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On the way home, I thought I heard a rattle from the rear of my 93 Daytona. At first I thought it was just the snow brush against the interior panels. But as I listened more carefully, it sounded metallic. All gauges and handling were normal, so I finished the 35 mile ride home (it was raining hard and no safe place to stop). When I got home I looked under the car and saw something hanging in the rear. A gas tank strap! I was riding home on the left strap, and the friction fit of the filler pipe.

At first I thought the stud had somehow broken, or the strap. No problem, I happen to have 2 new straps in the basement. No such luck.

The support plate on the bottom of the floorpan for the strap stud broke off from the floorpan! This is probably the worst scenario, because it will take more examination and planning. I don't know yet if the weld broke or if it rotted off. If the former, no big deal. If the latter, I'll have to examine the floorpan and evaluate whether there will be further risk of loss of integrity.

I'm thinking as long as the floorpan is intact, I'll find a thick metal plate as a replacement, mount it either inside or underneath the floorpan with a new SS bolt as a stud, and bolt the plate to the floorpan. If the floorpan is rotted around it, I'll either have to have the tank pulled, new metal welded in and reinstall everything, or consider getting rid of the car. Hate to do the latter, there's still a lot of potential life to the car.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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Eh, just drill a couple of holes and run a leather belt or two through!

*grin*
 

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Discussion Starter #4
george w said:
How's the underbody rust situation ? Hopefully you don't have a rust problem or if it is, it's very localized.
3 1/2 years ago I brought the car to a rust repair shop that has done 15,000 cars over 35 years. They do great work. They torched out the remains of the rockers (inner and outer), fabricated new rockers, new lower rear quarters, sandblasted the entire underside, painted it with an epoxy primer and Ziebarted it. ALL rust was gone. However, there are areas that can't be reached, such as inside the rear crossmember (these cars rust there). This area looked solid. That's why I'm thinking the weld fractured. A couple of days before, I skirted around the edge of a deep puddle in a parking lot, but both left wheels fell into something underwater - the hardest impact I've ever felt. I think it was an uncovered manhole, from the jolt I got. Maybe that flexed things enough to break that weld. At any rate, I have the truck to drive (though the starter contacts are burned); and the Turbo as backup for that.
 

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Well, I used my new mechanic's creeper to peek underneath. It's NOT a good story.

The mpunting plate for the tank strap stud ripped off the floorpan due to rust, leaving a hole that exposes the upper layer of the floorpan. The upper layer appears solid. So I could drill and bolt in a new metal plate with stud so that I can reattach the strap.

However, in plucking at it, I found that the front face of the rear crossmember has rotted away from the right end at the subframe rail, about 10 inches leftward. I can reach into the crossmember for that distance; the rest is a little scaly but still solid. So the car isn't about to collapse, but rust is steadily eating the crossmember.

I also pulled at the edge of the left strap mounting plate, and peeled it away from the floorpan from its edge to the bolt. So the left strap is compromised and will very soon give way. Again, I can drill and bolt in a new plate. However, I need to fix the crossmember. This happened to my last car to the extent that I had someone cut out and weld in a new fabricated crossmember for $750. The tank has to come out no matter how I fix the crossmember, and it also should come out just to make it easier to repair the stud mounts.

The rest of the car is in such good shape that I hate to let this be the reason for getting rid of it. I will definitely have to be thorough about refurbishing everything under there, in order to keep it, or to sell it to anyone in good conscience. I know I can make it safe, but I would not want it to rot out on anyone else, or me, within the next 2-3 years.

But it's obvious that I only have about 3-5 years at most left in this car. That's disappointing, because that means it's not worth porting and polishing the intake/head someday, or painting it, or that I could reach 300,000 miles.

I also have the option of getting rid of it and making the 1984 Daytona Turbo Z my daily driver, as the last owner did. It has 130K miles and truly no rust. Cutting back to 3 family vehicles would save me about $1,500 or more a year.

I hope the 2014 or 2015 Dart will turn out to be something that I might want for a daily driver someday.
 
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