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Best early Ghia replacement floor pans?
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scott hosack
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:49 pm    Post subject: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

I know this has been talked about before but I can not find much info when I search. I have a late 58 lowlight convertible I am looking for replacement floor pans for. Who makes the best correct style/design pans for this in the original thickness or close to it? Has anyone used the Volkstory new pans from the advertiser volkstorybkk? They look closer to the original style in the pictures that are posted in the add. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Well, I bought Dansk pans from CIP. Was not impressed with the quality. Quite a bit of extra work to get them right.

After seeing the pans that Klassic Fab was showing at EL Prado back in June, I wish I would have bought theirs.

They are mostly Bus people but do have Ghia Pans. Check out the bottom of their price list:
https://www.klassicfab.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1FINAL_CODE_LIST_NEW_2015.pdf

Contact: https://www.klassicfab.com/contact-us/
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scott hosack
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:54 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

I did contact Klassicfab but they do not have any pans left now. Not sure if they are going to make anymore or not. They seem like the best quality from what I have heard if they do make some more up.
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Peter D.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

I just purchased a pair of floors from Volkstoryin Thailand. With shipping it was close to $700.

I'll post pictures as soon as I get a chance. My non-expert review (I'm in the middle of my first resto ever) is that compared to the regular junky Dansk floors they are much better, although not perfect.

I put them down on the tunnel to see how they fit and there's not much to trim, they make them almost sized to fit. Two areas that will need a little reworking is where the outer channel meet the framehead and at the rear where the pan meets the rear lip on the tunnel.

The metal is much thicker and heavier than the Dansk pans too. They are made in a couple of sections, welded together, and painted with a silver laquer primer. I'll probably take that off before the final paint but it's good enough to keep them from rusting in my garage (keep that dehumidifier running!)
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Peter D.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Okay, so here are a few pictures of the driver's side Volkstorybkk floor pan.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


They are stamped in two pieces and then welded together. The metal is 18 gauge. Hopefully the welds show up clear enough in the pictures. I don't think it will be too hard to grind these down smoother if I want to be a perfectionist.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The floors fit pretty well, only two sections seem like they'll need a little help to get it to fit. This area is in the rear curve is riding about 2 centimeters too high while the rest of the floor lays flat on the tunnel lip.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I assume there's an easy way to hammer that down or get it to fit, but since I don't have a clue what I'm doing (my first resto) maybe someone can give me a suggestion.

Same problem in the front, the channel is too narrow so this will have to be trimmed, or cut and widened... suggestions?!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Out of the box they fit right in place. There is no extra metal that you need to trim on the tunnel side. Towards the rear they might actually be a bit too narrow as there's a bit of a gap. But this is only a test fit so it might get closer once I get the front channel fit into place.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I laid the passenger side channel over and the curvature is very close. It only deviates a few millimeters in these two areas where it's slightly narrower. I looked into the channel on the car body and it's definitely wide enough that it won't matter. And I think it's better than the curvature on the Dansk pans.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


All in all I'm happy with these pans and I recommend them to anyone who doesn't care about their spouse yelling at them for spending twice as much as ordering Dansk pans from JBugs. Laughing I have some welding, patching, and grinding to do on the tunnel before I install them. I'll update when I do.
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scott hosack
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Thank you for the pictures and information on these Ghia pans. They look to be better quality than most anything I have seen or found so far.
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Peter D.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

You're very welcome! I hope this info is helpful to everyone on this page. I'm usually the one begging for advice so I'm glad to contribute.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

All trimming is done where the pan meets the tunnel.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Most of it is actually laying snug up to the tunnel now. My question is how to bend just the rear curved edge down so it's not riding above the tunnel. I could hammer it down but then it would be awkwardly bent.

I was thinking of putting a few perpendicular cuts into the side and then bending it down. Then trim it to make it fit the tunnel. That make sense?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Make sure that the pan it tucked under the retaining tabs for the brake line. The rear lip appears bent up slightly. Don’t cut anything yet, grab a battery or two & set them on the pan & beat the pan to fit.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Peter D. wrote:
Okay, so here are a few pictures of the driver's side Volkstorybkk floor pan.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I assume there's an easy way to hammer that down or get it to fit, but since I don't have a clue what I'm doing (my first resto) maybe someone can give me a suggestion.

