Floor pan repair/did my truck make me sick?

Friday, I cut out the carpets in the front floor of my truck, 75 ford ranger f100 supercab, and began fabricating some makeshift floor pans. nothing fancy, just functional, using the materials and tools that I had at hand.

I made some progress. I had some 1/8 stainless steel plate, and some galvanized sheet metal about the same thickness as the original material, and some galv. angle shapes. I got the drivers side pretty much done Friday. I was feeling pretty good.

the problem is that I woke up Saturday morning and felt horrible. it hurt to breathe and I had gunk in my lung (I only have the one left) that I was coughing up. it got steadily worse throughout the day . chest hurting with every breath, coughing , crap in my lung. only taking shallow breathes all night. wheezing a bit too.

I woke up this morning, sunday, and I m no worse, but no better either. I didn t even go to church.

I m wondering if I got the respiratory thing that s going around in the Midwest, and some of you have mentioned having also, I m in lower Delaware, but it could have gotten here, my daughter was sick last week.

but I m wondering if I could have gotten some kind of fungus or mold in my lung from the old carpet in my truck. it was pretty much a fred flintstone vehicle under the carpet. large holes on both sides. everything was dry and dusty when I worked on it, but it obviously had been rusting away and wet for years.

anyone ever gotten sick from old mildewed car carpeting?

It’s certainly possible. Maybe you should wear a face mask when you work on the floor. You can find them at a pharmacy or a hardware store. Different types of masks, but they will both filter your breathing air. Check on line to see what products and prices are.

you are absolutely right JT. i will be wearing my respirator when i finish the job, if my lung can handle it. i ll go pick up some dust masks if the respirator is too restrictive. i haven t worn a respirator since my lung was removed, but i still have a cheap disposable one in one of my tool boxes. thanks.

Probably. My son bought a set of floor mats from a well known discount store and installed them in his truck. The next day…his wife got sick after driving the truck to do some shopping. He used the truck the next day and got sick at lunch time. I picked up the truck later in the afternoon to repair an electric seat for him and to change the oil and filter. I was struck by a nasty smell as I got into the cab and decided to find the source. It was the floor mats. I removed them and took the truck to a detailer to get out the rest of the smell. The mats were made in China (no big surprise) and were probably made out of some sort of toxic chemicals. A few years ago some flip flops were recalled because they were making the wearers very ill. They were found to have been manufactured with toxic resins. I hope you are feeling better.

thanks. I bought some boots that made me sick from smelling the glues or resins they used. Chinese made Lehighs.

the carpet in question is the original tho, with the original padding

@wesw … after 40 years in a vehicle…the carpet and padding could be a haven for mold and mildew especially if it ever got wet. It could have evolved into anything at this date and time.

I was in Maryland last week and on the way home developed a productive cough along with an annoying headache, shortness of breath and overall aching. It has been a week getting over it. Maybe there is a bug going around the DelMarVa area.

Oh yeah. I drove home from Maryland. In a new Rav4 no less… Must be carefull here.

You raised a dust that you breathed in.
maybe no toxicity there but just the existence of the dust in the lung is causing a defensive reaction.
and if it is toxic ?

Around here Hantavirus is a true concern. At my parts counter I keep a box of dust masks and my mechanics use at least three a week for various customer vehicles that come into the shop near uninhabitable and some actual mouse-in-the-heater jobs.
they simply ask for a ‘‘mouse mask’’.

Were you welding galvanized steel? that can cause issues. https://www.osha.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/weldhlth.html

Were you welding the galvanized iron. That can make you very sick also, always have plenty of ventilation when welding that suff.


no welding. I fabricated steel for 20 yrs. I know about galvy sickness. we used to go buy a gallon of milk when we had a lot of galv stuff to do. helped coat the stomach. I always kept a fan on me when I worked on it and never got sick. I saw a lot of guys who weren t careful or didn t listen, get sick.

well i got the rest of the passenger pan fabricated and set in place. that’s enough for today, i m not up to installing it. nap time. thanks guys.

Yeah I was going to mention the galvanized welding but you know that. I do once in a while but hold my breath. You probably inhaled all kinds of spores and if you were exposed to the virus going around, could be either. The dirty little secret about those paper face masks though is that they protect others from your breath but don’t help much protecting you unless they are really a tight fit, which they rarely are. Kinda funny watching all those Japanese with the masks on. Helps me but not them except its great for the face mask business which was running three shifts trying to keep up not too long ago. Using the 3M type canister face mask will make quite a difference if you test fit it like a gas mask first. Hold your hands over the filters and breath out and then breath in to insure the fit.

For the floor pan though, why not POR 15? They’ve got the fiber cloth too and even give you a mask to wear with the fiber.

I kind of figured that…with your background, but had to vask.


oh, crap i feel horrible.

i don t have a welder here. i just used what i had at hand, which was two 26x26x1/8 pcs of stainless, which i fabbed into the main pans. they are really sturdy.

i also have some galvanized shapes used for structural decking and metal building applications.
i used them to reinforce the door thresholds and such.

i fastened most of it with heavy duty sheetmetal screws. nothing fancy. i ground the heads down where they would cause problems. once i get some rubber to re do the carpet and put the weather stripping and trim back on you ll barely see it.

the guy who i bought it from already welded a bunch of 1/4 plate and angle in spots, so its not like she ll ever be a beauty queen. it really too far gone.

i really need to do the cab supports. the previous owner tried to do one of them, but he only succeeded in welding a bunch of crap in my way… he didn t even jack the body back into place first.

its not the kind of work i d do for anyone else, or to a pristine and original car, but its solid enough and should last me 10 more years.

i really want to get a small stick welder. lowes has a little tombstone that would be perfect for what i need. it was a pain to cut and shape the pans, but i managed with just my porta-band, a grinder, and bench vise and clamps.

a little oxy-acetylene rig would be nice too…

@Bing, the Japanese wear the masks when they are Ill to protect others, not themselves from others. Tokyo has 13 million inhabitants and a lot more people would be sick if they weren’t so courteous.

Maybe but they shouldn’t be in airplanes or at airports or tourist sites and out in public if they are ill with a contagious disease. I have no data, just observation.

A short bow instead of shaking hands also makes a whole lot of sense these days.

Glad somebody still has a sense of humor today.

jacked up body of truck testerday, looks really good at proper height. guess i ll fix cab supports too.

hopefully. still really sick. pneumonia now i think. gonna see doc if not better tomorrow.