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  1. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I was wanting to do this back in the winter but thanks to contracting a possible flu, about five consecutive colds plus bitter cold subfreezing temperatures in January, I didn't get a chance to do much of anything except fool around with repairing some old PCs in my den. So I've put this project off long enough. I think I'm going to tackle this, this summer and repaint the car afterwards. I've had it almost 6 years.

    Here is my idea. If any of this sound dodgy let me know.

    1) Do one side at a time. For some reason the passenger side has the most rust. I don't know why.

    2) Raise one side up, remove both wheels and sit the brake drums directly onto some steel ramps. This will give me more room to work and protect the tires from any sparks. My 110 volt gas-less wire welder, gives off quite a bit of sparks.

    3) Remove the quarter panels and fenders (headlights, turn signal lights and tail lights of course).

    4) I would like to remove the door for more access. But I think this is going to be difficult. I have removed these door hinge screws before using an impact screwdriver but other times I've had no luck. I noticed that the screws on the door itself have been spot welded in place. So I guess it will I'll have to remove the hinges from the door jams. If I can remove the doors, should I shove a 2X4 between the door jams? If not would the car collapse? Any worries of this happening?

    5) Instead of drilling out all the spot welds, my plan was to just cut the sills off with a reciprocating saw. Then grind the metal down flush. One reason for this is, is leaving the old lips behind should give me more metal to weld to.

    6) This is something I've never heard done before but at work we have these metal bars we use in sea containers to keep the sacks from falling out when the doors are opened that we also use as handrail tubing. It's about 1.5" to 2" square tubing and the walls are about 1/4" thick. My idea is to weld these directly to the body from one end to the other. Then the new sills will go over top. I'm thinking this should make the car more ridged.

    7) When welding the new sills in place, should I just drill holes in the lips of the new sills or through the body as well? Then just fill in the holes? How far apart should the holes be?

    I considered buying one of these which would make the job easier?


    It says the tongs has a 6" span. I'm not sure if that's long enough to weld the backside of the sills or not. I maybe able to rent one of these. I doubt after this project I'd have any use for it.

    8) After I get the new sills welded in, this should be the structural integrity of the car so I should be able to patch any other rust holes with fiberglass once I treat the metal with Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator. There's a big gaping hole in the rear wheel well on the passenger side and between the quarter-panels and the trunk floor.

    I don't know if you guys have ever used this stuff but I've used it may times before and it works great at stopping the rust. Unlike the POR-15, this stuff can be thinned down with lacquer (cellulose?) thinner and applied with a foam brush to sink into cracks.


    Have I missed anything?
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  2. kev the builder

    kev the builder Loyal Comrade

    i dont think you need to weld the extra bars inside the sills unless you plan on making it a convertable,ive braced the door opening with a steel brace on the inside so the door can still be fitted/shut to check for alignment,i usualy cut the old sill off with an angle grinder close to the flange and then trim the old spot welded flange off with a flap wheel to hopefully leave the flange on the floor/inner structure intact but these can need repairs if you plug weld the new sill you drill/punch the holes in the sill only and weld to the metal behind the holes are usually 3"-4" apart you should have an idea how far apart and how many there was on the old sill as a guide,i weld all the holes with metal as thats whats neede for the mot,spot welders are an expensive toy so not many diy people use them i have been told you can make your own from the guts of a microwave but havent tried this,welding sills/floors takes a lot longer than you think it will and the job grows as there is always more rust than you thought,have fun
  3. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Thanks for the tip. John Short says if I cannot get the Phillips head screws out I can drive the pins out to remove the doors. I didn't realize there was pins until I looked for them.

    The reason I wanted to leave the old sill lips was so I'd have more metal to weld to. My wire welder has only two power settings. It doesn't have an adjustable dial to turn the power to the minimum. I have burned holes through sheet metal using it. It runs on 110 household voltage and a typical 110 volt breaker can be anywhere from 10 to 15 amps.

    I thought if I cut the sills off with a reciprocating saw, I could then take a cutting disc and grind off what's left of the vertical sections then hammer down any burrs flush with the floorboards. Then grind off any rust to the bare metal.

    The other way to remove this lips is to just take a hammer and chisel and break the remaining metal off that way. I've used this method in the past to remove sheet metal spot welded before.

    For some reason trying to find all this spot welds makes me think it's going to be a major job. I'd have to grind off about 1/8" of paint the previous owner used just to find them!

    Someone used clear RTV to cover up some shoddy spot welds then painted over it!

    My 6 year old daughter will be out of school in about a week so I may have to put this project on the back burning until August when she is back in school. I really don't want to be striking up a welder if she wanders out to the garage.
  4. mati0921

    mati0921 Loyal Comrade

    First you run that welder over with a tractor and get prober MIG welder. That thing is only good for blowing holes and not holding stuff together. :D
    No need to reinforce anything unless you cut out the complete floorboard, also no need to add anything inside the sills other than rust protection. :)
    I also have a sill that will need attention sometime... someone filled it with PU foam... that stuff attracts water... :(
    'bant, mbeamish and kev the builder like this.

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