Rust and Relaxation

I’m almost ready to start on the repairs of the holes in the floor pan. I have read some websites that gave some direction for this kind of repair. I have also consulted with the Evil German Dude about the repairs. The general concepts have all been thoroughly hashed out.

I general idea is to cut out the holes. Then you make the patches to fit into the holes. The idea is to cut away the rust and to replace it with a patch that extends at least an inch over the edge. At this point you weld it and seal it.

It sounds very simple in concept. But the details and techniques are the devil, and thankfully, I have a legitimate evil source of assistance and believe this will go with little trouble.

We worked all this out recently by making a model of the project out of paper. Not a full sized 1993 Range Rover LWB, just a small concept model of the floor pan. I’m obsessed, not crazy.

The Evil German dude has a nifty tool that does the crimping and bending. It called an air punch flange tool.

It bends the metal and has a punch to pop holes in the metal for welds. EGD assures me this is “no big deal”.

The absolute hardest part will be getting the metal cut out. There are some vital systems below the floor in the areas that need to be cut out. This will require careful cutting. EGD says you can use the cutting wheel on an angle grinder to “score” the metal weakening it and then using a screwdriver or chisel complete the cut.

At the cost of an 16 Gauge Air Nibbler 25$(US) or a pair of Inline Air Shears 30$(US) perhaps we might consider another tool. I haven’t even asked JagGuy if he already owns either of these tools and would he be willing to lend them to me.

I took the passenger seat and electrics out of the Rover over the weekend in order to investigate the rust on the long seam. It was a birds nest of wires under there. With the Electronic Fuel Control computer removed it is easy to see how it could be move to the under side of the dash. The thought here is to get it even further away from water in case of a river fording. There were some plugs unplugged and I’m not sure what they were. The rust is bad but no holes yet. I will grind off the protective undercoat and clean as much rust off as possible and paint everything with Rustoleum and or acid etching primer.

I know at this stage I should not have visited the HarborFreight.com website as I see right there that a 90 amp Flux Wire Welder is on sale 149.99$(US) to an affordable 99.99$(US). That’s a hell of a deal. Too bad I don’t have any money right now.
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Oh well. It’s not like this is the first tool I’ve wanted that I would only use once or twice (a year). If I had a “real shop” I’d be all over this deal.

Before all this lovely work is to begin though, I am going to take some R and R and visit a beach. If I had known the oil had not fowled the beaches in Mississippi I would have made for that coast post haste. First because I’ve never been there but the brochure looks nice. Secondly, I think it would be nice to help with the economy down there. Not that BP won’t be kicking in, but its not the same.

I heard an NPR report that said tourism was way down in the region, yet nothing was wrong with the flour white beaches. I also heard from an online poker buddy that the cost of shrimp and seafood was not bad and was only up just a bit in cost. Not that it matters to me, as I eat the seafood no matter what they charge for it.

Well, here’s to some rum and relaxation. More as it develops.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering. One more for the road…

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