It’s All About Maintenance! Especially for Winter

Everyone is excited for the holidays come December, and, while, Southern California isn’t known for its distinct seasons, we tend to look forward to the colder weather as well. There is one part of the family that doesn’t always look forward to winter, however… your trusty car.

Once Halloween and Thanksgiving come around, the weather starts cooling down, and you should be paying a bit more attention to your car’s maintenance so that you are protected during the winter.

Keep the End Game in Mind

How long do you want your car to last? Most of us can’t easily afford to buy a new car when our old one starts showing signs of wear and tear. Regular, routine maintenance can help improve your gas mileage, reduce pollution (did you get your smog check?), and catch minor problems before they become major disasters for you and your bank account.

Know Your Car

Have you been sticking to your car’s service schedule? If “What service schedule?” just went through your head, you may want to read through your owner’s manual to see what is recommended. You may have missed a lot of regular maintenance, which means your car might not be in as good a shape as you think it is.

Some people are more into cars than others, but it is important that we have at least a basic knowledge of how a car and its various parts work. You never know when this information will be useful. When you are familiar with your car, you can tell when something is off, whether it is how it sounds, how it accelerates, brakes, or steers. Can you tell if your car isn’t braking well because of your brake pads or your tires? You should be able to, for safety. Bald tires are no laughing matter.

Your Auto Holiday Checklist

Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Just because we have a more temperate climate in California, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take winter car maintenance seriously. To help you keep your car happy and functioning during the winter season, here are some tips:

  • Replace dirty filters to make your engine more efficient. A dirty engine burns more gasoline.
  • Make sure the heater and defroster are in good working condition.
  • If there is anything wrong with driveability or engine performance, get it repaired before driving in rain or snow. Remember that the most dangerous time to drive on the road is that first rain.
  • In below-freezing temperatures, add a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Keeping the gas tank full also helps prevent moisture formation.
  • Replace old wiper blades regularly and stock up on windshield washer fluid.
  • Change your oil and oil filter regularly, and more often if your driving routine involves frequent short trips or a lot of stop-and-go.
  • The cooling system should be flushed and refilled (even if you don’t plan on using it during the winter).
  • Have your battery checked. No one wants to be stuck in the rain with a dead battery.
  • Check and, if necessary, clean, or replace, all lights and bulbs.
  • Have your brakes checked. Just because you think they’re fine doesn’t mean they are.
  • Make sure the exhaust system is examined for leaks and problems while the vehicle is on a lift.
  • TIRES! Make sure the tread is in good shape and check tire pressure once a month.
  • Pay attention to the transmission. Have it checked regularly.
  • Always carry an emergency kit in your car: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, tire chains, a flashlight and extra batteries, a cell phone and extra car charger, water, and some energy bars.

Boat Restoration – Dry Dock Cleaning, Treating, Coating, Detailing, and Refurbishing Equipment

There is a big difference between restoring, refurbishing, and repairing a car as opposed to cleaning, and detailing one. The same thing applies in the marine industry. Not long ago, an acquaintance asked me what equipment they would need to upgrade their business to service and restore sailboats, yachts, and boats out at the marina. Let me explain to you, what I suggested to him.

If you are planning on running your boat cleaning and detailing business, perhaps doing a little restoration, color sanding, and deck coating and treating then you are going to need heavier duty equipment. Industrial strength equipment, such as a full-on steam cleaner (hot water pressure washer) blasting 3500 PSI at 5-6 GPM (gallons per minute) and industrial level buffers, perhaps even air-driven, meaning you will also need a strong air-compressor. You will, not be able to get by with merely an orbital buffer run off a small generator. Indeed, you should also consider a hand held belt sander as well.

It would be wise to have plastic wrap reels, quality masking tape dispensers, and proper breathing ventilation safety gear and goggles. You will also need a place to lock up such expensive equipment and tools, somewhere secure and safe – trust no one when it comes to these kinds of tools for the trade. May I suggest that you buy a work van, with a solid alarm system + LowJack to secure your equipment, and bolt it in place? If you choose to go this route, you need to choose the best van, so let’s discuss that for a moment because the right work van can make all the difference.

Remember a van has many other benefits besides just being a safe way to protect your equipment, as it is also a great platform for good signage to get additional business. A really cool shrink wrap sign can do wonders for your local business branding and image. The fewer windows the better for signage and a larger van can hold more gear and equipment too.

