Comments and suggestions welcome!

  1. cornflakeMini

    cornflakeMini Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Hi All,

    I'm doing some work on my mini and would like some opinions. I'm trying to achieve strong results but they don't need to be visually perfect - I'd like to get back to using the mini as a daily drive eventually.

    Please take a look at these examples of my work so far and let me know what you think.

    These first two images were on clean metal on the bench.
    First image: One plug weld top right, one seam weld below left using the thin metal technique.
    Second image: Some practice for tacking a brace bar into the door gap. IMG_20180617_124603365.jpg
    IMG_20180617_125358292.jpg

    Ok now here's some work on the car - prepare your best grimace faces. :scared:
    IMG_20180615_180140431.jpg IMG_20180616_180734925.jpg

    Please let me know any thoughts and opinions. I struggle to judge the strength of my welds - I'd like some advice on this in particular.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers :)
     
  2. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,405
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Hi Cornflake, welcome aboard.

    I'd say the biggest difference between your bench welds and your car welds is the material you are welding to.

    If the steel on the car was as clean as the metal you are welding on the bench you would probably get similar results;
    You need to grind all the rust off until you have clean bright steel.
    If the steel needs to be ground to a point where it too thin before it's bright you will have issues.

    I suggest you enlarge the patch to a point where the steel needs very little grinding - ideally you should just need to remove the paint or other surface coatings, and make the patch fit to there. More work but it will last much better.
    Also the steel on the top of the weld should be as clean as the side you are welding to, I know this is not always possible as you cannot always get to the back side, but always worth doing if possible.
    If you can get to the back side, a strip of copper (flattened copper water pipe works) or aluminum, clamped to the back of the repair acts as a heat sink and will help keep the repairs from distorting.

    Don't be discouraged, what you've done is a good effort, but as you can see the metal to the right of the patch is just too corroded to give you any chance.
    Also no point in worrying about the strength of your welds if you are welding to badly corroded steel. Your weld will be way stronger than what you are welding to.

    The only way to improve is to practice but a few pointers always helps and there are plenty of projects worth looking at on here in the auto projects board.
     
    8ob likes this.
  3. ibrooks Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    UK Lancashire
    As above - take more of the rusty metal away to get to good steel and you'll get far better results. I've spent more time than I care to think about under rusty Minis welding them up and can tell you - leaving rusty metal is simply going to postpone the problem. If it gets through the next MOT (and that's IF) you'll be back in the same area for the following MOT. Get all the rust out and protect it well and it'll last as long as it did the first time.
     
  4. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

    Messages:
    5,381
    Location:
    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks
    Repair panels are far easier when they are available than messing about trying to patch.
     
  5. ibrooks Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    UK Lancashire
    I sort of disagree there - for a complex area with lots of shape and/or swage lines yes I'd buy a repair panel but I'd cut the bits I needed out of it and only replace what was necessary.
     
    Shedendman likes this.
  6. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    One of the best things for preparing metal and smoothing off afterwards is a flap wheel, nowhere near as aggressive as a grinding disk on thin bodywork. Might make things easier.
     
  7. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,700
    east sussex
    Also a few things to remember,doing stuff down on a bench is a far cry from doing the same on a car,in most cases you're doing vertical(downhand uphand) or overhead welding,so settings and postion come into it.
    That last photo you'd have been better off cutting as much of that whole section out.theres far to much rot going on there,cleaning off the face dont do it,its not the rust you see its the rust you dont,ie the other side;)
     
  8. Popcorn

    Popcorn Member

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    'ull
    Whats the hinge panel like, i'd be inclined to take the A-Panel off and repair that as well. It doesn't look to good, from what I can see.
     
  9. Fastfingaz Member

    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Louisiana -USA
    Machine too cold,,,,, or too much wire speed,,,, ?????
     
  10. cornflakeMini

    cornflakeMini Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Thanks for all the helpful comments guys - it's good to know where I'm going wrong :)

    When I started prepping the patches I was thinking along similar lines - I cut out sections much bigger than the actual rust holes until I got back to reasonably thick metal and then cleaned off with the flap disc around the edges. I also cleaned up the back of any panels I could get to. I also did my practice runs in the same orientation as on the car - vertical mostly.

    I think either I went too mad with the flap disc and ended up with thin metal surrounding the patch or I just didn't cut enough out. Probably a combination of both actually.

    Regarding addjunkie/ibrooks comments on replacing panels - I've been thinking along the lines of completely replacing the inner wing and door post as this entire area is very rusty. However, I'm concerned that this will turn into a very long term project.

