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#157005 - October 18th 2007 7:37 pm Sealer in large gap?
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3662
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Hi, I'd like to ask some advice of those of you who've been in the van bodywork business for a while.

I was working on the interior floor of my '81 dodge maxi van last night hitting some areas with phosphoric acid prior to painting, and I noticed some of the seam sealer at the joint between the channeled floor pan and the flat wall pans was bit loose. Suspicious of this, I pried it up and found a thin coating of tight orange surface rust under it, so I scraped it all out on both sides of the van and etched those areas as well.

I scraped the whole way back to the base of the rear door support posts, and to my amazement, after scraping out all of the sealer there, there was an enormous gap at the base of each post - nearly 3/8"x3", which had been filled with the factory sealer. (The factory sealer looks like a white butyl rubber caulk, (at best) and at worst, it might even be plain bathtub caulking - it sure feels like it!)

On Nate's advice I recently bought some high quality brush-on seam sealer from Eastwood, but I don't believe it's thick enough to fill such large gaps... should I use some butyl rubber to fill the largest portion of the gaps? What sort of treatment do you think I should apply to the underside of the gaps (which would be outdoors) -which appear to be bare of *any* treatment to me.

Thanks for your assistance!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#157010 - October 18th 2007 7:50 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
leadfoot Offline


Registered: May 08th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 6115
Loc: Connecticut
without a pic it's hard to see what you got goin on there
but from what i'm hearing you may want to cut some strips
of sheetmetal to cover the "gap" (like a long band-aid)
quality seam sealer of some tuff stuff
brush on some to the gap, lay the sheetmetal strip over the opening
and brush a couple coats over the top
(don't try to pile up seam sealer too high it won't cure completely)do it in coats, it don't hurt to even let it set over night between them
there is alot of car building going on with "no weld panels"
and it's all put together with seam sealer/glue
i did a door panel the other day...
well ok i did a window regulator the other day
but had to remove the outter door panel to get at it!
the whole thing was glued together
-
most important is remove any old rust before doing anything
and it'll last a long time

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#157013 - October 18th 2007 7:55 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: leadfoot]
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3662
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Sorry, I figured this might have been a well known issue... I'll go take some pictures so you can see just what Dodge did. I'm amazed they wouldn't have done a better job of fitting the sheet metal.

-I'll be back shortly!

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#157016 - October 18th 2007 7:59 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: leadfoot]
weird Harold Offline
veteran

Registered: January 15th 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 2298
Loc: Powers oregon
I had a 76 ford that had a problem like yours i did a chop glass filler and a glaze over it never did rust there the rest well lol.
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Member of Lead Foot Trucker West Coast Chapter Pea On

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#157021 - October 18th 2007 8:17 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: weird Harold]
Doc 2% of Canada, EH!!!! Offline
Vanner

Registered: June 10th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 12681
Loc: Burlington, On, Canada Eh !!!!
Old flattened beer cans, crazy glue, silicone then seam sealer was the way used car dealers did it....With the price of scrap metal, it is probably done now with wads of paper, duct tape and Bondo...lol

Seriously, send pics, it sounds to me like something else is going on, like maybe collision damage ??????
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#157023 - October 18th 2007 8:21 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3662
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Ok, here's a picture of each side. It's a pretty substantial gap. The dark areas are literally the outdoors. You can also see a sloppy welder's MIG wire left behind... I've found several of these so far.





What do you think?

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#157025 - October 18th 2007 8:24 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
BvrWally Offline
Wood Carver, Supreme

Registered: December 29th 2000 12:00 pm
Posts: 2624
Loc: Earlyville,Ohio,USA
Like Harold mentioned earlier, glass it and work from there!
B.W. smile

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#157026 - October 18th 2007 8:25 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3662
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
BTW - The chunks of material in the 2nd picture are some of the seam sealer I mentioned. Sorry I didn't clean it up much before taking the pictures; the acid is still a bit wet which makes it looks pretty ugly.

