This page details the replacement of the front floor pans in my 1963 Studebaker Cruiser with fabrications from Classic Enterprises in Barron, WI. I actually ordered half-pans, since the floor in the rear of the car looked like it had never been touched. It took about a week to get them and they only cost about $90.00 apiece. You can call them at (715) 537-5422 for more info. Click here to see someone else that repairing a '53 Starliner floor
I started but cutting out the bad section using an air chisel. I could
tell where the rusted metal ended and the good metal started since the
air chisel tends to bend rusted metail very easily. CE recommends a 1"
overlap, so that's what I did (except on the edges). I had to slide the
pans in from the back and push & pull them towards the front (it didn't
fit the best, maybe it was my cutting job). Thinking back, using the air
chisel was like using an ax for minor surgery: You can use it, but it tends
to make a mess. By the way, those holes are there because I tried to test
the strength of the floor by standing on it. I went right through!
After cutting out the bad section, and getting the pans in place, I went to work tack welding them in. A couple of really good sets of vice-grips helps out a lot here! Common welding technique says to weld small spots opposite each other so warpage does not occur. The problem I ran into is that the grooves in the floor don't match up correctly to the ones in the new pans (I had to do some creative welding & grinding work). Oh, well there will carpet over this stuff and only I (and the rest of the 'web community) will know it's there. I will admit, that were I a professional body man, I may have done a better job, but I am an ammateur and am in to saving money where I can.
Here is the final weld. When I get a picture of the ground-down welds, seam-sealed, & primed floor, I will post the picture(s). But, because the fit wasn't quite what it was supposted to be, you will notice a slice in the footwell area. I cut that area to facilitate a better fit contour-wise. The pans seem to have less of an angle than stock ones. After this experience, the next time I'm going to find a better floor, or fiberglass the whole stinking mess! I do want to make one comment, though. This was not due to Classic Enterprises product. If they were doing what they were doing, there would be a log of Studes that wouldn't be on the road.
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