Rotten VW T4

  1. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    So I thought I'd have a quick peek under the van prior to dropping it in for an (overdue) mot. It scraped through last time, this time I think not so lucky.

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    That's a jacking point :( So I need to grab some ramps before I go any further. The whole sill looks dubious!

    Here's where I got to:

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    It's a devil of a job working upside down, under a van with everything 6 inches from your face. Incidentally, I made up a face mask from an old visor and a head band.

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    Works well but I'm using angle grinders, wire wheels and flap disks. Crap gets everywhere....

    It is an ex-military vehicle, from Northern Ireland. My guess is it had been stood for a couple of years and now that I am finally having to look closely, it has been up to its axles in mud. Where these pockets of mud collected, the metal has gone. It has also had stuff welded into it/onto it and then roughly removed. Most of the bodywork is filler and most of the filler just forms a shell over rust.

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    So even the good looking parts of the body are pretty grim underneath. The filler has been applied and rubbed down really well but now the metal has started to disappear from behind, it's literally like picking off a scab. I am pretty sure I can repair the driver door sill and inner sill but the sliding door sill is worse. A lot worse.

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    Two things make this worthwhile: it has a superb engine and it's LPG converted (dual fuel). That means this old rust bucket is LEZ compliant and affordable vans which are LEZ compliant (Diesels from Jan 2001 onwards, Euro III or petrol vans) are as rare as hens teeth. Petrol vans are stupidly expensive to run at 17 - 20 MPG so I figure its worth my time getting this one running.

    I may be wrong about that...

    S.
     
  2. Bear

    Bear Member

    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Got plenty of work ahead of you there. Good luck :welder::D
     
  3. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    I decided to replace the rotten end can but repair the catalytic converter. They are deadly expensive and mine isn't leaking despite the bracket rusting off! Knocked up a bendt bar on the trusty flypress. I have to say, even those compound curves were a piece of ****!

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    Tigeddy TiG.

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    Whatever happened to Blue Peter anyway? And where's my badge! :gah:


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    This is almost too easy....

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    Now I am getting suspicious. This is too easy. Something's got to go horribly wrong!

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    Ok. I get it, it's a practical joke. I refuse to believe this is going to work first time.

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    Looks great though. Going to trim the edges a tiny bit, mark out the border and grind the bodywork down to match. It's going to be a lap joint. Not ideal for vehicles but it's an awkward spot and I still don't know if it will TiG. Been following MiG units on eBay for a week but not scored a result yet.

    Fate is probably waiting for me to crawl under the van before she plays her trump card. I hope it doesn't involve burning to death under a rusty van.

    S.
     
    Dcal, penfold and KimB like this.
  4. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    I bit the bullet and had a crack with my mini TiG. A really nice chinese thing which is actually a pretty good little unit.

    It didn't go well and it isn't pretty!

    Patch came out ok. Popped a few holes in it for ventilation and plug welding.

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    Soon as I started tacking, I had problems.

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    It's just too thin and when the puddle forms it can blow through even on 20-30 amps, that blows the weld, blows the tip and makes a mess of everything.

    I'm working under here. The weld is inches from my face, helmet snagging on the van lying on my back in a permanent sit up. It was killing my neck.

    [​IMG]

    But I got there eventually. I had to basically tack it and tack on tacks, switching off the arc as soon as the puddle forms. Anyway it's on and now I know. I need a MiG!

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    The van did catch fire, all that filler eventually bursting into flame. Not a bad first effort. I'll do the other patch and maybe have a look at the wheel arch but I don't think TiG is really suitable for this job. You need to get the filler in as soon as the puddle starts to form and most of the time, you just can't see it.

    S.
     
    penfold likes this.
  5. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    I completely "forgot" to take a photo of my amazing welding skilz :whistle:

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    But I can assure you it looks great under there.

    S.
     
    KimB and Jim_gingertash like this.
  6. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    Front crossmember is going to need a little patching.

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    I was going to gaffer tape it of course but my new MiG should turn up later so I might see if I can practice on it. If you look closely, you can see where its starting to develop a little light surface rust.
     
  7. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    OK guys, we're almost up to date.

    You may laugh...



    Unedited, unexpurgated video of the first time test for my new Cebora Autostar 180EC MiG welder. It doesn't go well but I suspect there's a faulty nut on the torch end.

