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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Default Welding services

    I have a rust hole in the driver footwell of my 205 GTI. I took eveything out of the way inside the car and in the engine bay (the engine is out), cut the rust out nicely everywhere, and I need now to weld in a patch, no bigger than two cigarette packs side by side. Nothing complicated, just a flat piece of metal buttwelded in.

    If anyone can recommend a place where I can have it done in Perth, please let me know. A mobile welder would be even better.

    One alternative (but I really don't want this) would be to do it myself. I have no experience at all whatsoever.

    Suggestions?

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    Pop rivets ?
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I contemplated that, but I think that is a dirty job. I would like to give it a good go before I resign and go for the quick and dirty solution. The very fact that I am contemplating doing it myself, is a sign of that.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I have a rust hole in the driver footwell of my 205 GTI. I took eveything out of the way inside the car and in the engine bay (the engine is out), cut the rust out nicely everywhere, and I need now to weld in a patch, no bigger than two cigarette packs side by side. Nothing complicated, just a flat piece of metal buttwelded in.

    If anyone can recommend a place where I can have it done in Perth, please let me know. A mobile welder would be even better.

    One alternative (but I really don't want this) would be to do it myself. I have no experience at all whatsoever.

    Suggestions?
    Drop down to you local panel beater and ask them how much. Make sure all faces of the patch /foot well and ground shiny clean.

    Take piece an oversize piece of aluminium and a jack to support the patch from underneath.

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Thank you Rob, there might be some logistical problems with that, but right now it seems like the only possibility (short of doing it myself). Which is what I was afraid of.

    The main reason is that often these places are geared to do insurance jobs and don't care about a small job like this especially if you expect any quality to your specs.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    Thank you Rob, there might be some logistical problems with that, but right now it seems like the only possibility (short of doing it myself). Which is what I was afraid of.

    The main reason is that often these places are geared to do insurance jobs and don't care about a small job like this especially if you expect any quality to your specs.
    It's such a quick job. Less than 30 mins. Unless you are a fairly experienced welder, welding sheet, even with MIG, can be tricky. Panel beater work in thin sheet and are usually experienced.

    The aluminium beneath acts as heat sink and assists the welder not to blow holes.

    Have you considered a 25mm overlap patch, serious cleaning on both surfaces and
    an automotive adhesive?

    The patch could hidden with some body deadener.

    I've used Loctite Multibond 330 + activator with fantastic success. I have used it for bonding electric lock brackets (magna-locks) to glass doors. It has a bond strength of 2500 PSI odd after full cure.

    Clean the steel to bare metal, roughen up with 80 grade paper. Clean with shellite, acetone or thinners. Apply activator to one surface and MB330 to the other. Bring the two parts together and tap with a wooden stick to chase out air pockets, support for 20 mins. Takes full load after 24 hours.

    Clean up when uncured is with acetone.

    I've fitted lock brackets 15 years ago using MB 330 as the sole fixing and they are still stuck on!

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    It can be tricky in the footwell as there are some double panels in there, along with some seams. If you plan on keeping the car you should visit a pro.

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    Icon7 Ask around, or do it yourself..

    Do you have an automotive trades training place, or farm skills training where skills are taught to apprentices, like panel beating, painting, etc. If they have either oxy acetylene equipment, or the latest panel weld stitching equipment, they just might be induced to demonstrate how to weld up those holes.

    I do my own panel welding using oxy acetylene, Its pretty easy really using a couple of soft wire rods, you make sure the rear of the panel is clear of anything that could melt or catch fire, then do a series of small welds to hold the patch plate in place without too much distortion.

    Its always good to have someone else on hand to squirt some water around or in my case I have a very damp cloth to cool the patch and then weld it along the seams between the tack welds. If you take it quietly and do a bit at a time, the weld seams will not distort that much, and if they do, its easy to use a panel hammer and panel beaters dolly to hammer out any distortion, quenching strategically also helps in maintaining a flat floor.

