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Discussion Starter #1
I've done a little test sanding and it reveals good metal, in most cases the original factory off white. It looks horrendous, but it's just rusty "dust" mostly at this point. Can I sand and use some rust converter or POR 15, which I've heard about? Also visible is some kind of semi metallic hard factory floor liner, like insulation or reinforcement. It's glued on very firmly. Floors have no holes, bubbles, cracks. I'm putting in carpet and insulator. What to do?
 

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The covering is a sound deadening material. A hard tar-like material. I just scraped mine all out, sanded the surface rust, primed with a rusty metal primer, and painted the floor. Then, I installed a new sound & thermal matting (Thermo-Tec Cool It). I’ll follow up with new carpet padding and carpet.

I saw some surface rust under the dash, so I pulled out the dashboard, the HVAC system from under the dash, and the firewall insulator pads. That uncovered some more surface rust. So, I’ll sand and paint the firewall before installing the new firewall insulation and reassembling the interior.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The covering is a sound deadening material. A hard tar-like material. I just scraped mine all out, sanded the surface rust, primed with a rusty metal primer, and painted the floor. Then, I installed a new sound & thermal matting (Thermo-Tec Cool It). I’ll follow up with new carpet padding and carpet.

I saw some surface rust under the dash, so I pulled out the dashboard, the HVAC system from under the dash, and the firewall insulator pads. That uncovered some more surface rust. So, I’ll sand and paint the firewall before installing the new firewall insulation and reassembling the interior.
Good to know this, thanks. Can I just ask: 1) What's your preferred method of sanding for the floors, hand? Dremel? Drill with wheel? And 2) The Thermo-Cool has its own adhesive I think, but will you also use adhesive under the padding and then under carpet? Spray adhesive? Anyway, much appreciated. I guess it's best to take out that tar-like floor covering, but it was placed so well at factory, yet we gotta treat any possible rust under there I'm sure. Regards
 

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Drill and/or Drexel with wire wheel and/or conical wire brush. The Thermo-Tec is self-adhering with a paper backing you peel off prior to installation. I think the padding uses a spray adhesive.

The factory deadening material is not uniformly fit to the floors and transmission tunnel. In some places it has a death grip on the floor, and in other places it is loosely fit or has air gaps. It also doesn’t cover everything. Any moisture in the carpeting from prior heater leaks, spilled drinks, etc. could lead to surface rust. That’s what I found in my 280Z.

Now that I’m done with the floors, I’m attacking the surface rust on mt firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Drill and/or Drexel with wire wheel and/or conical wire brush. The Thermo-Tec is self-adhering with a paper backing you peel off prior to installation. I think the padding uses a spray adhesive.

The factory deadening material is not uniformly fit to the floors and transmission tunnel. In some places it has a death grip on the floor, and in other places it is loosely fit or has air gaps. It also doesn’t cover everything. Any moisture in the carpeting from prior heater leaks, spilled drinks, etc. could lead to surface rust. That’s what I found in my 280Z.

Now that I’m done with the floors, I’m attacking the surface rust on mt firewall.
Man that's excellent. So it's worth taking off all the factory stuff to see what's underneath. Kind of like catching a bad tooth in time to do a filling, instead of waiting too long and having to yank it and put in an implant.
 

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In my experience, the factory sound deadening hid a couple areas that needed attention. Best to take it off since you've come this far. I used a $12 electric scraper from Harbor Freight with a thin chisel/cutting piece attached (came with the scraper). It's loud! Wear ear plugs.
 

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Dry Ice Version

Mix chunks of dry ice and rubbing alcohol in a bucket to make a super-cold "slurry" and pour it onto the insulation. In about 15-20 seconds you'll hear cracking noises. The slurry freezes the rubber into a solid, which then breaks apart and pops free of the steel floor in big chunks. It's easier and faster than using a heat gun and scraper, and a lot less messy. Make sure you wear gloves while handling the dry ice because it will burn skin, and only do it in a well-ventilated area.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In my experience, the factory sound deadening hid a couple areas that needed attention. Best to take it off since you've come this far. I used a $12 electric scraper from Harbor Freight with a thin chisel/cutting piece attached (came with the scraper). It's loud! Wear ear plugs.
Let the mini jackhammer rip. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mix chunks of dry ice and rubbing alcohol in a bucket to make a super-cold "slurry" and pour it onto the insulation. In about 15-20 seconds you'll hear cracking noises. The slurry freezes the rubber into a solid, which then breaks apart and pops free of the steel floor in big chunks. It's easier and faster than using a heat gun and scraper, and a lot less messy. Make sure you wear gloves while handling the dry ice because it will burn skin, and only do it in a well-ventilated area.
Fascinating. I do believe in the power of dry ice. This is a new application yet also makes sense. Some of the areas of insulation seem to be put on with JB Weld or the like, plus 40 years of cooking so it's like perma-tar. Whatever reasonable chiseling can't budge, I'm thinking this will. There's a liquor store selling dry ice down the street. I'm assuming the mixture will evaporate after I lay it on but would be ready to blot up and quickly dry the floor after. In the unlikely event it doesn't work I can always return to the liquor store for some painkiller..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have to wonder if it's necessary to go "all the way" with the removal of the tar insulation, at least for driver's side. It looks to be a true no-rust floor. The part near driver's heel that I scraped away took all my strength and a half hour alone. I would do the dry ice method, or even just chisel for days, but do you think it's necessary? It also looks like it was painted AFTER the insulation was put down, just by looking at the body-colored floor grommet. Anyway, the underseat part is also clean, but I used adhesive remover along with scraping. Passenger side is a different story, and must be wire-brushed, as you can see the "surface" rust in previous post pic. But maybe not driver's side? Question: Can I use alcohol to remove any greasy residue of 3M adhesive remover, to make the floors accept the primer and paint? Anyway, little by little...
 

