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 smallĀ  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.

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Footwell Repair Part 7: Building an “L” for the Bulkhead (Post #654) 5/19/2024

Part 7 should have been titled, “How the hell are we going to make an L that has a big bend in it?!?” I have been thinking about this solution for two weeks on and off in my spare brain idling time.

Today’s video is me actually experimenting with bending the metal and making a sample piece. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to and how I’m going to put this thing together. The next step is to cut the strip I’m going to use for the L piece and hammer it into shape. I’ll need to do some additional measuring and mental gymnastics to sort out how I’m going to weld all this up so it doesn’t leak and dare I say it, “it doesn’t rust” or “rust much”.

1820’s Cherokee

I also mention that I went to the 200th Anniversary of Fort Towson. You can google about Fort Towson that was once known as the Chateau on the Prairie. It must have been a wonderful sight to behold with it’s limestone walled buildings and it’s blue roofs.

Life on the prairie in this time was hard. Like real hard. Death was ever present and it was not uncommon for a soldier to arrive and be dead within a year. They grew much of their own food and getting supplies from the east was inconsistent.

As a living historian, I portray a Cherokee for this period in Oklahoma history. This was the time when the creator of the Cherokee syllabary Sequoyah lived. The fur trade in “Indian Territory” pre-dates the mountain man era of the fur trade popularized in several movies like Jeremiah Johnson (1972) and The Mountain Men (1980).

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Next week will be more metal bending and welding of the support into place to get ready for putting in the floor.

Footwell Repair Part 6: Bulkhead Repair (Post #653) 5/11/2024

Here we go again. This is Part 6, and I’m not even going to bore you with how many more parts this will take to get the passenger side wheel well completed. Let’s just say, its going to be quite a few more.

In this one I cut out the bad bits of the bulkhead/sidewall/whatever and replace it with a patch that if I do say so myself is probably better than the last one. Only time and wet carpets will tell, and probably rust. Whatever, it’s done.

I now have a solid bulkhead to weld additional part on. Parts like the patch I’m going to install for the floorboard. Still not sure how I’m going to shape the floorboard, but that for next Saturday to worry about.

Check out the video. I think it went pretty well.

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Thanks as always for reading and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 5: Ugly Welding (Post #652)

Today’s episode has me correcting the crappy welding I attempted last week. First thing I needed to do was to cut the bad patch off the firewall. Since the welds were trash, the patch came off easily.

The next job was to make a new patch. This time I made the patch and shaped it to fit the curved firewall. A little hammering on the sand bag, a little bending in the vice…and boom we had a nice patch.

I took time to cut out the floorboard. I also used the air chisel to explore the rust and seem sealer on the footwell. It found more rust.

The plan for today was to get the firewall patched. I got the patch placed and began welding it. My nephew came by to do some laundry and he showed me how he was mastering the solving of a Rubik’s Cube. He can do it in just under 4 minutes. I’ve never solved one.

I got the patch finally welded into place. I painted everything again with two coats of primer. I then got some seam sealer setup in the caulking gun and went about getting everything sealed up. I was pretty sure my welds were good. But when I sprayed the primer I had some sneak through some welds. Well I put enough seam sealer on it, it won’t leak. Plus I’ll likely but the Fat Mat back down once I’m finished.

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Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 3: Investi-Disassembly (Post #651) 4/12/2024

thumbnail Footwell Part 3

Will this ever end?

I think I know the answer to that. But I have to show my exasperation. This rust find is possibly the worst thing ever. It’s in the most terrible of locations.

Mrs. Okierover said, “Maybe you should call it Rusty Rover instead of Okierover.”
She’s not wrong.

Every where there’s red its rusted through.

It’s as bad as you can imagine. There are at least four different panels converge in this area to form the firewall, fender well, and the foot well.

There are a LOT of peripherals that run through there too. Including the fuel lines which I may have nicked when I was air chiseling the panels out. If you’ve followed the blog for very long (at least since 2010) you’ve seen The Evil German Dude and I attempt to fix the floor pan when it rusted out.

We had fun, but we failed to keep the water out and our work finally failed. I had an ongoing issue with water getting in and wetting the fargin’ OPEN CELL floor pads under the carpets. The carpets too we constantly wet. I found the place where water was getting in making the carpet wet. It was through the firewall at the corner where it married up to the side wall.

As you will see in the video, this rust is bad. Real bad. The repair is going to be really difficult and probably beyond my skill set. That being said, I have to fix it myself. There is no money to send it off. The body work itself would likely cost more than the entire vehicle is worth.

I’ve still got a LOT of work to do. I need to find a solution. It will probably be welding several panels together. I’ll need to study it more to make my mind up.

I stared at it at least an hour while I shot the video. Still struggled to sort out a concrete idea.

I am going back out the weekend this is published as OkieF150. We are going to the 200th Celebration of Fort Gibson. Fort Gibson is the oldest town in Oklahoma. Way back when it was still Indian Territory the United States needed a fort to protect the trade from this area.

We are going to make a weekend out of it and I’m hoping we can get some fishing in while we are at it. This will be the last overlanding trip for this year as I will be spending every weekend for the rest of the year trying to sort out all these issues.

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Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.