My Ugly Truck: continued...
If you saw the previous pages pictures, you saw what this cab corner looked like from inside. I have removed the inner floor corner and fabricated a new one from 18ga sheet metal. I also removed the inner cab corner drop- this will be fabricated and installed after sandblasting and priming- I want to make sure all the rust is gone from the cab corners before I seal up this area. The second and third pics show the new cab corner floor section I fabricated and welded in. I added the 1/2" flange along the front edge for added strength in this area. I don't care for the original Studebaker rear cab mounts- they are too close to the back center of the cab. I have added a frame bracket and will put a rubber body mount under this corner- it will help tremendously in door fit and body alignment.
I fabricated the "step-up" that goes over the frame rail. I guess I could have just left the floor flat, but I like the added strength provided by this piece. I have made the main floor rail and am fitting it at this point. It is resting on the lip of the floor riser section- and the angle iron I used to brace the hinge and lock pillars with. I have folded a flap at the front for the toe board to be attached to. I also bent tabs so they could be welded to the hinge and lock pillars to tie them into the floor even more. I will need to fabricate and install a tapered piece to "float" the transition from the "step-up" into the toe board- just as was done originally by Studebaker.
Here's a couple pics of the underside: The first is of the front cab mount at the hinge pillar. I have tied the new floor into the cab plate. The rest of the floor is welded to the angle iron rail, the "step-up", and the seat riser flanges. After grinding the welds down, sandblasting and epoxy priming , all the seams will be sealed with 3M's "Superfast Urethane" sealer. The entire floor will then be undercoated with 3M's "Body Schutz" undercoating. We shouldn't have any problem with rust in the near future.
Jeff DeWitt came over this afternoon to pick up his '61 Lark. I had him meet me at the shop, and after going over a few things he was on his way. I had a couple hours to spare, so I decided to finish up the passenger side floors I'd been working on. As seen in the first picture here, I fabricated the "toe board" and welded it in. Next step was to cut and install the inner section that goes from the "step-up" (over the frame rail), over to the transmission tunnel. These 2 tasks went along quite easily- flat sheet metal is a cinch!. The last piece of the puzzle was the tapered "transition" piece that needed to be fabricated for the end of the step-up forward to the toe board. It wasn't too difficult, but 18ga sheet metal is hard to cut by hand, and even harder to shape with just a pair of pliers ... The angles I needed couldn't be done with my vice- so I just "fudged" it in there. Still, the fit is good, and the transition is quite smooth. I added a rubber insulator on top the frame rail to reduce any "oil canning" of the floor...and to reduce any vibrations that might get transferred to the floor if it happened to contact the frame rail (the gap was only 1/4"). All that's left is to grind the welds, and weld a few more spots from underneath- it will be much easier after I get the engine/transmission out.
Having completed the floor, and still with a little extra time, I decide to install the outer rocker panel. With the door closed tight, and everything aligned, I welded in the rocker panel leaving only a 1/4" gap under the door. This is considered a "tight" fit- most body gaps need to be about 3/8" inch. I like the rocker gap a bit tighter so that the sill rubber will contact the door a bit higher. The seal should be better, and the drains for the door will not be blocked in any way. I will leave the inner rocker off until the truck is sandblasted. This will allow me to get a good coating of epoxy primer and seam sealers in there-Then I will install the inner rocker to finish the job. I'll also leave the outer cab corner until after she's blasted.
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