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Well, My Truck Isn't 100% Rust Free...


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Made a discovery while trying to fiddle with the parking brake cable (that was annoying too, but ill gloss over my rant on that) about the front corner of my floor pan next to the rocker.   decided to kind of sweep up and vacuum the floor up and suddenly discovered I could see daylight through a "crack" looking rust section in my floor about a quarter inch wide and 3 inches long.  Seeing as the undercoating is intact under the truck except where it fell away with parts of the floor board, I can only assume it rusted out from the inside.

Anyway, I'm not fazed by that fact, and replacing the floor pan doesn't scare me as I have a full welding setup and it's not my first rodeo with sheet metal and rust repair.  I could probably get away with making a small patch for that section, but since the PO ran without carpet and put his salty wet winter boots on an uprotected floor it got inside the boxed in section that runs fore and aft, and there is significant surface rust that I cannot gain access to to treat.  With that in mind, I might as well just replace the whole front pan section and call it a day.

That being said though, after searching through various write ups and how-to's and other threads related to this subject it left me wondering about a few things.

1.  I noticed that nobody seems to reinstall the upper frame section inside the truck when they put new pans in.  Is that section not actually that important?  If it is, has anybody found a solution to treat the floor pan that would be inside that section so as not to rust?  With having to weld it all back together, the only thing that would be there to stop any rust, at best, is some weld through primer.  

2. Slightly related, my seat studs/bolts are also insanely rusty and I have a suspicion that I will have to cut/grind/torch them out, or that they will break in half.  How difficult are they to replace, and where do I gain access to them to replace them.  I don't know if I was just no looking very hard while I was stuffed under my truck for a few hundred years while doing the trans swap, but I never noticed anything under there resembling stud heads or bolts for the seats.
 

Luckily it only seems to be the drivers side that is like this.  The passenger side is relatively pristine by comparison and could just use a little cleaning up.

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1.  I noticed that nobody seems to reinstall the upper frame section inside the truck when they put new pans in.  Is that section not actually that important?  If it is, has anybody found a solution to treat the floor pan that would be inside that section so as not to rust?  With having to weld it all back together, the only thing that would be there to stop any rust, at best, is some weld through primer.

My friend, Erich, replaced the cab-side hat sections after welding in replacement pans. IIRC he treated the concealed portions with POR-15 before he welded them in place.

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1. I noticed that nobody seems to reinstall the upper frame section inside the truck when they put new pans in. Is that section not actually that important? If it is, has anybody found a solution to treat the floor pan that would be inside that section so as not to rust? With having to weld it all back together, the only thing that would be there to stop any rust, at best, is some weld through primer.

My friend, Erich, replaced the cab-side hat sections after welding in replacement pans. IIRC he treated the concealed portions with POR-15 before he welded them in place.
As did I, or rather, my body shop guy did since my welding skills are weak.

 

 

Everything was coated in POR15 and where the spot welds are located was cleaned and coated in weld through primer.

 

The seat studs are simply screwed into nuts welded to the bottom of the floor.

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That's not a bad idea.  I was mainly wondering about the spot welds, but that makes sense.   I was thinking of something similar to what you did above, with removing the paint/POR15 where the welds go.  I did think about removing it just at the spot weld sections, but that would be a long tedious process to be sure.

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