Advice for welding a suspension component? Beginner.

  1. tom2207 Member

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    1,604
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    uk northern ireland
    Number one is PPE ,,, get your self a jacket a good leather one that does up , something comfy to lie on , and a couple of good lights , then its not such a big task ,
    I cant over emphasise the importance of a jacket , gloves and mask etc you will have , but metal sparks and spatter dripping down your chest very soon ruins the day , then once that happens you wont want to weld under a car , and then its down hill as everything becomes a chore , the right gear is vital ,,,,
    second only to making sure the car is safe , well jacked up , axle stands in place and the wheels chocked too.
    My tip , if you have a wheel off , bung it under the car too , it will give you a survival space if things do go wrong ,,,
    Oh and maybe a brick sized block of wood to use as a pillow , makes working a lot easier if your not struggling to hold your head in place too .... its not as bad as it sounds , just get your self comfy and protected , and remember its about a quarter as fast as working the right way up ,,, after that its a breeze.
     
  2. James1979 Member

    Messages:
    476
    Location:
    Orkney
    I did most of the back end on my wife’s ka which is what she had when we met so I feel your pain!!

    if you’ve never done under a car before I’d get some similar metal and support it above you, like over the edge of a bench or something and have a practice. Keep the arc short and you may need to tweak the power down a bit but play and see

    when it comes to the car, lift out anything flammable inside, nearby like carpet, seats etc and have a fire watcher if you can. Also an airline with blow gun to hand to puff out any firey bits.

    cover up well. It’ll spit at you.

    ^^^ and what he said
     
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  3. tom2207 Member

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    1,604
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    i use a plant sprayer filled with water ,,, they work well and cost about a tenner ,,, old weed killer bottle and wand is good too , as it lets you get into places
     
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  4. Matchless

    Matchless Member

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    also make sure you know where the fuel pipe and any wiring runs, it is very easy to grind through a fuel pipe if the grinder jumps, plastic fuel pipes don't like the hot end of a bit of mig wire, get the car up as high as you can and then use stands etc to support it, what area are you?
     
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  5. JACK D EYRES Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    UK
    Bristol.
    I've worked under cars before just never welded! I do have a Jack and stands although they don't Jack the car up as high as I would like!
     
  6. minimutly Member

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    1,120
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    Pembrokeshire Wales
    Get some cotton wool, wet it and stick it in your ear - the one uppermost - weld spatter hissing as it burns inside your ear canal is one of the most sickening sounds you'll ever hear....
     
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  7. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

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    2,704
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    Make sure you know where the fuel tank and fuel lines are....personally I prefer the tank to be removed if my body has to be under the car. A lot can be done laying next to the car....but sometimes thats not possible and you have to think if things go wrong how quick can you get out.

    Have you thought about rolling the car.....thats what I'm doing with my next project using a roll over jig.

    As minimutly says....fire earwigs are no fun at all. When I did it I used leather aprons to cover my body....still wasn't fund hence the rollover jig next time.
     
  8. Matchless

    Matchless Member

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    1,052
    Location:
    Essex UK
    or roll it onto it's side onto a couple of matresssssss remove door mirror and battery first, with care that can work, especially with a free car!
     
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  9. Matchless

    Matchless Member

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    1,052
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    Essex UK
    far enough away from me that I won't hear the explosion!
     
  10. mtt.tr

    mtt.tr Member

    Messages:
    2,955
    Essex England
    My only words of advice is practice the same weld in on mock ups

    But more importantly measure measure measure.
     
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  11. a111r Member

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    463
    Location:
    London
    I think the first time I tried to use a MIG, in 1987, I was:

    Under a car, looking at a rusty hole.
    Without an angle grinder.
    With a hand held mask.
    Using a **** machine with a permanently 'live' torch.

    It did not go well...
     
  12. Ton-up

    Ton-up Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    Location:
    Essex, England.
    ALWAYS use earplugs working under a car! If you get anything in your ear, the hospital vacuum cleaner hurts like hell when they try and suck it out! Im talking from experience!
     
  13. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    1,604
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    not as bad as the shringe needle in the eye , well thats not sore , just not much fun with your head in a vise and a needle in the eye ,,,, picking bits of metal out , ,, then they burr grind the rust out to make the job a good one.
     
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  14. a111r Member

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    London
    8 years later, I'd got over it and I had a new, proper project car.
    And another welder. A SIP Migmate...

    But nothing was welded upside down. It was a Triumph Vitesse, so the rusty body tubs were removed from the rusty chassis.
     
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  15. JACK D EYRES Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    UK
    Thi s
    This seems like a good idea, alhough the Ka seems so fragile compared to my Celica, i'd be scared i'd break something :doh:
    I don't have access to a roll over jig, although the matress idea actually seems decent! I may consider it.
     
  16. James1979 Member

    Messages:
    476
    Location:
    Orkney
    I’ve done it and it works great. Not tried on a ka though. They are pretty fragile when new I think. Hers was not that old at the time and full of rust.

    the other thing I’ve done is got a truck up high with a loadall and put big concrete blocks under the wheels. Not sure what you’re set up is but it’s about using what you have and thinking laterally.
     
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  17. JACK D EYRES Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    UK
    Wheels on or off? Not sure if I'm being silly or not but since the Ka has steelies I'm scared I'll warp the wheels by tipping it over like that haha. Probably just being silly.
     
  18. KemppiFrog Member

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    3,210
    Location:
    Aquitaine
    Thinking about the stresses and margins for the driving loads, rolling the car to 45° is not going to hurt anything; They used to put a tyre down and roll the rally Minis until the door frame rested on the tyre. Just saw an R4 rolled up against a wall with a big cushin between the roof and the wall, along with a load of jack stands to hold it up. Was at about 45° and obviously much easier to get at the underside.
    The shock of hitting a curb with a wheel is multiples of gently rolling it up on them.

    Oh, just remembered.. A French bloke drove a Simca 1000 most of the way round France on two wheels, used a ramp to get it up, after that it was like driving a bike:laughing: car was not modded IIRR
     
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  19. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

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    2,704
    Location:
    london
    This is what I bought...they can be had for £200 on fleabay (search for rollover jig or tilter)...when you've done just resell it for £200.

    This is a generic picture off the web....but they all work in the same way.

    The last 2 cars I did lying on my back....just getting too old for it now so decided to try something different.
     
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  20. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    1,604
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    thats clever
     
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