Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 249 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've finally uncovered all of the previous owner's bodyshop's floor 'repairs' which consisted of tack welding sheet metal on top of various rust holes in the floor. Thankfully the car wasn't driven after these repairs were made so no additional rust formed in the cavity they created. I'm now faced with deciding if I should replace floor pans or patch. Buying all new floors is tempting, but pricey and I'm not sure its actually easier to replace all 4 than it is to patch, based on what I've seen on the BB.

I've read a number of threads on replacing floors but they sometimes skip steps or are photos taken in the midst of a much larger body resto. Can someone give me a simple step by step for removing one floor?
-Is it better to cut the old floor and leave a flange for the new one, or drill out the spot welds
-Where are all the spot welds? I can see the ones on the crossmember but not the rest. Is there a body assembly diagram anywhere?
-Since the factory floors are one piece (F/R) do you have to put a traverse cut between them if you're only replacing one?

In order of the photos...

1. Drivers front floor is clearly in need of full replacement.

2. Drivers rear floor looks patchable to me.

3. Passenger front floor looks the most certainly patchable to me.

4. Passanger rear floor looks iffy because of the rust adjacent to the kick. It is technically patchable, but since theres rust on the seat mounting points, it seems like replacement may be easier?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I replaced all four floors on my spider, which is very similar to your GTV. The spot welds are underneath the car on the sides and a flange at the front and from the top at the cross member at the centre of the car, the longitudinal support in the centre of the panel and at the rear. It is a fairly big job to remove and replicate the original welds. The ones on the inside of the rocker are particularly interesting. Note that, at least in my case, the new floors neeeded a little fettling to fit well.

Have a look at this website:

Alfa Restore

Patching will definitely be simpler, depends on how concerned you are about finished look. You may want to have a good look at the condition of the cross member and where the floors are welded to the rockers and the transmission tunnel to ensure that there are no issues.

Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've looked thru just about every picture on that site... which is why I'm so into the idea of patching. I have no compunctions about appearance, and am willing to patch all day. I think a good butt welded patch is a perfectly acceptable repair. I suppose the driver's front floor is technically patchable, but it seems like a stretch?

I replaced all four floors on my spider, which is very similar to your GTV. The spot welds are underneath the car on the sides and a flange at the front and from the top at the cross member at the centre of the car, the longitudinal support in the centre of the panel and at the rear. It is a fairly big job to remove and replicate the original welds. The ones on the inside of the rocker are particularly interesting. Note that, at least in my case, the new floors neeeded a little fettling to fit well.

Have a look at this website:

Alfa Restore

Patching will definitely be simpler, depends on how concerned you are about finished look. You may want to have a good look at the condition of the cross member and where the floors are welded to the rockers and the transmission tunnel to ensure that there are no issues.

Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
It all looks patchable if you can cut back far enough to get good solid unrusted metal. Inspect closely the spots where the rear trailing arms attach to the bodywork. You don't wnat that breaking loose.
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
That's about how the first GTV I did looked. I spent my coins on metal that showed, like wings and rockers. Patched the stuff on the floor. You would be surprised at what shapes you can hammer 20ga sheetmetal into with an HF sheetmetal hammer and a leather bag filled with sand. You can even replicate the seams with some practice and it's actually more fun to make something yourself. Be carefull when cutting out the metal on the passenger side by the rail, the brake line is right below the floor. Might want to move it first. I've done three and don't ask me why I didn't move it on the last one:confused:
Check out the resto thread there are a bunch of them that show patches a lot of us have made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
I'd be tempted to patch them as well as long as you're not doing a ground up concours restoration of the car. Like gigem says, it's fun and also strangely rewarding :rolleyes: to make your own floor panels. Stuff that can't be seen, as long as it's structurally sound, is the easiest welding you're going to get on a car.
Like jcslocum said just make sure to get solid metal to weld to. Then take your time, and most of all have some fun!
I wish I'd thought of a bean bag when I did some of my patches. I used blocks of wood, my vice, and sometimes just bending things by hand to get things to fit close. Then my bench grinder for the fine detail work to get the joints to fit as close as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the encouragement.... I decided to go ahead and have at it. I figure I can buy a lot of tools for the $200+ per floor pan I'd have spent.
So far I have half of the rust spots cut out.

I've been using my dremel with a cut off wheel to cut the metal and its super precise. The wheels tend to break with some regularity, but it is so much more controllable than a 4" grinder or jigsaw. I feel a bit bushleague but its working for me.

