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Floorpan Rust - Why?!

I've known that my '86 944 has floorpan rust for quite some time now, and I'm finally getting around to correcting the situation. But I'd like to understand what the cause of the problem is so that after I've made my repairs, it doesn't come back years down the road (no pun intended ).

When I first purchased the car, the driver's side rocker panel was entirely rotted out at the back; there was about a 6 by 4 inch area of metal completely missing. I've since had that rebuilt (at a fair price, too), but that driver's side is easily where the majority of my rust issues are.

Now, I'm finding that upfront, too, where the floorpan (I think) makes up the fourth side of that square extrusion rail along the outside of the car bottom, there is a large rust hole that I've had to cut out. Inside this frame rail is rusting as well, mostly on the thinner bottom (floor pan) side of the square extrusion. For reference, that hole stretches about from the far left of the pan (just back from the firewall), to just past the brake pedal.

So what could be causing all this rust? Could it be that somehow water is sneaking behind the firewall and pooling in that area? I do know that my battery tray is also Swiss cheese, but of course that would effect the passenger's side of the car first, which isn't half as bad as the driver's side. There's also evidence of a past accident, on that side of the car, but upfront where I don't think it'd make a difference.

It LOOKS like water has been dripping down the pedal board there... but from where?
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Current: 1986 944 Turbo - Sapphire
Past: 1983 944NA - Black (RIP)
1985.5 944NA - Guards Red (in purgatory)
1985.0 944NA - Maraschino Red (traded for a Volvo 244 )
Old 09-27-2013, 01:49 PM
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dkbautosports.com
 
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for the most part the 944 chassis don't rot all that bad .
were and why you tend to find rot is were the chip guard has been sandblasted away from years of driving . the tires thow the sand from the road and it just blasts the chip guard off untill there is bare metal and then you get rust .
as you know the battery tray rots out on them too and then you will get water inside the car and under the carpet and it will rot the floors from that .
i have had a hand full of 944's that had some (not much ) rot under the peddles from things like wet feet getting the carpet wet and again it will rot the floor under the carpet there from that .
i have seen many time were a car get hit and it will open a seam in other places that when it's getting repaired you don't see it . this was the case for me 3 weeks ago with my friends speed 3 he races . he hit the wall and i repaired the car this spring . he was telling me he is getting water in the car on the drivers side . the car was hit on the right side but it opened a seam under the drip rail on the roof .

there is also the sunroofs that will leak and get the inside of the car wet and if you don't pull all the carpet out and dry it that too will end up rotting the floors out .
so as to just the reasons why your car has more rot on it than it should would be only a guess .
what you have to do is repair the car and seam seal all the seams . check to be sure there is no water leaking in before you install the interior . use a quality etch primer over any bare metal and just make sure to do the repairs by the book step by step and it will last with out rotting again .
Old 09-27-2013, 02:49 PM
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Thank you! If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods, I owe you many, many beers.

I've got one last question for you. You know where the semi-trailing arms bolt into the frame? There are a couple of square extrusion towers, behind where the handbrake mounts and next to the rear passenger leg space.

Well, that area is obviously behind the rocker panel (which I'm not keen on removing), and because that metal which shapes the bottom edge curves upward, further past those "towers", I can't really cut it out; at least, not with my Dremel & cut-off wheel.

But that metal is pretty badly corroded, so I have to find some way to deal with it. The best I can come up with is inserting a long feather duster (to drag out big, loose flakes), scraping it as best I can with a long pry bar or something similar, sticking my shop-vac hose in there and blowing out as much debris as I can, soaking it with POR-15 rust remover, dousing it with water (hopefully flushing out more debris), and then spraying it with rust converter when it dries.

Do you have any other suggestions for how to deal with that? That's kind of a crude, imperfect solution, obviously.
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Current: 1986 944 Turbo - Sapphire
Past: 1983 944NA - Black (RIP)
1985.5 944NA - Guards Red (in purgatory)
1985.0 944NA - Maraschino Red (traded for a Volvo 244 )
Old 10-02-2013, 09:54 AM
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are you talking about the area were the rear suspension bolts up to ?
Old 10-02-2013, 12:40 PM
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No, where the semi-trailing arm bolts into (the front end). There's a crease between the rockers and the frame, and just inside of that, the floorboard tucks under the frame. I cut away that edge of the floorboard, so that the outside of the frame has no bottom edge currently, but as you go back to the rear edge of the door, where the arms bolt into the body, that bottom edge of the frame curves up beyond the bottom edges of a couple of vertical square-shaped extrusions.

This would be a lot easier if I had a photo... I'll see what I can do about that.

For now, I've just soaked it with WD-40 and scraped away as much loose carp as I could with a long pry bar. It's not actually as bad as I'd feared, but I'd like to clean it up as best as I can. I didn't come this far to settle for a mediocre job!
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Current: 1986 944 Turbo - Sapphire
Past: 1983 944NA - Black (RIP)
1985.5 944NA - Guards Red (in purgatory)
1985.0 944NA - Maraschino Red (traded for a Volvo 244 )
Old 10-03-2013, 10:28 AM
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well i own 7 944's , a 951 , 968 coupe and 2 948's right now and one the 944S is sitting on a celette bench with the suspension out that i'm doing a resto on .
so i will go over to see just what your talking about .

you can email it to me if you want that maybe easier ? i tend to have problems posting here so i just gave up trying .

dkbairbrushing@conversent.net is my personal email .

Last edited by 962porsche; 10-03-2013 at 10:40 AM..
Old 10-03-2013, 10:35 AM
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Rust never sleeps

Rust never sleeps
Old 10-22-2013, 03:06 PM
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