1996 XJ Cherokee Build

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    I just started working on this project with a friend, so I figured I’d document the progress here. He’s using lots of Eastwood products throughout the Jeep from start to finish.



    The first thing he wanted to tackle is the floor pans. Even though a lot of it appears to be surface rust in the photos, there’s not much usable metal left.



    The first thing we did was to clean up the rusted areas along the frame rail where we knew the spot welds would be so that we could actually see them. Even after cleaning with a wire wheel and 3M Bristle Discs, the spot welds were really tough to see because of the way the rust had eaten away at the metal. We also took care of the old seam sealer along the edges so that we could remove the pan and not burn it when putting the new one in.




    Lots of spot welds to drill out.


    Quick overlay test fit for the new front floor pan.


    After a lot of drilling, most of the spot welds had let go, but there were a few that were hidden by the rust where that still kept it attached to the frame rail. A few quick minutes spent with the Eastwood Versa-Cut 40 plasma cutter and we could curl up the floor to see the hidden welds.


    Turned the Jeep into a Fintstones car



    Rail all cleaned up…


    … and the inside coated with Eastwood Internal Frame Coating. I also sprayed weld-thru primer on the flat surfaces of the rail where it will be welded.




    Since it was so tough to see the spot welds, it wasn’t easy to use the spot weld cutter bit correctly and only go through the first layer of metal and keep the frame rail intact. We had to drill larger, sometimes sloppier holes to make sure we got the whole weld to release. This resulted in regular holes through both layers instead of just the old floor. Since we did it like this, the best way to attach the floor pans to the frame itself is to plug weld it from the bottom. I used an angle grinder with a stripping disc to grind the original coating away on the bottom where it will sit against the frame rail, then coated that same area with Eastwood Weld-thru primer. This allows you to weld to the surface, but have primer coating the rest of the panel to prevent rust.



    Final test fit before welding.


    We decided to overlap the pans for a cleaner, easier job instead of cutting them precisely and butt welding them. The rear pan goes in first, then the front pan gets welded in on top of it. Plug welds were done from the bottom in the factory locations, and then the sides were stitched about every 4-6″.




    Once the welding was done, we spread seam sealer on the top and bottom of the new pans just as the factory does. The final result for the entire floor will be truck bed liner for durability, so this part can be a little sloppy, it won’t be visible through the rough bed liner texture. The most important thing here was to make sure that no moisture can get between the panels from either inside or underneath.



    One side down, just the driver’s front left to do!



    I know this is a old How Too..but hoping your still around and can tell me where did you did get the floor plugs?

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