Anyone who's seen the Flinstones cartoon knows what a car would look like without a floor pan. Not only would it be impossible to design a modern automobile without one, but even if one were made it would be extremely unsafe, noisy, and dirty. That is because your floor pan keeps your passenger compartment completely separate from the road below. Its braces also provide a mounting surface for your seats and console. So imagine a car without all of that - it doesn't sound like much of a car. But obviously all of our cars are built with floor pans. Yours, however, might have a hole in it. Or you might be doing a restoration and need to install new floor pan braces. Either way, you've come to the right place. No restoration would be complete without some new sheet metal, and this is where you are going to find the best stuff.
For as long as cars have been made, they have had a floor pan. The construction of early automobile chassis didn't differ very much from the cart and buggy from the previous generations. Body panels were even made of wood like carriages were, so the pieces that made up the bottom of the chassis were called floor boards. After steel manufacturing took off, it was easier to stamp steel panels than to shape wood. So steel floor pans became the norm, as did the floor pan braces that support them. In addition to the passenger compartment, the bottom of the rear storage compartment was now made from a steel trunk floor pan supported on the sides by drop off braces and a cross rail at the very rear. This is also where you will find gas tank braces and a mount for the spare tire.
Floor pan replacement is going to be messy work, but is considered a bread-and-butter operation for seasoned body shop mechanics. It requires some time to just get started. First, you have to identify the rusted section(s) of the existing floor, mark them, pop the existing spot welds, and cut the original floor pan away. Then, you have to prep and prime the area you intend to keep. Once you've got the new floor pan in place, you have to make more marks where it will be installed and drill new holes for your first spot welds to the floor pan braces. The new pan and old pan will ideally overlap slightly so you can make a flange and lap weld or a butt weld (which requires more cutting). Finally, your welds need to be ground down and sealed. A great step-by-step article on floor pan replacement can be found here.
Picking quality sheet metal panels is going to be of the utmost importance when doing any body work for your restoration. At Car Parts Discount, we offer the best quality floor pans and braces from top brands like Dynacorn and OER. They are GM, Ford, and MoPar authorized reproduction manufacturers of restoration components; which means the floor pan, trunk floor, or brace you get will be stamped perfectly and the correct thickness for your job. Do it once, do it right.