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Ok sheetmetal guys I need your advise

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  • Ok sheetmetal guys I need your advise

    Ok my freinds,

    I know that I am not the only person who tries to restore some good old steel.

    My problem is my new love child is a 1969 J3000 Jeep Gladiator Truck. I have two of them just for, I don't know why purposes.

    My love child suffers from rotted floorboards. I can see all the repairs from years past. There are patches of all kinds. In my other jeeps I've patched with mixes of bondo and window screen and all sorts of things. I can patch in new steel but should I go composite?

    I also have some major truck bed rust. I need to replace. What should I do. I can form sheet metal to some degree but I can't take flat sheet and make corrogated truck bed material. The old truck bed is corrugated differently than modern trucks. I'm not concerned with staying in time. Should I just buy a big 1/4" sheet?

  • #2

    I'd patch with steel and paint with POR-15. You shouldn't have to worry about it after that.

    I don't know about Jeeps but can you buy replacement floor panels?

    Depending on how far gone the truck bed is can you find a 'like new' replacement? Replacing the bed floor with 1/4" sheet sounds like a winner to me.

    Are you trying to make this vehicle just a good usable truck or what?

    Look into POR-15. I have a can that I haven't used yet but I've read really good things about the product in car restoration books. Seems to be a standard product.


    • #3
      I am a firm believer in steel. I like the metal bed, floorboard I put in my old stude. It wasn't 1/4 more like 1/8" I hauled about everything in it.

      Making it just about fit, bolting it in, and fiberglassing in the seams is what I did to the 54 in the back yard, THEN I split the driveshaft tunnel for a C6 transmission and have it to do over.



      • #4
        I think I'll replace it with metal. Maybe 16 guage? I'm thinking of forming some stiffener beads into the cab floor to hopefully avoid that tinny sound plus I think I want the truck cab completely rust proof because after a muddy trip I want to be able to hose it out. The truck bed is pretty bad in spots. In the front of the bed there was a toolbox I guess and the floor rusted through bad in about a 2' section. I wonder if a local sheet metal shop could form a panel to match the floor without charging me too much. Or maybe I should cut out the section and weld in a flat sheet and then weld on some pieces bent like the corregation And then fill in the inbetween with strips of oak like they did in the old days. I really like the agressive look of this truck and that 4 speed T-18. It has a 327 engine and I really like that engine but they are impossible to find parts for because it is such a rare engine (not a chev 327)


        [This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-16-2004).]


        • #5

          I've been through this on a 4x4 rig also. I used galvanneal for the floors. That's plain mild steel sheet stock with a light galvanized coating on it. Welds and paints okay.

          Flat floors with sections of corrugated stiffener spot welded on the bottom does a good job.


          • #6

            I've done a lot of sheet metal over the years. I once built a big 4 sided fireplace hood for a restuarant to exact size specs. The two sides each were a different trapezoid forming a sort of pyramid. What a pain!

            If you can't find factory corrugated metal to match then I don't suggest you get a quote from a sheet metal shop to make it for you unless you have a chair handy. Even building it up (faking it with ribs) will be expensive and difficult. At the mill that sort of corrugation would be done with a huge form roll. Trying to do it accurately on a regular brake would be just about impossible with that many bends.

            I would suggest using diamond plate aluminum. Plain flat steel will be slippery as all getout even when dry. Galvanized is better but the aluminum being softer doesn't slip the same. Takes paint well too. You would need to use zinc chromate primer at any steel to aluminum connection. Steel diamond plate would work also and of course you could weld it.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


            • #7
              16ga. is going to be very hard to form unless you chop it up. 18ga. should do well. The original was probably 20ga. with support chanels or ribs. I wouldn't waste time trying to patch in pieces of flooring. No mater what you do, you'll end up with the new pieces falling out onto the ground as the old pieces continue to rust away or fail to hold a weld. The floor board is a major structual part of any vehicle and is subject to constant flexing.

              Take the old floor out and fabricate a new one. If you want to be able to wash it out, you'll need drains. A layer or two of fiberglass mat will add sound deadening and water proofing. Use POR-15 or epoxy sealer on the underside.

              Same goes for the bed. I wouldn't use 1/8 or 1/4" sheet, that's too heavy and adds nothing to the strength. Ribbed 18 or 16ga. will make a tough bed.

              Ribbing flat sheet is simple, if you have a Bead Roller. Working large pieces is the hardest part. If you were closer, we could roll 'em out in an hour or so.


              • #8
                Friend of mine just finished a 76'Chevy pickup(read rotten floor boards)he sandblasted and cut out all the "rusty lace" welded in some new 14 rolled plate(common as dirt)and blasted the floor inside and underneath.I don't know what he used for primer,may have been epoxy,but what he did next was cool-He sprayed epoxy bedliner(linex)type stuff inside and underneath!

                What he wound up with is water tight,won't chip or rust,and since he ran it up 10" inside the cab walls and is non skid it doubles as a washable floor mat.
                I just need one more tool,just one!


                • #9
                  In some cases of rust I've oiled it. This penetrates and helps keep water from making it worse but it makes it nearly impossible to paint unless you completely grind all the rust and dewax. But what about oil based paints? Isn't there any applications where you have rusty pitted metal that you have removed all the loosened rust, and could use an oil based paint successfully?


                  • #10
                    I had the same problem in a Ford Falcon some years ago, rusted clean through on the driver's side. I had a piece of stainless that I found in a junk pile and it fit perfectly: no bending necessary. I trimed, sanded, primed with Rustoleum primer, and painted the edges of the original metal with two coats of Rustoleum. I screwed the SS in with some caulking and it outlasted the car without any paint or anything. Sorry, I don't know the gauge.

                    Paul A.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    Make it fit.
                    You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


                    • #11
                      You can't paint over oil (motor oil). If the "oil based" paint did dry (in a few months) you would be able to wipe it right off. Oil based paints use Linseed Oil or a synthetic equivalent--NOT motor oil.

                      The only way I've been able to paint anything that has had oil on it was to Degrease and wash with a strong soap. (Engines, frames, front-end parts, etc.)

                      If you don't want to replace the rusted parts, use a Rust Converter. After this has dried for at least a day, seal the area with an epoxy paint. The rust converters use a water soluble acrylic carrier so it must be sealed or it will absorb moisture. It must be allowed to dry completely in a dry-air environment too. NO high humidity!

                      You will still have to remove all traces of the oil.

                      By the way, PLEASE don't use the word "restore" in your decriptions. Your activity is like machining with a hand drill and bench grinder. It gives the rest of us a bad name.


                      • #12
                        Ken,quit calling that "machining" Dime store B&D butchery is acceptable,but not machining
                        I just need one more tool,just one!


                        • #13
                          You're right, I don't want to restore it. I want to USE it.