I am about to embark on the floor repair for my 66 Dart convertible. It is in need of compete passenger compartment floorpans. the rockers and the trans tunnel are there, but thats about it. I have the repro early A floor pans for the front from autobodyspecialt, but the rears are in a continual state being "about 2-3 months out". I've been waiting 12-18 months for them, and I think I'm going to proceed and fab my own rear pans.
Being a convertible, I thought it'd be a good idea to tie the subframes together. It'll hopefully provide the extra strength that my non-OEM rear floors replacements might not provide as the originals did. Should I use 2x2" or 2x3" steel tubing? I figure I'll follow convention and tie the connectors in directly to the rear subframes and then forward to the crossmember near the t-bar receivers.
I'm also comtemplating adding connectors inboard just on the sides of the trans tunnel, maybe 2x2" or 1x2" tied to the trans crossmember and back to rear seat riser of the floorpans.
what gauge steel should I use for the fabbed rear pans? I have a bead roller to add strengthening beads...
be aware that the convertible already has a lot of extra reinforcement inside the rocker panels. I once decided to cut a hardtop and make a convertible. When I cut the convertible rockers on my 67 parts car it looked like 1/4 angle iron inside there. The hardtop didn't have it.
This is how I have fixed a few. First is to replace all the door bushings in the hing's. Make up your frame conectors and line them up to come up through the floor down by the rear passengers feet. YOu will see how the floor takes a dip down here. About 8-10"s of the conector at the back should come up into the floor. Now weld on the front of the conector to the front of the frame by the T bar mounts. Now with the bottem left in the conector to act like a U to catch the rear frame lift the conector with a floor jack till the door lines up perfect then add just a touch of pre-load (1/4 to 1/2" more pressure than needed) and weld the rear of the conector in right there. When you let off the floor jack the doors will close just like new and give the car a totaly new feel. This way will blow your mind how nice a 30+ year old door will close after this.
What if one strengthened the rockers by welding box frame in there? Would it not be effective since it doesn't directly connect the front to the back? I just don't like them going into the passenger compartment. I also like the stealth look.
Other than a small bump in the foot well you cann't see them from the side of the car. Totaly well worth putting them in. Had a 70 cuda convert that run 13.50's all day with the small block then popped in a warm 440 and the first time leaving the line with slicks the doors popped open. Every 30+ year old convert and non post car should have conectors and every one I ever own will.
If you want you can put some tin work from the conector over to the rocker after it comes through the floor to hide it more so you don't have that dip in there.