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Old 01-27-2007, 11:17 AM
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Welding floors?????

A buddy of mine really wants me to weld his floor on his 90's Mercury. I am worried about this, because I am assuming the gas lines run along the frame rails right underneath where I will be welding. I am also worried that there might be oil or other grease on the frame or floors etc. and that it will catch fire.
Am I supposed to remove the gas line first before cutting out the old floors and welding in the new? What safety procedures should I take?
This will be the first time I tackle something like this...


Mike

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Old 01-27-2007, 12:37 PM
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Use some common sense and you will be fine.
You are an intelligent fellow, and should have no problem.

Find the gas lines and don't weld right on top of them.

If you are replacing a complete floor then you will probably want to remove the lines and plug all openings to the tank with a rubber cap just to keep them from getting bent up..

If all you are doing is low amperage mig welding on sheet metal you should be fine.

I weld within an inch or 2 of steel fuel lines all the time and don't give it a second thought. As long as the fuel is contained and has no source of oxygen it won't burn. Welding sheet metal doesn't create a huge amount of heat, and it dissapates very quickly.

Welding near rubber lines I usually move them to a safer distance of 4 or 5 inches.

Don't weld on it if it has any fuel leaks.

Oil and road mung will catch on fire. Have your friend stand by with a hose as you won't see the flames through your welding helmet lense. The good thing is that it burns slow, and won't consume the car in a flash, (it ain't like the movies)

Go find a greasy part and try to catch it on fire so you will be familiar with it's burn characteristics.

Usually I keep a wet rag handy to put out little fires. Keep a bucket of water to put the rag back in after you put the fire out.

I usually try to clean off the undercoating and stuff from the immediate area that I'll weld on. Besides being messy to put out, that stuff makes some ungodly fumes when it burns.

Get the interior out of the way, if you are welding from the bottom of the car the soundproofing can catch on fire from the heat produced by welding and smoulder for hours. I usually watch the car for several hours afterward for signs of a slow burn.

I try to blanket stuff with tinfoil, cardboard or leather that I don't want weld spatter to get on. They have those welding blankets but they are expensive.

Oh yeah, your welding area should be over concrete or asphalt. Dirt is ok as long as there is no vegetation to catch fire.

If you weld on cars you will have the occasional fire.
Prepare for it, don't get flustered, just put it out the quickest way you can.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy, only use it if things get out of hand. Trust me, the mess they make will make you regret using it if it wasn't necessary.


Hope this helps,
Mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 01-27-2007 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 11:30 AM
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Thanks Mike some great advise you gave me. We're doing it on Wednesday. We have already pulled the carpet and sound deadener and he's gonna clean it with some Varsol yet.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:05 PM
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Just curious. Why are you welding floor pans in a 90's car? Do they rust out that fast up there?
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdbeard
Just curious. Why are you welding floor pans in a 90's car? Do they rust out that fast up there?
Oh yeah.............they do.

If its just a driver, I would just slap some metal in there with pop rivets, screws or even panel adhesive. Still have to watch that you dont drill into the fuel lines etc. Another few years and the rest of the body will be toast anyways.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:07 PM
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Any car older than 5-8 years will have rust on it already.
Poncho, I was hoping to just pop rivet sheet metal in but he needs to do the floor to pass safety inspection and pop riveting wont be enough. It needs to be welded from bottom and top.


Mike
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:08 PM
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That blows my mind! How do you guys deal with that?
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:15 PM
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When I lived in New Hampshire in 77-79 I would see cars 3 years old with holes in the floor and the quarter panels all rusted out. Made me real happy to move back to cal.

I went on vacation back to Ca in 78. I took about 40 pics of old cars with original paint and un-rusted quarters and brought them back for show and tell..

It amazed my friends that you didn't need to undercoat a car ....and it would last for YEARS!!

I used to hate working on cars with the floors patched with coffee cans, old license plates, barn siding, etc and sheetmetal screws or pop rivets. . It was like getting clawed by a bear when you'd scrape your head on them.

Later, mikey
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:33 PM
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welding floors

Since this 90 that you are working on is a daily driver I would suggest pop riveting the sheetmetal in and then coating both top and bottom with the heavy tar based undercoating that has to be brushed on.I've done this on all of my winter beaters to pass the safety.I have not heard of any new rules that state that the floor has to be welded in from both sides.The main idea is to keep water and exhaust gases out of the drivers compartment. Chevy Mikee
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:12 PM
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Over the summer, I rode around for a day in one of my friend's 59' Impala he'd been using as a driver. Rear floorboards were patched with some black screws and some sheetmetal. Looked pretty painful if you were to get caught under it, since there was about 10 on each side sticking through.

And I owned a Chevette that had been shipped to germany and back, and done Welfare duty. Both floor boards on either side were patched with roofing tin wedged in, and there was nothing under them other than some scraps of metal.
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:43 PM
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Just use panel bond - its pretty good to use on the newer stuff - Eastwood Tools or your local auto paint supply should be able to get it for you...if done correctly its almost stronger than welding...
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