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How do I weld this?

Discussion in 'Paint and Body' started by Cruiseomatic, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Cruiseomatic

    Cruiseomatic Defining Insanity

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    Got the new cab stripped and found holes in it. Not big, But still has holes. One is under the VIN tag, the other is on the back wall, and the last is where the rear sliding glass was. I'm told Ford used 18 ga. steel and I should use a mig welder.
    Thats great but how do I do this? Don't have any equipment currently. Painted them for one I'll remember and two, to slow down the cancer "hopefully".
    Thanks.

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  2. laserjock

    laserjock Almost there... Supporting Member

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    Holes that size need a filler. If you've never seen this done, YouTube it. Way easier to watch it done than for me to try to explain it. You will need a way to cut metal, a way to weld metal, and a way to grind it back smooth.
     
  3. Cruiseomatic

    Cruiseomatic Defining Insanity

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    Got quoted 1200-ish to fix all three spots.
     
  4. teletech

    teletech Registered User

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    You can fix those easily enough with a bit of welding equipment, but since you are asking how, I wouldn't. A novice welder is far more likely to warp the surrounding sheetmetal than to get it right, but there are many options:

    First, you need some patch material. Ideally you go to a local wrecking yard that will let you use a battery-powered cutoff grinder or sawzall and harvest some pieces that have the correct curves and cut them to a good size. If you can't make that happen, perhaps you can get them to cut out a chunk for you. Starting with new metal is problematic since auto-body steel is treated and formulated to form with less tearing than plain steel you would buy at the store. Once you have your patches of about the right shape and size made up, then you can decide how best to attach them.

    There are some lovely modern adhesives that will bond strongly enough to be considered permanent, just enlarge the hole a bit and slide the patch in from behind or pound it in a bit and attach the patch from the outside.
    If you really want them welded in, use a high-speed cutoff wheel in a grinder to cut the holes in the cab back to good (at least 70% of original thickness) material, cut your patches to fit precisely, and take it to a fabrication shop to have them do the final welding. Shouldn't be more than a couple hundred bucks that way.

    If you really insist on doing the welding yourself, buy a car door to practice on and a little wirefeed like a Lincoln weldpack-100.
    You have a better chance of success if you use one with shielding gas, so you will need a small bottle of argon/CO2 mix and some fine (.023) wire. Once you can weld a patch on a steel door without warping it too badly you are ready to attempt it on your cab.

    Remember that if you weld in a patch you have to make sure to get some sort of corrosion protection on the backside of the welded panel or it will rot out again.

    good luck,
     
  5. Cruiseomatic

    Cruiseomatic Defining Insanity

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    Basically, All I know is tackweld in various spots far away from the last until you have a solid bead. I have patch panels already from my old cab so that will cut down on the cost to do this. Also been watching youtube videos on how but we all know thats about as reliable as wikipedia. I do insist on the patches being welding in for longevity and structural help. I'll look into the lincoln setup.
    Might be a couple of weeks before I can do anything though.... Just got set back $150 on dental surgery this morning..... Luckily I didn't have to miss work over it.... My insurance sucks.
    Thanks.
     
  6. laserjock

    laserjock Almost there... Supporting Member

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    I like my Hobart Handler. It's been a pretty good piece. It's not industrial quality but I'm not making a living with it either.
     
  7. 79jasper

    79jasper Chickenhawk

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    I don't know who makes them, but Eastwood is marketing there's.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
     
  8. teletech

    teletech Registered User

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    I'm sure any decent wirefeed with gas will do fine for this project, I was just intending to steer the OP away from flux-core only Harbor Freight (or equivalent) junk. I haven't done anything but TIG for years but figured it's a bit of a learning curve for a novice.

    I know I used to be reluctant to use adhesive rather than weld, but I've seen lousy welds come apart after a few years on body panels and I've also seen sheetmetal tear before the adhesive gave up.

    http://www.assemblymag.com/articles...s-to-replace-welding-and-mechanical-fasteners
    I guess a big part of the trick is the shape of the area to be bonded.
     
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  9. Cruiseomatic

    Cruiseomatic Defining Insanity

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    Not using flux core. Kind of debating just taking it to a body shop because it needs professional help for these areas. All the seam sealer on the outside is hard and cracking apart. Can actually flake it off. Firewall needs the most help. Between old sealer and getting the paint off in some cracks and small spaces.... Thinking of just getting it dipped and welded instead.... At a loss here.
     
  10. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    A little late, but here's some suggestions if you're still mulling this over.

    Don't worry about warping. You're not in the middle of a wide panel and the shape will be able to resist most of the pull.

    Remove all affected metal with a cut-off wheel and go straight to the edge of the panel (don't try to make a 4 sided weld in patch; 3 sided only). Make the rectangular hole roughly where you think the rust has spread to. Don't waste your time trying to salvage as much metal as possible. Rust on the inside will affect your weld so you need to cut it all off. Once you have it out, then you can form a patch panel fairly easily. Make the patch larger than it needs to be, then nibble it down with snips and sanding to get as tight as fit as possible. Avoid lap joints as these will trap moisture and spread rust. Prep is >90% of the work.

    I'm at a loss to explain the $1200 price tag for patching three holes though. My guess is he simply didn't want the job and tried to scare you off.

    You could also have a look at my "tin bashing" thread for more photos and details on how I prepped my own repairs. I TIG welded everything but the same rules apply. MIG welding is actually a little more forgiving because you can get away with a larger gap in the joint. Make sure you cover any windows in the area because welding and grinding sparks will fuse to the glass.
     

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