Now then, there are a lot of advantages in having a smaller van with better turning radius, as long as it can hold the weight. Of course, hopefully there will be a water supply to run your hot-water pressure washer and electricity to run your power tools. But realize you will need 220 volts to run an industrial grade air compressor. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this, and in case you have any concerns, questions, or comments please email me, let’s talk.

Will My Vehicle Warranty Still Be Valid If I Ship My Car Abroad?

If you are planning to ship your car overseas in areas that have facilities to provide automotive services, your car’s vehicle warranty issued by your car manufacturer and/or dealer in the United States may not be valid overseas. You should look into buying an extended auto warranty often called an international vehicle warranty before shipping your car overseas. Your automobile manufacturer or dealer can be contacted before you ship your car overseas to find a suitable extended vehicle warranty or an international car warranty.

Shipping your car abroad and hoping to use your U.S. auto manufacturer’s car warranty abroad would not be a wise course of action. Neither would be waiting until your car is abroad before finding an international warranty to buy overseas. You can locate an extended warranty seller online very easily and very economically. Of course, your car warranty should be valid in the United States or else you might want a more expensive vehicle warranty.

Vehicle warranties in the United States and abroad are time oriented. If your auto warranty has expired, you should buy an extended warranty to cover your costs in maintaining your auto before you buy an international vehicle warranty. There are some online sellers of international auto warranties that are very inexpensive. There might be a reason for the low cost of international vehicle warranties. Your best course to insure your overseas experience with your auto is to contact your car’s manufacturer either directly or through your auto dealer and get more detailed information.

Another point to remember is that your automobile warranty in the United States covers your car repairs, usually, only if a manufacturer approved mechanic or garage does the repairs. In many instances, if you use an unauthorized car repair garage, your warranty won’t be valid even here in the United States. Before spending more money on an international vehicle warranty, you might ask whether there are authorized mechanical service areas in the country where you will be shipping your car.

But, if your question is simply will your warranty be valid if you ship your car overseas, the answer is not if you repair your car overseas at an unauthorized dealer or repair shop. There are many expenses involved in shipping a car overseas. One of them is getting an international vehicle warranty. The reason why so many people choose to ship their car overseas is because the cost of buying a car overseas is astounding when compared to the cost of buying a car in the United States. Even with shipping costs and additional auto warranties, it is cheaper to buy a car in the United States than overseas.

Vehicle warranties when used appropriately can make what appears to be a costly repair situation an almost pleasant experience. There are parts of any auto that would cost thousands out of your pocket if they should need repairs. Auto warranties take that burden off of your shoulders or shall we say, your pocket book.

A Checklist For Your Auto Maintenance

Auto maintenance is the most important duty that a vehicle owner has. Any proud car owner can tell you that. If you want your car to live a long life and perform well, then you want to ensuring regular maintenance checks are key. Other than ensuring a lasting life for your vehicle there are also many other reasons to do timely car maintenance. Keep reading to understand why auto maintenance is important. You can also find below a list of the things that go on your checklist to make better keep tabs on this process.

The first and most important reason is safety. Any fault in the car such as worn out tires, faulty brakes or engine issues may not be obvious to the owner until it is too late. Regular maintenance helps get this out of the way and ensures your safety. A well-maintained vehicle also gives better performance and reliability. With regular check-ins at the auto shop, your visit for repairs will reduce. This makes things easier and more cost-effective. Especially because of preventive maintenance costs lesser than actual repairs.

As the old saying goes, “An once of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, take care of your vehicle and it will cost you much less to own in the long run. Also, it is much easier to plan and budget for maintenance than it is for when a breakdown happens at the worst time and causing you to be greatly inconvenienced. Not to mention the expense that was not planned and usually at a much higher expense.

Regular maintenance also keeps the car looking fresh and stainless. Dents, scratches, faded paint are also things that can be taken care of during a regular maintenance routine. A well-maintained car is eventually much easier to sell. If you would like the option of being able to sell your car at a good price to be open, then auto maintenance will do that for you.

And finally, all of us are aware that vehicles can emit harmful gasses. A car that has its engines, automotive fluids, and emissions checked regularly causes lesser harm to the environment. Of course, there is always the option of purchasing hybrid automobiles that are environmentally friendly. Few automobile companies such as Tesla, Ford, and Toyota offer this.

