Beginner restoring car needs some advice

  1. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Ireland
    Hi all,
    I've never welded before and I've 97 Mitsubishi FTO I'm trying to save.
    It's really rusted quite bad with a few signs of rot here and there I am thinking of getting GYS SmartMIG 142 I have about 500 I'm looking to spend for something new or used.

    Giving that I don't know what I'm really getting myself into I thought I'd show you what I have ahead of me. I was thinking that for the structural work I might get a pro to do it and then the lighter bits I would do.

    For example this welder says it does up to 4mm max so I assume it wouldn't but up to scratch to do the chassis rails as I assume the 4mm is the absolute max it could do so mightn't be up to this job.

    But if I was to tackle welding door sills would it do or do I need to get something with more power?
    Another question is with 40a and this much corrosion am I going to just blow through the sheet even if I get to half decent metal or I is 40a okay?

    For you experienced folks the pics of the chassis wheel arch corrosion how do you go about fixing this? It's all been treated now but do you just plate over it or what?


    Thanks in advance and Im so happy to have found such a great resource.

    Sill & cross member rust & rot
    rot 2.jpg

    corrosion on the chasis wheel arch
    dog leg 2.jpg


    corrosion on the chasis wheel arch
    dog leg corrosion.jpg


    Floor rot through right through to the driver footwell, floor / door sill rot/rust
    floor rot to the sill.jpg

    It's not rusted if it's just not there anymore
    rust 2.jpg

    Rear chassis rail rot.
    rot 1.jpg
     
  2. tigdlo Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    UK
    40a minimum is a bit high and is going to make it even more difficult with you being a beginner, you shouldn't need lower amps for more correded sections instead cut past it and weld to good metal.

    The biggest learning curve will likely be shaping repair sections.

    There is plenty of free information out their on shaping panels and welding them to cars but I found 90% is work around bodge jobs with cut corners. There is also plenty along the lines of first buy £10000 of tools...

    I highly recommend this DVD, https://metalshapingzone.com/epages...d5-9af5-4b32-b689-b436b9abb456/Categories/DVD

    It's a little vintage looking, probably originally on a VHS but the information is fantastic and lots for people with few tools.
     
    James1979 and Dcal like this.
  3. seanc Member

    Messages:
    240
    northants
    theres nothing on a modern car thats over 2mm. 40a is probably a little high but you need to cut out all the metal really. plating over will just be a very temporary fix.
    Mig welding is pretty easy to pick up but making repair sections takes patience and depending on how complex maybe some additional tools
     
    Morrisman likes this.
  4. wacky7791

    wacky7791 Member

    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    SEQ australia
    did the same on an old car mate, never welded before but took the plunge on an old clunker, you should get into it and enjoy the learning curve. Have a look around see if anyone makes repair sections for them, if not have a go at making some yourself and if you can't THEN get a pro in to teach you how do it rather than do it for you.
    I've made plenty of mistakes but you just cut it out and have another go.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  5. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Everybody has to start somewhere and mig is an easy welding process to learn.
    Go for it, but start off in a small simple section and finish it before moving to another spot.
    Don't cut bits out here there and everywhera e or you will probably loose heart.
    By the time you have finished the last patch you will probably be disappointed with your first one but that's just normal.
    Have a look at the projects threads, there's lots of good info there.
    I haven't used the GYS however it looks like it would do the job.
    I prefer to run my welds on thin steel a bit hotter, especially if it on structural bits.

    Start a build thread and post what you are doing and the collective will keep you right.
     
    James1979, Parm and atomant48 like this.
  6. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    5,559
    cambridge uk
    before you dig in , can you buy the panels /are you up for the fabrication ? looks fairly advanced for someone thats starting off

    good luck with it anyway
     
    slim_boy_fat and johnik like this.
  7. Nick DV

    Nick DV "You must unlearn what you have learned."

