Yeah, you weld a patch in...... then paint it good..... then keep it dryer then the previous owners, will last you forever.
LOL! My Dad and I are the only previous owners. He kept it cleaner than I do.
The problem with this area is the roll bar doesn't fit tight to the sheet all the way around the mounting plates. So, there's large gaps that accumulate dirt and moisture, with no real way to keep it clean and dry.
Another contributing factor is AMC chose to install the roll bar before they primed and painted the tub. As you can see, there was bare sheet metal under my roll bar. Bad choice.
Add to all of that the fact that the channeled brace, under the floor panel is open at the end, in the wheel well, and it collects whatever crap the tires want to deposit in there.
I think I've come up with a solution. It won't be perfect, but it should work better than the original design. I'll post some shots of the progress later this evening.
I didn't get as far as I hoped, but I made progress.
I decided to cut up the vertical side about 1.5", then make the patch in one piece. This created a seamless corner, instead of the grime collecting seam of the factory build. I'm pretty sure this will be less prone to rot.
I have an additional idea for the open end of the channel brace, underneath...in the morning.
I will typically treat the metal to allow the chemical it seap into every crack, the prime and seam seal the primer. Sealer and then priming might have the same effect as you piinted out earlier about the bar before the paint. Not being critical, just thought I would mention it so you could consider it before you paint.
Another thing that I have done when welding a flat piece to a ribbed piece is to cut the repalcement piece with tabs at the rib locations. This allows for a piece to fold down into the rib and be welded for a good seal.
By the way your welds look a WHOLE lot better than mine, great job.
Careful your character's showing
I use chemically treat the metal cause I cant spell Ozphos, Osophate, OZphosphoruos, I mean Metal Prep. You get the idea, Home Depot has it for about $15 a gallon and it is the same stuff as the $30 a guart stuff. Most say to wash it off with water after a few hours, but I prefer to lightly sand blast it, just cant take the thought of water on bare metal.