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54Rat210 04-28-2012 07:10 PM

1954 chevy 210
I need to replace all the floor boards. I have few questions? First. How do I brace the body? I've welded some pipe to support the body from folding. I'll try to post pics later. Second. Where do I acquire 18 gauge sheet metal locally. I'm in IL.

54Rat210 04-29-2012 08:58 PM

Bump >>><<< Bump

Stu D Baker 04-29-2012 09:30 PM

Illinois is a big state. Hard to give you a "local" steel supplier without knowing where you are. Chicago area??? Peoria, Springfield, ????? Stu

54Rat210 04-29-2012 09:46 PM


Originally Posted by Stu D Baker
Illinois is a big state. Hard to give you a "local" steel supplier without knowing where you are. Chicago area??? Peoria, Springfield, ????? Stu

ya ur right. i shoulda been more specific. my bad. Chicago and Northwest suburb area.

54Rat210 04-29-2012 09:50 PM

Here's the pics of what ive done so far to brace the body.

54Rat210 04-29-2012 09:55 PM

3 Attachment(s)

MARTINSR 04-29-2012 10:29 PM

I personally think that isn't very strong at all being it looks like water pipe which bends darn easy. But on the same respect I think it's overkill to support the body up like that. The ones in the trunk are going to do next to nothing. If you have any worries at all, trial fit the doors and the trunk before you weld it all up.
What you should be focusing on is the body being supported off the floor so it doesn't bend the supports going across the body that are holding the thing up.

The rockers at the cowl and the quarter being supported are what is most important. If you are cutting out the rockers, yeah something going across is a good idea of course. But it is not absolutely necessary. Supporting the body from falling down over the frame is WAY more important. Trial fitting the doors while you are replacing rockers is a given, be sure you do that.

I personally would do none of that bracing. I would measure across the door jamb and from side to side before I began so I know what I am working with.

That measurement would be checked throughout the project and that would be it. And I have to tell you I doubt very much it would move if you supported the body at the cowl and quarter. If it did, I'd move it to where it needs to be and weld it up.

Trying to work around all that stuff would be a major pain.


54Rat210 04-29-2012 11:23 PM

Its not water pipe. Its really hard pipe. Not flimsy at all. So u think its over kill?? I'm going to be replacing both rockers. So what exactly do u mean bracing up the body from the floor? The body mounts in the trunk are solid. So right now do u think I'm safe to continue cutting?

MARTINSR 04-30-2012 07:32 AM

What is going to hold the body from falling to the floor when you remove the rockers? I see factory braces going from one rocker, over the frame, to the other rocker. If the rocker is removed, that brace will be doing nothing, it will simply be laying over the frame. What else is supporting the body? I know there are others, but what are they like, are they mounted to a rusty cowl? What will be holding up the body when you cut all that away?

It's hard to say being I don't know those cars at all, but looking at your photo it looks like your body needs to be supported, sort of like you are going to roll the frame out from underneath.

The lower piece of pipe going across the door jamb is the only one you have that is realistically going to do anything. That is IF the body is supported properly off the floor of the shop. If you plan on lifting the body and rotating it upside down or rolling it like a rolling pin across the shop, then sure cross braces aren needed. I don't think you plan on doing that.

To replace that floor and rockers you support the body at the cowl, quarters, and rear near the rear body panel all evenly. The frame should be able to be theoretically moved a little under the car, the body should be supported by the garage floor. You don't want the frame to move because of course it needs to have a few body bolts dropped thru the holes when you are doing the floor and rockers to keep everything in line.

There is also no need to cut it all away and remove everything at once. You can cut away the floor around a rocker and replace a rocker, trial fitting the door a few times during the process. This is one thing that the braces across the door opening can stop you from doing. Honestly, I don't give a crap about braces, I want to trial fit panels, THAT is there the rubber meets the road. Your welding point for that brace could bend a little (at least the way you have it welded). You could make some super monster braces going across that are well supported at each end that won't let it move, but I STILL want to trial fit panels, that is the bread and butter to doing this work, TRAIL FIT.

But you could do a rocker at a time and then do the floor. Think about it, you have those braces going across the floor from rocker to rocker, there are others that I can't see in the photo too. You pretend it isn't going to get a floor, you replace those rockers making everything FIT, making the body solid, THEN you replace the flimsy sheetmetal floor that is doing next to nothing structurally with that body.


MARTINSR 04-30-2012 07:41 AM

Here is an interesting look at what we are talking about. I tried to find a photo with a body supported by blocks and I found this. It says a LOT about what I mean.


54Rat210 04-30-2012 09:36 AM

Great example photo. So the rockers need to be replaced before the floors? Didn't know that. I was planing on doing 1 rocker at a time. The rockers are so rotted its almost nonexsistant. I assumed that the roof and pillars would hold the rest of the body up from the ground and the bracing to the cowel and floor brace. I can always recheck my welds. I do have some cinder blocks I can use under the pillars just in case. Of course I will post photos. I was most concerned about the body twisting but now I'm gonna have to investigate everything further. Of course test fit test fit test fit!

MARTINSR 04-30-2012 09:46 AM

The rockers don't NEED to be done before, but the floor does weld to them, so it makes a lot more sense putting the structual part that MATTERS for alignment and strength to be done first, then weld in the floor which is not much more than a "carpet holder".


54Rat210 04-30-2012 11:07 AM

What grade of sheet metal should I use? I'm new to hotrodding.

MARTINSR 04-30-2012 11:13 AM

You aren't going to be buying reproduction parts? Everything for that car is available I am pretty sure.

But we are just talking simple mild steel.


54Rat210 04-30-2012 11:58 AM


Originally Posted by MARTINSR
You aren't going to be buying reproduction parts? Everything for that car is available I am pretty sure.

But we are just talking simple mild steel.


Yeah I'm buying reproduction parts, just not for the floor boards. The inner and outter rockers I have. I'm also ordering every body part closest to the street. The car was from the east coast and is badly rusted. Its a starter car I got for free. I'm not scared to cut **** up and make mistakes. I just want to avoid making as many mistakes as possible. I'm bulding a rat rod. So cosmetics is not a big concern on the inside of the chevy to me. The floors will get covered in carpet anyway...maybe.

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