Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

front body support, floor pan, etc CANCER SUPPORT GROUP

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Larry_in_Tx, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Posts:
    404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston Tx.
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    When I cut the rockers off on my truck, the inner rocker was so far gone I could barely tell what was supposed to be where. From what I could tell the inner rocker and the front and rear pillars where one piece and welded to the rocker box. The front and rear cab supports where attached the inner rocker by the bolts you described. I decided that I can't repair the cab supports without taking out the rocker boxes. I just can't see being able to cut and weld in the new pieces without boogering them up with it in the way. What I plan to do is leave the rocker boxes off since they are the cause for the rust, and make something with some healthy square tubing to go in place of the inner rocker and tie the cab supports together. You will need something there because the rocker boxes are there for structural strength when the hard top is removed.

    You say you don't run a hard top but do you still have one? It would help things from shifting around if you bolt it back on before cutting anything away.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  2. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Yeah, I'm in the same position. In some areas it is difficult to see how it is supposed to be assembled.

    What do you mean by "rear cab supports"? I don't think I have a rear cab support similar to the front cab support. I figured the rear of the cab was supported where the floor steps up to the bed level.

    How are the rocker boxes removed? I know that I need to grind off the welds on the inside lip of the box, running front to back. But how about the front, rear, and outside edge? I guess my outer rocker panel is welded to the outside edge of the rocker box. Since I don't have any inner rocker panels, I guess I'm just going to have to dive hog-wild into this 'floor pan' project.

    I like the concept of building up something more compact yet stronger than the rocker boxes. I have been thinking about this, and it seems like the most critical part of a design would be how it is tied into the front and rear door pillars. Making something to run front to back is no problem. I think the existing boxes bolt in the rear, and I am not sure about the front.
     
  3. jeffro

    jeffro 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Scurry, TX
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Someonr correct me if you differ, but, in my humble opinion, the rocker boxes could be omited if one was to tie the dash and windshield to a roll cage. This may free up enough room for auxiliary gas tanks or an air tank.

    Jeff
     
  4. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Posts:
    858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    I'd think that you could remove the boxes if you were adding in a complete cage too. Especially if you tie the cage into the frame under the cab. I know there are a few people on the board who have created rocker box alternatives.
     
  5. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Posts:
    404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston Tx.
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    A good cage tied to the frame is the best method to get away from putting the boxes back on as the guys brought up. I guess I overlooked the fact you're repairing this stuff to put in a cage. I tried to find some pics I had of someone (from here I think) that tied in one of the pre bent cages to the frame but I didn't have any luck. They had bent a 90 on a good sized piece of tubing and welded brackets on the end to bolt to the frame and bolt to the bottom of the cage sandwiching the floor pan. Looked allot better than I can describe it. You'll have to be creative with that part.

    The boxes can be kind of tough to get off. I used an air chisel to do most of the damage.
    With the outside rockers gone, there is a seam welded together running front to back you'll have to get to.
    You will have to take the tub out of the wheel well to be able to reach the welds up front and they are pretty easy to break loose.
    The rear of the box just has some bolts to remove and you'll be able to see what I was calling to rear cab support.
    The welds running front to back towards the inside of the truck are the hard ones. It's a tight fit and I don't have any thing that will get up there and get the job done. I'm waiting to get a torch from work to cut the last ones out.

    I think thats it. Good Luck and I hope I didn't confuse you because I kind of confused myself typing this.
     
  6. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Posts:
    178
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    I've got a few opinions on this subject (sorry). I studied my tub for a long time in denial looking for shortcuts and ways to avoid the inevitable. I too considered all of the options mentioned above. Having tackled all of this the hard way, it would be a sin not to share some of the experience gained. Welcomed or not, here goes my 2+ cents...

    The beauty of the first generation Blazer is that it is a full convertible. The drag, as with any convertible, is that the body lacks torsional rigidity. No secret here. The rocker boxes, inner and outer rockers, ancillary supports, etc. all contribute to the torsional rigidity of the tub. It's not just a front to rear floor support thing or to keep the firewall from folding back. It's all about the twist.