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
    Hi & welcome :waving: If you're looking for a new welder, I'd go for something like this https://www.ffx.co.uk/product/Get/S...MI_t-W1tCL7QIVArTtCh1XXAjDEAQYBSABEgIz0_D_BwE goes down to 30 amps and it would leave you money for PPE, regulator and gas. Have a good read of the mig tutorials on this forum, get yourself a couple of sheets of 0.8mm - 1.0mm steel and practice, practice, practice. When you've done that, practice some more ;)
     
  8. atomant48

    atomant48 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    Salisbury, UK
    Looks like fun. One of the chaps at work restored something similar (GTO maybe?) I think it is slightly bigger than a FTO. There’s an FTO on someone’s drive round the corner from me looks similar condition. I think that second pic is the rear chassis rail that sweeps up over the axle? However you tackle it, think long about how you will support it to still allow access.
    As above, start a build thread. Anything JDM gets interest in here. And welcome to the forum.
     
  9. Morris Member

    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    Northamptonshire.
    I would have a look at Trev's blog on YouTube, lots of tips on there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  10. a111r Member

    Messages:
    884
    Location:
    London
  11. Morrisman

    Morrisman Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,697
    Location:
    Staffordshire, England
    Unless that is a valuable or rare car I’d be inclined to give it a miss, move on to something easier. It doesn’t look like a car to learn bodywork on. However, if you do decide to go for it, be prepared for lots and lots of fiddly work and frustration. And time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  12. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,704
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    If it still runs and drives nicely it's worth doing, there can't be many left and Mitsubishi stopped making cars to concentrate on SUV and hybrid/electric vehicles. A friend of mine had one and the little V6 was a sweet engine. Take your time and cut anything suspicious back to good metal don't just clean it up and plate over if you want to keep it. Putting bigger pieces in is easier than trying to weld fiddly bits to rusty metal, I've done plenty of that for a "just one more year" job.
     
    Morrisman likes this.
  13. Rrobson

    Rrobson Member

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    I would have to agree with the above unfortunately, that is going to be very labour intensive!
    Not to put you off though...
    Which ever welder you choose you are going to have to cut quite a bit more out of that than you realise. Anything that is brown or orange will have to go, any small patches or rust simply won’t weld, and will end up blowing away and turning into molten snot.

    anything up to 130a should be perfect for body work, chassis rails won’t be more than 4mm, I’d be surprised if they were more than 2mm. I’ve been using a Clarke 160 en which has been perfectly adequate for my panel work but your going to need somewhere indoors, a set that’ll take gas and a ramp or some way of getting it at least 3ft off the floor. Don’t waste your time with gas-less wire for the amount of work that there is to do, so factor in gas cost too.
     
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  14. bourbon Member

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Lichfield UK
    Remember a few quid for your PPE as well.
     
  15. jsf55

    jsf55 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sunny Swansea
    And a fire extinguisher, or at least a big bucket of water
     
    slim_boy_fat, johnyev and Morrisman like this.
  16. Nick DV

    Nick DV "You must unlearn what you have learned."

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
  17. a111r Member

    Messages:
    884
    Location:
    London
    They're nicely made machines, I've the next model up.
     
    Nick DV likes this.
  18. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Ireland
    So I bought THIS - Sealey SUPERMIG150 230v Professional MIG Welder 150Amp today.
    For a welding mask would this auto dimming mask do the job?
    https://www.wholesaleweldingsupplies.ie/index.php?route=product/product&path=114&product_id=4852

    I'm thinking auto dimmer one because I'm new and ill need to be able to see what I'm doing as I line everything up and also I'm probably going to be at some odd angle in a cramped space welding so not having to lift it up and down constantly will surely help? Also 30% or so off seems like good value
     
    tom2207 likes this.
  19. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    2,501
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    First thing I would do is get some plate , say 1mm , and some where to work , and master the welding thing ,, then start on the car if your confident doing it , Id not be cutting bits out till your happy welding first , after you can weld reasonably well , a bit of basic tin bashing and fab to make panels and your off to a good start .
     
    a111r likes this.
  20. Burdekin

    Burdekin Chief Bodger

    Messages:
    5,273
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    If going for a inverter I’d just get a Rtech 180. There’s loads and loads of them sold and probably still the best value for money thing Rtech sell now.

    I seem to weld car stuff with higher amps than most it seems. I like a quick hot weld that gets good pen and lays down less weld. I think it puts less heat into the metal as it is quicker and you can cool it quicker as well with a air line or damp cloth. Leave a 1mm gap as that reduces distortion as the weld naturally closes the gap when welding.
     
    Mr Roo, slim_boy_fat and a111r like this.
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