Below is a basic checklist for your auto or car maintenance. The table below may not be an exhaustive list. The list can be printed out and used to check with at the auto maintenance workshop before picking up your vehicle. Remember, a well-maintained vehicle means a happier and safer driver behind its wheels.

Items on your checklist

Mark as done/not done

Engine lights

Lights

Tire pressure and condition

Windshield washer fluid

Air filter

Transmission fluid

Battery and cables

Belts

Exhaust

Fuel filter

Hoses

Oil filter

Power steering fluid

Chassis lubrication

Wiper blades

Polish

Antifreeze

Spark plugs

Steering and Suspension

Paintless Dent Repair – The Truth, Myths and Misconceptions

PDR, a better repair!

First let me start by explaining what PDR or Paintless Dent Removal is for those of you out there that have never heard the term. PDR is conceptually simple, put simple it is the process of removing damage from an automotive body panel without the need for sanding, grinding, body-fillers or painting (hence the term Paintless).

The process of removing damage to vehicles without then need for painting is actually not new at all, though industry folk lore varies from tale to tale, Mercedes Benz allegedly began having “metal-men” work small imperfections in panels while still on the assembly line as long ago as the 1950’s. Today’s PDR technicians have adapted various techniques for removing dings and dents from vehicles without the need for fillers and re-painting almost as an art form. Better tools, training and advances in automotive clear coat durability have led to miraculous results for even large dents.

Why can’t I just use a dent popper like the ones you see on TV?

Unfortunately the dent poppers, suction cups and (this one makes me chuckle) dry ice simply don’t work. First let’s explore the “screw out dent poppers”. You’ve probably seen the late night Ding King infomercials showing you how easy it is to just glue on the tab, place the lifter on the tab and turn. POP! the dent’s gone! right? Wrong! the commercial never shows the large high spot, low spot still left or heaven forbid the high spot surrounding a low, or as i like to call them a “volcano”. The main reason this is a gimmick, missing tools and knowledge. Professional PDR technicians actually do use a method of removing some select dents from the front of a panel with tabs, special adhesives and a lifting apparatus.

The main difference? a technicians main assets are their eyes, reflective source, and hand-eye-coordination. a professional technician assesses the dent with a reflective source, be it a light, line board or reflective pole, and targets the “dead-center” of the dent. Once located the technician places a tab directly at this zero point and then uses a lifting device to bring the depressed metal as close to level as possible in one pull. Once the pull has been made the technician removes the tab and assesses the area to determine the next course of action. Usually, the area will require some work with a tap down device to level any areas that were pulled higher than level. This process may go on for several pulls and taps until the area is as close to level as possible. The do-it-yourself-er doesn’t get a reflective source, tap down or training in how to use each of these items and more often than not makes the once small door ding a variable mess when finally deciding to throw in the towel. The suction cup is simply ineffective.

Damage very large and gradual may actually move with a strong enough suction and it may actually look somewhat better than the original dent, but it effectively “locks” the metal into place and the distortions or buckles around the area that have not been properly removed before addressing the main low areas of the dent are now cementing everything into place. The remaining topic (and my favorite) dry ice and a hair dryer seems to get rave reviews on you-tube and the like. Unfortunately this once again doesn’t address the buckles and only sometimes removes a portion of the dent.

The main down side to this method is the process it uses. Dry ice or the “computer duster” propellant will rapidly cool the substrate and paint. The hair dryer is then used to rapidly bring the panel temp. above 150 degrees F. The rapid contraction and subsequent expansion of the substrate is what actually makes the dent pop but what’s happening on a much smaller level is paint damage. The paint is almost always micro-fractured which leads to paint cracking, peeling and corrosion. Much of this damage will not be seen for several months down the road when the elements have had time to breach the fractures and make them worse.

One PDR company is as good as another, Right?

All dent companies are not created equal and actually let me expand on that by saying all pdr technicians are not created equally. One of the main reasons for the boom in pdr company growth is the “claim to fame” or “gold rush” mentality. We’ve all seen the commercials for get rich quick schemes. Some very talented technicians have and still do make a very good living repairing dents. Most earn moderate incomes that do not carry bragging rights though. Every Tom, Dick and Harry tired of their 9-5 job learns about the alleged 6 figure income made by pdr technicians and heads out for two weeks of training at a mis-information factory such as Ding King or Right Look and thinks they will set the world on fire directly thereafter. In reality they spend two (or even one) weeks learning little about real world dents and almost always pick up bad habits that will doom them from ever being able to repair a dent properly.