    The body, mounts and frame by design all work together as a system. The frame is nothing more than a big-ass spring. When these trucks get twisted up, there are some incredible stresses generated. The challenge is to distribute the stress as evenly as possible. Anytime you stiffen one part of the system without regard for the system as a whole, you risk creating stress risers that will over time rip things apart. If you expect to control the torsional deflection of the tub with a cage, you had better not only tie it into the floor, dash and frame, but also design in diagonals in every direction. On the other hand, if twisty-flexy is what you want (and you might want!) then go for it, cut off the rocker boxes and ditch your doors altogether! (smp-style... very cool.)

    Chances are if they haven't been replaced already, the front body supports on first gen blazers are rusted out. I have a theory about this... The drainage holes for the cowl exit down the front of the A-pillars. At the bottom of the pillars next to the kick panels (if there is anything left) is what basically amounts to a funnel that catches the cowl drainage. It routes drainage between the pillar and the kick panel, down to the pillar bottoms, floor supports and rocker boxes keeping them constantly wet. I think this is why the kick panels and front pillar bottoms are always rusted out. A little dab of calk at the factory would have fixed that. Any drainage from inside the tub is also routed inside the rockers with nowhere to go. A little more calk inside the cab and a couple of drain holes in the rockers would have been nice.

    It might be possible to replace the floor supports without dropping the rocker boxes and rockers, but in my opinion if you are going that far, then go for broke. In my case it was an all or nothing proposition because most everything was trashed. I used a 4" grinder and an air chisel to loosen the inside welds. I had to unbolt the body mounts and jack the body off the frame a few inches to get to everything. I used a 3" air cutter to slice the welds along the front where they meet the floor.

    The patch panels that you get for the floor will include the inner rockers. If you are going to replace the pillar bottoms, you will pretty much have to remove the outer rockers to do so. (Trapped by the might-as-well syndrome). Yes, the four bolts connect the front support to the door pillar. The front-most two bolts also attach a reinforcing support for the bottom fender mount.

    If you do decide to perform this level of repair, be sure to use or fabricate some door braces. The firewall can move all over the place and you want it in the right place when you weld it all back together.

    As a final note, when I first jacked the back end of the tub off the mounts before replacing & repairing the rocker boxes and such, the door gaps would shift on the order of like 2" at the top of the doors. After replacing all of the metal, I could lift the rear of the tub and my door gaps held perfectly true. It made a huge difference. It was also a great deal of work... and I had the luxury of taking my time (a lot of time) to do it.

    Here are a couple of links. I apologize for the poor quality of some of the pictures... they were scraped from a video before I invested in a digital camera. One of the pictures in the rocker box link shows the body support connection to the front pillar that you are looking for.


    Rocker Boxes

    Floor Repair and Patch Panels

    Rear Bed Repair

    Rear Body Mount Supports
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2005
  7. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    i'm gonna try to get some pictures so that anyone interested can see what lies beneath the floor pans...
     
  8. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    RestoRod,
    Yeah, when I was moving the body around, the door gaps were changing by up to 3/8". So it is obvious I need to just dive into the job.

    I'm not worried about replacing/repairing the floor pans, front cab support, inner/outter rocker, and rocker boxes. But I am worried about fixing the front and rear door pillars and the rear cab support. Replacing the inner/outer rockers won't help the body much if the pillars are weak. Maybe even the reinforcing support for the front bottom fender will need fixin?

    Can I buy patch panels for the front and rear door pillars...will the pick-up panels work? I guess the misc pieces will need to be fabricated. LMC sells a front and rear pillar repair patches, which I hope will work? LMS also sells a panel called "footwell", I'm not sure what this is. Do you recall if this is needed?

    Is it best to also remove the kick panel to get at the lower pillar area? My kick panels are in great shape, so I'm sure they have been replaced by the PO.

    Lastly, in what order should it all be assembled? So many pieces all interconnected!
    Thanks.
     
