Floor Braces Rotting - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Floor Braces Rotting

After cleaning up the bottom of my 1966 Lemans, I found that most of the floor braces end with a completely rusted out spot.

The braces look strong and complete all the way across the middle of the car but then rust out on the ends. My goal with this car is just a weekend car. I have the tools to weld and cut everything but want to make sure it is absolutely necessary to replace these pieces.

Or is there another option? Are those opening at the bottom important(purpose)?

This is my first restoration, let me know if I'm asking dumb questions.

Thanks!


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Texas View Post
After cleaning up the bottom of my 1966 Lemans, I found that most of the floor braces end with a completely rusted out spot.

The braces look strong and complete all the way across the middle of the car but then rust out on the ends. My goal with this car is just a weekend car. I have the tools to weld and cut everything but want to make sure it is absolutely necessary to replace these pieces.

Or is there another option? Are those opening at the bottom important(purpose)?

This is my first restoration, let me know if I'm asking dumb questions.

Thanks!


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The bad news is you got a rust bucket on your hands. The good news you can weld, have the tools for the job, and aftermarket parts are available.

Those inner rockers look real bad where the floor braces are rotted. This, along with the outer rockers, are a main component to the structural integrity of your car. Mess these up, and your car sags, body line won't line up, and maybe even doors and windows won't work correctly. Hopefully your body has not sagged and your body lines are still good.

That said, here is how I would tackle the job and I am no expert in restoration, but I do all my own work on my "rust bucket." I would tackle the inner rocker boxes first, one side at a time. I would cut out sections at a time, not the entire inner rocker box panel because this will greatly weaken the rocker panel, clean the metal as required, and section in my new metal. If you only need to replace the rotted section because the metal on either side is still solid, then it will be easier, but if it looks like the entire inner rocker box looks heavily rusted, it will be more work, but I would replace it all now to give you some good solid clean metal. Look at the inside of the outer rocker panels as well to see what condition they are in. Then do another short section, etc.. Keep your weld heat down by doing stitch welding and let it cool, then come back and repeat until your welds are solid. You want to avoid warping. It will be slow going, so don't rush it.

Before I welded in my sections, I would prep and paint the side of the replacement panel with a high heat spray paint, like the black used on outside barbecue grills. Do this before you weld and let your patch panel set out and dry a couple days. You will only burn off a minimal amount of paint near the welds. Then later, follow up with the Eastwood internal frame coating paint: Eastwood Internal Frame Coating 14oz Aerosol I did this with my '68 Lemans when I welded in the boxing panels to stiffen my side frame rails as well as paint the inside of all the frame rails - front & rear.

Once one side is done, then do the other side.

This will then give you good metal to weld your floor brace ends to. They sell either floor brace ends that would splice into your existing braces and get rid of the rot, or the complete floor brace.

The trunk floor and braces are shot and someone had to fabricate those fuel tank strap hangers. Do it right, get either the trunk floor braces or a complete trunk floor section having the braces - which would be your best bet with all the rot I am seeing. If you put in just the braces, then you are still going to have to fabricate floor patches/panels and weld which will be time consuming and not be too appealing. The price of a floor is reasonable and would probably save you time & money in the long run.

Now this is my take on all this. Hopefully you will get a few more ideas from other members and you can decide from there.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO Undercarriage, Frame, Transmission and Differential Discussions.

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