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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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Rusting sills

Hi everyone, I need help with my 1998 B. Age old problem of rusting. I'm told I need left and right floorpan. Sills are bad, does floorpan cover sill area?? It's been getting worse year after year but come Jan, if not sorted,we might have to part company. Can anyone help with knowledge of where to obtain parts or to put me in touch with people with experience of such matters.
Thank you
Andy
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Rusting sills

Are you going to be welding repair yourself? I canít recommend where to purchase what you need. This is quite an undertaking. Personally, I would be looking to going to a specialist that deals in classic car welding, not just somebody who does a bit of car welding. If you really want to keep the car, I would be looking up places who do this in your area even beyond. As I said itís how serious are you. Sorry canít be more helpful.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Quote Originally Posted by jimboy View Post
Are you going to be welding repair yourself? I canít recommend where to purchase what you need. This is quite an undertaking. Personally, I would be looking to going to a specialist that deals in classic car welding, not just somebody who does a bit of car welding. If you really want to keep the car, I would be looking up places who do this in your area even beyond. As I said itís how serious are you. Sorry canít be more helpful.

Thanks for the reply. It's not something I can do unfortunately. I think I'm at the point of realising that its either a big overhaul at expense to keep it going for another 10 years or sell it on for a project or a trip to the scrappers. I dont think it's a patch job. My mechanic can form templates to weld but we all know it's a costly job.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Rusting sills

What condition is it in, apart from the floorpan & sills? Secondhand values of B's are steadily rising, so it might be worth paying for some welding, rather than selling/scrapping it for buttons.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Rusting sills

It's in decent condition. A few cosmetic bits need doing but nothing too drastic. If I cant obtain the floorpans,it would be an open ended welding job. 10 hours, 50 hours?? Who knows where it would end up.
Everything has a price I guess.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: Rusting sills

Hi
Tackling any rust areas can be daunting and they always look depressingly bad.
Even though you canít tackle the task of welding, you could reduce the work of your chosen welder by removing the floor covering and exposing the offending areas perhaps.
I had sill work done on mine, doing this. the guys I used are into restoration work so do know how to make good repairs, I also left it with them over winter for them to do at a time convenient to them, this did include a full respray also.
Where in the UK are you?
Is this car your daily drive? if not do you intend getting another car, my thoughts are that sometimes its better keeping the car you know and maintain it, rather than buying an unknown car that may have other issues.
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Re: Rusting sills

Hi Dave, I'm in South Yorkshire. Dont think I've the knowledge to start taking seats out etc and probably couldn't get it where it needed to go after doing so! Although it's a great suggestion and one I didn't think of.
I really want to keep it and you're right, it's mechanically sound and I know the history and bought it very cheap 6 years ago, so a new car could present problems.
Can I be cheeky and ask how much your sills cost? I know every job is so variable but it would give me an idea of finished cost of such a job.
Last week I was convinced of getting rid and this week I'm leaning towards getting it done.
Thanks
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Re: Rusting sills

Hi Ive sent you a Pm regards cost.

As for removing the seats etc, it realy is not so dificult, for sure before you remove the seats disconect your battery, leave for 20 mins or so to allow any energy to deplete in the ECU then befor disconecting your seats. Get under the passenger footwell and locate the airbag ECU unit on top of the gearselect tunnel, unplug the multisocket from the unit, doing this will allow you to reconect your battey, so that you can drive your car. Removing your seats is just 4 bolts and a plug. Once they are removed you can take out the center consol, also the plastic trim around the innersill area.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Re: Rusting sills

Hi Dave, Thank you for the info from your last post. This has in itself brought another potential issue up. I have no red key. Will allowing all energy to drain from the ECU cause me a problem without the red key? I've obviously changed battery over time and causes no issue but I think this might?
Cheers Andy
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Re: Rusting sills

Regards keys, When I bought my car, I only had the blue key. So had a clone made at Timpsons. Weeks later I lost the fiat key. Do now only have a clone key, I've never had any issues regards staring my car, regardless of how long the car battery has been disconnected. Just a point I don't have the factory option alarm fitted though.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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I have a Fiat blue key that is in a safe place. I had this cloned and the clone is the one I use on a daily basis. I'm uncertain though that if the ECU is fully drained of power, dont I need the Red key to "restart" the ECU? Or is the Red key just to clone more keys from? I'm confused.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Re: Rusting sills

The RED master key is for programming new keys only. Loss of power to the vehicle's Engine ECU and Key Code Unit/ECU (even for extended periods) will not require the use of the RED key and the normal Blue one will work OK.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Quote Originally Posted by s130 View Post
The RED master key is for programming new keys only. Loss of power to the vehicle's Engine ECU and Key Code Unit/ECU (even for extended periods) will not require the use of the RED key and the normal Blue one will work OK.
Thank you. Always a worry when its going in for work and not sure if its going to start again!!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Re: Rusting sills

Some may cringe at this but I swear by this.

