Another mini question........

  1. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    Hi all,

    Thanks to the advice on this site I've started to get the hang of MIG welding and am actually enjoying it. I just find it a shame that most of the work is prep and the welding is over so quick!

    After a lot of trial fitting I'm about ready to weld the front end of my cooper and would like to know the best way to weld the panels together. The A-Panels are no problem, but I'm not 100% sure on how best to weld the wing to the A-Panel and Front Panel.
    Should I drill small holes down the seams and plug weld or should I seam weld?
    Where the wing joins the front panel the seam is on the inside and will be difficult plug weld. Any advice is much apreciated!!!

    Thanks in advance,

    Nathan
     
  2. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    I've heard from another forum that I will be better off welding along the edge of the two seams to join the panels together and then applying seam sealer between the two panels from the other side.

    Does this sound like a good way to proceed?
     
  3. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,129
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    The seams are visible on the Mini, so seam welding from the outside of the panel would be ugly. It would probably distort the wing too.

    The best with MIG would be plug welding the flange, but I hear what you say about access. How about hiring a spot welder for a weekend - might be about £30 or £40.

    Otherwise short lengths of seam weld on the edge of the flange (away from the panel) could be an option that would still leave the panels looking OK from the outside..
     
  4. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    Thanks for the advice, I'll look into hiring a spot welder to do the job.
     
  5. Mini A Panel

    if you dont have a spot welder you can sometimes buy a spotweld tip for your mig. it allows you to position the nozzle directly over a pre drilled hole on one panel and weld through to the other panel. you can do this with an ordinary nozzle but you need a steady hand. drill a series of 6 mm holes on the wing flange and weld throuhg to the a-panel. grind off any excess weld and you have a strong neat joint.
     
  6. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    Thanks for the reply!!

    I'll be picking up a spotweld shroud for my mig today and will start practicing later.

    I read on another forum that if you have a spotweld timer on your mig then you don't need to drill the holes to make a "spotweld". They mentioned cranking up the settings and using the spotweld shroud to stay on the same spot and it would fuse the two pieces together with the weld pool.
    Has anyone tried this?
    Would the weld be strong enough?

    I'm going to give it a go on some scrap later and will post some pics here.

    Cheers,

    Nathan
     
  7. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
  8. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    Ok, so I've just finished playing around with my new spotweld shroud. I've posted a couple of pics to my website, you can find them at the beginning of "Day 24" at http://www.niandj.com

    The largest of the three welds at the bottom had the best penetration, but I'm still not convinced by the strength. I think that in order to "spotweld" with a mig you will need a heavy duty welder (in any case something bigger than mine).
    I played around a lot with my settings to get any penetration at all, here's what worked best:

    Welder: Tico 160
    Power: 6 of 6
    Wire Speed: 3 of 10
    Spotweld Timer: 2 secs

    To be honest I'm not all that convinced with the spotweld shroud. I also tried a plugweld and found it very difficult to line up with the center of the hole. I ended up striking an arc against the top piece and b**&%ing it all up.
    I'm going to go ahead and carry on use the standard shroud from now on.
     
  9. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,129
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    That sounds annoying.

    I'd be inclined to test a couple of welds in a vice before going ahead with the real job - the technique should work, and the ones with the penetration probably have done, but the comfortable feeling isn't there for me.

    You will get a load of weld build up with a mig doing it that way. A lot of wire is going to come out over a couple of seconds.

    I'm comfortable with plug welds, and the hole is a great place to hide all that weld, but arcing on the top sheet is easy to do and it can stop the plug weld from working properly. I find 6mm holes impossible, and normally go with 6.5mm or 7mm. Then holding the torch still in the centre of the hole works well.

    Whichever you end up with I wouldn't expect any distortion.
     
  10. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  11. sclurgess Member

    Messages:
    49
    northants
    after putting a new side on my car lol i found that joints which are back to back or overlap it is best to plug weld every inch or so. if you could get a pic of the joints you are doing peeps could advice the best weld for that joint
     
  12. malcolm

    malcolm & Clementine the Cat

    Messages:
    9,129
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Plug welds work fine, but they do leave excess weld to grind off. Are the external flanges at the back of the wings on your car covered by a trim strip? If so then the plug welds would be fine - they don't tend to leave much distortion. Otherwise I'd be inclined to use a spot welder as it would result in a more original look.
     
  13. natterjacks Member

    Messages:
    15
    That's right, the external seams at the back do get covered by a trim so don't need to look pretty.
    At the front the seams are internal. Along the side of the wing the seam will be welded to the top of the inner wing, which is then covered by the bonnet.
     
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