The Nissan Pathmaker OneTon SAS Build Blog - Part 3 - Rust Bucket
Anyone with a first gen Nissan knows they're prone to rusting under the rear seats and floor area, trapped moisture under carpets as well as splash from below means that there was some decent sized holes under my seats when I unbolted them, as well as the start of a serious hole in the rear footwells that I didn't even know about until I tackled the HORRIBLE Nissan sound deadening material.
Its everywhere under the carpet and its horrible to remove, the best way I found was literally with a hammer and chisel, chipping it off in big chunks, which of course was when I found that I had more holes in my floorpan than I realized. Knowing enough about rust to know that theres no fooling around and you've got to just cut it all out I hacked away at the floor in the rear footwell and patched in the floors with some 18ga and some tack welds on the old painted metal. Thankfully fluxcore is great for burning thru paint, not really that good at very thin gauge steel tho.
I also decided that the floor under the seats was too horrible to save, but I still wanted rear seats somehow for my dog so I decided to build a tool box under the old seats and then build new seats on top. Can never have too much storage as my plan is to use this as a camera rig/expedition rig. Plus I like to have a lot of tools and spares with me on the trail. Grabbed some old bedframe (great source for cheap angle iron) and some sheet metal and started to figure out how to make it all work.
Not yet knowing how i'd do the seats I moved on to even MORE fender cutting in the rear, this time extending the wheel well another 6" to accommodate the big 42" tires. Surprisingly this wasnt really too bad to section out.
I also cut the rear of the body where it sticks down to cover the body mount. My new rear bumper was going to cover it so I cut it off and capped the bottom with new steel on both sides. Learning as I go the sheet metal work is getting better already.
Also notice all the rust on the frame and that body mount.........yea, 2008 me is really pissed off at 2001 me right at that point. So many hours of wire wheeling ahead.
After all that finicky sheet metal it was starting to get time to start working on some proper steel and begin to figure out how to hang the suspension. With next to no info available online I was just going to have to do what I could and hopefully the rest would become more clear as I went. As a good friend of mine always says "If you don't know what to do, do what you know".
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Check out Part 4 in the next blog post here: The OneTon Nissan Pathmaker SAS Build - Part 4 - Getting Suspensful
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