In this video Sam tackles one of the most common rust repairs old VW Bugs need, he cuts out and welds in new floor pans, along with some other rust repairs.


JBugs Video Blog, VW Tech Tips

Watch the video to see Sam's progress on this 1967 VW Beetle.

We're counting down the weeks till the VW Round Up in Florence, AZ where we'll be driving this 1967 Sunroof Beetle for it's first road trip in decades possibly. Sam pushes forward with rust repairs to the A-Pillar at the inner fender well and door jamb. Then he takes on one of the most common rust repairs. He completes a body-on floor pan replacement. Follow along to see his progress.

Video Transcript

All right, it's time for some cutting and some welding.

Using cardboard aided design or CAD, I'm going to make a template of the piece that I need to weld in place here. Like so. I'm good with that. Could be a little bit shorter even, but we'll fine-tune that doing that top cut. Right about there, beautiful. And for now, little tight right there.

Cardboard aided design, at its finest. Now I can use that to cut out this. And then I can clean this up and weld away.

Beautiful. All right, let's clean that up.

There we go. Now wonder if I can cut this with some shears. This is original German metal so it might be a little bit stout for these shears, but we'll try. Oh nice, we got it. I think that's doable.

Height down there, but I was expecting that on that corner. That corner is ever so slightly out of shape. Yeah. And yeah, I could have ground that out more. Hopefully I can get enough material on there and fill it.

My experience with rust is a lot of times when you start welding on rust this stuff will start to crumble back. It's not fun to chase it, but we'll see what we can do. And actually I might end up putting a small piece of backer and just tacking it in place as kind of a lip to hold that in place. So let's do that. That'll help solid that up.

Oh and note that I did put a new fresh air hose in place. I actually got the T in place so that's all good to go there.

Before I do anything, I'm actually going to get my welder set on this piece of sheet metal right here so that I know what to expect as far as the temperature and wire speed for this thickness of metal. Clamp them together and I'll use the chart on my welder. I'm using .023/.024. Shielding gas is 75% Argon, 25% Carbon Dioxide. .024 I'm doing. It's basically 1 mil thickness on this guys. All right so, roughly 20 gauge with .024 I want to be two and a half on my heat, 50 on my wire speed. I want to use that as a starting point to get my machine dialed in for welding on this sheet metal. So let's give that a try, see how it goes.

Since I'm going to be welding vertically I want to kind of get an idea of how this is going to feel vertically.

Is this thing is shielding or not? Oh, minimum delay. Shade, now that I'm blind.

I want high sensitivity. That’s still.. Max that guy out. Let's try that.

Is this thing even on weld? Grind, cut, weld. Weld cause it's getting pretty bright for me.

So the first couple tacks are pretty good as far as the heat range. I think I'm gonna turn it down just a touch and my wire is getting pretty heavy so I'm going to turn my wire down a little as well. Let me give that a try.

There we go. I'm happier with that versus everything else. You can see how high the welds are versus that one's a little bit flatter and on the back side we've got good fill and those are really heavy right there so I think I like that.

I can't see cause my eyes are brightened. So, I'm going to tack that or hit that down with flat wheel.

That'll do. Now, test fit that guy. Good, good. Even up that guy up there. Hit this with a little bit of primer.

I don't know if that welder is right for that helmet, is actually getting dark enough, which doesn't sit in place, but if it gets dark it'll save my eyes.

It’s got a battery. I wonder if the battery's dead. Hold please.

Now I've got a battery for my welding helmet. I haven't used this in quite some time. So now it actually gets dark. Oh shoot, I need glasses. Otherwise I'm definitely not going to be able to see. It will probably be too dark to begin with, but at least now I'll probably be able to see what I'm welding without going blind. Novel concept.

Need to get that corner in and then I can bend that over. Let's see how she does, now that can actually see.

Middle knob down. There we go. All right, that's better. See what I can do about that.

That takes care of that hole. I'm just going to start knocking some of this down across the bottom. Let it cool down across the top.

And this is a cutting wheel not a grinding wheel, but I just want to get really precise on these areas with the high spots.

Probably not even noticeable. All right, I'm gonna try and fill those guys in and then grind those down. And then hit it with the flap wheel and call that one good.

Might look worse than she is and you can see some weld lines back in that. But like I said, I'm going to come in with the flap wheel smooth that out as best as possible, hit up with a primer, and that's all metal. All repaired, no more holes. Yes, I welded it and I grinded it. I don't know if that makes me a welder or a grinder, but either way I just work on cars for fun guys. What do you want from me?

I like a cut off wheel for cutting off the heads of welds because that's a heck of a lot more precise than that big old pad with all that area. So, I can really concentrate on cutting down just the top of the weld and not the entire area around it like this thing does. So I'm going go through and smooth this all out and it will be almost as good as new.

Not too shabby, huh. If you wanted to be super, super picky some high build primer, just a thinnest cut of filler, and that could be smoothed out to look just as good as new. But for me, this ain't no show car. Not yet anyway. So, a little bit of primer. That's good enough for me. No more hole in our A-pillar.

All right, for my next trick I'm going to work on that. Now obviously it's a little bit harder to get a grinder and stuff in here so welding on this might be a little bit more difficult. Let's try and cut out some of this stuff.

All right.

Bend that, bend that. So, that sits in there and then I can just cut my length here to fit over the top of that and just lay it on top. There we go, yeah. Let that stuff work for a little bit while I work on this.

Nice. Not too shabby. I'd say we're looking pretty darn good. Just got to roll that out to match that fender well right there a little bit better. Will not to get much with that, but we'll try.

Now honestly, there's not a whole lot of metal here, but fortunately this is on the inside and it's going to be covered with carpet anyway. And you know what, I'm going to cut that line right there. I like that and I think I'm going to do the same thing across that top edge there. Let's give that a buzz, see what she does.