    Its even easier with using an inert gas wire welder, most panel beaters would have access to that equipment and do the job in under 10 minutes, and that process doesn't give much distortion as the welding heat is much more controlled.

    Worth having a chat to training places, as even if they don't want to attempt the job, they may well give you good advice as to who is the best guy to go to. Used to be that those sort of skills, were valued in places that repair exotic cars, where panel damage is beaten out, the panel reused, because you either can't get a replacement panel or they are impossibly expensive.

    Don't go to one that is a quick bog up and spray place, skills are limited mainly to buying a new panel, fitting and painting.

    Worth investigating doing it yourself, as you get great satisfaction from the finished job when done well.

    Good luck

    ken

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Thank you everybody.

    I have seen the oxy torch welding when someone patched up my dad's R12 in the corner just above the left tail light in the street. It was where the rubber seal for the bootlid goes, and the patch extended to the nearing verticals, but not coming out on the wing. The guy did such a brilliant job, I still can not believe. For those who don't know, that is a place with way too many curves. What he did was to attach a bit of steel and heated it and beat it into shape and welded a little bit more, and then again beat it and so on until the hole was reapired and if it wasn't for the lack of paint, you couldn't tell there was a welded patch there. I love oxy.

    But I have none of that skill.

    This patch is in a place that never gets seen. I wouldn't care if it looked like dog's balls if it was properly done.

    It is just above the seam between the floorpan and the firewall, and the inner fender (on the right). The missing bit is in the firewall, the floorpan is unscathed, I cut a bit of the inner fender just to make sure there is no rust hiding in there. I removed the paint all around, I rounded all the corners, and smoothed the edges of the cut so you can't cut yourself on it, I treated everything to a little bit of rust preventer. Just need someone to weld the dang thing in place. I could even cut the piece and shape it (it is a very simple patch, no compound curves or anything, not that it matters).

    Yes, I contemplated using Sikaflex which I guess is as good as anything if not better. My fear is that this might be a critical place for the strength of the chassis.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    Thank you everybody.

    I have seen the oxy torch welding when someone patched up my dad's R12 in the corner just above the left tail light in the street. It was where the rubber seal for the bootlid goes, and the patch extended to the nearing verticals, but not coming out on the wing. The guy did such a brilliant job, I still can not believe. For those who don't know, that is a place with way too many curves. What he did was to attach a bit of steel and heated it and beat it into shape and welded a little bit more, and then again beat it and so on until the hole was reapired and if it wasn't for the lack of paint, you couldn't tell there was a welded patch there. I love oxy.

    But I have none of that skill.

    This patch is in a place that never gets seen. I wouldn't care if it looked like dog's balls if it was properly done.

    It is just above the seam between the floorpan and the firewall, and the inner fender (on the right). The missing bit is in the firewall, the floorpan is unscathed, I cut a bit of the inner fender just to make sure there is no rust hiding in there. I removed the paint all around, I rounded all the corners, and smoothed the edges of the cut so you can't cut yourself on it, I treated everything to a little bit of rust preventer. Just need someone to weld the dang thing in place. I could even cut the piece and shape it (it is a very simple patch, no compound curves or anything, not that it matters).

    Yes, I contemplated using Sikaflex which I guess is as good as anything if not better. My fear is that this might be a critical place for the strength of the chassis.

    Sounds like a job for MIG. Pity you aren't near me....


    For panel work I use oxy.

    The process you describe is called "hammer welding" . The technique is used for a to repair seen body panels. The patch needs to be a close fit to the hole (and is often "wheeled" and shaped prior to fitting) and once tacked, the idea is weld small sections leaving a gap for cooling and whilst still hot beat the weld flat. This is done with a dolly under the weld and planishing hammer above the weld. Eventually the missed sections are welded when cool.

    Done properly, the weld flattens and can be dressed with a body to file to a perfect finish that only needs primer & spray putty to finish off.

