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Ready to replace cargo area floor. What else?

xjmatt

NAXJA Forum User
Location
Lakewood, CO
I started out planning to patch the rust holes in my cargo area but as I ground away the bedliner I originally put down back there I found in more than one place that there was no metal under it anymore. Clearly more extensive repair would be needed. Here is my plan:

1) Drain and drop the gas tank to get it out of the way
2) Grind, cut, and drill out the old floor (wheel well to wheel well and behind the C-pillar to rear crossmember)
3) Figure out a better solution for upper shock mounts and do it
4) Template the cargo floor using cardboard and trace it onto new sheet metal (I've got 2 sheets of 2'x5' 18 gauge sheet metal to serve as the new floor)
5) plug, stitch, and fillet weld the new floor in
6) prime and paint new floor (POR15 perhaps and a good enamel)
7) reinstall gas tank (new J-straps)
8) Enjoy not being able to visually inspect my undercarriage from inside the vehicle.

Couple questions that might add some more steps in between:
1) Would it be a good idea to add some sort of silicone sealant between the sheet metal floor and the underlying bracing prior to welding?
2) Would it be a good idea to add additional bracing between the 'frame rails' while I have the floor out.
3) I'm always kicking around the cage idea, is there anything I should do at this point to prep for a possible cage on down the line (Maybe once DOM drops in price :shocked:)
4) ???? what am I missing? What else should I think about or inspect while I'm in there?

The XJ is not a DD anymore but I still don't want to tear into this and find 100 more things I could of/should of done and I'd like to minimize the trips to the hardware/auto store in the middle of doing this. I've also collected as many parts and materials as I think I'll need trying to make sure there are no last minute high $$ items so all ideas welcome!

I have all the tools I think I'll need to get this done: HH187 setup with solid wire & C25 bottle, angle grinder w/ lots of discs wire wheel and flap discs, jig saw, drill w/ metal bits, tin snips, welding blanket, eye ear and hand protection, and a fire extinguisher. I need to buy some more clamps but that's all I can come up with. Again what else would be handy?

Next to lifting this will be the largest project I've taken on with the XJ so I'll be sure to photo document as I go. Thanks!
 
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