Question - how safe is it to cut around the rear trailing arm supports if the trailing arms are installed and sprung?

Another question - any tips on how to record the location of the front mounting arms? Strike lines on the floor pan? Some sort of jig?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
progress

this IS fun.

I need some advice on the driver's front floor (first pic). There is not much clean metal in front of the red line. Is it really worth trying to patch?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
My feelings exactly. You might be able to hammer out a replacement but a future buyer would notice it in a second up on a lift. Just cut out what you need from the new metal and save most of the old original metal and you'll be okay.

That seat mounting captive nut needs to be pretty precisely placed and I see you've marked it out in advance, but just to be extra sure you might want to place the seat runner temporarily in place to make sure that it's in the correct position.

You gotta love those dremels! I did my entire car with three of them. Kept burning out the variable speed switch and Canadian Tire (a big chain store up here) kept replacing them.

For free!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay going to order a new front floor from the UK.

It actually looks like I also need new rear seat mounting bracket things. Are those available anywhere or do i need to reinforce my existing ones where they're rusted?

Never mind the dremel burning out... I go thru containers of cut off wheels at an alarming rate. Still, I think its the best way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Never mind the dremel burning out... I go thru containers of cut off wheels at an alarming rate. Still, I think its the best way to go.
I always thought that, but now I find it's easier (and quicker) to overcut with a 4.5" grinder and fill in the excess cuts with weld.......much cheaper than the dremel disks too :D

I'd also agree with patching the pans......using a partial new pan on the front....

Best of luck!

Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
I always thought that, but now I find it's easier (and quicker) to overcut with a 4.5" grinder and fill in the excess cuts with weld.......much cheaper than the dremel disks too :D
Harbor Fright sells 4-1/2" grinders and discs very cheap. I have 3 of them set up with different discs (thin cut off, thick grinder & flapper) because I'm lazy, but it save a LOT of time in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
more progress... and some questions

More cutting... and started the unfun task of sanding the undercoating off around where the new welds will go.

Noticed the passenger front jacking point is not looking too pleased. Have any of you replaced one of these? Is it sandwiched between the sills?
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
My dremmel tools would get so hot the plastic that holds the brushes would melt and the brushes would stick and no workie. Just went to cut off wheels.
Those inside rockers look like they need attention before you get to the jack points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What tools are most useful for making the repair patches? Anyone got a HF shopping list?

Tear drop mallet(s)?
Electric shear?
Sandbags (not avail at HF, but in general...)

Is any sort of brake or vice needed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
I used a dremel type rotary cutter for all the cuts on my car since the cut is so precise and I had a lot of cuts. If you're a backyard/weekend body shop with low funds like I was (thanks to the old lady), then it's the cheapest way to get the job done although it takes a bit of time to do it. Yeah you might burn out a few brushes and bodies but if the store you bought them from has a good return policy then you're in aces:).

The tear drop mallet and sandbag are good tools! You can basically do compound curves and get very close to what Bertone envisioned but they should be covered under the carpet if any snoopy perfectionist is in the neighbourhood:).
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
I tired the HF bead roller/sheet metal cutter but took it back. Not necessarily because it wasn't any good. It probably had more to do with the operator and I could get done what I needed to do without it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
daveydog when you say you used a dremel for all the cuts do you mean cutting out the new patches from sheet metal or removing the rusty spots?


okay looks like a sandbag and mallet are in my future... more fun

I used a dremel type rotary cutter for all the cuts on my car since the cut is so precise and I had a lot of cuts. If you're a backyard/weekend body shop with low funds like I was (thanks to the old lady), then it's the cheapest way to get the job done although it takes a bit of time to do it. Yeah you might burn out a few brushes and bodies but if the store you bought them from has a good return policy then you're in aces:).

The tear drop mallet and sandbag are good tools! You can basically do compound curves and get very close to what Bertone envisioned but they should be covered under the carpet if any snoopy perfectionist is in the neighbourhood:).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
I have been using the 4-1/2" grinder with a thin disc & sawzall to cut out the rusty bits. I tried a shear on the old stuff and new bits but was very dissapointed. Then I broke out the saber (jig) saw with a metal blade for cutting out the new pieces from sheet. Very easy to cut out the more complex shapes you need when patching.
 
1 - 20 of 249 Posts
Top