    I don't pretend to have that kind of skill, but it's a joy to watch a body maker do this type of repair.
    Last edited by robmac; 14th May 2011 at 07:37 PM.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I am sure a skilled welder would waste no more than ten minutes on it, especially since everything is ready to go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post

    If anyone can recommend a place where I can have it done in Perth, please let me know. A mobile welder would be even better.
    http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&biw=...22cc3521f8ee5e

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    if the hole is straight you can glue another metal plate on it
    use epoxy glue and it will be even better than a weld

    see that you have an almost perfect match between the two sheets of metal and apply the 2 component glue richly that it poors out of the gaps. Put a weight on it and allow it to dry for a couple of hours. After that just finish it like any other bare panel.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Thank you Green Blood. I'll give it a go even though I think there's a slim chance they do automotive work.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    The other thing too is that it is preferable to cut a patch panel first, scribe it onto the car (after checking it is the right profile), then cut the offending section out. people who charge in cutting first then trying to match the hole with a patch panel just waste more time trying to get it right. I learnt the hard way too!
    The only downside is if, when cutting, you realise you need to take more metal out than you originally anticipated.

    Whilst that is no help to you now, I thought it might help others.
    Over here in Sydney, I have had people willing to come our and do panel work like you want, but they are hard to find and I stumbled across a great guy through word of mouth but alas, I suspect he may be too old before I get to my next project.
    KB
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    That was my case too, the rust was extending into one of the seams so I had to chase it out. Not very far, but enough that it would have changed the plan had I cut the patch first. Besides, the surface is so simple, even I can cut a matching patch now.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    The other thing too is that it is preferable to cut a patch panel first, scribe it onto the car (after checking it is the right profile), then cut the offending section out. people who charge in cutting first then trying to match the hole with a patch panel just waste more time trying to get it right. I learnt the hard way too!
    The only downside is if, when cutting, you realise you need to take more metal out than you originally anticipated.

    Whilst that is no help to you now, I thought it might help others.
    Over here in Sydney, I have had people willing to come our and do panel work like you want, but they are hard to find and I stumbled across a great guy through word of mouth but alas, I suspect he may be too old before I get to my next project.
    KB
    The way I way was taught at the TAFE body making course was to cut all the rust from the panel first. Then to shape the patch by bending, dollying, wheeling or whatever.

    Then secure patch over the hole by clamping or have an assistant hold it and then to scribe the patch with a fine scriber using the panel to be repaired as a guide.

    It's then easy to use tin shears to trim and leave the scribed line, after that it can be fitted with a file to be an exact fit.

    It much easier to trim and fit a small patch than to try to trim the hole in the car.

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    Not really on topic but it is worth googling Gasolene TV - it has a couple of you tube thingo's on panel work from flat steel.

    schlitz - your rather cryptic address makes it a bit awkward to throw up names of people who may help - but my guess is that if you took a drive down to Fyshwyk(sp?) or across to Queanbeyan and had a chat to a couple of panel shops to see if they have an apprentice that wants to do a cashie and practice his welding - you would come up trumps.

    One problem that you may come up with is that welding of any sort is going to find all of the thin spots on the original sheet. Years ago i had a 403 with a few holes in the floor - a friend ran his oxy over the bits that looked Ok and found enough other thin spots to warrant replacing the whole sheet - finished up with door skin off an FJ holden as a floor - covered it in body deadener and nobody was any the wiser.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    As I suspected the "mobile" welders in my area aren't mobile at all after all. Or reliable.

    it looks like I will have to do it.

    I found a gasless MIG to hire next door (Kennards)

    They say it doesn't need gas, as the gas is created by the welding wire itself. Pretty dear wire too, it will cost me 38$ on top of the MIG (88$/day) to hire.

    What say you, the more experienced?
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 18th May 2011 at 06:08 PM.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    As Is suspected the "mobile" welders in my area aren't mobile at all after all. Or not relaible.

    it looks like I will have to do it.

    I found a gasless MIG to hire next door (Kennards)

    They say it doesn't need gas, as the gas is created by the welding wire itself. Pretty dear wire too, it will cost me 38$ on top of the MIG (88$/day) to hire.

