Floorboard and Underbody Rust | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Floorboard and Underbody Rust

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by Chris Tallman, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Chris Tallman

    Chris Tallman FEOA Member

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    Hello,

    The rear left seat support fell through the floor recently, I didn't notice it until I looked through my rear wind-shield and noticed my seat was angled; oddly enough I didn't notice it while driving. I looked underneath and noticed the whole piece of the floor that particular leg bolts to was hanging down about 3 inches. Today I took the interior on that side apart and discovered two giant holes. The one the seat fell through (approximately 14" X 7") and another by my feet (approximately 5" X 8") and more of the floor there is one step away from falling through.

    Yesterday I replaced a linkage under the car and it took forever to get it on jack stands because every jack point started cracking under its own weight.

    Its a shame because the engine and tranny have been so well maintained.

    What course of action would you recommend for patching up these floorboards, I've never done anything like this before. A small hole sure, but there's a seat support involved.

    Do they make replacement floor pans?

    Attached Files:

  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    I would find a donor car in the junkyard and have them cut out the chunks that you need. make sure they cut them oversized so you have extra to work with.
  3. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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    Boy I HATE rust!

    Have you checked out your rear strut towers? They like to rust too...

    pextor has good advice. You mention the drivetrain is in good shape, maybe find a nice body with a bad motor and swap yours into it??
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Wont you still have the issue of rust on the undercarriage, if you did find a complete floor pan to weld on?
    I like the alternative of finding a body with little or no rust, and building a new car from the pieces. I bought a 91LX hatchback in 2012 that had spent its first 19 years in Phoenix, its last three years in Delaware - where the transmission went out & they sold it to me. Its undercarriage is still shiny under the dust.

    I may have to go take my van to Phoenix or Tucson this winter to tow back another non-rusty with a bad transmission.
  5. Chris Tallman

    Chris Tallman FEOA Member

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    That is my concern. For one I can't weld and even if i could you can't weld to metal. That leaves me with rivets or bondo or something and the sheet-metal or cutout from a doner would be attached to rust. If I drill or rivet into the existing undercarriage its just going to weaken it more.

    I have been looking for another with a blown engine or trans. Mine has so many new parts on it its like a rolling Auto Zone specifically for this escort. What would you say the level of difficulty is on a swap? I know with front wheel drive vehicles the engine and trans can come out as one piece. Would a Cherry Picker be necessary or could I support the engine from the bottom, disassemble the front end, and back the body away from it? I don't have access to a lift.
  6. Chris Tallman

    Chris Tallman FEOA Member

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    Also, I can do a swap if its in and out, same fit. Are the mounts of my 1997 and the mounts of a 2003 the same since there the same generation?

    '2.0 L SPI2000SOHCI4'

    Do you know if this engine was used in anything else with the same orientation? I know Ford and Mazda used to be in love.

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