Novice Welding body car parts

I've been offered a 1967 mini which requires quite a bit of welding.
I don't really know alot about (hardly anything) welding the nearest
I've got to welding anything involved a soldering iron.
Any way I was planning to hire a Mig welder from a shop and do the
work over a few weekends. A get lessons at my college.
1) How easy is it to learn how to use a mig welder? and how difficult
is it to weld steel body parts of a car and what would this involve?
2) What sort rough costs for hiring mig welder and all the parts that
are needed? and what parts are required
I'm a complete novice so any help or extra advice would be deeply
I live in the UK by the way
thanks in advance and sorry about all the questions.
(and if I've got the wrong group sorry)
Reply to
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- (jbug) - spluttered in news:
Rust work?
I'd, ah, suggest picking up a magazine type book on bodywork. Look at oxy- acetylene outfits. The first two books mentioned:
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... have good stuff in them. If you can't find them in the UK, try the library.
Here's aGoogle search:
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Investigate how to use a hammer and dolly.
Even read the part on lead work.
If you're repairing floor pans, a mig or brazing is probably equally useful.
You're also going to need a grinder, and maybe some sort of powered saw to cut the junk out, and cut the patches.
Reply to
Greg M
stick with O²&acyet (esp. on the older cars & any rust) take the class & get the t-shirt @ the local com col lucky fellow, indeed
Reply to
I've restored more Mini's than I care to remember, and a Mig welder is a good choice. I also have a spot welder to do the flange work, but a Mig can do that just fine if a bit harder. Buy the Classic Mini Restoration book, the one that goes through all of the steps with pictures. Now the bad news - I wouldn't plan, personally, on putting floors and sills in a Mini properly in less than about 100 hours. The shiny bits on the outside cover up a lot of fiddly bits on the inside that also need to be replaced, or the car loses a lot of strength and you become a dreaded "bodger". I've seen cars with "new" sills where the rear subframe fell off going over a bump, because the job wasn't done properly. A '67 mini has enough intrinsic value that it's worth a bit of time invested.
Buy Heritage panels, they are worth the difference. Mini Machine has a lot of good panels for older cars as well. When I get up the gumption, I have to put new floors (side to side , front to back, tunnels and all) into a 1959 Mini and a 1964 Traveller. Until then, they are resting quietly in my garage, enjoying their snooze.
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Go with the MIG. You can do it with oxy-acetylene, but you won't - it's enormously slow. OTOH, you might need to make curved panels and repair sections, for which a torch is also useful. If you have to have just one, then it would have to be gas - but you can build customs in a fraction of the time if there's MIG to hand, or you can do ugly repairs in places you can't see.
Best thing (by far) is to have both. They don't have to be yours though. Do everything you can to try and scrounge access to this sort of tooling - many people who have it are only too happy to have other car restorers share it, especially in the UK. Gas cylinders are expensive to rent and the gas is damn near free - anything that increases the overall utilisation can save everyone money.
Welding is easy. Panel repair is hard. You'll spend a lot more time learning how to shape the repair sections than you will putting them together. There's also an investment in tools like hammers and dollies, jogglers, grinders and whatever you use for cutting metal to shape. I use plasma, which costs more than a welder does, but is pretty nice to use.
College is good. Try a course on car restoration, rather than welding. They're just as common in most towns. Even on a purely welding evening class, half the people there will be doing car restorations.
I wouldn't hire a welder. You can use a small welder for repairing bodywork, and these are fairly cheap to buy. S/H is good too. In comparison, the hire charges are quite steep.
Assuming you're going to replace "a wing" and it's a question of fitting a well-fitting commercial panel.
Cut off the old panel. Use an angle grinder, maybe a compressor and air chisel (chisel is cheap, if you have the compressor).
Clean up the old area. Angle grinder time. Maybe some hammer and dolly work.
Make the new panel fit (they never do)
Paint and undercoat the old area. Angle grinder, maybe an air sander. Scrapers to strip underseal. Then repaint with things like zinc primer (fairly heatproof), weldable zinc near where you're actually welding. Panel sealer, primer and underseal where you won't be able to reach later.
Paint and undercoat the new panel.
Clamp the new panel up (lots of cheap G clamps and Moles)
Tack the new panel in place. You might even bolt or rivet some panels.
Weld the new panel in place. Don't start at one end and work along, it'll distort. This will take a few minutes with MIG, an hour with gas.
Dress the welds (angle grinder). Seconds with gas, minutes with MIG.
Prime and initial paint.
Now treble that workload for most repairs. A typical repair isn't swapping a wing with an easy seam weld from above, it's making a new internal corner to fit inside a rotted-out floorpan. I don't know Minis - some vehicles are worse than others, but most fail in exactly the same awkward spots.
Get a couple of Mini resto books and maybe some generic restoration books. You're lucky with a Mini, as it's a popular car that still has a good spares position.
Don't use CO2 as a welding gas - get some argon / CO2 mix
Cut off as much as necessary. It's a lot easier to make new steel and fit it to clean old steel than it is to mess around with some rusty lace curtain.
Try too.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Lessons are good. Mig needs correct machine settings.
Mig is supposed to be the easiest process to use. But welding thin sheetmetal means that it is easy to burn through and that the sheetmetal will distort a lot. Try it a college first.
You'll need the machine, maybe extra tips, gas and wire.
The extra advice is: don't weld anything critical. ;-)
Reply to
Thanks for your advice I really appreciate it because I know very little about welding and I needed to know whether it would be possible for me to do.
I've seen some pictures of the car and the sills seem to be bad, and the front wings, A panels and doors need alittle work. So if I do decide to get it I'll probably do the body panels like the wings, doors and any other non structural area and maybe depending on how confident I feel get a specialist to do the sills and any other structural work.
I was looking in a magazine and saw and ad selling welding equipment, I was wondering what the difference is between an arc welder which I think was priced at £55 or something like that and a Mig welder which was £110.
thanks for you great advice James
Reply to
An arc welder welds with coated electrodes, the process is called stick or SMAW. Basically it is a process that is well suited to weld thick pieces and very good at making holes in car parts. Not what you want.
A mig welder uses a wire that is continuously fed to the welding gun and (often) shielding gas. It is well adapted to bodywork and probably what you want.
The price you give imply that the machines are cheap, DIY gear. Those cheap machines tend to be more difficult to use than more expensive ones. You should consider taking a course first, so that you could learn on easier machines (and understand the difference).
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