    No idea what settings to use
    I think I had the wire feed pressure too high
    I turned the gas off in the middle when I said I was turning it up (valve was facing away from me!)

    Blew the tip eventually, welding the end of the wire solidly in the tip. And I mean SOLID!

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    For the record it's 0.6mm steel wire running in a 1.0mm (0.040) tip.

    Off to the shops to pick up some new tips and a new shroud.I'll probably grab some 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0mm tips. It is a bit windy so I may take the set indoors for the next session. Not unhappy with it, just need to find the right settings!

    S.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  8. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    The first tentative steps on the road to MiG welding. There may be trouble ahead... (and a little swearing!)



    In part 2 of the adventure, our intrepid hero blows a few more tips but makes a discovery!



    Finally, we're getting somewhere.



    Until at last, a useable MiG weld on some 1.2mm sheet!

    Congratulations for getting this far. Once I get into the swing of things, I'll have multiple camera angles, a welding camera so you can see the puddle and I promise to edit before uploading!



    Not much I can do about the swearing.

    But we have a winner.

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    It gets better from right to left. The final MiG weld (3/3) is second from the left, the very leftmost one is a test TiG butt weld when I set up my mini TiG in an attempt to hit the van with it.

    Right then. I better start making up some new panels...

    Screwd.

    S.
     
  9. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    That's it. Pretty much up to date all in one go. Comments welcome regarding my first attempts at MiG. it was a voyage of discovery! I am using Argoshield which BOC told me years ago was ideal for TiG. I am now told it really isn't but of course now that bottle is hooked up to the MiG. All's well that ends well. I hope this ends well!

    S.
     
  10. akdaka Member

    Messages:
    40
    Wiltshire
    Nice to see you making some progress! I saw you other thread on the T4 forum.
     
  11. All the panels on my old T4 were zinc plated, I guess yours is an older model?
     
  12. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    There's some yellow goo sprayed inside the chassis and on some of the inner panels. Looks a bit like lard! Can't wait to weld next to some...
     
  13. rikrobson

    rikrobson Member

    Messages:
    3,750
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    Thats waxoyl
     
  14. pondy

    pondy Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    chedburgh, suffolk. uk
    How come you have used .6 wire on a 1mm tip?
     
  15. atomant48

    atomant48 Member

    Messages:
    744
    Salisbury UK
    I had to do that a while back cause I didn't have a spare 0.6 tip and tbh I get better results so I've never bothered changing it.

    Great thread.
     
  16. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    Came with it. Thought I'd fire it up and see how it goes. Then I went out and bought some 0.6 tips. It doesn't help matters I appear to be using Pureshield Argon. Oops. I thought it was Argoshield and only checked the label when I was told on another forum that Argoshield is no good for TiG!

    The more experienced among you will probably have spotted some issues with the above "good" bead I made after so many unsuccessful attempts with my new toy. I have a bottle of CO2 kicking about and I'm going to see if I can attach it to the new MiG.

    S.
     
  17. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Location:
    south yorks
    will still weld ok with pureshield flatter weld i used that when i got given a free bottle
     
  18. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    Good to know thanks. Would CO2 be better?
     
  19. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Location:
    south yorks
    Co2 burns hotter with more splatter but iv'e used it for years now
    you just get used to it
     
  20. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Member

    Messages:
    5,115
    UK London
    Quite a bit of progress today. Had this odd piece from the bottom of the front inner arch. I had to cut it off to fit the step but it also needs a patch repair for the paper thin rust.

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    Before I could do anything I had to clean up all the odd bits. The construction foam which was the biggest culprit in the first place was the most difficult. Burned to off eventually.

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    Then I need to make up a CAD template and form a patch before cutting out the rot.

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    Bought some zintec sheet off eBay and used that.

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    But when I started cutting, it seemed ok so I made a smaller patch (I will regret this later!)

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    It looks ok though.

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    Took a while to get the MiG going. I spotted an issue with the feed, wrong feed roller size for the wire and pressure roller badly adjusted. Got there eventually.

    But I kept blowing through that patch. I hadn't trimmed it back enough and was welding fresh air half the time. So I had to blob on a load of weld to fill the holes. Next time I'll cut away ALL the rust no matter how thick the metal looks.

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    more...
     
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