First welder for car restoration

  1. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    I'm planning to restore my Citroën 2CV over the coming months (probably years) and it needs a lot of welding at the bodywork. I've zero experience with welding, but I've been always interested in learning the skill. The idea is to build up experience by doing non-car projects (welder cart, small workbench, ...) while working on the car mechanics before attempting to weld the body of the 2CV.

    I do have access to a TIG welder (my father-in-law is the son of a retired welding supplies dealer), but after reading and researching it seems that a MIG with a low "starting current" combined with 0.6 mm wire is the way to go for thin sheet (0.8 mm).

    I've been searching a lot and trying to read as much as I can about different options. Mind you that I don't live in the UK and it seems that not brands are distributed at this side of the Channel.

    At this point my preference is a Jasic MIG 160 which is sold for about € 500 with a 5 year warranty. I first came across the MetalWorks MIG 160E but it looks like a Jasic MIG 160 and it is more expensive and has only 1 year warranty.

    There is also the option of an EVO MIG 160 Multi Synergic at around € 620 (and an additional € 50 for a TIG torch) that has caught my eye... A Jasic MIG 200 Synergic is about € 799.

    However, I've been pushing the upper limit of the budget (as I started by looking at a € 399 rebranded Punair MIG 200 Synergic) and it looks like it won't stop if I don't make a choice soon. :p

    Questions:
    • Is it worth investing in a synergic if I'm not sure I will do a lot of TIG? I will not be investing in 2 gas bottles and I do have access to a pro level TIG only a few blocks from my home.
    • Is there any other benefit of a synergic except for the additional TIG support?
    • How much of a benefit are those LCDs on the welder?
    Cheers,
    Niels
     
  2. a111r Member

    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    London
    Is the Parkside PMSG 200 A1 in your Lidl, stores or on-line?
    That is a bargain for 199 Euros with 3 year warranty - see the vids on Youtube,
     
  3. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    Thanks for the suggestion! I've just checked and it is no longer available in Belgium. However, looking at the specifications the current range for MIG is 50-160A and 50A seems to be too high to weld thin sheet.

    Also, I do read that the quality of the wire feeder is of importance and I suspect this might be a weak point with these cheap units.

    - Niels
     
  4. a111r Member

    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    London
    Yes, 50 Amps is way too high but the cheap inverter makers all get this wrong! They're step-less DC power supplies, so theoretically will go down to a very low current.

    The wire feeders on these are much nicer than most cheap MIGs, btw.
    Any in France? I've asked Lidl if these are coming to the UK... and await their reply.
     
  5. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    1,202
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    Your bang on with the mig thinking , buy what ever you can get from a bricks and motar shop , local to you , with a good warranty and dealer back up , buy something that will run with gas , and budget for ppe too.
     
    stuvy likes this.
  6. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    I've had an interesting call with a Dutch supplier of both the Jasic and the EVO. The EVO is synergic and has the ability to TIG (which was already clear to me), however it seems that there is another notable difference. The wire feeder of the EVO has a cog wheel that drives both the upper and lower spool, while the Jasic only drives the lower spool. Also, the Jasic will be sent off to the UK for repairs, while the EVO will be repaired in-house at the Dutch supplier.

    I'm a bit torn about paying an extra € 150 over the Jasic if I'm not sure I will use the TIG option. And if the synergic function is really a requirement. Also, the torch assembly of the EVO looks a bit cheap, but since I don't have any experience I don't have any point of comparison.

    Last but not least: should I go for a 160A or could I better invest in a 200A from the start?

    Sorry... just rambling a bit. Here's some pictures to make this post at least a little interesting:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. atomant48

    atomant48 Member

    Messages:
    861
    Location:
    Salisbury, UK
    That looks identical to my parweld except for the colours. I think they call them “semi” synergic as the amps and voltage are “connected” but you can’t set material thickness and have the machine dial in the settings like some.

    I think they’re great machines and my suspicion is they produce far more power than an equivalently rated “hobby” machine (I also have one of those). No data to back that up though ! One immediate thing you notice (re your question about the feed) is how smooth the feed motor is (no clunking etc and you can’t actually feel the wire feeding through).
     
    a111r likes this.
  8. a111r Member

    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    London
    It's going down that 'branding' route again... the EVO's a generic machine with a high price, due to the 5 year warranty?

    Will the supplier give you a demo on both, to show you the synergic benefit?
     
  9. hermetic

    hermetic Member

    Messages:
    123
    Yorkshire UK
    Certainly the dual mig tig is the way to go, 2CV metal is very thin, and takes a steady hand and lots of spots to weld with mig, especially single phase mig. Tig is better, but get lots of practice before you start on the duck! Make you repair panels from 1mm, overlap the original metal onto the repair, and tack them together, and get the edges super clean, especially for tig!Here is one I did for a customer, new inner wheelarches and boot floor/seatbox, and loads of repairs! It is quite easy to make parts like sills and door pillars from sheet steel, rather than buy, as I find they are usually too short. If you can afford it, do yourself a favour and start off with a new Galvanised chassis!
    Phil
     
  10. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    1,202
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    200 amp for sure ,, handy to have a bit in reserve ,, the dual function would be tempting too .
    Buy what you can get fixed is my thoughts .. you will do a lot more mig than tig on a rusty car , ,,
    the extra amps will be handy if you build a spit or the likes .
     
