it together or weld.
      The quarter on the Chevy II is quite flat, this whould be doable.

      Keith Quinn.


      parsonsj
      Registered User
      Posts: 148
      (12/5/01 3:14 pm)
      Reply Re: Wheelwell
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      Quote:
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      bonding material hardens, under flex you will end up with "print though"
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



      Got it. I was asking that question (badly) above. I understand now: if I want the wheel wells (I refuse to call them wheel tubs!) to behave like a street car, I've got to attach them the same way they came out. And that means using an outer panel cut, rolled, and attached to the rocker panel and wheel opening flange.

      OK, I can do that. It will take longer, but it won't be too bad. I might even use the Fusor product to attach the flanges so I don't have to put welding heat so close to the outer body panel.

      thanks again for the help.

      John