    I wasn't originally intending to do a 'proper' restoration as the car has a bit of a wonky front end and a dodgy NS door post from previous crash damage so I'm not sure the shell is worth that much effort and money.

    Can I have some advice on where to draw the line? I'm concerned that if I don't carefully discipline myself then I'll start with the grinder and then not stop until there's just a steering wheel and a pile of rust on the floor! :laughing:

    There's a lot more work to do:
    - Replace Inner & outer sills plus jacking points on both sides
    - Replace Door step both sides
    - Repair Lower rear quarter panels (both sides)
    - Repair Heelboard
    - Replace Rear valance (plus closing panels probably)

    I welcome any advice on just how far to take this project - a new shell is not financially viable at the moment but I also don't want to spend the equivalent of a new shell on replacement panels only to end up with a still wonky shell many hours later.

    I have some pictures of the problem areas I can post if you guys can advise how far to take it?
    Here's a picture inside the sill box section to whet your appetite:
    IMG_20180617_150616110.jpg
    That's the reason I chose cornflakeMini as my username...
     
    henry Kadzielski likes this.
  11. henry Kadzielski Member

    Messages:
    788
    Location:
    Australia Wollongong
    ^^^Thats what left after my kids have been at the wheatbix:mad:. Bless their little souls:vsad:
     
  12. Popcorn

    Popcorn Member

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    'ull
    The pile of rust is the original sill, it hasn't been repaired properly in the past they've used a cover sill. It's probably taken half the floor with it.
    Mini's are just about at the point now where anything is worth saving.
     
  13. cornflakeMini

    cornflakeMini Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Ladies & Gentlemen for your viewing pleasure...

    NS Door Step:
    IMG_20180607_201650403.jpg

    NS Sill: IMG_20180607_201810785.jpg IMG_20180607_201949742.jpg IMG_20180607_202053763.jpg IMG_20180607_202128348.jpg

    NS Heelboard / Floorpan: IMG_20180607_202226864.jpg IMG_20180607_202242194.jpg

    NS Rear Quarter: IMG_20180607_202305851.jpg

    Rear valance: IMG_20180607_202514220.jpg IMG_20180607_202524917.jpg
     
  14. Popcorn

    Popcorn Member

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    'ull
    First thing I'd be doing is stop cutting it up and get some bracing in.
     
  15. cornflakeMini

    cornflakeMini Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    OS Rear Quarter:
    IMG_20180607_202649311.jpg

    OS Sill:
    IMG_20180607_202754745.jpg
    IMG_20180607_202901738.jpg
    IMG_20180607_202917071.jpg

    OS Front Wheel Arch:
    IMG_20180607_203044589.jpg
    IMG_20180607_203144346.jpg
     
  16. cornflakeMini

    cornflakeMini Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Thanks popcorn - I think a cover sill was fitted and also the floorpan / inner sill had been patched over on the inside.

    I welded a piece of ~2mm thick 40x20mm box section across the bottom of the door gap before cutting any of the sill away. Hopefully this is adequate - opinions welcome.
     
  17. cornflakeMini

    cornflakeMini Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Also @Popcorn regarding the state of the door pillar: It's pretty darn rusty too.
     
  18. henry Kadzielski Member

    Messages:
    788
    Location:
    Australia Wollongong
    On the bright side, I noticed that the tyres are good:scared:
     
  19. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,700
    east sussex
    I welcome any advice on just how far to take this project - a new shell is not financially viable at the moment but I also don't want to spend the equivalent of a new shell on replacement panels only to end up with a still wonky shell many hours later

    I'd think hard about that one
     
  20. Popcorn

    Popcorn Member

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    'ull
    Yeah I'd expect the doorsteps cream crackered as well, you can get the door step with hinge panel.
    What you need to be is repair the floor inner sill, leave the door step original to use as a reference.
    Repair the inner sill at the bottom of the rear pockets and possibly the rear floor under the seat.
    Next tack the outer sill on and repair the rear quarter.
    Now you can remove the doorstep and the hinge panel, the hinge panel is double skinned having the inner wing on the other side.
    Try to leave as much of the inner wing on as you can again to act as a reference and tack the the doorstep on.
    Now check your door still fits properly, provided every things ok and fitting nicely weld up the panels correctly.
    Before you start the front end it's easier if you have all the panels to hand so you can line everything up.

    We'll talk about the front end when your there :thumbup:
     
    Wallace likes this.
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