  11. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    I had to google it, but it does indeed look a lot like the Parweld XTM 201I. However, this one is even more expensive (€790) and a 2-year warranty. :/
    All those Chinese models seem to be available under different brands and I'm sure they take an extra markup to cover the cost of a 5-year warranty. However, I prefer to pay a bit more and have decent "local" support than buying of eBay (or similar) and not knowing if they will honor the warranty/service. Also, it looks like a decent QA has been done on these EVO Welding machines.

    I can visit their shop for a demo of both welders. They already took the time to have a lengthy phone call and answer all of my newbie questions. :)
    My father-in-law has a professional grade TIG welder at home, so he'll be teaching me the TIG way of welding. However, I've been discouraged to buy a TIG-only welder by a lot of 2CV enthusiasts and they all recommend a MIG.

    Thanks for sharing the video! That car looked like a Swiss cheese at some point. :D I'm sure mine will not be different as it has been neglected for about 8 years. I'll start by taking out the engine and dismantling the rest of the "drive train". The body will stay as long as possible on the old chassis while I rebuild a new one based on a galvanised chassis. The body work will be the last part of the journey (and will probably take the longest). I will be assisted by a friend who has been a coachbuilder (this is how Google translates "carrossier" from Dutch) at a Citroën garage for over 10 years. I was planning on using replacement parts as I don't have any tools to bend/form sheet metal. But this is all in the future, so we'll see how it goes. It will never go as planned. :D
    My understanding was that you can weld thicker steel with a 160A if you take the time and with some technique... But indeed, I like to have a bit of power on the reserve. :)

    - Niels
     
  12. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    I had also been looking at the Bester 190C Multi as they are made in Europe (Poland). However, after a conversation with a dealer who sells both the Bester and the Jasic I came back to the Jasic. Both are great machines, but he prefers the Jasic over the Bester. Maybe he has a better commission on the Jasic, or maybe he really was honest.

    Anyways... I did push the budget to the limit and I couldn't justify adding another € 120 for the EVO. The main advantage of the EVO is the geared wire feeder. I read mixed things about these (semi-)synergic machines. Regarding the lift TIG option, the dealer was clear: he would rather TIG with the cheapest TIG welder than with lift TIG on a MIG/MAG.

    Only time will tell if I made the right choice. Next: PPE, supplies and scrap metal. But first I need to finish my "workshop".

    - Niels
     
  13. Alan Easton

    Alan Easton Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Warrington, Cheshire, England
    I bought a Rohr MIG-200MI off amazon. After a lot of messing about with disposable bottles I got myself a 10l bottle of tri-blend gas and haven't looked back since.

    Here are a few videos I did about it, getting set up and the issues i found and how to sort them. I'll be doing another video today that will be a run down of my experience so far with this cracking machine.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLglH0tZRDVl4837h_uMvWiH31O-BQQK5c
     
  14. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    I had a look at the Rörh too, but the output current for MIG is quoted as 50-200A by the manufacturer. Since I want to weld thin sheet metal in the future, I think this might not be a suitable option.

    Also, I like to buy from a store that can give me quality customer service after the buy and the (semi-local) store I've bought from has their own repair shop.

    - Niels
     
    Alan Easton likes this.
  15. Country Joe Argoshield Dark

    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Somerset - United Kingdom
    That torch looks ok - I quite like the "ball & socket" arrangement where the lead enters the torch, and the springy cable-relief.
    Two things that aren't ususally a feature on the cheaper torches.

    Besides all of this, though - the welder has a euro-socket for the torch connection, so you could use any torch you choose, or a separate one with a teflon liner for aluminium, should you end up giving that a go, in the future.

    Not completely sure which I'd go for out of the two, though!

    All the Best,
    CJ
     
  16. Alan Easton

    Alan Easton Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Warrington, Cheshire, England
    I don't have any local welding suppliers that want to sell anything less than £1500 so Amazon was my only real option. At least I know if it develops a fault, I'll get a return label and send it back with no issues. I'd have much preferred to shop local but i really didn't have the budget.

    I found that the welder will go as low as 20A in real world welding tests so I have had no issues with welding thin gauge steel on my Peugeot 106.
     
  17. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    east sussex
     
  18. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    No, he isn't a professional welder, but he's an enthusiastic "maker". His father was a welding equipment dealer and he did learn to TIG and stick weld. The welders he has were gifts from his father. He did never learn MIG, but he's very excited to hear that I did buy a MIG welder. :laughing:

    - Niels
     
  19. niels New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Belgium
    If it goes that low, it makes is very suitable for welding up thin sheet, I think. It had been an option, but I'm sure I'll be happy with my Jasic. :D It arrived yesterday, so I'm hunting down some gas to give it a go this weekend.

    - Niels
     
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