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paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/15/17 10:33 a.m.

In reply to Scooter:

Thank you It's been a learning experience!

This is the welder I have:

It is not kind to thin metal.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/15/17 12:25 p.m.
84FSP wrote: I'll snag a few pics for you later today.

I really appreciate it! No rush though- the floors will keep me busy for a while.

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UltraDork
1/15/17 7:28 p.m.

Divers side floor is out. It's going to take some fiddling to get the new pan to fit...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
1/17/17 6:12 a.m.

I saw this picture without any context at first and thought "wait, did you buy a cabover truck or something? How do you fit under the... oh. OH."

If you want to take this thing in an even more labor intensive direction, now is a good time to cut the rest of it out and start working on a tube frame.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/17/17 8:21 a.m.

In reply to ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

I'm only repairing rust. I'm only repairing rust...

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UltraDork
1/22/17 9:17 p.m.

After much marking, cutting, grinding and test fitting (repeated more times than I care to count) I have most of the driver's side floor pan fitted and ready to weld. At least ready enough that I can tack it in and make things fit as I go.

Until I get to the area where the floor pan meets the sill.  The pan came with this bottom edge flanged to wrap around the bottom edge of the inner sill- just like the original had. But I welded in square tubing to cover that area, and consequently trimmed the flange off of the new floor pan. But try as I might, I could not get the new pan to sit flush against the inner sill.

After fighting it for longer than I should have, I took the pan out and checked the whole offending edge with a straight edge. 'Tisn't straight. In these images you can see the gap, it is about 1/4" at the widest in the middle. The very front and rear are tight against the sill.

 

I'm fresh out of ideas of how to draw that whole edge in flat. Any suggestions?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
1/23/17 7:18 a.m.

Is the gap only lateral (left-right in your last photo)? It looks like there might be enough of a flange there to bend/hammer it over to meet the tubing.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/23/17 7:47 a.m.

Hi Brian, first off thanks so much for the help.

Now, man, I'd missed this until now. Big project.

Can you get someone with a sheet metal brake to bend you up a 1" x 1" 'L' from 18swg and use that to join the pan to the sill?

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/23/17 11:25 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: Is the gap only lateral (left-right in your last photo)? It looks like there might be enough of a flange there to bend/hammer it over to meet the tubing.

Correct- just left to right as you are looking down at it. I'll look at the possibility of bending that out so it catches an the tubing.

Thank you- I hadn't thought of that!

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/23/17 11:34 a.m.

Any time Adrian! Just say the word...

The angle piece is a great idea too. I have messages out to a couple friends that may still have the right equipment. We shall see...

Thank you for the idea!

Adrian_Thompson wrote: Hi Brian, first off thanks so much for the help. Now, man, I'd missed this until now. Big project. Can you get someone with a sheet metal brake to bend you up a 1" x 1" 'L' from 18swg and use that to join the pan to the sill?
Gunchsta
Gunchsta New Reader
1/23/17 2:38 p.m.

Any plans to put a manual in this or are you going to stay automatic?

As for the recent picture of your improvised pinch weld to floor clearance issue, that looks better than the fit on most panels I put on my truck! Can you just stitch the floor into the rocker as you go? Clamp, weld, clamp, weld etc the length of the rocker in small increments until it's all in?

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
1/23/17 3:57 p.m.
paranoid_android74 wrote:
Doc Brown wrote: Back in the day, my brothers Rabbit was a nightmare to start when it was cold. The quick fix was to hot wire the cold start valve with a momentary switch. Might be worth a shot. The valve (circled) just needs 12V and ground to squirt a shot of fuel to get the engine going.

Great tip, thank you Doc! I may give that a try.

In certain "turn and burn" or "sick of helping out a friend who will never return the favor" situations I have been known to jumper the cold start valve into the starter circuit so that it sprays when the starter is turning. That way there is no switch to forget about.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/23/17 9:36 p.m.
Gunchsta wrote: Any plans to put a manual in this or are you going to stay automatic? As for the recent picture of your improvised pinch weld to floor clearance issue, that looks better than the fit on most panels I put on my truck! Can you just stitch the floor into the rocker as you go? Clamp, weld, clamp, weld etc the length of the rocker in small increments until it's all in?

I would love to swap a manual into it- especially attached to an ABA engine :-)

I definitely have some ideas to try now. I'll post back with results

Gunchsta
Gunchsta New Reader
1/24/17 7:59 a.m.

In reply to paranoid_android74:

Yes! I had a mk1 rabbit with an ABA probably 10 years ago and it was great fun. Keep up the good work; I'm glad to see you're saving this one. I'll always have a love for the early watercooled VW's.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
1/24/17 9:15 a.m.

In reply to paranoid_android74:
Are you trying to pull the floor pan over and weld it to the tube you put along the rocker? If so, you should be able to do it with a C-clamp or a pair of those special Vise-Grips, and tack it. Just keep repeating along the whole length.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/28/17 9:22 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk:

My great plan was to have it meet the inner sill just above the tubing I welded in.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/28/17 9:43 p.m.

No pictures, but welding has commenced on the floor pan.