The “Mills”,as they are affectionately referred to in the industry, also sell the aspiring technician a “package” deal complete with every tool needed to repair any dent out there. Unfortunately what they are actually getting is the cheapest set of Chinese made coat hangers good money can buy. The aspiring technician returns home after training and (after being told they are ready) begins selling their service. The problem being they often cannot see the dent properly to repair it and do not have the acquired skill set to fix the smallest of dings. The end result is a moderate improvement with high spots throughout the dent and even cracked paint. The technician either continues on frustrated, trying to do better (or not if they don’t care enough about the quality) or will lower prices justifying to themselves that a lower quality repair is still worth something.

And more still will throw in the towel all together after making such a bad name for themselves that they can no longer find work. This surge of low end “technicians” has led to a misconception that PDR is an inferior repair process as compared to a body shop. In fact, this conception is true when it pertains to someone performing such gross butchery. The general rule of thumb for a PROFESSIONAL Paintless Dent Repair is that it should cost between 1/2 to 1/3 that of a conventional body shop repair. Professional technicians have spend many hundreds, if not thousands, of hours perfecting their craft and don’t sell themselves short. If you find yourself shopping for the best deal (lets face it, in this economy who doesn’t) be leery of a rock bottom price. More often than not you WILL get what you pay for and will end up wishing you had paid a little more when rust starts to appear where the dent was, due to the hack cracking your vehicles paint!

To learn more about PDR and find the answers to common PDR questions visit our site http://dentsvanish.com

Classic Car Parts

When one is thinking of buying a classic car, the first question that comes to one’s mind is whether he or she could afford to get it repaired. This is because classic car parts are not easy to find, and one might have to pay a hefty price for even a small part, for a classic car.

Most of the classic car parts which one get from the market fall in the used category. One needs a great deal of effort to locate them, then make sure they will work with one’s car, and finally to negotiate a decent price. Not all mechanics are familiar with classic car parts. There are specialized repair shops for such cars, and one should consult with them before purchasing any classic car part. Some of these parts could cost you a few thousand dollars. Remember, when you are getting your classic car repaired, all of its parts should be carefully stored. There are certain classic car parts, such as steering wheels or brakes, which were made to suit the needs of a different time period. These parts may still be functional, but might not be suitable for today’s world.

And do not forget that classic cars did not come with safety devices, so there is always a chance that someone may steal a valuable car part off of your vintage car. You must take care of that before ordering a new part for your classic car. You can secure the parts of your classic car by speaking with an expert of your make and model.

Basic Oil Change Tips

From the first car I owned, until just recently, I have always changed the engine oil. My father taught me how. He was a truck mechanic in the U.S. Army and then, as a civilian, he worked in plant maintenance. I would say that my father passed on the ‘mechanic gene’ to my older brother and me.

When it comes to changing the oil in one’s car, the first thing needed is to consult the owner’s manual to find the type of filter and how many quarts of oil are needed. Other items are a good drain pan, and funnel. These can be purchased at the auto parts store. It’s a good idea to have a basic set of tools. An extra tool that makes oil changes easier, in my opinion, is an oil filter wrench (specialty tool). I use a socket and ratchet set when I change oil. I’ve also known people who would use an adjustable wrench. I don’t consider this a good idea because you can slip off of the drain plug and damage the flats.

At the auto parts store, you can look up the type of filter required for your car. I would recommend buying the oil in a five quart container so you can pour your used oil into it after the new oil is poured into your car’s engine.

Once you’ve got your supplies and tools, it’s time to get under the car. You might not fit and you’ll have to jack the car up. One other good investment would be ramps. I always save a big piece of cardboard to lay on when I’m under a car. I have a creeper too, but it sets to high for some cars I’ve worked on. Start your car and let the engine idle for about 5 minutes. That way the oil is warm and will drain much easier.

Crawl under your car and make sure the drain plug, you’ll be removing, is on the engine pan. Some new cars have a transmission drain plug. Have your tools with you when you get under the car, and select the proper socket to use. It may be metric or standard. Make sure to have your drain pan close by when you remove the plug. When the oil from the plug hole is down to a few drips, re-install the plug. Locate the engine oil filter. If you’re not sure what it looks like, take the new one out of the box. Some filters are easy to get to, to change, others are not. Use an oil filter wrench, if you have one, and turn the filter counter-clockwise to remove it. Make sure the drain pan is under the filter, if possible, to catch the oil spilling out. Next wipe some oil on the seal of the oil filter and install it, turning it clockwise until it’s tight, then turn it 3/4 of a turn more, this insures it won’t leak.

