Complete newbie :)

  1. zerofoxjim New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi guys and gals, Been a long time lurker on the site!

    Over the years, I have had many rust heaps that I wish I could have fixed...But never had the bottle to try and fix anything...So here I am!

    I have a brand new welder, and im determined to learn the art....including making decent repair patches and doing a nice job.

    Here is my problem: I know there is surface rust between the seams. Do I have to bust open all the seams to brush the rust out? or can I get away with using epoxy mastic to seal the lot up (after cleaning and patching the visible areas)

    Thank you all!
     
    • 20171119_162429[1].jpg
  2. Mark E Making it harder than it needs to be.

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Isle of Wight, UK
    Your final two words are the key - “visible areas”

    I’m no expert on this but think that if you have surface rust on the seams, there’s no way you can realistically expose it enough and stop it without opening the seam up, cutting back to bare metal and welding back from there.

    It does depend on what this is on as well. If it’s a £500 eBay banger, some rust preventative topcoat will see you right for a year or two. If it’s a rare or valuable vehicle, you want to be exposing that rust and stopping it.

    Seam sealer and epoxy will mask the problem, not resolve it.

    Any pics of the vehicle? Well done for finally taking the plunge!
     
  3. frank horton

    frank horton V twins are great but 4"s rule.........

    Messages:
    1,351
    Location:
    Soon 2 B Crete
    Learn on an old knacker.....then find ur self a non rusty car from Southern Europe....fill it full of wax-oil and with a bit of luck u"ll make /save some money.....
    Car's from the UK will always keep ur welder busy.....
    As Mark says sealer only covers the trouble up, once the rust is there u can only slow it down......I think better to see it than have a lump of bodywork fall of....
    Frank
     
    Mark E likes this.
  4. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Messages:
    6,465
    Location:
    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    I struggled to work that photo out, at first glance I thought it was a coastal sea view through a bit of mangled metal! Digital flash photos often make rusty metal look far worse than it is so that lot might not look quite so bad in the flesh. What you want is good clean solid metal to weld to as any rot is no good, what did you remove from that area?
     
  5. I can't really work out from that pic myself what is what.
    Personally, I'd try and get repair panels first as it's a lot easier than making them yourself. The best way (not necessarily the easiest) to repair a panel is to drill out the spot welds and replace the part by drilling holes through and re-spot welding in the new parts. Patch repair panels are easier but more work to lose the repair. You can butt weld a patch which means there is no overlapping edge or a lap joint made by using something like a joggler to offset the lapped edge behind the front one. Start off small an it'll become clearer.
    If you have new metal to let in, try to coat it with weld thru primer as it will afford the repair some protection, Once the repair is complete seam sealer will keep out the rust. Don't leave bare metal unprotected or it'll start sooner than youd wish.

    There are plenty of threads on here of vehicle restorations but there are a few that really show how far you can go but there is one guy on Retro Rides forum who does welding repairs on an old BMW and another with a Mini Cooper S 500 that blow me away every time I see them.

    Can't find the Mini at the moment but Tony's BMW's are legendary. Check out this guys work to see how far you can really go.

    http://retrorides.proboards.com/thread/119596?page=1
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    Olderisbetter likes this.
  6. zerofoxjim New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Scotland
    20171119_162401.jpg 20171213_154701.jpg 20171213_154746.jpg 20171213_154759.jpg

    20171119_162401.jpg
     
  7. zerofoxjim New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Scotland
    Wow guys! thank you all so much for the detailed replies! Such a nice helpful community :) Very welcoming and motivating :D
    I have all the bilt hamber products under the sun to use on this beast lol.

    The car in question is my track beater. Just took a hammer to the sill :P

    The first picture I posted, was the front inner wheel arch.

    Most of you guys will be shaking your head, thinking this is a complete waste of time on an old clapped out Ford. But I really want to learn! so an old rusty focus is a good enough base for me to start with maybe. If I ruin it, its no big deal at the end of the day :) fords really love the scottish coastal climate!

    Progress will be slow due bad weather.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  8. Olderisbetter

    Olderisbetter Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,941
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    Its a great way to learn just getting stuck in and across this forum and many others you will get so much help and encouragement, Welcome to the forum and have fun.
     
