Greetings Everyone, I just bought a 1986 J20 and it appears the floor pan on the driver's side needs replacement in order for it to pass inspections. I'm looking for some tips on replacing it. I read some site stating that 16 to 18 gauge sheet metal will work prefect for it, but i just wanted to ask anyone if they have replaced the floor pan for the same model. Also the rust seems to be right on the door frame, was wondering if a lip on the metal would be recommended for welding in the new floor plan or not. I can provide pictures if needed in the future.
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You don't way what type of vehicle you are driving. I will assume it has a sun or moon roof. Most of these have drain lines that run down inside the driver's side door pillar and exit through the floor pan onto the ground. Over time, these drain hoses dry out and shrink, often retracting into the drivers side kick panel. Then, all the rain water that drains from the sunroof will leak out onto the drivers side floor. If that is the case, you will need to remove the drivers side kick panel and repair or replace the drain line and reroute it through the exit hole in the floor pan.
This can be from one of couple sources. One would be a broken or missing rubber seal in the firewall. Water can and will enter the passenger compartment if the seal is not good or missing. The firewall is the metal between the engine compartment and passenger compartment. There are many penetrations in the firewall for throttle linkage, steering column, electrical harness, etc. All of these penetrations have seals to prevent water from entering. Check to make sure all penetrations have seals. Inspect from under hood and from under the car, too.
Another source is damage to the floor pan. If you went over a rock or jagged object without having enough clearance, it may have punctured or even sliced through the floor - under the carpeting and sound deadening material under it. If you live in a cold area, and the roads are treated with salt or chemicals to melt ice, it may have caused rusting holes to appear in the floor pan. Water spraying up from tires would enter through the puncture or slice and the carpet would wick the water in. It would take a long time to dry and give a musty smell after just a short time. You should inspect the floor pan from underneath the car. Look for punctures, slices and rust / rot. Clean and seal any openings found in the floor pan and firewall.
Fixed windows and glass in the car body are also sources for leaks. The is especially true if glass has recently been replaced. Many times, the back window leaks into the trunk or metal under the rear seat - and flows to the carpeted floor. Look in the trunk at the bottom of the rear window. Side windows can leak, too - so don't forget to look behind trim interior panels on the sides of the back seat. Your leak could be coming from the windshield, too - this will be harder to locate through the dashboard - but you may find water dripping from wires, etc. Look for evidence of water / rust. Clean and reseal body / glass joints when found.
YOU NEED TO SUPPORT ENGINE TO REMOVE TRANSAXLE BRACE.YOU CAN USE FLOOR JACK WITH A PIECE OF WOOD ON JACK SADDLE.YOU NEED TO REMOVE WHEEL OR TIRE SPLASH SHIELD TO REMOVE THE TRANSAXLE BRACE PLACE FLOOR JACK WITH A PIECE OF WOOD IN JACK SADDLE PLACE JACK UNDER THE ENGINE OIL PAN.SLIGHTLY RAISE JACK A LITTLE JUST ENOUGH TAKE PRESSURE OFF THE TRANSAXLE TO REMOVE TRANSAXLE BRACE.DONT RAISE FLOOR JACK UP TOO MUCH UNDER THE ENGINE OIL PAN BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE OIL PAN AND OIL PUMP.