The next step is to put oil in the engine. Most engines take 5 quarts with a filter change, but consult your owner’s manual. Also, double-check you are pouring the oil into the engine and not some other service port. I know it sounds crazy but it does happen.

Once you have serviced the engine with oil start it up and check for oil leaks by getting under the car, the drain plug and filter should not be leaking. No leaks and oil pressure in the green? Congratulations on a job well done.

Fiberglass Filler – What is it and Why Use it on Auto Body Repairs?

What Is Fiberglass?

Raw fiberglass come in a soft fabric like material. When saturated with liquid resin and harder, it becomes hard and very strong. There are not too many fiberglass auto parts on modern day cars, as they have all started using other composites like SMC and Carbon Fiber. However, fiberglass was on early model corvettes, truck hoods, and many other parts. There are still aftermarket parts that are manufactured from fiberglass and it still used for boats and jet skis.

The Difference Between Fiberglass and Fiberglass Filler

Fiberglass filler comes in a can and is mixed with a cream hardener. It mixes a lot like regular body filler, but it is thicker and a little harder to mix. The filler actually has fiberglass mixed in it. It comes short hair and long hair. This is the length of the fiberglass that is mixed in the filler. Both provide excellent waterproof properties as they do not absorb water. Both fiberglass fillers are stronger than regular body filler. The long hair filler provides the most strength out of the two. However, these fillers are very difficult to sand. The filler is also thick, which makes it hard to level and smooth like regular body filler.

Why Use Fiberglass Filler If It’s So Difficult To Sand

The reason we use fiberglass filler in auto body repair is not really the added strength, but for the waterproof properties. It is recommended to apply a thin layer of fiberglass filler over any welding that is performed. Body filler absorbs moister, which will leads to corrosion and rust. By using the fiberglass, we eliminate the moister absorption problem. Since our main purpose is to seal the welded area, the short hair fiberglass is sufficient for the application.

What Can Fiberglass Filler Be Used On

This filler can be used over bare metal or fiberglass.

Finishing The Repair

As I mentioned, fiberglass does not sand well. That is why I recommend only applying a small amount to the welded areas and rough sanding it. After this is done, you can apply body filler on the top of the fiberglass filler and finish the repair as you normally would using body filler.

Warning

You should always wear proper protective equipment when sanding any filler. However, extreme caution should be taken when sanding fiberglass products. It not only itches and irritate your skin, but it is extremely unhealthy to breathed the fiberglass. Be certain to wear an approved dust respiration, gloves, eye protection, and you may even want to wear a disposable paint suit. If some of the fiberglass does get on your skin, take a cold shower. This will help keep your pores small and allow the fiberglass to wash off.

Auto Body Dent Repair – Developing A Repair Plan

Developing A Repair Plan

In this article we are going to review how to remove a dent from an automotive part. We’ve determined that the panel is mild steel and repairing the damage would be a better choice than to replace the panel. Now we need to develop a repair plan and decide which repair method to use on the damage.

First In Last Out

The first thing that you want to determine is the direction of damage. This is important so you can reverse the damage during repairs. In collision repair we have a general rule “the first in last out rule.” This means that the direct damage or point on impact is the area first hit in an accident, which makes it the first in. Therefore, this should be that last area to repair. Direct damage is the most obvious damage as it is easy to visually see. If you try to pull the direct damage first, you will stretch the metal, pull highs in the metal, and still have lows. You are basically going to chase your damage around while work hardening the metal until the metal become to work hardened, brittle and cracks.

Direct and Indirect Damage

Indirect damage is the damage that is caused by the direct damage. For example, as the point of impact is pushed in, it causes the surrounding metal to slightly move as well. If pushed far enough, the indirect damage can cause misaligned body gaps, cracked seam sealer, and/or popped spot welds. The indirect damage is less noticeable as it may not be visually noticeably without close observation. The indirect damage is the damage the happened last during the accident, therefore, this damage should be repair first. Always remember the “first in last out “rule when developing a repair plan. This will save you hours of time and frustration when it is all done.