  9. zerofoxjim New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Scotland
    Thanks for that

    I have plenty of 1mm steel to practice welding on, before I even touch the car with a welder.

    Is 1mm steel ok for patching sills? Or is it better to use slightly thicker gauge?

    My future work and current outdoor space may look a bit rough, but I hate bodging things...and want any of my attempts to be, at the bare minimum...SAFE!

    I have read up on various posts on this site, stating that any sill welds on the top side, need to be of a continuous bead....and not spot welds. is this possible with 1mm steel? (Without blowing through) assuming that is thick enough to use?

    Thanks again
     
  10. A lot of guys use Zintec which I believe is 0.8 so 1mm will be fine. If you chain weld the patch with overlapping spot welds then it will look lke a continuous weld and I suppose technically it will be. Don't be in a rush to weld in a continuous line as all you'll succeed in doing is making the molten pool of metal so heavy it'll fall through. Also don't be in a rush to weld a run as without spotting the peice in plate it'll pull some of the heat from the weld and distort the plate so tack it in where you can. Also a heat sink at the rear of a repair like a piece of copper can help minimise distortion and if it blows through then the mg will not stick to the copper so can help you fill in as you go.

    The panel at the bottom of the repair area looks to be thicker than car body gauge so I would replace this with 2mm should you decide to attack that. You'll be surprised how effective a spot blast gun will be on some of that steel providing you can get the head in there.

    Keep the Q's coming, there's plenty of guys on here who'll offer advice and we all love pics.

    You are a brave man to work inside that tent in this weather. :)
     
  11. Olderisbetter

    Olderisbetter Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,941
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    @Exuptoy I will be upfront and honest by saying i am very basic at welding, I am starting with plenty of gear and not much idea lol, But the more i do the easier it gets and the better the results, I like the angle grinder and red oxide as it makes my work look better..
     
    slim_boy_fat and Exuptoy like this.
  12. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    Greetings fellow Focus owner! :)

    I've just taken my MK1 98 estate off the road. Have a look at my thread and in particular @Dcal's comments / pics. Rot boxes due to the fuzzy felt they used for rear arch liners and the 2" strip of underseal along the bottom of the sills that holds onto water like a chav with a winning scratch card:

    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/ford-focus-mk1-estate-sills-etc.76603/

    Tbh I've abandoned mine until probably Spring unless I can figure somewhere under cover to work. Just lucky I've got a long term loaner to use! At the moment it's parked on the lawn. Will try and jet wash the road crud off during the holidays and at least get it on a hardstanding.
     
  13. Dieselkid 63

    Dieselkid 63 Banned from forklifts

    Messages:
    4,133
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    My dad had a Lancia Delta (block lights, not the rally one). Had to sell it because the rust was just taking over, it was beginning to fall apart. Things have changed since the days of 'fine Italian automobiles' though!
     
  14. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,888
    Location:
    london
    Always remember me and my brother going to a dealer to buy a 3 year old Focus when they first came out. Stuck my hand under the wheel arch and it was made of some lovely water absorbing foam. Under the rear the subframe was well on it's way...the rust was really quite bad too...he bought a honda instead!

    Welcome to the wonderful world of mig welding...not so long ago I was in the same boat. Lots of very helpful people on the forum so keep the questions coming....and nothing we like better than a fresh project with some pics too.

    When I started I used to cut out a piece of body and just clean it off to compare the steel thickness. Most of what I use is zinctec either 0.8mm or 1.2mm depending on location on the car....remember with zinctec you need to clean off both sides where you are going to weld (zinc really is very bad for you). If you are butt welding it can be good to practice on the bench joining the scrap bits you hack off the car and the new steel you are using to get the technique right. I also find that the orientation matters too...so if on the car you'll be welding vertically then practice vertically on the settings. Also decide whether you'll be pushing or pulling the torch as I find this also can make a difference on thin steel.

    As others have said...on thin stuff you are aiming for a series of spots with a second or to delay to allow a little cooling. Good luck and looking forward to more pics ;)
     
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