The Mite
Part 3
Floorboard and pillar replacement

Patch Panel I cut out the old A-pillar sheetmetal and replaced it with a piece from Moss Motors. It fit pretty well and welded in OK after I removed a ton of rust and corrosion from under the skin.
A pillar Patch panel The top seam that attaches the pillar skin to the cowl was actually lead filled! It had to be melted out with a torch and then carefully cleaned before welding in the replacement panel
patch panel The other side was only a little rusty, so a smaller patch was made and welded into the car.
floorboards These rusty, weak, thin floorboards have to go. The rest of the car is almost rust free, so I think this was caused by water sitting on the floor after rains.
plasma cutter Here's my new best friend, a plasma cutter. If you are doing any sort of fabrication or bodywork, you cannot afford to be without one of these. It cuts through steel like butter and makes very little noise and smoke.
Hobart Plasma Cutter Link
Floorboards The floorboards have been plasma cut out of the car and are ready for trimming and cleaing before welding in the new ones.
floorboards You can see all the surface rust on all the parts of the car.
patch A view of the patch panel on the a pillar
Car on stand The car is on a stand I made out of some old beams and 2 x 4's. It really helps having the car at a comfortable level for work.
shell in driveway The shell in the driveway being washed and scrubbed prior to the new floorboards.
shell in driveway A nice dilute solution of phosphoric acid really helps to remove rust and creates a rust-resistant phospate coating on the bare steel.
floor patch New floorboard fitted
cleco The new floorboard fitted and held in place with clecos. They are neat little clamps that go through a 1/8" hole and hold two panels together for welding.
Here's a link to some cleco's and cleco pliers
cleco patch Another view of the cleco'd panel. I elected not to replace the entire floor panel because it was much more work for little reward. This is not going to be a world class restoration, but rather a decent driver, so the patch panels will be fine.
patch Here's two of the panels welded and getting ready for finishing
patch finished Another view of the two patch panels. Notice that the center panel between the driver and passenger floors is in fine shape with zero rust.

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