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Hello all,

I got some bad news today when I got a safety inspection done on my 87 El camino and was hoping to get some insight from you fine people. Under my car on the driver side is a hole in what I believe is the frame (I attached a photo) and I was wondering if anyone else had/has this problem? If so how much did it cost to correct it? I am not a welder so I would have to take it to someone unless any of you have a good idea of how to patch the hole myself? I can also attach more pictures if need be. This was the only one I had at the moment. the material above the hole is the carpet.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions of a reputable body shop to go to it would be much appreciated. I am in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area.

Any input or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Hello all,

I got some bad news today when I got a safety inspection done on my 87 El camino and was hoping to get some insight from you fine people. Under my car on the driver side is a hole in what I believe is the frame (I attached a photo) and I was wondering if anyone else had/has this problem? If so how much did it cost to correct it? I am not a welder so I would have to take it to someone unless any of you have a good idea of how to patch the hole myself? I can also attach more pictures if need be. This was the only one I had at the moment. the material above the hole is the carpet.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions of a reputable body shop to go to it would be much appreciated. I am in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area.

Any input or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Well if that's carpet showing through, the rusted part is your floorpan and not the frame. You probably have a water leak at the windshield or possibly a cowl leak in a body seam. The best part is that the rust is repairable and you can do a lot of work yourself even if you can't weld. Finding the water leak first will be the agenda. With rust like that the first thing will be to remove the carpet to help dry out the floor. You will need to remove the seat also to get the carpet out. After you have the carpet(sponge) out of the way you can then perform a water leak test. Use a hose and pour water around the area with the door shut and window up while you or a spotter looks for water coming inside. Start low and move up slowly until you find the level where water is coming in and start trying to find the source. Once the source is found sealing the leak will stop the water entering the cab. Once that is out of the way the floor will dry up and be ready to patch. Looking at that hole I would recommend a patch panel welded in. You said your not a welder but finding someone that will be willing to weld a patch panel in will be easier since you did the hard part and stopped the water leaks and got the carpet out of the way. Basically, the process I described is the hard part that would cost you the most in labor. The actual patch panel being welded in is pretty easy. Be sure to prime, seal, and paint/undercoat the patch area before replacing carpet with new or at least fully dried material. Hope this helps. I'll try to answer any questions you have.

Joe
 

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Well if that's carpet showing through, the rusted part is your floorpan and not the frame. You probably have a water leak at the windshield or possibly a cowl leak in a body seam. The best part is that the rust is repairable and you can do a lot of work yourself even if you can't weld. Finding the water leak first will be the agenda. With rust like that the first thing will be to remove the carpet to help dry out the floor. You will need to remove the seat also to get the carpet out. After you have the carpet(sponge) out of the way you can then perform a water leak test. Use a hose and pour water around the area with the door shut and window up while you or a spotter looks for water coming inside. Start low and move up slowly until you find the level where water is coming in and start trying to find the source. Once the source is found sealing the leak will stop the water entering the cab. Once that is out of the way the floor will dry up and be ready to patch. Looking at that hole I would recommend a patch panel welded in. You said your not a welder but finding someone that will be willing to weld a patch panel in will be easier since you did the hard part and stopped the water leaks and got the carpet out of the way. Basically, the process I described is the hard part that would cost you the most in labor. The actual patch panel being welded in is pretty easy. Be sure to prime, seal, and paint/undercoat the patch area before replacing carpet with new or at least fully dried material. Hope this helps. I'll try to answer any questions you have.

Joe
Thank you so much for your response! You have put my mind greatly at ease. As for where the leak is coming from, the previous owner had a sunroof installed, which, is at least one of the culprits. I'll focus on getting that fixed first then use your method to see if there are any other leaks coming in. This honestly makes me feel a lot better and I will absolutely reach out to you in the future if you don't mind?

Chris
 

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Thank you so much for your response! You have put my mind greatly at ease. As for where the leak is coming from, the previous owner had a sunroof installed, which, is at least one of the culprits. I'll focus on getting that fixed first then use your method to see if there are any other leaks coming in. This honestly makes me feel a lot better and I will absolutely reach out to you in the future if you don't mind?

Chris
Aftermarket sunroofs are always a water leak problem. Knowing that I would check the water drain hoses. They tend to fill up with dirt and debris and cause a back-up and create a leak. Hit me up if you have any more questions.

Joe
 
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