Patch or Replace - Impala Tech
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  • 1 Post By rosney
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 6
Patch or Replace

We are making a little more progress on our restoration. Finally got the body out and blasted to see how far the rust problems go. There are mainly holes in the floor everywhere that a brace touches and at a lot of seams in the trunk. The rear quarters have rust around the bottom also. It seems that the outer rockers are in pretty good shape. Now we are stuck trying to figure out what we should do. We could either replace the floor front to back. I have found full floors (including braces), and a full trunk (including braces and wheel wells). This would be a lot of work and tedious making sure nothing moved. We could also try to patch the holes and replace the braces. Either way I am hoping we can find someone to help us out. There are a couple guys locally that come reccomeded so we are waiting on their advice, but I thought I'd get your opinions. I know its hard to see everything in pictures, but here you go.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 05:40 PM
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I think to do a good job, which to me looks like your doing, you will have to remove your center floor boards completely. you will find out that your inner rockers are rusted out where your floor braces are welded to. Hard to fix these with floor boards in place. It looks like you will have to replace all of your floor braces and rear body mounts. Just got done doing the floors on my 63 convertible, I install new braces and the two piece floor boards left and right. Everything fit nicely. The hard part is welding all the seat, console and seat belt brackets back in place. I did all my work ,quarters and floor boards sitting on the frame so that everything lined up and then put it on the rotator. Nice project, good luck.

Last edited by 6366; 03-18-2015 at 09:30 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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I am a glutton for punishment and about as sharp as a softball but I have been, and still am fixing a floor on a 59 Ford Skyliner that has a problem similar to your floor.
The floor patch and bracing is sold separately so my only choice was making things fit. Thinning metal seems to quadruple the time needed.

If you read my blog here, you can see pics where I patched a lot of stuff on the Impala - I was all about patching as I was learning to weld.

That said, my vote for you is the proper full floor pan. (whether 2 halfs or 1 whole)
Hard to tell from the pics, but the trunk almost looked fixable with patches and the 'close-out' piece.
Not that you need it, but I just very coincidentally ran across this floor patching video. Figured I'd share.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 11:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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If you can find patch panels for the trunk weld them in. Flat metal is easily cut out and replaced. Even minor curves can be replicated with a leather mallet and a bean bag full of lead shot.

Be sure what you are placing is there and hasn't dropped onto the road years ago (I'm talking about internal bracing that might lie hidden behind those flat panels). You will have to refer to GM drawings of parts and assemblies to show such hidden pieces,

Big Dave
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 06:11 PM
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Location: Stillwater, Minnesota
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I did a full 1 piece floor and trunk on a '67 GTO a couple years ago. The hard part is getting all the old junk out without disturbing what you want to keep. Once the floor is out, the new one falls in and it's a couple days of welding to have it done. The multiple panel replacement involves a LOT more fitting and welding and the risk of warpage from the heat.

The BIGGEST concern is to brace the body VERY well while doing this on a roto. Use a mile of 1" square tubing and don't be shy. I didn't use enough and my car spread open. I had to roll it upside down to get the rockers to line up again, but they did and I dodged a bullet.

I did them in 2 steps to avoid having the whole bottom open and you actually can't do the trunk on the rear roto, as it mounts to the last crossmember, which you will be replacing.

I just did a one piece trunk floor on my '66 Chevelle and there is a pic in my intro. I did that with the body on the frame.

'62 Impala SS 409 TH350
'66 Chevelle SS 496 M20
'70 Chevelle SS 396 M20
'67 Camaro ss/rs 350 PG
'38 Chev coupe street rod
'54 Chev 210 2 door
'69 Chev C10
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 6
Quite a while ago I asked the question above. Should we patch or replace the rusty panels on our 64 SS. Well, we went with replace. We had a metal guy recommended to us and he did a great job. In the end he replaced the whole floor, rockers, trunk, trunk deck, wheel wells, rear tail pan, and both quarters. It was a big job, but I am very happy with how it turned out. Having this done makes the rest of the job seem less daunting. Here are some updated pictures.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Central Illinois
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sorry about that first picture. it was supposed to be this one.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 10:56 PM
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Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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awesome - stuffs gettin' done!

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1964, floor pan, rust

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