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heyitsrama

Pan Shaping // Cutting Approach

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Howdy Y'all,

 

Been waiting on this job to get back to me, so I've been attacking the seat support / floor pan on my 260z. I got the seat supports repaired from the damaged sections, but want to approach the floor pan in the easiest manor.

Here are some pictures. 

 

So on the floor pan itself there is a section thats near the rocker that has a radius curve upward, then a flat section (seen by the space between my index finger and thumb) Im thinking that this is going to be difficult to replicate on a flat piece of sheet metal. I plan to save that Charlie's Pan for my other Z, this car just needs the rear section of the pan. Now I understand that in order to weld this space you need to ensure that the metal is healthy and not rusted, I believe that under that surface rust I should be able to just weld a flat pan all the way to the curved portion of the trans-tunnel, unless someone knows of a better way I can create this curved bend.

Speaking of making curves, what about that middle bead thats in the pan (last image) I was considering taking a empty blue propane can, and beating it into the flat sheet to match the bend, might work unless someone has a better way.

 

opinions? advise? 🙂 

 

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The depressions in Charlie's pans are made on some kind of bead roller. You can see the center point in the middle of the end half circles. I think they will be hard to fabricate with out it. Making a pattern and trying to beat an impression in is only going to stretch the metal and make it oil can.

I think you could fabricate the piece of metal under the seat by shaping the curve over a bar or the empty torch bottle after you make the 90 degree bend it.

the seat bracket looks good

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As far as getting the section attached to the old floorpan, it appears that in http://zhome.com/Classic/240ZFloorboards/ChrisFloorboards2.htm the rear spot welds are removed, and the new panel is spot welded into place instead of attempting to match the plane of the surrounding area to the floor pan. Maybe this is a better approach for the rear section. Would the approach be better (secure, cleaner) for attaching the new section with a 90* bend upward like Charlie’s (and zhome) or could it also work by cutting from where my index finger is in the image, to the back section?

So many little things to consider quite fun still :)


Sent from my iPhone using Classic Zcar Club mobile

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As Patcon says recreating that shallow hump that runs along the rail is a tough job, you can cheat by cutting a strip of 16ga sheet the same width of the hump and welding that in where the hump would be, it's not the same but will give you the added stiffness that is needed above the rail.  Also, making that entire rear seat floor pan patch out of 16ga will add strength.

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@Patcon @grannyknot So I formed the a pan with two 1/2" beads in the middle with a 1.5" strip between them. Im running into some different ways to get the pan welded, and with that formed to the contour of the bottom of the car.

 

The first way is to do 3-butt welds (front, trans side, rear) and plug up some of the holes I made, and have the rocker panel spot welded + glued.

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The second way is 2-butts (front , trans) and have the rear section overlap like OEM, rocker is spot welded + glued.

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I'll need to massage the pan again to get it to fit properly on the rocker side, but probably take me 20 min.

EDIT* I also would need to drop down the section thats on the frame rail that connected to the round portion of the old pan, I think cutting a slit and hammering it flat to be welded to the new floor pan should work....

Ultimately I understand that its not going to look perfect, but im okay with the compromise. :blush:

Better than the old section that feels like a taco shell thats been sitting outside for days. 

Edited by heyitsrama
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If you do the lap seams at the back of the pan and the original pan is on the bottom, you will need to be sure and seam seal it really well or that joint will pick up water. I like to butt weld the tunnel side and I would probably butt weld the front too. I believe there was originally a lap weld some where near the rear of the pan but I am not positive on that. I like to make my repairs as invisible as possible. I believe the less the car looks like a patch work quilt the better value it will have.

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13 hours ago, grannyknot said:

Nice, that's going to work just fine.  A bead roller is a great tool have eh?

There was no way I was going to be able to get the shape that I wanted out of the metal by beating on it. I was just lucky that I called up my buddy who had one. The only issue is that the beads are the wrong size, but im not sure if anyone makes a die in that size 2.5", I was thinking of drawing one out and having my grandpa make one while he's over seas. 

