Reload Image

Reload Image

Work continues on Project Burnadebt, the 1959 Chevy Apache we’re building for Eddy Cebreco. We are back at Auto Metal Direct along with Jubee Mays of aMAYSing Metal Works. Earlier, we replaced Burnadebt’s old, worn-out, and shoddily patched firewall with fresh metal from AMD. You can see the step-by-step process in the March 2022 issue of Street Trucks. 

In this issue, we tackle the floorpan. It may seem like a huge job, but if you follow along, you can see that this is something you can conquer at home with help from a few friends. As you have seen, Burnadebt has had patches and repairs at various shops over the last several years with less-than-optimal results. When it comes to the floorpan, it is the same song and dance—missing brackets, misaligned gaps, rusted spots, even the step plate was missing.

We are going to start over with a brand-new OE-style floorpan assembly from our guys at AMD. In addition to the floorpan, Burnadebt will be receiving a new back cab panel as well as new doors from AMD. You will see these parts come into play here and there. This will allow us to properly align the floorpan for installation. If you’re doing these repairs at home, don’t worry: We tie it all together right here in Street Trucks.

The floor in Burnadebt is like most classic trucks—in need of some love. The floorpan is a location where water often collects in the corners, at the toe board and near the trans cover. And, over time, these areas likely to rust out. Follow along and you too can do these repairs at home. Let’s go!

The floor isn’t the worst we have seen, but it sure does need some love.

With our cab braced for disassembly and laying on its back for ease of filming, Jubee starts to remove the floor using his air chisel. He prefers this method to make quick work of removing the larger pieces. He will come back later and clean up the remaining spot welds as they are easier to manipulate in smaller sections.

With the bulk of the floor removed, we set it aside. Don’t toss it out quite yet. There are some good pieces we will need to salvage.

This floorpan to door hinge pillar filler panel isn’t currently reproduced so it will need to be fabricated.

Jubee takes some measurements and outlines the new panel using his square on a 18g sheet, also available from AMD.

A cutoff wheel is the tool of choice here, and once cut out, a notch is made to accommodate the bends. The gap will be welded up during installation.

A flat bill clamp and body hammer make this fab job a breeze.

Now back to the floorpan removal: Jubee shows how your blending disc can give you a quick look at your spot welds. This is where the factory welded the two panels together. The air chisel can separate the spot welds, keeping the original door jamb metal intact. Take your time; control is the key. If the welds tear, don’t worry. You can weld it back together.

A 36-grit sanding disc cleans up any remaining metal from the separation and makes for a clean welding surface. We removed the rest of the factory welds off floor with the firewall removal. You would drill out the spot welds along the firewall if replacing the floorpan by itself.

Time to roll the chassis back in and set the new floorpan assembly in place.

AMD offers either the floorpan replacement or a complete floorpan assembly as shown. We opted for the complete assembly, which includes the step boards, inner rockers, bracing and inner cab corners.
 Truck Specs
1959 Chevrolet Apache
Owner – Eddy Cebreco
Repair Panels – Auto Metal Direct
Installer – Jubee Mays at aMAYSing Metal Works

Jubee mocks up the floorpan assembly on the chassis. You will have some room here to maneuver to get the placement just right once the cab is back in place.

A lift sure is nice to have when marrying the cab back onto the floor, firewall and chassis. This is a great time to have some friends over if you don’t have access to a lift.

With the cab back together, Jubee removes the bracing inside to make the fine-tune adjustments easier prior to weld up.

Sheetmetal screws ensure that you can hold the panels in place without having to weld and grind if you need to adjust further. These will ultimately be removed and welded up.

With the doors mounted to check alignment at the door to rocker gap, you can see the door hinge pillar needs to come in a bit. Jubee welds a washer to the pillar. This allows him the ability to pull the pillar in the exact spot he prefers to get everything to align properly.

A floor jack and block of wood makes a great way to adjust the rocker and get the body line just right. Sheetmetal screws hold it in place from here prior to weld up.

With the floorpan assembly right where he wants it, Jubee comes back to the fabricated filler panel and preps it for installation. Drilling holes in the patch allows the weld to penetrate when installing.

With the panel lined up, proceed to plug weld the filler panel in place. This area will get a seam sealer treatment later.

Jubee drills holes to weld the floorpan to the firewall toe board.

Weld the panels together moving from the outside toward the transmission access hole.

Jubee cleans up any welds and areas in preparation for installing the back cab panel.

A quick coat of Medallion OE Coat will help prevent rust and corrosion before heading to the body shop. We will wrap up the welding on the floor once the back cab panel is ready to weld up. You’ll see the rest of the process on Burnadebt in a future article, right here in Street Trucks.