This was the "little job" I was going to occupy my time with while waiting for my bulkhead and roll cage to be ready. As always though, once I started opening things up it was hard to know when to stop. When I removed the carpet, I saw a lot of galvanic corrosion that I wasn't expecting.
This photo was taken after I'd started scuffing up the paint, but you can see that the aluminium has corroded through above all the steel supports below the tub. There's also a lot of corrosion around the seat belt bolts. I decided the best way to resolve this was to lay a new sheet of aluminium over the floor. There were also some corroded portions on the wheel wells where bolts had been attached. I cut smaller pieces of aluminium for those areas and riveted them underneath the floor.
I also decided to take the floor out from under the second row of seats. This was for a few reasons. First, I wanted to spray Al's Heat and Noise Reducer (HNR) on both sides of the piece, rather than putting two layers on top. I had also decided to do some cleanup on my chassis while I'm working on the truck anyway. As time permits, I decided to sand blast the frame where I can reach it, and paint on POR-15 Rust Preventive Paint. Since under the floor is an otherwise hard-to-reach area, off it came. Here's what it looked like:
There's nothing really suprising there, but some prep and POR-15 yielded this, which I like a lot more.
Next step was spraying Al's HNR. I sprayed all the way up to the roof line inside, as most of my trim pieces up to there were garbage. As mentioned, I sprayed both sides of the floor piece I'd removed. I plan to do the wheel wells later. I also sprayed the underside of the large sheet of aluminium that's going to go on top of the HNR sprayed on the existing floor. That will give two layers there sandwiched together, as well as giving me bare aluminuium for the Raptor liner to go on. I did contact Al's Liner to ask if they recommend spraying U-Pol Raptor on top of HNR. They said that people spray Al's Liner on top of the HNR often and they recommend that on their web site. They hadn't heard of anyone doing it with Raptor, but they didn't see an issue. They just recommended I let Al's HNR dry for 3 days first. I figured though that putting the Raptor straight on the (primed) aluminium was a more tried and true approach, and since I was using the aluminium sheet anyway, I went for that option on the bed floor as it gets the most wear. Here's a video (and a photo) of the interior after spraying the HNR.
I opted to re-prime the aluminium sheet with a can of Dominion Sure Seal spray-on etch primer at the last minute. The apparent shadow on the edge of the sheet in the next photo is just overspray from the primer. I figured a bit of primer on the HNR wouldn't be a problem. There are lots of rivets on this sheet, as it's a used sheet of aluminium (thanks Stephen). Lots of existing rivet holes were easiest filled with new rivets. About 5 rivets into this job I gave up on my "pro quality" hand riveter that wasn't working any more and spent $70 on a pneumatic/hydraulic rivet gun from Princess Auto. That thing is so sweet and makes me very happy. Easy rivets, perfect every time, and IIRC cheaper than the hand tool had been.
The next step is finally spraying the U-Pol Raptor. I got the tintable version, and followed the instructions of ordering the paint for tinting with no binders or clears. This seems to have worked perfectly, leaving enough room in each bottle for the hardener and the tint. Here are some photos of the finished product, and a video. On the first image you can see some striping. Some of this is because I took these photos immediately after spraying, before I'd even cleaned up. The final coat was still wet but the previous coats were mostly dry. However, upon looking several hours later, there's still some striping. I think it's because I'd sprayed some with the gun closer and some farther away. This meant that the texture was different on different passes, leading to a slightly discontinuous finish. I'm a little bummed about that, but I'm overall very happy with the result so far.
The last photo is a closeup of one of the floor screws that I replaced. I of course used all new stainless screws and captive u-nuts. I went back and forth over putting in the screws before or after the Raptor, and finally decided on before. It's not the end of the world to clean off the screws if you have to remove them. I wanted to spray the floor all together to help seal it. I'd have had to rivet it down if I was going to put the screws in later, in which case it would have been hard to remove anyway. The screws are actually more visible and accessible in reality than they appear from the photo, but it also shows a good close-up view of the texture. It's not completely dry yet, but so far it feels quite rubbery which I think is appropriate for this type of vehicle.
I had enough Raptor to do the job, but no extra. I'd rather have had one more bottle, as I wanted to spray my wooden box that goes back there too. Now I'll have to paint it separately with paint that I hopefully have left over after painting my bulkhead. However, in Canada I don't think anyone sells individual tintable bottles.
Actually I'll end on a note regarding availability of products in Canada. Like many Canadians, I read about great products like POR-15 and U-Pol Raptor on the internet. I bought the POR-15 from POR-15 Canada, but had no idea where I was going to get U-Pol Raptor. I try to avoid cross-border shopping but I thought I was going to have to resort to that. None of these companies bother listing Canadian distributors. I emailed U-Pol and asked for a Canadian distributor, and just in time their rep in Michigan called me and told me to go to D & W Auto Body Supplies in Guelph. I could have bought it cheaper, with individual bottles, from www.autobodynow.com with $19.99 flat-rate shipping to Canada, but I'd already committed to buy from D&W. Plus, supporting the local economy and all that. I think I got my money's worth in advice from D&W anyway.
This may seem obvious to you, but it didn't even occur to me to go to a local company. Actually I did get check my local NAPA/Ideal Supply, but they could only get black Raptor, not tintable. In Canada, check your local auto body paint specialists, and failing that, get in touch with the company. This might be a lot easier than spending effort looking all over the internet for something that may be available just down the road. By the way D&W stocks POR-15 too, if only I'd known.