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  #1  
Old December 17th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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Another bulkhead rust post

Hey everyone,
After ignoring the rust for a couple years and tending to mechanical issues instead, I need to shift my attention/time/money. The footwells/bulkhead area is really getting bad, to the point where it will need to be swapped out (I can see a sliver of the right tire from the drivers seat). Looks like this is a pretty big job, so I'm considering some shorter term band-aids. Any ideas for this? One body shop suggested simply laying down some sheet metal over that expanding foam junk. I'm not sure if this would do anything for the outer skin of the bulkead which is flaking out as well, as you can see from the pics.

Thankfully the frame and rear cross member look ok, but the gas tank skid plate needs to go too.

I don't have the space or skills to tackle a complete swap out of the bulkhead. Has anyone had the pros do this? What did the cost look like? Any other suggested repairs while the front of the truck is taken apart?

I appreciate any feedback.
Chris
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  #2  
Old December 17th, 2006, 07:52 PM
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Jim C.
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Call George Laird for a new one...
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  #3  
Old December 17th, 2006, 07:54 PM
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Do like Buck and put some plexi glass over it and call it a day.
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  #4  
Old December 17th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Chris,


I believe that Rovers North offers galvinized footwell sections and other panels for bulkhead repair. If you plan on repairing by adding panels, you should cut away the rusted sections, paint, then apply some rust reventative, i.e. waxoil. If the rusted areas are left in place, the rust will spread.

Good luck...
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  #5  
Old December 17th, 2006, 09:12 PM
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repair

This is not a big deal and you do have the skills You only have a small hole and nothing more. The simple solution for now is to cut out the rusty area with a air saw , air nibbler etc. The get some sheet metal, brush on seam sealer http://www.eastwoodco.com/index.jsp and closed end aluminum pop rivets and patch it up. A coat of paint and your done. It should take two hours max! even with a beer in hand. I would also recommend spraying the bulkhead posts, door frames, etc with waxoil AKA GM undercoating. This will help out long term. You do not want to get into the cost of replacing a bulkhead. The best option would be to weld in a patch but the pop rivet solution will work fine.

Cheers
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  #6  
Old December 18th, 2006, 12:01 AM
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Thanks for all of your input. You guys have got me in a more upbeat mood for the time being. I'll check out the RN parts. The plexiglass mod is pretty sweet--I remember seeing those pics awhile back.

Perhaps I'm subconsciously looking to make an excuse for pulling apart the entire truck, putting in galvanized everything, paint job, a new 4.6, etc etc.
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  #7  
Old December 18th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Stick you head in the wheel well and see how bad the other side of the bulkhead is. If possible patch that side with the rivit thing and seam sealer (on an old scout I used an old cookie sheet and adhesive caulk) as otherwise the rust will still eat from the outside in.

The RN footwell panels require extensive disassembly to weld in properly. Better to patch what you have. Cut off all the rust but no more, so when you do replace the footwells it will be easier to remove the excess then. Also, put some rust stop or similar on the "feet" where the bulkhead attaches to the frame.

Ron
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  #8  
Old December 18th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Chris,

My foot wells are not as bad as yours.......but I think they will get there. I need to start focusing some attention on this - but like you - I am trying to get a handle on some mechanical repairs.......

I just had my gas tank skid plate replaced. My rover shop said it was really shot - and holds some of the wieght of the gas tank. I went with the new Rovers North heavy galv. unit. I know everyone will scream at me for not going stainless - but the repair dollars keep adding up, and I figure the galv. will last a very long time. I had to save money somewhere.

Anyway - it ended up being a bigger job then planned. All the bolts were rusted and had to be drilled out..........and many of the connections for the new bolts were gone. They had to find points to weld new attachment points. Because welding was involved they had to remove the gas tank......

I hope yours in not that bad - but I wanted to forwarn you in case, so you will have heard of it. Also, make sure you go in with a near empty gas tank. When they remove the skid plate they have to support the gas tank........at 6 lbs +/- for a gallon of gas - having a full tank or a 1/4 tank makes a big difference.

Let us know what you decided to do with your floor........

Flagg
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  #9  
Old December 18th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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I had some smaller holes on my floor boards and even when I had the truck apart I chose not to cut and weld - my problem was just some perforation.

Nevertheless, I suggest going "all cheap" or "all the way."

First of all, you probably have the skill to replace the bulkhead. Its not even _that_ time-consuming - but you'll want to take your time and be careful. Its just nuts and bolts, though a lot of them - if you decide to tackle it any number of people here could weigh in with guidance.

But to avoid going all the way - I recommend getting some the POR 15 products and going to town. Start by grinding/sanding down all the rust and getting back to good metal. Use the " POR 15 Metal Ready" and spray it all over the exposed metal and up into the cavities on the floor where the 2 pieces are sandwiched together. Let that work for a while and then flush it out with water and "Marine Clean." Let all that dry completely and then use fiberglass cloth and POR 15 to make you repair. Get everywhere with the POR, up between the sandwiched metal and also from the underside (make sure you clean before you paint - dont forget some part and paint over dirt. You can even put some strips of aluminum in your fiberglass layer for added strength. Do 2 or 3 layers of fiberglass and POR 15 to make a sturdy and well sealed patch. When all is said and done, get some Waxoyl hardwax and spray the engine side of the footwells.

Ron is right, with this rust here, you should also take the time to pay special attention to where the bulkhead mounts to the chassis (just below the front of the doors - huge long bolt).
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  #10  
Old December 18th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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My plan is to basically employ a delaying tactic until it is necessary to replace and then I am going with a galvanized unit.

I am on the lookout for some used take offs that have rust on them. At some point in time I have to make it to ECR to root through Mike's shed, I am sure there are a few in there. :-)
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  #11  
Old December 18th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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Believe it or not, new bulkheads are under $500....
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  #12  
Old December 19th, 2006, 12:20 AM
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It sounds like cheap is the way to go for the time being. The outside of the footwell looks pretty nasty too so I'll be doing a decent amount of grinding (did I mention the drivers side is rusted through too??). This is gonna have to wait until after the holidays unfortunately. I'll let you all know how things turn out.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

Bert- thanks for sharing your story. I'm afraid I may run into the same problems. I'm (literally) playing with fire by ignoring that thing.
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  #13  
Old December 19th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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"new bulkheads are under $500...."

Not NAS ones though.

And where, pray tell, did you find these for under $500?
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