Footwell Repair Part 3: Floor Panel Repair, Welding (Post #662) 7/13/2024

We got a big break in the weather. A cold front hit and we got a lovely lightning show along with the fireworks. And we got some cooler weather. The shop wasn’t crazy hot today and won’t be all weekend. So I’m going to take advantage of it and get some work done.

In this post my goal was to get the floor pan welded up. I first had to fix a small patch to the bottom corner. I made a template and got the steel cut. It welded up pretty well. I was pretty happy with the results.

Then I started on the floor panel. I first drilled some holes for the plug welds. This reinforced my need for a drill press. I really want a drill press.

Due to the odd shape of the floor. My panel does not fit very well. Off camera I tried several things to get the panel to line up and contour to the floor. I didn’t have much success. And getting the panel to stay put while I welded, well, I was trying to hold it and weld it. I struggled greatly.

So I decided to put a few self-tapping screws in the panel. These held the panel as expected. I put my hand-made plug weld bit to good use and started welding. I had some success all across the bottom. I didn’t have much luck with the welds near the transmission tunnel but I did finally get some welds to stick.

At this point I realized my welding helmet stopped darkening. This could have gone really badly for me. I did weld two plugs without darkening. I’m glad I noticed, because that kind of eye damage is the real deal.

At this point I’m going to used the self tapping screws to pull the two panels together. I’ll make the plug welds in the holes and then pull the self tapping screws and fill those with welds. At least I have a plan and I am relatively confident this will work.

I’ll then fill the gap on the bottom side with seal sealer. Paint everything with a couple more coats and then I’ll seal it all up with rattle can truck bed liner.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 2: Floor Panel Repair, Well Sort Of (Post #661) 7/6/2024

What a day.

I started out with all the intention I could muster to complete the floor pan. Unfortunately Fate had another plan for the day.

My plan started out solid. Paint the panels and while it dried see if I could get the Scion started and moved. The Scion as you may (or may not) remember is my son’s first car and he was still driving it until he was rear-ended by a mid-90s model Chevy pickup. The truck was moving at 35-40mph when he hit Rooster sitting still in bumper to bumper traffic. The pickup was completely disabled. The Scion had it’s rear tucked under and was touching the tires.

The though was it wouldn’t take that long to get the wheel wells pushed off the tires. I was wrong. The more I fought with it the hotter the day got and I finally reached my limit. So I went inside to cool off. I was watching the Germany-Denmark match when I got a call from Mrs. Okierover telling me the Honda Pilot with all of the grandchildren in tow would not start.

There is a whole long drama about a forgotten cell phone and a melt down of worry and a lot of really important details about how the battery got run down were left out. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Here we go.

  • Grandchild #1 left her cell phone at bathroom break an hour back up the road.
  • My oldest son who was following along in his car take said grand back to her phone.
  • Grandchild #2 melts down with worry.
  • Mrs. Okierover tells him to go sit in the car and calm down.
  • Grandchild #2 thinks he starts the car but places it in accessory mode and proceeds to sit in the car for more than 30 minutes.
  • Dead battery.
  • Not confident of the traveler’s ability to purchase and install a new battery I begin googling likely reasons of dead battery not aware of the 30 minute accessory episode.
  • Eventually Answers Online mechanic calls wife and diagnoses dead battery.
  • Oldest son returns and we attempt to jump battery.
  • Battery is buried under the air intake and only the positive is visible.
  • Plastic parts removed we finally ground to an engine lift point.
  • Car is started.

I learned a lot watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent and I use all those skills to interrogate everyone after they all arrive home. I had the battery tested and it was good, just needed a charge. I also watched a video about placing a new mount which is easy to reach for jumping. So I installed that M6 1.0 bolt and marked it for future reference.

So long story longer, the day was a complete loss. The following day I did get the Scion sorted out and back to running thanks to a sawzall (aka reciprocating saw), a floor jack, a 4 pound hammer, and gravity.

Next week end we’ll get more done ON THE BIG WHITE BUS…hopefully.

Happy Independence Day.

Thanks for reading, like and subscribe, and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 1: Footwell Repair (Post #660) 6/30/2024


stu·pid·i·ty /sto͞oˈpidədē/ noun

1 the quality or state of being stupid

2 a stupid idea or act

3working in a metal shop building in the heat of an Oklahoma summer

Good grief it was hot today. The shop was 120F° (48.8°C) when I opened the big rollup door. After a few minutes the temp calmed down to a very tolerable 105-110°F (sarcasm). It was about as hot in there as I’ve ever seen.

But temperature is not something we let ruin a good time. Some people go camping in this heat, I don’t. Some people continue to run as a hobby in this heat, I don’t. Some people work on their Land Rovers when its this hot outside, I definitely do.

The heat aside, I have to work on this Land Rover at every opportunity if I’m ever going to drive her again. So there I was sweating my b@11s off to make a floor panel patch.

I started with measuring the size AGAIN. I seriously measured for this patch at least a half dozen times. I then proceeded to cut a patch from my recently procured steel.

The patch needed a lot of manipulation to get close to fitting. I bent the panel by hand first and then used the BF hammer to get it even closer. I’ve still got a long way to go to get this even closer.

One of the seems in the deep bend along the transmission tunnel is not welded. That will need to be welded and sealed again. I also have a small patch to fix next to the bulkhead on the door side. Those two will be the next two things I tackle.

Once those are fixed, I’ll be able to finish the patch. The patch will need to have another 1/2 inch trimmed off. Then…there is the two bends that are there for structure or to limit the vibration. I’ll need to build a jig and use the air chisel as an air hammer to bend the metal.

