Installing the Drivers Side Floor Pan

Floor pan tack welded in place

The Drivers side floor pan went in pretty much the same as the passenger side, except that I had the toe board on the fire wall to also patch.

Patching the toe board:

The toe board comes as a universal 65 – 70, and slightly oversize part that you trim to fit.  For a convertible, this means notching the part to clear the inner frame rail.  Additionally there is no hole for the e-brake (Just like the torque box).  I made a cardboard template of the inner frame rail, and transferred that to the toe board. Lipstick saved the day again, to allow me to make sure the e-brake hole lined up with the one in the torque box.  I made two overlapping holes with a hole saw to get a clean look for the e-brake hole.  The other area that needed considerable work was by the steering column hole.  Ford moved and changed location between 1967 and 1969 so the toe board just sort of matches in that area.  Since the Steering column hole was in good shape,  I trimmed and molded the toe board to fit around it.

Once I was satisfied with the fit, I painted it in weld through primer, and clamped it in place.  Then I traced the outline of the frame rail and the edge of the fire wall.  Using the marks as a guide I measured and drilled the spot weld holes per the Ford assembly manual, which provides the location and number of welds.  After that, it was just a matter of welding it up.

 Installing the floor Pan:

If you have been following along, back in June I had to trim the passenger side floor pan to get a good fit. To trim the width of the floor pan to match the convertibles narrower interior (Due to the inner frame rails) I clamped a length of angle iron to the floor pan, then used the plasma cutter to trim it down to size.  Since the drivers side has a new toe board, I trimmed off the extra material on the front of the floor pan, to make a cleaner appearance.  Next I clamped the floor pan back in the car, then with a magic marker I traced around the floor support, the transmission mount. and the lower seat pan.  I then removed the floor pan and drilled all the spot weld holes.  The floor pan has 100 and some holes that need to be drilled, 40 just for the side that attaches to the frame rail, then there is the floor brace, transmission tunnel, rear torque box, and seat pans. Whew, good thing I have a drill Dr. bit sharpener.

The replacement floor brace is missing the notch to allows the lower seat pan to sit between it and the floor pan.  I noticed this when test fitting all the parts.  I used a cut off wheel, and notched the floor brace to fit.  It’s amazing how the replacement parts all need to be tweaked to get everything to fit properly.

It was this point that I also decided to trim the transmission tunnel, instead of the floor pan.  Mostly because the seam would have cut through the area where the seat belt mounted.  I felt this would look ugly, and maybe comprise the strength.

Finally it’s time to weld in the floor pan. The floor pan was held in place using the Clecos, welding clamps, and butt weld clamps.  The butt weld clamps use a square metal bar that fits in a shim, that you them clamp against the joint.  This is a great idea, but hard to use when you are by yourself, to solve this I placed a piece of electrical tape on one end of the metal bar, this way the bar would not fall through the hole, and allowed me to place the clamps on the underside of the car, then move into the passenger compartment and tighten up the clamps.

Once everything was clamped in place, I stitch welded the floor pan in place.  The reason for stitch welding is to keep the panel cool to prevent warping.  Essentially you move from end to end and the middle after every small weld (~ 1″), this allows that region to cool while you are welding some where else.

Next up, the seat pans, and chassis brace.