  9. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Posts:
    858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Thanks 71restoRod. Very informative. I can see how twisting is an issue. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Posts:
    404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston Tx.
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Good stuff 71RestoRod and thanks for the links. It's good to see the project actually finished and done well. The rear bed repair looks great too. That's something I have to tackle in the near future.
     
  11. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Posts:
    178
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Thanks... and you're very welcome. This board is the greatest ongoing source of information that I have to turn to and that's thanks to all of you. I hope I can give something back... and don't ever hesitate to tell me where you think I'm wrong!!!

    Tom,

    Interestingly, I think the front fenders are also an integral component in the overall stiffness of the body. If you think about it, they act as large levers to hold the firewall in place. That reinforcing piece on the front pillar is pretty important. At one point, I thought I had lost mine (they were completely detached from the rust). I thought that the patch panel was all that was needed, but no. Fortunately, I had saved all of the pieces I cut out and found them in the trash bin. My front pillars were so far gone at the bottom; it was almost guesswork to determine where the replacements should be placed.

    The drivers side is always more deteriorated than the passenger side so that's the place to start. On the driver side, I had to cut my patch at the top of the upper boltholes for the bottom hinge. This meant that I had to access the backside to weld back in the brace that loosely holds the hinge bolt plate. That determined where I had to cut the kick panel (the part that LMC calls a "footwell"). If your front pillar repair extends above about ½"; below the bottom hinge bolt, you will need to cut out the kick panel to get to the backside. For mine, that cut worked out to be about even horizontally with the floor seam in front. The front seam was also a convenient and clean place to splice in the front of the floor repair.

    LMC and many others sell the pillar bottoms. They are the same as those used for the pickups. I replaced the skirts behind the doors, so it was maybe easier to replace the rear pillar bottoms. If you don't have to replace the skirts (LMC calls it lower front panel) I think you could drill out the spot welds for the fender skirt up to the trim line and then carefully peal it back to expose the pillar bottom. There is another sheet of metal behind the pillar (the two are sandwiched together). You want to cut through the pillar bottom, but not the metal behind it. It's then very easy to lay down the patch and the outer rocker will cover the repair.

    At first I was intimidated by some of the fabrication required. I looked high and low for suitable replacements for the rocker boxes, braces, etc.. but there was just nothing available. After getting into it, I found it was really a lot of fun to "fix" what I had. I kept telling myself (and I still am) that it's not the destination but the journey that counts. Don't toss out anything. It's much easier to fill in the holes than to fabricate something from scratch, even if you have to replace 90% of it.

    The order of assembly was another reason that I felt it necessary to tear everything out. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure the order went something like this (everything times 2!):

    I...
    Cut out the outer rockers;
    Cut out the inner rockers;
    Cut out the rocker boxes;
    (had tub media blasted and epoxy primered);
    Cut out the front pillar bottoms and kick panels;
    Cut out the floor front and front supports;
    Trimmed down the floor-outer area;
    Cut out the skirts behind the doors;
    Trimmed off the lower rear pillars;

    Hung the front pillar bottoms w/ hinge bolt plate braces behind;
    Cut the floor front to fit leaving ~¾"; extra in front for the seam. (drill the hole for the body mount first to use as a reference) Bent the lip at the front of the floor to attach at the factory seam point;
    Patched in the new kick panels and pinched tight to the floor. Finished attaching the floor front;
    Patched in the rear pillar bottoms;
    Replaced skirts behind the doors;
    Patched in the cab floor-outer pieces. (The floor front and cab floor-outer now form the inner rockers)
    Replaced the floor supports;
    Replaced the outer rockers.
     
  12. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    thanks again RestoRod!

    so much info...it will take a while to digest. i hope to post some pictures after this weekend...
     
  13. OLD DAWG

    OLD DAWG 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Posts:
    444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MONTROSE, COLORADO
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    I got to hand it to you Resto, you do some fine fabrication. Keep up the good work /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  14. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Here are the pix. As you can see, the inner rocker panel was not replaced when the outer rocker panel was replaced. The front body mount is half gone, but I think I can imagine how it used to look at the front door pillar. It looks like my kick panel was also replaced at some point.

