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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Realistic assesment needed

I have a 1965 Lemans convertible I bought. The top has been down for 20 years and it only seems to have rust(or lack of metal) where water would have sat if the top was down and it was rained on or soaked the carpeting. It was in a garage since 1986. With that background here is my problem. The brace(center) where the seat mounts is very rusted and the floor is all gone around it. However all the vertlcle surfaces are fine, heck the trunk is in great shape, but the whole center section is very rusted or just gone. I have researched a frame off and I think it will just not be $ possible. My question if I get a entire floor pan with braces can I weld that without taking the frame off? or can I buy center brace weld that in and then weld floor pans in next on top of it? The doors even have good fit and close ok. I need some advice. Obviously if I had the means I would be doing a frame off, but I am just trying to get a driver quality for now.
Thanks, Bob

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 12:41 PM
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I have a 1965 Lemans convertible I bought. The top has been down for 20 years and it only seems to have rust(or lack of metal) where water would have sat if the top was down and it was rained on or soaked the carpeting. It was in a garage since 1986. With that background here is my problem. The brace(center) where the seat mounts is very rusted and the floor is all gone around it. However all the vertlcle surfaces are fine, heck the trunk is in great shape, but the whole center section is very rusted or just gone. I have researched a frame off and I think it will just not be $ possible. My question if I get a entire floor pan with braces can I weld that without taking the frame off? or can I buy center brace weld that in and then weld floor pans in next on top of it? The doors even have good fit and close ok. I need some advice. Obviously if I had the means I would be doing a frame off, but I am just trying to get a driver quality for now.
Thanks, Bob
I would think the key would be having access to make all the welds. Of course the exhaust, driveshaft, tranny, crossmember, etc. are all going to have to come out. If after cutting out the bad spots there's enough good metal around the perimeter of what's left to weld to, then you ought to be able to do it without having to pull the body.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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I agree

getting all of that out of the way is no problem, no $ spent there. However will I need to be welding from the bottom then? for the brace?
Bob
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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Get the multi piece kit.....and yes the braces are welded from the bottom. I THINK.....verify thru TMP or 05 GTO......Eric



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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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it probably could be done if you lapwelded patches in. if you wanted to weld to the rockers like the factory did you will have a problem because the frame is in the way.
i would not buy a complete pan. i would buy it in pieces to make it easier and to save shipping costs.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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but wont a 1 piece be stronger?

Picking up is not a problem...I am real close to Tamaraz in Plainfield IL. But wouldn't a one piece have more structure? Also I think I need the pieces that fit below where the pistons fit for the convertible top. When I took off the rear interior pieces with the ashtrays I can see the ground (where the rear seat mounts looks great) what piece is that?

So I understand I will cut out all the bad from the floor and cut out the bad brace ... then from underneath weld in a new center brace. Then weld in the patch panels from the top?

Thanks, Bob
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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Post a couple pics, doing floors isnt that tough to do. You can get all the bracing and either a one piece pan or separate pieces for it. It depends on what you want the floor to look like and how much work you want to do as to which way you go. I really should have done a one piece floor in my 65, but the price was quite a bit more than the patch kit.

Keeping the body from twisting or bending while doing a one piece floor is the hardest part of it. A convertible is worse than a hardtop because there is no roof. As long as your rockers are ok, it shouldnt be that difficult to do. If you dont mind driving up to the U.P. with it I would be more than happy to lend you a hand.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 03:20 PM
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Picking up is not a problem...I am real close to Tamaraz in Plainfield IL. But wouldn't a one piece have more structure? Also I think I need the pieces that fit below where the pistons fit for the convertible top. When I took off the rear interior pieces with the ashtrays I can see the ground (where the rear seat mounts looks great) what piece is that?

So I understand I will cut out all the bad from the floor and cut out the bad brace ... then from underneath weld in a new center brace. Then weld in the patch panels from the top?

Thanks, Bob
I'm thinking you put the floor in first, then the 'brace' --- what makes the brace work is the fact that from the factory it's spot-welded all along its edges to the floor pan. That double-thickness of metal, and the shape of the brace itself, 'triangulates' the floor in that area and makes it rigid. If you've got enough good sound metal around the perimeter of the opening, then you can cut the new floor pan to fit then butt-weld it around the perimeter from the top side. If the "bad" spots extend past the edges of the inside passenger compartment and are "under" the rockers and such, then that'll be harder to do. You'll probably have to lift up the body just a little in order to get access to weld the floor. If it turns out you're going to have to lift the body, then you'll want to weld in some temporary braces corner to corner, across the door openings, etc. to prevent the body from twisting and deforming in the process. Once the floor's out and the doors off, there's just not enough structure left to keep it rigid and make it hold its shape.

If you don't have to replace the entire brace, just a section out of the "middle" (even if it's a big "middle") then you might indeed want to replace that section of brace first. Then you'll be able to use it as a "stop" to line up the new floor pan as you're fitting it. It all depends on how bad the damage is and how much of the existing structure you're going to be able to save and use.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks for offer

I will post pix tomorrow.. it just looks scary now... and I would come up there but working like a dog to get scratch together to pay for car restoration.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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Not sure how bad your car is rust wise. I am at the 90% completion mark with my 65 convertible. Prior to me, my car sat outside for 15 years, no interior or carpeting, which in the end what saved my floors. Ended up bracing the body putting on a rotisserie, then the three years of fun began. As it turned out these cars have a double rocker and both sides from the front to about half way down the car were completely wasted. Not something you can readily see from the outside. The bottom of both A pillars where also rotted and had to be rebuilt. What I am trying to say that with my past experience with my car you should try to make the best assessment that you can with yours. Once you start there is no turning back. Starting to restore these cars is like turning over a rock, all you need is time and money.
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