That's about as good as I can do. I'm going to blow it out, spray it with some Corroseal. It's going to turn nice and black and primer itself. So it'll be good to go.

All right, now I'm going to get a paint brush and just brush it all in.

Shoot, can't even hardly tell that was welded up down there now, can you? All right, well guess what we got to work on now? Clutch cable brace, yay.

All right so, two little strips. One to go from the bottom and come up and then one to go from inside the tunnel and over the top that way. And I think that will do relatively nicely, as long as I can get a good weld on the inside of this tunnel. We'll see how it goes.

Ah, sorry guys, totally knocked that thing out of the way.

It ain't the prettiest thing in the world. It's still smoking. It ain't pretty, but it's not going anywhere no more. That clutch cable is now held securely. Now, that clutch cable has always been secure. Now the clutch cable tube is now really secure.

All right well, it ain't pretty, but it's not going anywhere. Unfortunately, obviously, I took the pedal assembly out yesterday so I can't verify that it works. But guess what, I got a hole in the tunnel if I need to uh go back and redo something else.

It's getting late in the day, about 2:40, which means I got a lot of cleanup to do before tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm going to start cutting out some floor pans. On that video, or actually I'm going to call it videos because I'm going to bring our regular camera guy in so that we can cover this more in depth. We haven't ever done a body-on floor pan video and I feel that that's something that you guys definitely need to watch, or definitely would want to watch anyway. So I'll cover it a little bit in the vlog, but we're going to have a definitely a much more in depth, how to do body-on floor pan replacement which I think is going to be very helpful for a lot of you guys out there doing work in your own shop at home. So until then guys.

I'm not Don Fanucci I have the black fingers not the black hand.

I'm going to cut out some floor pans and put some new floor pans in. This is the driver side floor pan. What we're going to do, or what I'm going to do, is cut along this seam and along this seam all the way down to the back rear crossmember. And then I'll cut there.

Right here where we have the pedal assembly, we need to be very cautious because we actually have the brake line coming around. We don't want to cut that brake line through. So I'll be very cautious with my cut off wheel along here and along here. And then right here I'll actually come in and cut all the way up to the heater channel through the floor pan.

So that's the process of doing this with the body on. Other than that small little corner right there, which is now broken free, our floor pan is cut along the inside lip all the way along the tunnel, all the way along the rear crossmember, all the way down into there.

Underneath, I'll show you what it looks like here. We've got the floor pan cut to right here, but not through to this edge yet because we've got this reinforcement washer in place. All the way across and all the way along the tunnel, all the way to the front of the car and all the way out through the floor pan there and through the floor pan there, but not cut right there yet. We're going to cut that once we get everything unbolted, which is one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine bolts. We'll get all those unbolted and then this floor pan will almost be ready to drop.

We just got to cut that small section at the front and that small section there at the back and then this floor pan will be completely. Freedom. We no longer have a floor pan in place.

So once the floor pan was unbolted you can kind of pry the floor pan down and cut through this last section right here on this side without getting into the heater channel. And then once this entire floor pan side is dropped down you can just rip and tear the floor pan from right there.

But now I'm going to go in here and chip out and peel out all of this original lip that's still onside the tunnel from the old floor pan. Now honestly, is this necessary? No, you could just come in and lay the new floor pan up on top of it. Then you can look from the bottom side and it's going to be three layers instead of two layers. And, that's just not the way to do it. So let's do it properly. Let's peel this guy out of the place, but I'm going to get all these brake line tabs right up like I had these two already. Pull the brake line up and out of the way. And I'm going to get to working on that lip all the way around.

All the remnants of the old floor pan is now busted out, peeled back, hammered off, scraped off all the way down and underneath to there. We'll clean up any of these rough spot welds. Clean up all the dirt and debris. We'll give it a little shot of Corroseal. And then we'll clean up our messy, messy floor and we'll prep for a new floor pan.

New heavy duty floor pan is bolted in place, but not quite welded in place. So, I'm going to get to work on that now.

One new heavy duty floor pan compared to one old original floor pan. I think the new one looks a little bit more stout. Right, yeah.

Down below, everything's back in place. Overlapped, overlap that tunnel piece all the way across the back, butted up and slightly overlapped on that front seam and sitting inside the pan all along the tunnel. So we are ready to go with one side floor pan just about installed, not sealed, but at least she's installed. And well now it needs to be welded so, I'm going to get to that.

Floor pan is welded in place, at least on the left hand side. And I just gave everything a nice coating of Corroseal. But all the way inside there is seam welded, seam welded in that corner, and then spot welded about every inch to inch and a half even down inside there which is a nice pain in the butt to get to, and all the way along there.

Seam welded in the back, welded all the way down to the side. A new heavy duty floor pan and even though I hate running these I put it on just so you guys can see what it looks like and that's in place. Once I get that side done, I'll get some seam sealer and seal the edges here all the way along here, underneath the bottom, and that corner there. And same thing at the back. But she's good to go guys, on one side.

Tomorrow I'm going to do the other side. I'm not going to bother the bringing the cameras along. It's just a lot quicker to just do the work than it is to film and stop and explain and. Sorry guys. I might just set up the tripod and you guys can just watch, or maybe I'll do an overhead view like up here. Don't know if I can hold the camera up and then you guys can just see all the work from up here. That might be pretty cool. Maybe I'll do that.

So that's going to do it for this video. Catch you guys on the next segments, which at this point, I don't know. I imagine it's probably going to be putting the pedal assembly back in. Slapping a steering wheel back on, putting a seat in. And then finally, finally going for that first drive, albeit it will only be around the parking lot because we don't have registration and insurance on this car yet. But that'll be coming soon, hopefully. Until then, later guys.

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