Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
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.

Bear
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,705 Posts
Get the multi piece kit.....and yes the braces are welded from the bottom. I THINK.....verify thru TMP or 05 GTO......Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
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.

Bear
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
shield your eyes not for the faint of heart!

So it looks so much worse with the flash, I
removed the sill panel strip it looks good under it.
Ideas? Can I still weld from the top or is it too far gone?
Bob
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
It comes down to what you can live with. The floors look to be OK for just patch panels. But you will still have to see on the install if it is to thin and cause blow threw when you weld.
Under the lift arms is tricky and will need to be added from the bottom. you don't have to have a rotisserie you can take it off the from and set it on a wooden home made stand that is small then the rocker panels so you have access to the rockers and the area under the lift arms once you have the floor in. You will need to brace up the door opening and side to side on the interior to keep it square so you will have it all back in a line once it is back on the frame.

Hear are some old shots of my 67 convert that I braced up before I took it off the frame so I could restore the frame and paint it. These shots are from after I reinstalled the frame and has been sitting for a few years now. That is why it is dirty. I still have to replace some of the floor, the trunk, and the tail pan on it. It has been on hold because of the 66 hard top.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
So it looks so much worse with the flash, I
removed the sill panel strip it looks good under it.
Ideas? Can I still weld from the top or is it too far gone?
Bob
Really hard to tell from photos ---- there's no substitute for your own eyes 'on the scene' as it were. You might try to take a look from underneath with a good light and see what you can see. even better, put a bright light ABOVE and then look from underneath - that'll make pin holes easy to spot. A lot of it, too, is what you consider acceptable. Some take the approach that absolutely no rust anywhere of any kind is acceptable. Some are willing to get out "most" of it and then treat the remainder with one of the many various compounds that are advertised as being able to convert rust into something inert and benign. I know Eastwood has several such products as do others. The real question with the floor is strength and structural integrity. It has to seal to keep exhaust fumes out of the passenger compartment, and you don't want to suddenly find yourself doing a 'Fred Flintstone' down the road some day. :lol:

Bear
 

·
Former Moderator
Joined
·
2,895 Posts
:agree In my experience, it's always worse than it looks. If your real brave, take a scratch awl and try to poke through "suspicous" spots. If you can poke through it, it was too thin to weld to anyway. You might find when you get your new floor that there is nothing to weld it to. I would have to see this car up on a lift to make sure there is no structural rust also, especially since it's a convertable. Do this the right way once, or you'll be doing it again.....

.Not trying to scare you off, but if you're not up to the job, it may be best to pass this car off to someone who can do it or it might end up scrap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts




Here are the pic's of the bracing I put in. The car was way dirty back then. It lined right up to the frame with ease, once I got it back on.

Here are some pic's of the hard top with new quarter, floor pans, trunk and frame totally gone thru. It was the worst car I owned so I stoped with the Convert started with it as a test mule. I don't own a rotisserie. I want one, but it can be done with out one, I did.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
It can be done without a rotisserie, and it can be done on the frame. You can see the under floor bracing and how patches go in if you look at the first two pages of this thread.

http://www.gtoforum.com/f83/65-gto-little-bit-rust-25485/

That one was way worse than yours, but the patches take more welding and fitting than an entire floor does. You dont run as much risk of the car bending, buckling, or moving around doing patches, but the one piece is much nicer in the end.
 

·
67 Basket Case Restorer
Joined
·
2,717 Posts
The one piece pan installs from UNDER the body, so if you aren't going to remove it from the frame, I wouldn't recommend it. The piece kit can be installed with the body on the frame. You weld in the braces first and then line up the pans and drill holes in-line with the brace flange and weld them to the brace. DO NOT drill thru the brace.... you want to plug weld the pan to the brace surface. I don't see why you would need to remove the drivetrain to accomplish this either. You will be cutting the old floor near the rocker seams and the brace should go in from the top. If the brace under the seats is gone, I suspect the other 2 are also in bad shape and will most likely need replacing also.
I suggest inspecting the frame very carefully for rust damage BEFORE starting any of the floor work, because if that's gone too, it will need a frame and you may not want to invest that much in the car. Click on the resto link in my sig to see what happens to these frames from rust. I drove 1400 miles round trip for a frame for mine.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top