Once you have the seats, inner sill trim and rear centre console removed (takes about 30 mins going slowly then you are faced with the floor mat/liner.

You will see that this is one complete piece with the rear part and side basically free but the front is retained up behind the dash and the front centre console.

You will see that the floor mat rises up from the front foot well over the seat centre bulk head and drops down into the rear foot well. What you can do is using a new blade sharp Stanley knife and a rule is to cut across the width of the mat on the TOP of the bulkhead line. Do both sides going right across the centre tunnel. You then cut along the centre tunnel rewards. You can now easily remove the two rear mat quarters.

All the cuts will be hidden except for one inch either side of the seats to the sill. If done carefully none will notice them, even less so when the inner sill trim is put back one.

IMPORTANT! When doing the horizontal bulkhead cut MAKE SURE your line of cut is rearwards so you don't cut through or too near the fuel cut-off switch section.

Now with the rear mats remove you can far more easily lift the front sections and prop up for drying purposes.

While you have the rear mats out I would seal the holes where the seat cable comes through (I used black silicone with black rubber). Now any water that gets into the rear mat well can not drain into the floor pan. The seat cable now just comes up and out through the horizontal cut you made.

When removing the seat note the following:

1) Beneath the four seat bolts/runners will be one or more packing washers. Note how many on each so you at least get everything back as it was.

2) It is easier to remove the four seat bolts and tip the seat and then undo the underneath seat connector. The are hard to disconnect and worse still if the seat is still bolted down

3) Packing washers. When you put the seat back note carefully how level/even the seat runners sit level on all four corners. I found slight gaps on one or more corners so put additional penny washers in. Even with slight gaps then when the seat is bolted down the smallest twist in the seat runner frame makes the seats harder to move. Out of the car you will find that the runners work very easily compared to when they were in the car. A little time and effort will get those bolted down seats moving a lot better

4) Seat connectors. Inspect carefully for any terminal damage, corrosion etc. Now is the time to clean them up and lubricate them. WD40 is OK but you can get "switch cleaner and lubricant" from places like Farnell Electronics or Radio Spares.

5) Door sealing strips: There is a mod I've done that solved another problem. If you look at the door sealing strips the just where they curve around from their vertical drops to the sill line you will see that Fiat kindly put 3 small drain hole in the top channel of the roll rubber sealing section. Sadly when the door is closed these gets squeezed shut so any water coming into the door jamb runs down the channel groove, wells up at the bottom and then runs out over the inner sill trim into the floor mat wells. What I have done is to (using *sharp* scissors is to cut a 3mm gap in that round roll rubber seal just around the same area as the holes Fiat put. (Don't but the backing solid rubber carrier). Now any water the gets into the top of the door jambs will still run down the groove but can now drop out freely.

The whole problem with the Barchetta is that it so sexily designed with smooth and almost level surface area around the "B" post and hood interface then wind, parking on a slope, etc. easily lets water get inside the car where most disappears unseen into the back floor pan.

Another reason the "B"s can have these extensive rot problems is that because water does, can, will get under those mats by their waterproof nature it goes unnoticed. The "B" is uses thicker steel as Fiat had stiffen the whole lower chassis due not having upper A, B and C posts, and roof like the Punto. This means that the steel resists corrosion for a lot longer and when holes do appear far more damage has already been done.

I'm of the opinion that despite many of the mods I have done to ensure any water getting in does not get into the rear foot well (which I have seam sealed off from the front) water will get in and under the rear mats. But at least now the rear mats can be easily removed and inspections made. Also now have a half car cover that is a doddle to fit and remove and since fitting have not had any signs of water getting in.
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Last edited by s130; 1 Week Ago at 10:54.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Re: Rusting sills

What a great post! Thank you for troubling to write it. Your tips are invaluable. One of my tasks for the winter months is to remove the floor liner and have a good look at the floorpan. I'm sure I'll be returning to this post often.
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