Floor Follies

This weekend the weather was as nice as we could ask for and I took Monday off.  The goal was to get the floor completed and I was not completely successful.

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This is where I started on Saturday.  (Yes you saw this picture before)

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This is my new cab support, it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped but it will do.

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Here it is welded in place with a bit of extra reinforcement.  Later I’ll go back and add the oval hole that Studebaker included for… some reason that must have made a lot of sense in 1959!

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Now I needed steel to actually patch the hole in the floor, and 18 GA steel is rather expensive.  However I have a source, the hood that got destroyed when it blew open.  Even though it was already ruined I REALLY hated to take the cutting wheel to it, but that’s what I did.

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The plan was to weld the panel right over the hole (after cleaning it up of course), but that wasn’t going to work.  There are two bolts that hold the frame extension that supports the cab to the frame and they stick up too far.  In addition the channel that raises the floor over the frame adds strength to the floor.

At this point I realized I was in WAY over my head, but there was nothing to do but to press on and do what I knew how to do.

So I started by welding in the first piece… one thing lead to another and I was actually making some real progress! (and not taking many pictures)
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That’s the first patch panel, the top of the channel, and by a really nice coincidence a strip I’d trimmed off almost perfectly fit the side of the channel.

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Now the left side piece, the piece that ties the firewall to the rest of the floor and a few other bits have been welded in.  It’s actually starting to look like a solid floor!

Still need to do the right side of the channel, a bit of creative patching at the kick panel, and then take a look at the other side.  The floor SEEMS pretty solid but I was not at all happy to notice light coming through a few holes.

I think what I’m going to do on the passenger side is blast it and then give it the POR-15 and fiberglass cloth trick.  That will reinforce the floor and keep it from rusting any further.

Next weekend I plan on getting the rest of the welding done, although I need to get some more wire for the welder, went through a whole spool this weekend!

I’ve also still got cab mount problems.  I’m not at all sure about how strong my new cab mount is, and the one on the other side obviously had been messed with because the rubber cushion was on the WRONG SIDE of the mount.  More about cab mounts on the next page.

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