Well, I guess this just isn't my week for car stuff. While I did get the driver side floor patch in, it's probably the ugliest patch job known to the restoration world. Plus side: Most of the ugliness will be covered by Evercoat Metal 2 Metal.
I am also trying the oven cleaner trick with the undercoating. So far, results are mixed. I think it may make the undercoating more brittle and hard, ergo easier to wire wheel off. Jury's still out on that one.
Below is the ugly patch from the inside. It may have been smarter to just replace the panels, but what the hell.
And below is the outside. Ugly as it may be, it's pretty damn strong. Easily as solid as any other place on the un-repaired stock floor pan.
On an unrelated side note, I also did a tune-up on the Pathfinder. The tune-up went fine. Which is good, because I've only done this about 1,000 times. But as I was wrapping things up, I set my hand on the radiator hose, and POP. The wonderful plastic inlet (outlet?) tube on the top of the radiator just disintegrated. I thought I could repair it, but it just crumbled. So, I thought I'd try a good old fashioned. . . well, I guess I can't use the terms I'm used to and keep this work safe. Anyhoo, I figured some JB Weld and a piece of copper might just do the trick.
I was to be disappointed. The repair snapped off just like the original. Guess those plastic pieces can only take so much heat over time. So I'll just replace the radiator. In the grand scheme of things, it's neither an expensive or difficult repair to make. Just sucks not having your own ride. I may have to shop around for a cheap backup. Something in the way of a mid-70's Ford truck.
Removing the radiator is fairly simple. Four screws undo the radiator shroud, another four take the fan/fan clutch, and two bolts hold the radiator in place on the brace. The hoses and drain is much easier to get to when you get the shroud and fan out of there.
Below is a pic of the empty hole. I'm completely without a vehicle until the replacement radiator comes in at NAPA. Probably a couple days. It should only take another 20 minutes to a half hour to get it all back together.
So, I'm thinking that if/when this engine dies on me (and it may be a long time yet), this might become home to a Chevy 350 or Ford 302. There are a couple of them out there in the world. The swap is involved, but doesn't seem that bad to me. There are several potential donors in the pick and pulls here in the valley. I'd need the engine, trans, transfer case and drivelines (or at least part of the drivelines). I just read a thread on a swap that sounded like you could do this with minimal fabrication, given the right set of parts and preparation.
Sounds like fun.