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Floorpan Restoration


Fuel system modifications
With the body done it was time to turn my attention to the floorpan. However, before I began to restore and fit the pan up, there was a few modification that needed doing due to the up rated gearbox and engine.

I don’t like seeing the fuel pumps/ filter etc in the wheel well, and I want to actual run a spare wheel as it gonna be a usable street car, therefore i decided to fit the fuel system in the front bulkhead. It was really hard to get it all to fit into the bulkhead without getting in the way of the tie rods (note the 180 degree fitting I had to use). The fuel pump mountis also scratch built, which means the body can easily be taken of the chassis leaving the fuel system in place.

I was going to run the fuel line coming out of the pump into the original location where the stock fuel hose goes into the tunnel (top of the frame head). However, as I’m going to be running a steering damper I realised this wouldn’t work, as it would hit the fuel line.

Therefore I decided to have the fuel line entering the tunnel through the front inspection plate. Here is the inspection plate modified to accept a bulkhead fitting.

I finally worked out where the fuel line is going to run through the tunnel, and where it going to exit at the back! This was actually a lot more complicated to do than I thought!

Firstly I made up the bulk head panel I was going to use. This had to be removable as there was not enough room inside to connect the fuel line fittings.

However, inside the tunnel where this came out was a thick second skin. Therefore I had to make a hole for the fuel line to go through.

I was a bit worried about the loss of any strength in this panel, so I decide to brace it using some thick tube cut to fit. It also allowed easy routing for the pipe with no sharp bends.


Master cylinder & line lock
Next up was mounting the line lock. I usually would put this on the opposite side of the frame head to the master cylinder. However, the fuel pump etc is already there so I had to find another place for it.

This is the location I came up with. Fits snugly to the master cylinder, but I did check, you can I actually remove it!

Although I had fitted a ‘performance’ master cylinder (as in the above pictures), the pedal still had a soft feel to it, which I attributed to the larger brake callipers both front and back. Sadly I also had some problems sealing the pipes from the duel reservoirs I had made.

Thus I change the master cylinder to a Porsche 944 item, due to its bigger piston, and the integral reservoir. It worked well, with the pressure at the padal being increased, and the leak also being stopped. It also had an added bonus of a low brake fluid sender, which I wired to a dash light.

The next photo shows how the framehead was notched to give adequate cearance for the brake line, as the outlet was initially really tight to the framehead.


Gearbox cradle modification
As part of the upgraded support for the engine and gearbox, I decided to replace the standard cradle with a bugpack up-rated one. It was clear that the new cradle actually brought the gearbox up, as it was far from level. (N.B I have checked the thickness of the urethane mounts and they are the same as stock mounts!)

It was also apparent that the bolt hole were nowhere near lining up with the urethane mounts bolt holes.

To correct the height issue, I elongated the frame fork mounting holes till the gearbox sat at the correct height, and the bell housing was level. The bottom part of the elongated hole was then welded up to make the whole a circle again.

To get the urethane mount bolt holes to line up I additionally welded a spacer to the hanger, as well as doing some filing to the holes!

The cradle now sat level with the standard box in it.


Late gearbox install
I had always planned to upgrade the standard gearbox was to a later performance version both for strengh due to the increased HP and for better gear ratios. However, performance gearboxes are generally built round later gearbox cases, which have the nose cone mount in diffrent location to early boxes.

However, getting a later nose cone box to fit correctly with the floorpan was a bit of a nightmare. In the process of doing it I ended up cutting off the standard chassis nosecone mount, and then having to remake it, and weld it back on in the correct standard place.

Can I just say, fitting a late box, by cutting off the early mount and fitting a later one DOES NOT work. Yes the box will fit, and the shift rod will line up with the tunnel hole, but the actually gearbox is angle upwards (by 3 degrees!), which will cause much problems when it comes to fitting the engine.

Thus I had to cut the new bracket off that I had just installed, and remount it back at the standard height and location. The CORRECT solution to fitting a later box into an early car is to swap the stock gearbox nose cone for a later splitty nose cone and hockey stick. This process is shown below.

This picture below shows the relative height where the shift rod are on the box, and it is this that corrects the bell housing angle problems up.

And the gearbox finally fitted.

Although this all looks pretty straight forward it actually took me the best part of 2 months to do! Not only because I have a day job!, but also because obtaining a later nose cone mount (which had to come from the States!) and then welding it on, and then put it back to standard height just took ages!

I hope my experiences stop somebody making the same mistakes I did.


Gearbox mid mount
As it was having a uprated engine and gearbox, i wanted to make sure that both were firlmy secured, and thus i fitted a BERG gearbox mid mount. Here’s the bar mounted on the gearbox.

All that was neede now to fit it was the frame fork brackets welding on. My good mate Phil welded these on to the pan for me. Whilst I’m usually more than happy with my welding I wanted this to be super strong and super neat! Phil didn’t let me down!


Floorpan repair
With all the modification work done, before i painted the pan, the first thing I did was to scrape all the tar of the tunnel and clean off the surface rust. Luckily the pan was in really good shape for a 52 year old floorpan! Athough it was pitted in places it was mostly solid, with only a few small patches of rust. Therfore I decided to just let in new steel where needed.

The first repair was to weld up some small holes in the battery tray and the carpet button thing.

The floor by the pedal area need a bit more repair, but nothing too bad.

There was also a small rust hole on the rear lip of the pan, but this also got replaced with fresh steel.

Finally the pan was ready for a coat of paint! Well after I’d removed all the surface rust!

Yes I know there still rust on it! This is only a temporary coat of paint, as it’s eventually gonna be shot blasted and powder coated! I just clean the most off the rust off for now, and give it a coat of red lead primer so I can build it all up and make sure everything fits together!

So here’s the panel after roughly 6 hours of sanding and cup brushing!

And finally painted in read lead primer!

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