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I found the best way is just to remove it all. Rust or no rust, it'll save you from having to do it again later. Dry ice works wonders, but you'll need a lot. I found about 80% can be removed with dry ice directly, the rest just needed to stay cold to be chipped off. I used a wire wheel, followed by a plastic wheel, for cleaning up any small bits still left, but be careful if it starts to warm up. It'll load up that wire wheel and smear it everywhere in an instant.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I found the best way is just to remove it all. Rust or no rust, it'll save you from having to do it again later. Dry ice works wonders, but you'll need a lot. I found about 80% can be removed with dry ice directly, the rest just needed to stay cold to be chipped off. I used a wire wheel, followed by a plastic wheel, for cleaning up any small bits still left, but be careful if it starts to warm up. It'll load up that wire wheel and smear it everywhere in an instant.
So the dual method is best. I'll try the dry ice then I'll follow up with chiseler and wheels. You're right, I guess the only way to be sure and complete is to get it all off. Besides, I'm thinking the new insulation I put in will be lighter and quieter anyway. Thanks to all for the suggestions so far, I'm using elements of all of them. Hand scraping alone is just proving way too slow and brutal. Better to put both dry ice and power tools to work. Pics/report to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dry ice results

The dry ice works, I'm a believer. These pics are after using 20 lbs of it in 2 separate applications and mixed with alcohol. Followed by some scraping/chiseling. Still have a lot of cleanup scraping to do, and I still have to ice the center tunnel, but it went much quicker and quieter than scraping alone. I notice what looks like seam sealer on some of the major seams, which is even more difficult nasty stuff to work with. Assuming I get it all off or most of it, would I spread some new seam sealer down, like Eastwood, etc? Or will the new acoustic liner plus padding plus carpet be enough? The rust-colored areas are both hazy surface oxidation and strange paint spray. After sanding, I was going to POR15 the floors. I'd rather paint with brush than spray it, though I might end up spraying body color on top of that. Don't know what "people do" in this case, I'm a cub. But thanks for the help including the dry ice to begin with, and the other suggestions. A couple days ago I could hardly get my mind around this. Soon I'll be gliding in a quiet carpeted carriage. Thanks to this forum of Zilosophers.
 

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Way to go!


Now you need to think about the drain holes. If you have enough water inside your car that you need a drain plug, you probably have bigger problems to deal with. I welded patches on the underside and covered them with seam sealer.


I bought enough sound deadening insulation to cover every interior surface, with two layers over the transmission tunnel. It oughta be pretty quiet.
 

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I’m planning on a double layer over the transmission tunnel and the floors in front of the seats. Acemon, did you put sound deadening over the rear wheels, the shock towers, and on the side panels below the quarter windows? I haven’t decided on doing those areas because I don’t know how the thickness of the sound deadening might impact the fit of the new vinyl I have yet to install.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your trans tunnel will be cool and quiet. I'm assuming we cover every part of floor with the new insulation, even the raised parts where the seat bolt holes are. .I know there are numerous choices, I think I'm going with Rattletrap. And what are you painting the floor panels with? POR 15?
 

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I used a rusty metal primer followed by a grey primer. The seat rails are further covered with paint to match the car's color. The rails aren't covered by the sound deadener. I don't recommend using the sound deadener too far up the firewall. I've heard of the tar substance melting. There, I will use a new firewall insulator pad.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I used a rusty metal primer followed by a grey primer. The seat rails are further covered with paint to match the car's color. The rails aren't covered by the sound deadener. I don't recommend using the sound deadener too far up the firewall. I've heard of the tar substance melting. There, I will use a new firewall insulator pad.
Much appreciated. Say, were your floors completely sanded to bare metal before painting, no traces of oxidation? Or is it ok to have some discoloration/surface oxidation even after some sanding? Won't the rusty metal primer handle a bit of light rusty residue? I'm not able to completely eliminate some of the staining/discoloration in a few areas.
 
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