Rust—it's nasty, insidious, and is clearly Mother Nature's way of telling you to kiss her posterior. Always disconcerting to discover, if rust can be seen in some spots, chances are it's hiding in other places as well. And so it was with our '64 Chevy.
When we dragged our pickup home we were aware that some rust repair would be required. Surprisingly, the cab corners were solid, but the floor on the passenger side had obvious rot where it joined the cowl as did the transmission tunnel where it joined the floor. It appeared that during the years it spent in the wrecking yard water collected in those areas and rust was the result.
All things considered, we were confident making the necessary repairs wouldn't be all that difficult so we ordered a right-side floorpan from LMC and went to work—that's when things got interesting. Before it took its place alongside other vehicles that had outlived their usefulness, our pickup spent its life on a ranch and rolled up a fair number of miles on dirt roads. As a result, every nook and cranny collected fine, powdery dirt. Over the years the drain holes in the right-side rocker panel plugged up and the accumulated crud acted like a sponge, and rust was the inevitable result.
Since the rust worked its way from the inside out (which is usually the case) it couldn't be seen until the floor was removed, then the extent of the needed repairs was obvious. The front cab support and the inner and outer rocker panels would have to be replaced along with the floorpan and part of the transmission tunnel. Another call to LMC and shortly thereafter we had an outer rocker and a new floor support. As for the unusual location of the damage to the trans tunnel, we'd have to fabricate our own repair panels.
Armed with an array of tools including cutoff wheels, reciprocating saw, Eastwood combo hole punch/flanging tool, our trusty Miller welder, and loads of optimism we went about repairing our rust-damaged Chevy. Take that Mother Nature.