Driver’s side floorboard patch

I am still waiting on seam sealer before I weld in the passenger side floorboard so I decided to start on the driver’s side.  This is actually a lot worse than the passenger’s side.  There is still some solid steel between the holes but putting two patches in seems like more work than just doing one big patch.   As before I started with locating lines.  I also crawled under the car and relocated the clutch cable, fuel lines, and brake lines away from the patch area.

I made a paper template.   It is about 16″ x 19″.   Here it is in place with the reinforcing plate.  The plates are simpler too.  The front and rear are identical and the holes are evenly spaced.

Once I was happy with the template I traced it on the metal.  Time for some cutting.

After much careful measuring I drilled the holes.  Here the patch is bolted to the factory seat mounts.   They all lined up so I must not have screwed up too badly.   Thank you Jeep for making the floorboards flat!  That makes this so much easier.   Notice the notch at the upper left to jog around the transmission tunnel.

With the patch located I drew the locating lines on the patch.  That should ensure the new seat mounts are in exactly the same place as the factory mounts.

Time to cut.  I started with holes in the corners then went nuts with the cut-off wheel.  Notice I am cutting right through the existing mounting holes.   Two reasons for this.  First I did not want the patch to have to curve up onto the transmission tunnel.   Second the steel is not badly rusted up there so I can get away with it.

I feel like I should mount this on the wall in the garage.  Hard to believe I did not fall through the floor driving this thing.

If I keep cutting holes eventually I will have an invisible Jeep.   Already I don’t want to be crawling around in there for fear of bending or creasing the floor.

Here is the result of the test fit of the patch.   Looks like this will work.

Just like on the passenger side I want to paint the area between the plates and the patch.   Here everything is masked and ready for primer and paint.  When that dries I can weld this up.

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