I clamped, screwed, wedged and beat the E36 M3 out of the offending lip to make it meet up with the inner sill so I could tack it in. Even picked up a special set of the welding vice grip clamps and it worked marginally well. Forcing the lip over put it at just enough of an angle that the "overbite" part of the clamp kept slipping off- grrr!

In retrospect it would have been comical to video myself trying to do this on my back under the car. The shenanigans went something like this...

Lay the mig gun under the car, lay the welding helmet under the car, put welding jacket on, lay on floor, put gloves on my chest, slide under car and accidentally hit trigger dispensing a bunch of wire before I can find the gun. Find the gun, clip off the wire, get the clamp in place with the ground on it, go to put on gloves, can't find gloves. Dammit. Slide out from under car, sit up to find gloves, gloves fall from my chest to the floor. berkeley! Back under car, accidentally hit the trigger again, try to find the gun- you can imagine the rest...

But it's getting there!

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UberDork
1/29/17 7:33 a.m.

I have a 1.7 H with a five speed on a pallet in my barn if you would like it. You'll have to come get it though, I'm an hour south of Toledo. The truck rotted around it...

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
1/29/17 9:31 a.m.
chandlerGTi wrote: I have a 1.7 H with a five speed on a pallet in my barn if you would like it. You'll have to come get it though, I'm an hour south of Toledo. The truck rotted around it...

Dooooood!

I'll send you an email.

XLR99
XLR99 Dork
1/29/17 10:27 a.m.
paranoid_android74 wrote: No pictures, but welding has commenced on the floor pan. I clamped, screwed, wedged and beat the E36 M3 out of the offending lip to make it meet up with the inner sill so I could tack it in. Even picked up a special set of the welding vice grip clamps and it worked marginally well. Forcing the lip over put it at just enough of an angle that the "overbite" part of the clamp kept slipping off- grrr! In retrospect it would have been comical to video myself trying to do this on my back under the car. The shenanigans went something like this... Lay the mig gun under the car, lay the welding helmet under the car, put welding jacket on, lay on floor, put gloves on my chest, slide under car and accidentally hit trigger dispensing a bunch of wire before I can find the gun. Find the gun, clip off the wire, get the clamp in place with the ground on it, go to put on gloves, can't find gloves. Dammit. Slide out from under car, sit up to find gloves, gloves fall from my chest to the floor. berkeley! Back under car, accidentally hit the trigger again, try to find the gun- you can imagine the rest... But it's getting there!

OK this made my day... Taking a break from (thus far unsuccessfully) changing out a leaking gas tank in a Civic. Apart from the added bonus of rusty gas dripping down, you've described my morning...

Sounds like this car is about to become much more awesome!!

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
2/5/17 9:23 p.m.

Still no images because I was called out of the garage today, but I will get some up early this week after I grind off the yuck and see if there is anything left under there

I also was able to get the driver's side front seat in so I can position the rocker side floor track for welding. This and figuring out what to do for the fuel tank bracket mounts are the last big to-do items on this side.

It looks strange but exciting to see a seat in there again!

ssswitch
ssswitch Dork
2/5/17 10:37 p.m.

Man, you're a hero for saving this thing. Some amazing work.

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UltraDork
2/6/17 9:15 p.m.

This made for a good ending to a E36 M3ty day. Got the "outer" seat slider in place and started welding it in. I don't remember exactly who recommended using sheet metal screws to hold things together while you weld them- nohome or deadskunk maybe?- but that method is a life saver!

 I'm glad to be done welding in the footwell too. You would think hitting your head on the lower dash and steering wheel 768 times would remind you they are there before you hit it the 769th, but in my case, no.

 

The other seat slider channel...

 And finally the beat up seat in its place!

It slides all the way forward and all the way backward with me sitting in it. And while I sat in it and bounced up and down and made vroom vroom noises, it felt pretty solid. So still more welding to do before the driver's side is done. But next I am going to try my hand at making a sheet metal bending brake to make some L shaped brackets to weld in here and there. Like to secure the cross member under the seat to the floor, along the inner sill and the floor pan, etc. More updates will likely be a week or so out as my wife is having surgery tomorrow.

But this is a big milestone for me

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UltraDork
2/10/17 9:23 p.m.

I don't have the images for this post because Photobucket ate them.

TLDR- made a simple bending brake, then broke it.  Improved it some, broke it again.  Really fixed it, took in into the makerspace for someone to use, and then it was really, really broken.

^^^ An early version.

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UltraDork
2/12/17 8:55 p.m.

I'm officially calling the drivers side floor pan done. Thanks to bending brake v1.something.

It helped make some half decent L shaped brackets for attaching the cross member to the floor and the sill and attaching the top part of the floor to the sill. Sooo many welds...

But I'm now pretty confident the pan will stay in the car after a rallycross and then some. And hopefully some seam sealer will help cover up some of my inexperienced welding. So this week I'll try to clean up the mess of stuff I made during this process, add some receptacles on the other wall of the garage and move the whole operation over to the other side of the car. Oh, and start getting ready for WMWR- woot!

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