    Anybody know how the rear support is supposed to look? I haven't remove the rocker box yet, so I can't really see the area too well.

    What do ya think RestoRod and Larry_n_Tx?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Bill4rest

    Bill4rest 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Posts:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vista CA. (so cal)
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    I really not looking forward to doing this too mine /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
     
  16. Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    This tread is really scaring the S&*T out of me. I have been planning to have my Flinstone Blazer floor pans replaced this Thanksgiving. The only visible rust is the drivers pan and rocker/kicker pannel. Where is a good sorce for pannel kits other than LMC Truck? But now I have the fear this will be much larger of a prodject than I thought. I have a real problem with body flex, just last week I climbed a hill and the front of my hard top pulled 2 feet away from the windshield. This leads me to anther question how do I get my top to fit right so the winshield bolts will bolt to the top. The snaps for my bikini top wont let it set in place and I didn't realize at the time that the top was needed for structural tegrity (I know I had my head up my ars) and have not been using all the bolts. Does anyone know of some way to remove the snaps in the winter when I want to use my top but replace them in the summer?
     
  17. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Posts:
    2,116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lubbock, Tx
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    I"ve got a set of the inner pieces that go inside the rocker box if you still need them $15 + shipping there yours for all 4 pieces, I put a full cage in so I didn't use them. http://community.webshots.com/album/44745203tkDvDv
     
  18. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Posts:
    404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston Tx.
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Looks like you had some fun there. It's scary when you look at the job ahead after cutting the bad stuff out of the way but it will all come together. My first car was an old Mustang that had rear floor pans rusted out so bad they doubled as a ice chest on the weekends. I was in way over my head when I decided to replace them but when I finally started making forward progress it felt great each time I finished a small part of the project. Just take you're time (if you got it) and you'll have some fun putting it back together.

    I tried to snap a shot of my rear supports for you but with the rocker boxes still there, you couldn't see much.

    Looks great so far. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  19. 71RestoRod

    71RestoRod 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Posts:
    178
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc NEW PIX!

    Tom,

    Your pictures are giving me a severe case of deja vu. They give my Willys the willies. My beast was also that lovely baby-poop ochre color, but I think I had more rot than what I can see from your pictures. In particular, there were a couple of large holes in the fronts of my rocker boxes that I really wanted to fix. The way you go about your repair depends simply on how far you are willing to take it. Looking at your pictures, I think you probably could replace the front supports as well as the front and rear pillar bottoms without dropping the rocker boxes... but you will have to compromise somewhat on the repairs; for example, on the way the floor attaches in the front. You will be able to make sturdy repairs, but will probably have to use a lot of lap joints and it will be difficult to seam-seal and coat everything underneath. I guess that's what undercoating guns are for. On the positive side, leaving the boxes in place should make it a lot easier to line things up as you put it back together. You will definitely have to remove the outer rockers to fix the pillars and attach the front supports, etc., but overall you might be onto a less invasive surgical technique! How good is good enough?

    You certainly don't have to cut out any more of your floor to get to the "rear supports" Unlike the pickups, there are no rear supports on these Blazers, (unless we are talking about a different piece, like that rocker box "outside"). The "Rear Cab Support" that you see advertised in LMC are for pickups only. On the Blazer, the job of the rear support is performed by that transverse cross-brace c-channel like member (thingy) that basically makes up the vertical part of the step up from the cab to the bed. It's a fairly stout piece of metal, and I doubt that yours is rotted at all. It is the member that the rear pillars attach to.

    If you decide to really dig in, I'll be glad to answer any of your questions and cheer you along the way! But be warned, it will be a commitment. Judging from your pictures, it's not a job that you are afraid of tackling. If you enjoy that kind of thing, and don't mind taking your Blaze out of commission for a while, then go for it!
     
  20. aksidentproan

    aksidentproan 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Posts:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Re: front body support, floor pan, etc

    Hey Tom, if you need a blazer too look at or take any type of measurments from you're welcome to mine anytime.

    Evan
     

Share This Page