Progress Thread Floor Pan Rust Removal - Need Some Advice

5.0 Nostalgia

10 Year Member
Feb 28, 2003
Last month I decided to wash the LX and do an oil change. After washing the car and drying the door jambs, I decided to lift the back of the carpet on the passenger side to check the floor pan to make sure it was dry. This is what I found...


As you can see, the carpet was pretty wet and some rust had formed on the rear of the floor pan. I don't really care about the carpet because it is easily replaced, but the rust was definitely a concern. This car is pretty clean and rust free so I was surprised to find this. I did a little experimenting and noticed that water was coming in pretty good when I hosed down the passenger door so I am going to put on some new weather stripping.



The bottom looks good so it appeared to just be surface rust. There is only a small amount of rust on the bottom near the seam so I decided to try to save the floor pan instead of having it removed and replaced. The plan was to remove the paint, brush/sand/grind off the rust, cover with POR 15 or something similar, then install a new carpet. I have never done something like this before so I am going to need some help along the way.

Here is what I have done so far...

First thing to do was remove the paint and get a good look at the rust.



It proved to be a little difficult to work with the carpet and interior in the car so everything came out. Before I went any further I wanted the piece of mind of knowing that everything else looked good. This picture shows what appears to be some rust on the front part of the floor but that wiped right off with a towel (I think it was from the e-brake).



After a ton of work with a few different types of wire brush and grinding drill bits, I was able to get most of the rust off.


I used three different types of wire brush attachments that I bought in a kit at Home Depot. It also came with a sanding bit that worked great but you definitely had to be careful with. For some of the tough parts, I used a couple different grinding bits. If you are going to do a project like this, don't be afraid of the grinding bits, but just be careful.

I didn't want to remove the seam sealer, but there was still some rust around it and the sealer didn't appear to be spread too well from the factory and may have contributed to the problem.


A note to anyone that may be attempting this or a similar project - the easiest way I found to remove the seam sealer is to carefully pry it off with a flathead screwdriver and then use a wire brush to remove the excess. I tried using the wire brush on the drill first and it just ended up making a mess.



This is where I am right now. I need a little help on how to move forward from here. At this point, I coated the area with a light coat of motor oil to keep any of the bare metal from rusting. I will remove with some brake cleaner before continuing.


I don't really know what to do with this area here. Should I get some sandpaper and try to get under the seam or will the POR 15 provide enough of a seal to negate further preparation here?


You will notice a hole in the top left center. I actually don't know why that this there but there is no rust around it. and the seam sealer around this area was clean.


This is what the area looked like before removing the seam sealer. As you can see, it looked pretty good.


Also looking for some suggestions on whether or not to do any more prep to this area. This is where probably the worst of the rust was. The area in the top right is looks like it still has some paint on it, but that is probably just the reflection of light from the camera.

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wanna catch the space herp
10 Year Member
Sep 1, 2010
Kearney, NE
I believe POR 15 is the top coat. You want the rust convertor first, it will stop the rust in its tracks. Then put por 15 and seam sealer on top to protect the metal and convertor. Then get all the water stopped.


5 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
Something I learned recently. Once you finished with the floors, you can use a smoke machine on the inside to find your leaks. If it is the door seal you can take small diameter rubber hose, almost for vac lines, and stuff it in the rubber stripping where it is leaking. Reinstall it and perform smoke test again. If it still leaks then you need to replace the stripping. If not then that is a pretty cheap fix.


Active Member
Nov 29, 1999
Hey friend, I just came across your thread and remembered that I wanted to share a tool that I use to remove rust, with other guys on here. I'll leave you a link to cross over to look at what I use. Hopefully all the tools that others use to get at rust, will begin to pool into that thread under one umbrella.

BTW, looks like the tool I use would work wonders on the rust that you picture.

Have fun, my son loves to do rust removal like yours... go figure. I think it's the tools and patience required...

5.0 Nostalgia

10 Year Member
Feb 28, 2003
Thanks for the help guys. Anything that anyone else can contribute would be greatly appreciated. Do I need to do any further prep or rust removal before starting paint?

1200gt, those are the wire brushes I used. In addition, I have a slightly smaller one similar to the brush on the drill in your pictures. I also used a couple grinding bits to get some of the tougher areas.