I want to learn how to use the tool more effectively, maybe make the rear deck-lid replacements. I lucked out on the metal brake, my grandpa built this one that does the job, but the max length is 18" the floor pan is 17" B)

I was reading over on hybridZ that people swear by using argon blend gas with their mig welders for sheet metal at 18ga. I had good luck with a flux-core wire when I was repairing the hood, I think this welder I have has a gas option, would it be worth while to switch over? Cleaner = Stronger = Smoother = More better? ha

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55 minutes ago, heyitsrama said:

would it be worth while to switch over? Cleaner = Stronger = Smoother = More better? ha

Oh yeah,  if you set up gas for your mig you will never go back, I guarantee it.

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Get yourself some Cleco’s , it will help you very much in this endevour . I posted a thread many moons ago about installing the pans - it might help

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Yes, get the shield gas if you can. Should be an Argon / CO2 blend I believe. Much cleaner welds

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Oh yeah,  if you set up gas for your mig you will never go back, I guarantee it.


I had to jump through hoops to find a replacement gauge for this regulator on the argon tank, but I finally got it going today. The welds look much cleaner, you were right grannyknot, I don’t wanna go back to flux core ha.

I was thinking about penetration with the setup, I feel like if I get a good bead going, it flows to both sides of the sheet, the first image is the weld side, and the second is the “under” section, I can see where I made the regulator adjustments.

It seems that with good penetration it might not be required to go under and weld everything over, maybe in certain spots?

Got the pan shape to be better in the rear too, the corner where it attaches to near the dogleg is tough.
Persistence (little hammer) and deliverance (big hammer)

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 Try adjusting the butt weld gaps to get full penetration. Almost no gap for thin sheet metal. I try to keep the gap on the narrow side and turn up the settings to get full penetration. One other tip, well two. An auto darkening hood will make your life easier if you don't have one and when setting up the welder the first thing I try to achieve is an instant arc. No wire pushing, no hesitation, just aim, pull the trigger and weld. This is usually a little hot but with narrow gaps, the welds penetrate and lay flat.

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What Mark said and get your other hand in there to steady the gun as well, you will have much more control. I hold the gun with my right hand and the fingers of the left are touching the work piece and the neck of the gun, that way you can speed up if the work is getting too hot or slow down and drive the weld deeper down for penetration. 

Glad it's working for you, you'll find your welds will start to improve a lot now.

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10 hours ago, Mark Maras said:

 Try adjusting the butt weld gaps to get full penetration. Almost no gap for thin sheet metal. I try to keep the gap on the narrow side and turn up the settings to get full penetration. One other tip, well two. An auto darkening hood will make your life easier if you don't have one and when setting up the welder the first thing I try to achieve is an instant arc. No wire pushing, no hesitation, just aim, pull the trigger and weld. This is usually a little hot but with narrow gaps, the welds penetrate and lay flat.

 

4 hours ago, grannyknot said:

What Mark said and get your other hand in there to steady the gun as well, you will have much more control. I hold the gun with my right hand and the fingers of the left are touching the work piece and the neck of the gun, that way you can speed up if the work is getting too hot or slow down and drive the weld deeper down for penetration. 

Glad it's working for you, you'll find your welds will start to improve a lot now.

 

thats great advice guys, ill take it into note tomorrow, I'm going to practice a little more before attempting the weld, I think my issue is that my full face needs a light on it, I think I can whip something up with some magnets, and this for-head light that I got. I could not see the gap that I was going for no sunlight on that part of the house until 1-2pm!

Mark, by having no gap for thin metal, would these 16 gauge panels fall into that scope?

Grannyknot, I was planning to use panel bond between the lap-joint on the rear section, weld, prime + undercoat to seal it all up, just want to get the shape down more.....

Thanks for the support guys 🙂

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16g.butt weld, I'd shoot for about 1/32" gap. You're correct in needing a good light. Everything (sheet metal, welding gun) has to be aligned perfectly when you pull the trigger. I've been welding for years but the precise sheet metal butt welds forced me to buy an auto darkening hood. I found that my old method of nodding my head to lower the old hood would throw off my aim just enough to miss the seam when I started welding.

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I’ve been slowly working on this, it’s been raining pretty bad for the past couple weeks in California (we need the water) here’s the update!

Got some help from the gramps on the rounded side for the trans tunnel. Keeps his mind/body active too ha. We ended up repairing a bunch of tools around the yard. And made the giant press/holder, I think it can be modified for bushing removal too.


Hopefully this week I’ll have the rear reinstalled.


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