Same problem in the front, the channel is too narrow so this will have to be trimmed, or cut and widened... suggestions?!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



I think these pans look pretty good, and for them to fit so well without trimming first go is a good sign (the JP Group ones I used needed plenty of trimming and didn't fit that great in the end). For the front I would grind the old weld a bit more, then use pliers to open up the sides of the new pan a little then hammer the new pan down and it should fit ok.

For the rear I would set up the rest of the pan and check the dimensions then drill and tek screw the pan down every inch where you plan to plug weld (Then when you plug weld, you remove the screw for the hole you are welding - yes this leaves a hole through the tunnel lip which needs to be tidied up from the bottom, but it ensures you get a really tight fit for the plug weld which minimises blow through and ensures you get full penetration welds.)

If this causes the gap at the rear corner to reduce to a reasonable amount, I would try and hammer it down and screw it inposition. But if the gap remains large I would mark the edge at the rear corner where it should be sitting, then take off the pan and "rethrow" the edge.

Rethrowing the edge is not hard to do if you know what you are doing and it can be done so you won't be able to tell it was done. But you probably will need some special tools like a table dolly and shrinker/stretcher to do it so you might need to find an old school body shop to do this for you.

Having to rework repro panels a little is very common so I wouldn't worry too much about this and I think you will end up with a result which is good and more faithful to the original for an early Ghia compared to the JP Group pans. I would definitely give these pans a go if I was to do it again.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Awesome advice, thank you. None of the youtube videos I've seen of Beetle or Ghia floor pan replacement have shown the procedure of screwing the floor down. But I think what you're saying makes perfect sense for a tight fit. Seems scary though!

I test fit the passenger side tonight and that tunnel-side curved edge seems to lay flatter. But the outer rear corner is too tight and will have to be widened. I have to decide if I trust myself to do this on my own for the first time ever or find someone to help me in person.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Peter D. wrote:
Awesome advice, thank you. None of the youtube videos I've seen of Beetle or Ghia floor pan replacement have shown the procedure of screwing the floor down. But I think what you're saying makes perfect sense for a tight fit. Seems scary though!

I test fit the passenger side tonight and that tunnel-side curved edge seems to lay flatter. But the outer rear corner is too tight and will have to be widened. I have to decide if I trust myself to do this on my own for the first time ever or find someone to help me in person.


Actually now that I think about it, I did wonder if the rear inside edge was a bit narrow toward the back of these pans when I saw this photo posted by Otahuhu a while ago. In the photo the inside edges are parrallel but the outside edges are not.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If they are too thin and you need to weld a filler piece in it will be a bummer but not a show stopper. If you are doing a full resto that needs lots of body work you will probably have to do more than this to make some repro panels fit. If you do have to do this you should give feedback to the supplier to make them slightly wider for the next customer.

I was a bit concerned about drilling holes right through the lip of the tunnel at first but they guys at the shop where I did it convinced me this was the best way and they were right. I checked my photos and it looks like I only drilled and screwed every second hole and this was enough. I did have to weld up the holes a little more on the other side once the pans were on then linish them but it turned out fine.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Thanks for tips and to be fair, I'm not really sure that the pans are too short until I get the front and rear outside corners to fit in properly. Then I'll also know if the curved inner edge is really too high.

The area of concern is on the passenger side outer edge behind the jack point. At that point it feels too tight or narrow to fit over the rear flange of the frame (the part that sticks out perpendicular to the tunnel). I guess it's just a matter of banging and clamping into place.

So when you used the self-tapping screws, you would remove one and I assume put a copper backer behind to weld it up? And the voltage and wire speed would be set for the thickness of the tunnel lip?

