Friday, December 3, 2010

Welding 102

One of my major concerns with the welding was getting the inner sill installed to shore up the body stability. I have the door-frame braced with 2X4s but I don't like leaving it like that, so after my "success" welding on the repair pieces, I jumped onto installing them.

Passenger side with holes
After consulting with the guy who was supposed to do the welding, I used his pneumatic hole punch to punch about 28 holes on the side of the replacement sill. It felt horrible punching that fresh piece of metal, much worse wire brushing off the paint for the weld-through primer. But sitting there contemplating it will not get me any closer to completion.

Passenger side welding
It's amazing how much better you can get in one day. Each weld was made with a clamp next to it where I could rest the welding head on to make the weld. With this bracing, I was able to be more concerned with the timing of the weld, rather that it slipping in the act of flipping down the mask, or instinctively pulling away from the weld when welding. It was slow work but it went really well. On this piece, I had 4 welds that didn't grip the under-metal, those will be drilled out and re-welded.

Driver side welding
Though the welding proved just as easy as the other side, I had a bit more problems on this one. About 7 welds did not take, and I had 2 burn through welds. One of them I was able to flow over and make a good weld, the other didn't grab. I lifted the car up on the lift and welded through the melted hole and was able to repair from the back. Being that I was under the car any way, I welded the 7 welds that didn't grip through the drill holes in the other side. I still had one weld that was just being stubborn and I would have to drill it out and re-weld.

Passenger side primed
All the welds were sanded down to flat and whacked with a hammer to verify a good weld. Once all were sanded flat, I primed over all the good welds. As you can see the four that needed to be drilled are plainly obvious. I drilled them, re-welded all four and got 3 to grip. Re-drill, re-weld and I got the fourth.

Driver Side primed
Though it is not very obvious, the bad weld is right next to the vice grips. Though I like to keep my tools in the best of shape, I have abused this set of vice grips badly, with weld marks all over the head. Sometimes life is like that. Drilled and re-welded took care of this problem spot nicely.

Passenger Side sill complete
With the sill in place, it was quite amazing the stability it added to the body. I replaced the door and it still closes nicely. I need the door in place to put on the remaining metal and make sure I have a nice fit before welding. I also pressed the entire seams together to take care of any gaps and try and make a nice line both above and under the sill.

Driver Side sill complete
I replaced this door as well after this picture was taken. Everything looking good, pressing the seams, etc. The next step is to put in the back fender repairs, then the rocker panel itself. This work will be done another day, likely next week. All in all I am definitely happy with the results and my apparent improvement on the welding. I haven't burned myself since the first day.

1 comment:

  1. The welding does look successful. It's one tough job punching those metal wholes. But you're right, staring at the piece and contemplating won't fix anything. And this is where the welding skill comes handy; you don't to wait for someone to fix something so important.

    Jeanette West