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Putting Floors in that rusty MJ or XJ

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Well I recently picked up a 86 mj that was rust free that was originally owned by an old man. I herd about it from a friend and decided to take a ride up to the fellas house and buy it. It was rust free and solid as a rock! But the damn thing had a tiny windshield leak and the carpet ended up soaking up all of the water and it rusted the floors from the inside out :fs1: . Luckly I found it in time before the floors got real bad. I don't Buy patch panels just because I have the tools and skills to knock out any piece of metal I need but if you don't, there are many people who sell repo floor pans for these jeeps but alot of them arent the best fit so youve gotta know how to work them :yes: .


Tools you will need:


straight screw driver to scrape off original seam sealer

A good mig welder (NO RIVITS OR ZIP SCREWS :fs1: )

tin snips

grinder with cutoff wheels

Bead roller (Cheap ones at harbor freight but you get what you pay for)

some time and some bandaids


Supply list:

16-18ga sheetmetal

POR15 paint

Seam Sealer



So to start with this "how to post" you must first strip the interior out. l_1db1f998dd0e4f408ba435717ce1859b.jpg


Then take a hammer and start knocking on the rusty floor. I do this to see how thin the metal is and to find out where there is any good metal if there even is any! Luckly only the front need pans, the rear was just surface rust


Hitting it with a hammer hard will allow you to draw out where the worst metal is and where the good metal is. Then you can draw out exactly where you need to cut out the rust. Most will need everything cut out but this one only had pinholes on the passenger side so I could work around them.



Watch out for that sharp rusty metal! :rant: Its just a deep scratch. Make sure you got your tetnus shot before you start cutting haha


Once you know what needs to be cut out you can use tin snips, a cut off wheel on a grinder, electric snippers, your teeth pretty much any way you can cut this crap out will work.




Take into consideration that when your cutting on the drivers side you need to be careful since there are brake lines and gas lines running all down the unibody thats why I don't use flame to cut out the old pans.


The unibody was like brand new inside and out so all you have to do is grind down the tops so you will have clean metal to weld to.


Once all the old is out its time to either make some pans or start fitting your bought pans. Like stated I don't buy any type of pans and I knocked all of the pans for this job out in about 15 mins. I used 18ga sheetmetal and rolled a couple of beads into each piece which will add strength and make them look like original. If you don't put beads in them then when you weld them in and step on them they will bounce back, just like the cap on a snapple bottle.





Once you have the panels made before you start welding you must make sure you have cut out all of the original seam sealer because if you don't this stuff starts on fire real quick and can get out of control in a hurry


Then start tack welding all the pieces in place. Make sure you wire wheel and grind all the areas that are going to be getting welded beause you want a good weld that will hold.


After all of the panels are welded in you need some seam sealer. I like to use the brushable seam sealer because it goes on easy it dries fast and when your underneith the jeep its easier to brush it on then to have to squirt it on and spread it on with your finger in the calk sealer.

Which ever sealer you use make sure that the area is open since this stuff messes you up :ack: Make sure that every seam is covered because if you wheel your jeep no one likes water coming into the cab or having their fresh floor pans rust out haha.


Then go out and get yourself some POR15 paint. It will kill the rust completly so you don't have to worry about doing this again. don't just bedline your floor. Bedliner will hold moisture as it dries and when it chips/bubbles which equals rust on all that new metal. So POR15 first its worth the extra cash.



Then add 2 thick coats of bedliner I like herculiner since its cheaper and it is pretty durable stuff but there is better out there its just more money.



Then throw all the interior back into it and start using it :D



I do alot of floors/ rust repair on jeeps and any other type of cars & trucks so if you are in this neck of the woods and need some floors or rust repair and don't want to go through the nightmare of fixing it, let me know Ill give you a great price on fixing your rust! :rotf:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh yes I por15 the insided of the rails as best as i could by loadin my airbrush with por15 and spary as far as I could back and forth on the the inner rails. I also coated the whole under belly with por15 after I used the seam sealer then I rubberized under coated the whole underneith of the truck. So yes shes protected fully. -Jon

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the good words. I sprayed the por15 in the tight spaces like inside the rails and I painted it with a brush on the easy to get to parts. Ive never put fiberglass in my por15. I really don't see a reason to???? Just would make the floor rougher hahaha. Theres many special ways you can inhance por15 but II usually just use it as is. The most ive ever done was thined it out.

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Thanks for the good words. I sprayed the por15 in the tight spaces like inside the rails and I painted it with a brush on the easy to get to parts. Ive never put fiberglass in my por15. I really don't see a reason to???? Just would make the floor rougher hahaha. Theres many special ways you can inhance por15 but II usually just use it as is. The most ive ever done was thined it out.

I had a few holes that I sanded down to metal, but there was still a hole there. To cover the hole, I put the POR 15 on the floor, then as it got tacky, I laid fiberglass mesh into/onto it, the painted more POR15 over the mesh. THis made a very hard covering and gave me material to paint the POR15 onto. If not, I would havestill had a hole.


The "starter" kit from POR15 comes with mesh for just this reason. I talked to the POR15 techs and they recommended this method.

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Just Courious if Road noise went up a substantial amount without the carpet and padding installed. I'm gonna be running around foe the next 2 days with No interior what so ever (just a seat) and just on the initial trip up my lane it was alot loulder inside. I'm hope when the floors are patched and coated it will damper the noise just a bit. Thanks! :cheers:

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You mentioned the HF bead roller with the disclaimer that you get what you pay for. Habor Freight tools are just like MJs or any Jeep. They are just a starting point and they are only as good as you make them. I agrees that the HF bead roller leaves alot be desired in stock form....



However with a little work they can be a very good tool. Spend a few hours on Saturday afternoon making the HF bead roller a very effective tool. All 2" tubing, the tubing around the throat is 2" .25 wall, everything else is 2" .120wall.....



Bought the roller on sale, actually my wife bought it (I think so I would just quit talking about it) so I have less than $150 and about 3-4 hours in this set up. Have yet to find anything it couldnt do. I can run 1/2" beads in sheet metal at full depth in one pass. Just wanted to add that in, great writeup BTW, I may have some of this work coming up.


***Edit - I can't get the pictures to come up so I posted the links

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On 3/23/2021 at 11:47 AM, freedom016 said:

Hi, So glad you made this write-up.   The photos aren't on the myspace either.  Are they lost? 



yeah, they are gone. :(  they were lost long before the CC had the capability to store images. 

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