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rust + magic = gold!
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Discussion Starter #1
I have removed the rusty floorpans from both the driver and passenger side on my GT. They were the consistency of a fine french pastry. :(

Unfortunately, the rust has eaten into parts of the frame alongside the floor.
Please someone tell me I'm not crazy to try to repair the damage!! The rest of the chassis is in decent shape. The center channel rails that run alongside the transmission hump, engine mounts, and suspension areas all look good.
I keep thinking of various ways that might strengthen the damaged parts of the frame. But I lack experience.

I'm going to coat inner surfaces of the frame that are now exposed in POR-15, and then somehow reinforce the weakened frame. Could I plug weld fitted pieces of sheet metal over the frame?? I really have no idea. I'm more concerned with strength rather than appearance, it will all be under the carpeting. After the frame is repaired, I will weld in sturdy 16 gauge sheet metal floor panels.

Has anyone had similar problems or have suggestions?

I'm really determined to repair this car.
Thanks for your help,
Bob
 

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A local metal shop can bend up a pair of 12 ga steel sheet angles - use 1-1/2 x1-1/2 cut to length.

Either that, or search out 'metal brake' on ebay - this is the sheet metal bending tool. I got one years ago - a 12" - for nect to nothing and have used it for metal repairs ever since. You can bend your own stuff that way.
 

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floor panels

My floor panels are in about the same shape...maybe a bit better since the rust hasn't gotten to any structural members yet. Caught it in the nick of time I guess.

My question is, what are you replacing them with? Are you fabricating a new floorboard, or cutting an original from another GT? I've got a parts car that has decent floor boards, but wasn't sure which would be better.

Any suggestions would help. Thanks!
 

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rust + magic = gold!
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169 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The rocker panels have some spots where the paint has bubbled-up, but overall I'm hoping they're ok. My initial plan was to repair the floor first, then work on the exterior. I underestimated the extent the floor had rusted. Sure looks funny when I put my feet down on the pavement at the red lights! (just kidding, I haven't driven it like fred flintstone)

The drivers side front jack point is the only one that needs work. The rust has come close to it's outer mounting area and the inner mounting tab has pulled away from it's slot. I attempted to reseat the tab by jacking the car up at this point under the inner tab, and I wasn't able to move it. I may weld the inner tab to the frame in it's current location.

For the new floor, I have plain 16 gauge sheet metal. I will have to locate a metal brake to bend it's edges up, but mostly the floor will be flat. I have considered ordering replacement floors from Suselbeek. I wondered how much modification they would need to fit.

For the frame repair, I already have some 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 angle-iron, 1/8 inch thick. Could that be used instead of the 12 gauge sheet metal angle?
Is sheet metal a more suitable material?
Thanks for your help,
Bob
 

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GT Resurrectionist
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I'm going threw the same thing. I used .080 sheet metal and welded it into place. My floors are about an inch higher than original, but thats were I wanted them. Now I don't have to cut compound angles for the seat support's.
 

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rust + magic = gold!
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169 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas. I will post some more photos as I make progress. I'm in the beginning stages of this project, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all of the work to be done!. Glad nobody has told me to not waste my time on this car. (at least not yet)

Bob
 

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rust + magic = gold!
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Discussion Starter #8
Here is a shot of my floor repairs. I used 3 pieces of 16g sheet for the drivers side and another 3 for the passenger side. Yes, the welds aren't pretty, but at least now I have floors!
 

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Some suggestions

I admire your determination to keep one more rusty GT alive and applaud your work. It looks great, and a little of that POR-15 should seal the job nicely!

One suggestion I have is to see if anyone has some pictures (or maybe measurements) of the floor/frame reinforcements that are used wiht the Targa top kit so you could attempt to duplicate them to reinforce the rusty areas. Someone here should be able to help.

The other suggestion I have is to consider at least a rudmentary (6-8 point) roll cage for the car. I don't know your future plans for the car, but even the $500 cage from Paeco would help stiffen up the weakened parts and shore-up what's left of the chassis.
 

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rust + magic = gold!
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169 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Here is the new passenger side floor with a couple coats of POR15.
I would like to reinforce the frame, but since this GT will only be used on the street, a full roll cage might be too much. I will try to learn more about targa conversion frame strengthening.

I'm going to put the full roll cage in my Manta, except I don't own one... yet!
 

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Years ago I reinforced my Dad's convertible GT based on a German video I had seen of a Targa conversion's reinforcements. I made wood templates for fitment, then cut out the shapes in 12 ga steel, and welded them into the car. I also made inner rocker panels out of 12 ga steel, and welded them over the stock inner rockers (not rusted). I figure it took about 16-20 hours to do everything. I still have the templates in my barn I think.

Bob
 
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