We were all set to finish the Art Morrison Enterprises rollbar kit in our ’68 Nova project car, counting the few days more it would be to have the interior completely finished for the summer cruise season, when we were dealt a cruel surprise by a previous owner: a driver-side floorpan full of rust. You’d think this would be easy enough to spot when buying a car, but our intrepid seller had artfully covered the rot with a thin layer of fiberglass, mudded it in with body filler, then camouflaged it with a can of truck bedliner to look like factory sealant. When the crew at Outlaw Motorsports used a grinder to smooth the surface in preparation for welding the rollbar mounting plates, the building filled with the acrid smoke of burning Bondo faster than you could say caveat emptor.

The ironic thing is that the subterfuge of cloaking the hack job easily took as much time as fixing it the right way, which is what Outlaw Motorsports in Riverside, California, chose to do. The correct fix is to cut out the offending rust area, and replace it with a new patch panel, and that will be our mission here. Outlaw Motorsports is a direct dealer for Dynacorn sheetmetal for muscle cars, so it was only natural to check them first. We needed a partial left-hand floorpan, PN 1635, for ’68-74 Nova (actually called a “full” pan, but it’s really only for half the car). It was in stock at a nearby warehouse, the price was right at just $56, and they could deliver it the next day. We can count the times that’s ever happened before on just one hand. When we got our Dynacorn floorpan, it looked like a dead ringer for the stock one, and the fit ended up being very good with little massaging required. In fact, the whole operation took just three hours. If you want to see the video showing the entire operation, just go to www.YouTube.com/PopularHotRodding and look for “Project Nova—Floor Patch Panel Repair.”

The fact that our Nova already had the interior out did make things easier, and Outlaw’s Ron Aschtgen says for a job like this he normally charges between $200 and $300, including the floorpan. If you want to do the job yourself, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s an easy one—perfect for the beginner wanting to get his or her hands dirty with a fun welding job. You will need a few choice tools beyond the norm, most importantly a good MIG welder. We used a Miller Electric Millermatic 211 with AutoSet. This unit was designed for beginner and pro alike; its dual-voltage MVP plug allows use on both household 120V power and 230 V. The Millermatic 211 even detects the voltage without any action required on the user’s part. Miller also has the normal controls pros expect, like those for wire speed and amperage, but the novice will appreciate the 211’s ability to adjust power and wire feed settings automatically by just telling it the material thickness and weld wire diameter. An anti-spatter feature also reduces slag and spit on start-up. It’s the perfect mate for your home garage or pro fab shop. Besides a welder, you’ll also need a cutoff wheel, air saw, high-speed grinder, metal snips, dead blow hammer, chisel, air chisel, prybar, spot-weld cutter, and drill (or spot-weld hole punch).

With this job out of the way, we believe we’ve finally eradicated the last of the rust from Project Nova. Now we can get on with the business of installing our Auto Meter Elite Series gauges, Dynamat sound deadener, carpet kit, and a custom fabricated package tray from Outlaw Motorsports. We’ll bring that to you in the coming months. Then we tackle the tune-up with a serious session on the chassis dyno. We can almost taste victory, and it’s all due to the multifaceted folks at Outlaw Motorsports!

What To Get
Description: Source: PN: Cost:
Dynacorn floorpan full, LH ’68-74 Outlaw Motorsports 1635 $56.00
Extreme Chassis Black aerosol Eastwood 11175Z $19.99
Millermatic 211 Auto-Set MIG Miller Electric 907422 $1,317.00

SOURCE
Miller Electric
1635 W. Spencer Street
Appleton
WI  54912
920-734-9821
http://www.millerwelds.com
Outlaw Motorsports
800-924-1913
http://www.outlawMS.com
Eastwood
800-343-9352
http://www.eastwood.com