    What say you, the more experienced?
    From my experience gasless MIG absolute crap.

    I tried gasless one day, after running out of MIGshield and gave up gasless welding for the weekend.

    It's serious sh!t in my opinion and although I grumble about the cylinder rental and refills I wouldn't go back.

  21. #21
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    That's insane money to hire a baby gasless mig.... There only a few hundred to buy. Completelly useless though, I wouldn't bother, I did try to use mine as gasless when I first got it. The welds were terrible with gasless wire there wire is really expensive too. I think it says a lot that someone like me pays $180 a year nearly just for bottle rental. If gasless was any good at all, i'd be using it!

    I think the only place for gasless is where there is strong wind, in that case you might as well use an arc welder

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    Investigate cost of buying units, I am sure that froggers can recommend the type that will work for you.


    In my experience what you are doing could be accomplished with an old fashioned electric stick welder. I have welded up thin steel seat frames with one of those. I buy thin coated sticks, you go through a few rods, but for that little job you describe its way less expensive than that deal. Though you probably need to buy a face shield, you can get a simple hand held one s/hand for about $20 and a better flip helmet for under $50 and the welder should cost you between $100 to $150 tops.

    There are probably even better deals out there. I used to buy packs of the rods cheap at weekend markets.

    At least for your initial outlay you will have the stuff for many years of use, Its handy to have a simple welder to stick metal together!! Rental at that price is money down the drain. IMHO!

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    Investigate cost of buying units, I am sure that froggers can recommend the type that will work for you.


    In my experience what you are doing could be accomplished with an old fashioned electric stick welder. I have welded up thin steel seat frames with one of those. I buy thin coated sticks, you go through a few rods, but for that little job you describe its way less expensive than that deal. Though you probably need to buy a face shield, you can get a simple hand held one s/hand for about $20 and a better flip helmet for under $50 and the welder should cost you between $100 to $150 tops.

    There are probably even better deals out there. I used to buy packs of the rods cheap at weekend markets.

    At least for your initial outlay you will have the stuff for many years of use, Its handy to have a simple welder to stick metal together!! Rental at that price is money down the drain. IMHO!
    Not in hands of anyone but a very experienced welder. There can be more holes than metal if you use a stick welder. Especially on steel around 0.75mm!

    Sorry Ken, sometimes even mig on mismatched steel panels is tough going especially when upside down or in in contorted pose at the firewall junction of a footwell.

    I just gotta disagree on this one ...

    Just try to rope in Fellow frogger with a proper mig and the experience that goes with it.

    Or invest in a MIG machine ($650 about) and use disposable gas cylinders. CIG make and Uni mig make entry level machines at around that price.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Dang. You'd believe in this day and age welding would have been sorted. I was looking at the Gas MIG units at Bunnings yesterday and they're looking quite good. There one at about 700$ and another one at about 4-500 (lower current), both some sort of italian make. My experience in the past was that nobody can get/fill you the little cylinder they come with, or you need to rent a really big one which is way overkill.

    How about I fly one of you guys over 'ere, all expenses paid for three days? You bring the equipment.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    Dang. You'd believe in this day and age welding would have been sorted. I was looking at the Gas MIG units at Bunnings yesterday and they're looking quite good. There one at about 700$ and another one at about 4-500 (lower current), both some sort of italian make. My experience in the past was that nobody can get/fill you the little cylinder they come with, or you need to rent a really big one which is way overkill.

    How about I fly one of you guys over 'ere, bed and three meals for three days? You bring the equipment.
    Don't do it - buy a brand name unit with a service back up and parts readily available.

    Make sure it's both gas and gasless. Hare Forbes sell Unimig and also sell disposable shielding gas bottles.

    BOC sell their own handyman units. You can use Hare Forbes gas on any mig.

    Go to a specialist welding supplier, you will end paying the same $$$
    Last edited by robmac; 18th May 2011 at 07:57 PM.

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