welding sill repair sections

  1. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,878
    Location:
    halifax, England
    finally got round to mig welding these sill repair sections today,though a post might be helpful to newbies to this welding hobby. (I'm sure the professionals will have better ways of doing things).

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    which follows on from this thread on bending without a bender

    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/bending-without-a-bender.74629/

    and repairing inner sills

    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/repairing-inner-sills.74723/#post-1024875

    these were trimmed to size and test fitted. this is a very slow process and trying to get the gap right for butt weld

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    and I do find the clarke belt sanders good for doing the final triming

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    https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cbs...MIs5WV1bCg1QIVrrvtCh1WigUKEAQYAiABEgL3G_D_BwE

    I start by running a few tacks along the length of the join. these are done randomly along the length. don't start at one end and do them one at a time until you get to the other end. if you do you will find that the tacks shrink as the cool so pull the panels closer together and after the first 30cm you'll probably find that the panels are now overlapping. (that happened to me on the first one I did many years ago).

    I used narrow rulers for adjusting the alignment of the panel

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    and intergrips without the bar that goes behind the panel to try and maintain a gap (due to shrinkage of the tacks when cooling)

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    and finally you end up with tacks along the edge of the panel

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    then I did the plug weld to replicate the original spot welds. the holes were just under 6mm diameter and the power was turned up and just done in one go without moving the torch. the settings were tested on some scrap test pieces first to check for penetration. and a clamp was put on each side of the weld as it was done.

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    until they were completed

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    a few more tacks were done on the butt joint

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    and the tops of the tacks were then ground down to be near enough flush with the panel

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    delta9, slim_boy_fat, rtcosic and 2 others like this.
  2. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,878
    Location:
    halifax, England
    the butt weld was then done by overlapping tacks along the length doing about an inch at a time and then cooled with compressed air before doing the next few.

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    and the job is done, just needs a bit of tidying up with a grinder. the paint that blistered suggests that I was having issues with cavity wax burning in the sills, and compressed air is my preferred method for extinguishing them. I also have a pressurised 5 litre plant sprayer with water in it and a dry powder extinguisher as a last resort.
     
  3. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,701
    Location:
    london
    Very nice work indeed...when I did mine I found the majority of the time was actually spent getting the panel to fit properly.
     
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  4. Wayne. Member

    Messages:
    369
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Nice job
     
  5. 500e

    500e Always buy fire insurance a flood is hard to start

    Messages:
    4,569
    Location:
    SWest UK
    Tidy job & a Mole fetish as well :D
     
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  6. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    971
    USA-NY
    very nicely done.....Im working on my sills too.....



    JP
     
  7. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    5,376
    cambridge uk
    looks like a good job

    dunno if it helps but the guys in the in the bodyshop get a gap by fixing the oversized repair on with grips and/or self tapers etc then run a 1mm cutting disc along it , anyway you look like you have the hang of it lol
     
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  8. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    @optima21 Excuse the dopey question :ashamed:, but are your intergrips magnetic? If not, how do they remain in place - is is due to gravity and the angle you have them at? :dontknow:
     
    mechman likes this.
  9. gaz_moose Member

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    tamworth staffordshire
    TBH I would have just welded between the tacks instead of grinding them down.
     
  10. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,701
    Location:
    london
    Nice "how to"...thanks for sharing.

    I must say I do pretty much the same....except your idea of having the pressurised plant sprayer on stand by which I had not thought of myself. I have a plant sprayer too just sitting in the garage cupboard so I reckon thats going to be put to some good use now :laughing:. I always also keep and extinguisher handy just in case!!

    I like the slit disc idea too so I'm going to borrow that one as well!!
     
  11. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,878
    Location:
    halifax, England
    yeah they are just held in place with gravity and the angle they are at.
     
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  12. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    971
    USA-NY
    went back and re-read the tips and tricks and have a new appreciation for your post. thanks the tips especially on how the tacks draw the metal together along the gap as you go...happened to me and I had to modify the panel here and there as I went...probably started off with the panels too close. I like the idea too of using the panel clamps without the backing piece...brilliant, really....

    nice details in the other posts too about bending and inner sills.....

    JP
     
    optima21 likes this.
  13. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    How do you get the locking bar on the intergrip out after welding? Surely it stays inside the sill?
     
  14. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,878
    Location:
    halifax, England
    I was just using the intergrip to maintain the gap between the panels, not to clamp them together, they were only clamped on the plug welded bottom edge.
     
  15. Joe_echo Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Norwich

    That is a fantastic tip. Wish I had thought of doing that when I originally tried repairing the arches and sills on my car.
     
    steveo3002 likes this.
  16. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    If laying a panel over the damaged section then cutting through both with a slitting disc - to get "the gap", is a 0.8 or 1mm disc best?

    And aside from disconnecting the battery do people usually take the fuel tank off?

    I was thinking to tape a fire blanket along the length of the car underneath to try and minimise the sparks going under there.

    My Focus needs to come off the road very soon for this. At least I've a vintage Golf GTI set up to borrow.
     
  17. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    5,376
    cambridge uk
    thinner disc would be my choice

    if its near the tank then yeah ought to come out
     
  18. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,701
    Location:
    london
    I went through the tank dilemma myself recently. In the end I decided to remove the tank as I would be welding within a couple of feet of it...just not worth the risk and distraction of worrying about it!

    On my MR2 I did the sills with the tank left in because the tank is tucked well into a turret that runs down the middle of the car (very neat design)...also I wasn't welding anywhere near the filler/vents.

    I'll have to give the disc gapping a go...personally I just do it the old fashioned way a template.
     
  19. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    Decided...going to get the rolling Capri going and move it out of the garage and under a car cover. Not ideal but needs must. Might have to move the other Cappa over a bit. The Focus can then go in for it's sill work so I'll be half comfortable.

    Just bought a compressor from Aldi and a sand blast pot and recip saw from Lidl to go with it. Never had air tools before!
     
  20. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    5,376
    cambridge uk
    dont expect to do much sandblasting with that set up
     
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