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 Post subject: Heavy steel floor (16ga)
PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 12:18 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
I'm about to weld a heavy steel floor into my build. I was planning on using Aluminum but due primarily to budget restraints I am just going to weld in the 16ga. steel.

I'm consoling myself with the following attriutes of the thick heavy steel floor.

1. I won't have to run as much ballast for DM. (the weight added by the floor is in a pretty good place too)

2. Crash safety. If I go off the road/track I won't have to worry about sharp things coming through the floor at me.

3. Chassis rigidity. The thickish steel should help reign in unwanted chassis flex better than rivited/bonded AL. (I realize this is open for debate)

4. Ease of fabrication. No rivets needed and I can weld to it. :D

5. $It's cheaper!$

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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 1:17 pm 
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Joined: October 25, 2006, 12:59 am
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Location: Hills of Pennsylvania
4. I agree
5. I suppose that why they call it the LoCost to begin with :wink:

I am also planning on using steel instead of aluminum. Mainly because of the cost issue.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 5:23 pm 
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I just finished cutting it out. May my Black&Decker jigsaw rest in peace. For the record the 16ga floor weighs 29lbs.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 6:42 pm 
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Joined: June 21, 2006, 7:02 pm
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I'm planning on using steel for the floor as well, but isn't 16ga a little thick?

18 ga or thinner with a couple beads rolled in it should more than suffice.


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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 6:59 pm 
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The Book was written around readily available materials circa 1990 in Great Britain, which I guess included 16 gauge car roofs. 18 gauge sure seems like plenty to me...though admittedly somewhere there's a rusty prong on the side of the road that's too feeble for 16 gauge but is waiting to poke through an 18 gauge floorboard...so YMMV and I don't want your proctologist testifying in your Failure to Warn suit against me. But from the standpoint of providing sufficient yaw stiffness, I think it would be hard to go too thin with a steel floorboard.

And a bit of cross crease would likely reduce the oilcan "bong" one gets stepping into these things. or so I think.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 9:53 pm 
Even a Model A Ford is made of 19 ga steel. Most cars today are more along the lines of 22 ga. The strength comes from the shape. Why you don't see many flat surfaces anywhere on modern cars.


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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 10:19 pm 
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Oh well, I guess I overdid it. It's a done deal now. No "bonging" from these floors.


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Last edited by chetcpo on September 12, 2007, 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2006, 10:39 pm 
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On my old MGA, a steel flange was welded around the bottom of the frame. might've been around 16 gauge. Picture Chet's floor with a big hole cut in the middle, leaving only about 3/4" inside the frame. On the MGA, the floor was a sheet of 1/4" plywood laid over the flange and screwed to it. Light, quiet, replaceable. No, I won't be doing this on my Locost.


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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 1:06 am 
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i did mine in 16ga too, it's fairly heavy but it'll be more than strong enough.

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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 5:12 pm 
A steel floor is a good idea. (not just as a cost saving strategy) I am about du cut and weld mine. I have bought gauge 20 steel steel as well as a bead roller. The 1/2" beads will (I think) give me the stiffness equivalent of Gauge 18, which I agree with some of you here, is plenty.


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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 6:50 pm 
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Philippe wrote:
I have bought gauge 20 steel steel as well as a bead roller. The 1/2" beads will (I think) give me the stiffness equivalent of Gauge 18, which I agree with some of you here, is plenty.


Hello Philippe, explain a bit about the bead roller and where the beads will go--my imagination isn't working at full strength today.

By the way (and going way back to some earlier discussions on another group), I made a chassis with sheet steel sides. Not for the faint of heart I'll tell ya; it ended up rather horrid looking but that's mostly 'cause I'm a horrid looking welder.

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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 9:09 pm 
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This was a long debate and I also used 16 guage for the floor. I cut out the sections so they could be welded flush with the bottom of the tubes. I figure by doing this I won't have to worry about any moisture being trapped and causing a rust problem. I did not weld on the inside of the car. Inside I painted the seam with epoxy primer and then applied seam sealer. I'll post a photo of it on the Locost uk site if you want to check it out.

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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 9:55 pm 
I am also making my floor from 20 gauge and bead rolling it! I plan on putting the beads running latterally across each side (bead -up). I'm planning to shoot it on "wet" with POR-15 thickened with cabosil to a light paste and monel pop rivets. It should bond nicely to the POR-15'd frame.....


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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 11:29 pm 
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I did mine in 18 gauge steel... bead rolling whould have been a good idea.
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PostPosted: November 21, 2006, 12:04 am 
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Jawfish wrote:
I did mine in 18 gauge steel... bead rolling whould have been a good idea.


I'll bet Fred's chassis with an 18 gauge bellypan is stiffer than the open driveshaft style with 16 gauge. I know that's the way CMC did it (two narrow bellypans with an open space between), and I know it bites to take a 48" wide sheet of metal and throw away 7" of it, but man, it sure costs in stiffness to break apart a shear web that way. I think it would be worth welding in a strip under the driveshaft. It's bad enough that we have to keep the top of the box open so we can put people inside.

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