Sep 13, 2018,
Earlier this year, I dragged/pushed our 1973 Bronco into the garage for some much needed attention. Little did I know what was waiting for me. After removing the floor mats and stripping out the carpet, I wasn't too surprised to find the floor pans covered in rust. What did surprise me was how much of the garage floor I could see while sitting in the Bronco and looking down. What little of the floor pans remained was thin as tissue paper. I was shocked that no one had fallen through the floor while getting into the Bronco. Needless to say, it was time for some new floor pans, and those You Tube videos made the job look pretty straight forward. So, I ordered both the drivers side and passenger side floor pans. Plus the rear passenger floor pan. Both the driver's and passenger's side floor pans were coated with a black durable looking finish. The passenger rear pan was coated with what they call a "weld thru primer." Just eyeballing it, the new pans looked like a good replication of the old pans. The new ones had the same 'rib' pattern stamped into them for added rigidity just like the old ones. Following the advice provided by the various You Tube videos, I cut out the rusted part of the floor pans until I had good solid metal to weld to. Thatā??s when I ran into a small problem. In trying to minimize the amount of material I was cutting out of the rusted floor pans, I cut through the ribbed pattern. Then when I overlapped the new and old pans for welding (I was trying to replicate the original spot weld method with a rosette weld technique instead of butt welding the new pan to the old), wherever the rib patterns overlapped, there were some small gaps. While the ribbed pattern in the news pans looked the same as the pattern on the old pans, the ribs stamped into the new pans were not an exact match. They were very close, just not exact. I guess that is what seam sealer is for, to fill in any small gaps. I'll have to go get some and find out. I'm thinking that a good welder could probably butt weld the new pans to the old pans and fill in the small gaps created by the mismatch. But my welding skills are mediocre at best. That's why I was overlapping the areas for welding. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a complaint, but rather a critique, or if you like a helpful tip for the next person looking to replace their floor pans. For the driver's side floor pan, I avoided this problem altogether by moving my cut line on the old pan higher up the firewall until I was past the ribbed pattern. Things worked out just fine. Also, the spot weld cutter I ordered from TBP worked great. By cutting through the spot welds, I was able to separate the old floor pans from the underlying support braces without distorting them. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.
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