This is going to take a router bit that will closely approximate bends. And it will take me making a jig. I watched a video on YouTube by “Make It Kustom” where he did this very thing. I’ll need to make the same tool he did. And I’ll need my air compressor…which…is now disabled.

Seems my last working air fitting end, which started leaking recently, now will not hold any tools because the ball bearings are missing. And if that wasn’t enough, my hose end is now stripped out and I won’t be able to put a new fitting on, so I get to buy a new hose too. Super awesome.

That’s where I decided to shut down my work and jump in the pool.

Thanks for reading, like and subscribe, and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 12: Wheel Well Panel Assembly (Post #659) 6/23/2024

It was a rare week that allowed me to work on the Big White Bus two days in a row. I was able to install the panel I built from the last video and post. I was also channeling my inner Christopher Walken from The Dearhunter (1978) wearing a bandana with my hair doing it’s own thing up there.

I started the day by painting the panel. The humidity and the heat kept the paint from drying quickly. So while I waited I checked out a package I ordered from eBay. I watched a video by Steve Winkelman where he had a  Camp Chef Griddle on top his Coleman 425C camp stove. I HAVE A Coleman 425C! So I ordered one. I got it for something like $25.00(US). It was a steal and accomplishes a goal I’ve had. I don’t need a Blackstone…I just needed to find a griddle that fit. What luck!!!

Camp Chef Griddle FTW!!!!

It needs some clean up and will need to be re-seasoned. It came with a bag with a zipper, but the zipper was crunched. So I split the zipper with a box knife. This is going to be awesome to make fajitas on and breakfast and burritos and….

I also learned this week that I’m going to need to replace the hubs on my F150. On the advise of a friend at work, I ordered some Timkin hubs and I’ll need to replace the brake discs and pads.

My plan was to weld the panel into place with plug welds. I saw a video on Eastman where they painted everything up and then used a special drill bit to take the paint off on JUST the part you are going to weld.

I thought this was a good chance to practice for the rear floor panel. So I took a broken drill bit and ground it down to mimic the tool. Good news, it works great! Bad news, I had no way to hold these panels together while I welded them. So I decided to punt on the welding and went to the hardware store and bought some stainless steel self-tapping screws.

So the paint finally dried (enough) and I began installing the panel. I had some trouble with the holding of the panel and the driving of the screws. See my 5/16th driver didn’t have a magnet so the screw continued to fall out. It was very frustrating.

I put it together and then realized I hadn’t installed the seam sealer. So I had to take it all apart and do it twice. Also I got the seam sealer ALL over me. I had to clean up with mineral spirits.

I have the panel in place. I’m not happy with it. I also took a few minutes to look at putting all this back together. I may or may not have forgotten where everything goes. Soooooo… This is going to take a little while to get this back together. Lots of trial and error.

That’s about it. I’m going get the floor put together THEN I’m going to reassemble everything. I’m hoping this coming Saturday I’ll be able to start the floor. The shape of the panel is going to be big challenge.

Like and subscribe, and as always Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 11: Wheel Well Panel (Post #658) 6/19/2024

In this post I talk about making my replacement panel for the front passenger side wheel well. I went to Chickasha Industrial and bought a piece of scrap 20 gauge. It will be just the right amount for the fender and the floor panel. Happy I didn’t have to buy a giant sheet.

I started by making my measurements and then checking them again. After I finished that I checked the measurements again. In the video I show how I needed to have a trapezoid shape. And after typing trapezoid in this post I realize I have spelled it wrong in this post, which is being exported as I type up this post. Oh well…..

I referenced “Mephisto’s Trapezoid” from the 1981 Pee Wee Herman – Live at the Roxy show which was on HBO. It’s one of my favorite shows to watch and was the inspiration for Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Captain Carl, played by the amazing Phil Hartman, tells his story to Pee Wee about getting lost in Mephisto’s Trapezoid. Comedic genius.

I cut the steel and then measured again. I made some bends to get the inner edge and the back lip right. After getting the panel made I could tell I needed to make some adjustments to the fender well too. So I did some hammer and dolly work and got everything sorted. I also had to adjust my panel after I got everything sorted. No biggy.

I dry fitted the panel at least six times. I’m pretty sure I can get it into place with just a few plug welds. I’m going to try my hand tomorrow at modifying a broken drill bit to make a plug weld bit. If that doesn’t produce results I’ll probably run to a welding shop and see what I can find. The gist of this is you can paint everything and seal it with whatever then remove just the part of the paint you need to weld.

This is a giant experiment because the entire floor pan in the back is going to be done this way. The holes are there and all I’ll need to do is get the Z bar in place and make a crap ton of plug welds. Then I can get the entire seam sealed with bedliner and or whatever.

That’s pretty much it for now.

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Footwell Repair Part 10: Fender Prep (Post #657) 6/10/2024

In this post I intended to patch the fender with a new panel. I only have a small  section of the steel sheet I bought. Before the work I started today I needed a 10″x8″ piece. My patch area was about 7 inches with a 9 and a half panel with a half inch bend on one side.

From last week we found 4 sheets of steel sandwiched on the one side. Two of those are seemingly superfluous. In between each sheet was a nice rust stuffing. So its pretty obvious all that needs to be remediated.

I got the air chisel out and went to town. I split all the steel and cut away the rusted parts. I wire wheeled as much of the rust away and in the end covered everything with the rust mitigation paint I bought.

I will need to get a new sheet of steel to finish this piece. The patch I need to make is now going to need to be a inch after the bend perhaps more. I’ll cover every piece of steel with the rust paint. I think the way they screwed the panels together might work. I can also see how I could spot weld the panels together. This would also be good experience for welding the bed back into place. I will also be covering everything in seal sealer and several liberal applications of bedliner/rhino-liner or whatever it is called.

Thanks for watching, like and subscribe, and Happy Rovering.