I've also read another problem some users here have had when welding their pans down. They set their welder for 18 gauge to avoid blowing holes through the pan. But then the welds would be too weak and the pan would just pop off the tunnel. So the solution was to drill half way down into the tunnel and draw the weld puddle around in circle and overlap the new pan. This is going to take some practice!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

The lip on the tunnel is reasonable thick so if you get the pan nice and tight against the lip it can take a decent amount of heat so you are less likely to get blow through and wouldn’t need a copper backer underneath. As well as screwing the pan down, before you do each plug weld you could hammer the pan down to make sure it is flat.

Get some steel the same thickness as the lip and the pan and practice your plug welds. You will need to adjust the settings and technique so you get the weld as hot as you can without blowing through. A good plug weld will be hot enough so it turns out flat and hardly needs any linishing.

If you end up with big blobs of weld that need lots of grinding you are not getting good penetration and need a hotter weld. Even if the welder is set up properly, the amount of stick out you use and hold time on the trigger makes a big difference.

I found I used too little stick out and didn’t hold the trigger on long enough because I was worried about blowing through. When I was shown to use more stick out and hold the trigger on longer the welds turned out much better.

Also for plug welds, hold the tip of the welder perpendicular to the weld rather than on an angle like you would when running a weld.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Finally working on installing my pans and will update this weekend on the particulars of getting the Thai volkstorybkk floors to fit.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

I started on the driver's side pan first and I think I'm nearly ready to start welding. The trick with these pans is that they are pretty much sized to fit. I had to do just a few millimeters of trimming on the tunnel side and decided that grinding down was the best approach.

There are a couple of areas that need attention. This flange was obviously sitting too high.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


My panel shaping skills are non-existant so for me the easiest thing to do was cut and bend this lip. Kind of hard to see the cut in this picture.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Once I get the pan welded to the tunnel, I'll hammer this down, trim and weld.

In the rear, the pan has a curve. This, I'm guessing, is a manufacturing flaw. You can see where the pieces of the pan were welded together diagonally so maybe it shrank the corner in.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This actually caused the pan to stick out too far from the tunnel towards the back. It was lined up fine towards the top but I was confused because the pan has the same side-to-side width from top to bottom. Good thing I didn't start cutting the tunnel side down more.

Again, the easiest way for me to fix this is to just put a cut in the pan. I'll weld it shut once the pan is welded to the tunnel.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I took the passenger side flange from the old floor and clamped it down, marking all the tunnel holes. You have to ignore the pre-stamped bumps in the new pan.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Another spot that might be a concern is the width of the flange on the side. It's a three millimeters wider. towards the top side of the pan Could that cause a problem fitting the rockers down on the side of the new pan? I don't know for sure but decided to hammer the sides in and narrow it down. There might be a better way to shrink down the width but, like I said, I have very limited skills.

old:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

new:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's the new pan clamped in place, haven't drilled the holes yet. You can see where I marked the bolt holes with a gold sharpie.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Underside:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This area, seen from below, is the curve in the inner corner. It's sitting about 1 centimeter above the lip.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's an earlier pic of the area from the top side.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Someone suggested in an earlier post that it might come down a bit once I screw the pan into the lip. I'm going to have to either hammer it down or figure out a way to bend it down.

That's about it. My main suggestions are not to rush, measure, measure, measure your old pans, and don't throw anything away! The old sides are really useful for determining where to drill for you bolt holes (learned that from "My Friend Pete" on youtube).
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Thanks for the review so far. I will be purchasing new pans in the distant-near future so this topic is of interest to me.

So it's not just how to string expletives together that we can learn from "My friend Pete." Razz

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Haha, yes or how to verbally abuse and humiliate your workers. He's self taught so I actually admire that about him.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: Best early Ghia replacement floor pans? Reply with quote

Regarding holding the pans tightly in place along the tunnel for welding; I've wondered how I was going to clamp these down for plug welding as well. Instead of drilling holes through the thick tunnel lip, or otherwise trying to securely hold the pan in place, I’ll be doing something similar to this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

An elegant and simple solution employed by my good friend Matt on his 56 oval. You can read more about it here.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...highlight=
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