Choosing a Repair Method

Once the damage is analyzed and you have determined the direction of damage, and the direct and indirect damage. Now it is time to decide which repair method is the best choice for the repair. If you can get to both sides of the panel a hammer and dolly method may be the easiest repair method. If you can not gain access to both sides of the panel a stud-nail gun may be a better choice. Other considerations, such as corrosion protection and noise preventions should be considered as well. This will be covered at a later time.

Don’t Force The Metal, But Rather Roll The Metal Back To Its Shape

Regardless of the repair method, the same principle apply. Start with the indirect damage and pull out on the lows and push in on the highs. You should roll the metal back into shape, rather than try to force it back into shape. Forcing the metal back into its shape may result in highs and stretched metal. condition. Pulling on the lows while rolling the highs out of the metal is the key to metal straightening, regardless of repair method used.

How I Replaced the Rusted Floor Pans in My 1962 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova

I bought my 1962 Chevy II Nova in 1988 from a friend I was serving with in the National Guard. The car was rather sound. There were really no problems and I was able to drive it home, in fact, I did no work to the car for a number of years. I would drive it to work a couple of times a week and again take it out weekends. I was really happy with the car. Three years ago, I decided to repaint it. I know I could have taken it to a body shop, but I wanted to do it myself. I wanted this to be a project my son and I could work on together. I began stripping the car down and this is the beginning of my story.

I figure I will be learning a lot during the process of restoring my Nova back to its original beauty, so I thought I would document the processes I will go through and post them online with plenty of pictures with the intent of maybe helping someone else with their project. So lets’ get started!

I have removed everything that I can remove from the body of the car. I did mount an ignition switch on the firewall so I could start the car and move it around but when the actual painting process begins I will be removing the motor and transmission. I started with the floor pans. There was a descent amount of rust in the front and just a little in the rear. The transmission hump and driveshaft tunnel were fine.

I wanted to buy the entire floor pan and replace it all but it was more expensive than I wanted and I wasn’t sure if I could handle a job quite that big. I wasn’t sure if I had the capability to cut out the entire floor and replace it without possibly twisting or contorting the car (it is a convertible). I decided to buy the left and right floor pan. This covered from the front all the way to the back. After receiving the floor pans, I spent a lot of time thinking and rethinking and strategizing about the best way to go about cutting out the old and welding in the new. Since the entire floor pan was not rusted out, I decided to cut out just the rusted part and cut out what I needed from the new replacement floor pans and weld that into place. I am very happy with this decision. By cutting out just the rusted pieces and replacing with new metal, I was able to avoid any twisting or contorting of the car and probably saved me a lot of time.

I was able to cut out the rusted areas in a couple of hours. I used pneumatic shears that worked very well. Before buying the shears, I tried several other methods such as a pneumatic saw, tin snips and aviation cutters. Trust me when I say that a cheap pair of pneumatic shears will be a lifesaver. I did use the aviation cutters for fine cutting and making small adjustment cuts.

Next I separated the front and back of my new floor pans by cutting them in half. I cut out the front part of the floor pan about 2 inches bigger than what I needed. I then placed this into the front for a test fit. When I had the replacement pan in place, I made it conform to the existing floor pan with a rubber mallet. I then used a can of white spray paint and sprayed around the perimeter of the new pan. By painting around the perimeter, I was able to see where the new pan fit after removing it from the car. I repeated this procedure for the other front side and then both rear areas. This took me about a day to complete.

The next part required welding, please be sure to observe all safety practices when welding to avoid any life altering injuries!

I was now ready to weld the replacement sheet metal into place. This is where my brother was a BIG help! He has a MIG welder. We inserted the new pans and while I held them in place, my brother spot welded each one. After each pan was tacked into place, we stepped back and studied their positions and made sure everything was exactly the way I wanted. My brother then completed the welding process until all four replacement pieces was securely welded into place. I don’t know a lot about welding, but I believe my brother had to spend additional time and take extra precautions since the sheet metal is rather thin. After the replacement floor pan pieces were securely in place, I proceeded to cover the seams with Bondo filler and then I painted the entire floor pan with a rust preventive primer. My brother and I were able to complete the welding on Saturday morning and I took the rest of the afternoon to finish the Bondo. I put several coats of paint on the floor pan over the next several days.

From the pictures on my website, you can tell that it might not be a perfectly smooth floor pan with no flaws, but I can assure you that it is a solid installation that will last many years, even longer if garaged, and will look even better once it is covered with a sound dampening material and new carpet. This worked well for my 1962 Chevy II Nova and I am sure it will work for you and your special project.