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#157033 - October 18th 2007 8:43 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
leadfoot Offline


Registered: May 08th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 6115
Loc: Connecticut
dammm man thats ugly
some good bondo hair/fiberglass will be more cost effective
add some metal where ya can
seam sealer aint cheap stuff, and not for stuff that large IMO
but being a floor area and most likely covered it doesn't need
to be "finished" looking, just solid and water tight
-
that bottom pic looks like one violent cut
can you post a pic of the area it's in ?
(like the whole floor pic to have an idea where this is at
and how much of it)


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#157058 - October 18th 2007 10:44 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: leadfoot]
Preacher Offline
Keeper of the Book of the Great Legend

Registered: May 21st 2007 5:58 am
Posts: 188
Loc: North Carolina
Hey Ram:
Get some decent seam sealer. NOT PURE SILICONE, one of the latex ones is better for this. then, get some aluminum flashing at home depot or someplace. Cut a piece to fit, whatever shape you need it to be, put it in place, drill some 1/8th diameter holes wherever you think it will help hold the patch in, put some seam sealer around the edge of the hole, (and DO NOT BE STINGY WITH IT) then, put your patch in place, and pop rivet it in place. (sheet metal screws will work too, but they stick up further.) If you really wanna make it permanent, and a little prettier, after all this drives, cut the sealer flush, rough up the aluminum with some 40 grit, along with the metal around the patch, and lay some bondo-glass (one brand is "Gorilla hair") on it smoothing it out best as you can. You wont ever have to worry about THAT hole again..lol
hope this helps,
God bless,
Preacher

p.s.: if you got bolt holes you need to fill, old biker trick from the 60's: you need an old fashioned soldering iron. (the big kind) some 000 steel wool, and some plumbing solder. (acid core) . Clean around the hole. Make a ball of steel wool that will fit in it and "blossom" just a little on both sides. Heat the wool with the soldering iron, and soon as it will melt solder, lay into it with the solder...fill it UP....let it dry, file it down, bingo, no hole no more..
(we used to do this to fill bolt holes in fenders before the days of custom bike parts all over the place)

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#157068 - October 18th 2007 11:45 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Preacher]
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3662
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Ok, here's an overview picture of the 2nd of the pictures I posted earlier. This gap is at the base of the door post.



The only explanation I can make for it is they made it so the welders could tack down the floor pan onto the brace which runs accross the rear of the sill. They could have use a couple of small holes rather than a huge gap though!!

I decided to edit this and add a picture of why I am working on this in the first place - the rear door seal leaked and the floor got wet and rotted the wood flooring.



(this is an older picture - the seam sealer is still in place) It's not severely rusted, but when I scraped some of the paint off adjacent to the little rusty gouges in the paint, the rust had spread a bit to either side under the otherwise solid looking paint, calling for drastic action!



Edited by Ram4ever (October 19th 2007 12:02 am)
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#157093 - October 19th 2007 8:41 am Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
wookee Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: April 14th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 7525
Loc: Joppa Md. U.S.A.
While you are in there you really need to remove all of that nasty pink house insulation.That is also holding dampness against your upper body sheet metal.....

.........Wookee
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Its a "Van Thing"
A life style you have to LIVE to understand!



Vintage Chevy Van Club

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#157095 - October 19th 2007 8:42 am Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Ram4ever]
Superbeast Offline

Madman!


Registered: October 25th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 28121
Loc: Dayton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
I've seen that before. For some reason I thing they were all that way with the big gap. I wonder if they used the same floor pan and changed the door support at some time. Yours looks like it may have been damaged at some point, but it's not that bad. you can use nearly any of the ideas above to fill it. I personally wold tack weld an "L" shaped piece of sheet metal over the hole, seam seal it inside and undercoat it on the bottom. I would be willing to bet the rear tires spray a lot of crud right at that point.
_________________________
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Tricky Truckers, N.J.
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#157198 - October 19th 2007 3:39 pm Re: Sealer in large gap? [Re: Superbeast]
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3662
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
I'm very curious what the rest of the floor pan will look like as I work my way forward with replacing the floor. As far as I can tell, the only part that got wet was at the rear doors.

I didn't see *any* evidence of mechanical damage around the door post areas; keep in mind that the phosphoric acid that I'm using turns the metal either a stark white or a jet black, so everything's about 20x uglier looking than it really is. You can see both extremes of coloration along the floor pan seam. I didn't bother to clean up any of the stains and dust from the decomposed plywood yet either, so everything looks brown.

I still don't understand why a conversion van would have all those deep linear gouges through the paint on the floor; it's almost like the van was used for carrying heavy things for a while, then was converted. Anyone ever seen anything like that before? I'm debating whether there may be more rust creep hidden under the paint... should I strip it *all* off?

I think I'll try what you suggested for the gaps and tack weld a couple of strips of metal in, then seal them.

It still boggles my mind that Dodge would have jammed these huge wads of Sealer in the gaps rather than closing them up more conventionally, especially when there's ample evidence of manual MIG welding in those very spots.

Clear skies!

_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


Top
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