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Vicfreg

1970 Convertible Restoration

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Got the pan all screwed in place, without a bunch of drama. Working mainly from the bottom side, I could verify how everything was fitting up, and how many gaps needed to be closed. Once happy with the fitment, I outlined the areas that will need to be drilled / punched for the welds and removed the pan. Back on the saw horses I laid out the patterns in their perspective areas. As this is a convertible, I went a little bit tight on the weld spacing, for a little better connection. 

 

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With the holes located, they were punched on the edges, and drilled in the middle areas, all with 1/4" tools.

 

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Now I have a bunch of cleaning and scuffing to do to get ready for some SPI primer. One step closer to getting this in the car for good. 

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Been busy with all the little details of installing a very large piece in this car. All the scuffing and wire wheeling takes a little bit of time to get it all nice and neat. Once everything that needed cleaned in the floor pan area, and the new pan was all scuffed, the wax and grease remover came out to get rid of the contaminants.  A little SPI mixed up in the gun and everything was sprayed.

 

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Let all this stuff dry over night, came back in today and put the pan back in place for the final time.

 

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Everything is all screwed in place, and a few clamps to help get some corners tacked down. Up next is the exciting rosette weld hole cleanup routine so all the welds will have a clean surface to melt some metal together. Epoxy primer is great for rust protection, but sucks to weld near / through.  

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Using a 1" crimped end brush in my drill, I hit all the rosette weld holes, then came back with a specially ground 1/4" drill bit to finish off the bottom of the hole. Both steps didn't take too awfully long, but makes a huge difference welding. 

 

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I did all the prep work last week, so today I got to go out and do nothing but weld this in place. Can't say I did nothing but weld, but you get the idea.

 

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I had very few holes that didn't want to weld due to paint. There were the few that didn't want to get close to the sub structure, but I convinced them to go where they were supposed to.  The rear of the pan came out nice as well.  The butt weld seam I planed over the frame rail also worked like a charm. While I was back there I also installed the rear seat brackets.

 

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The under side welds on the inner rockers went fairly well. Some of the holes didn't want to cooperate towards the torque box, nothing a little grinding will not take care of.

 

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Need to do some grinding, then fit the seat risers and under floor structure.  

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Very nice detailed work Latoracing! You're using 1/4" rosettes?

 

Wish I could weld rosettes overhead like you...

 

John

The majority of the holes were 1/4", but I had my welder set on nuclear fusion, so they ended up around 3/8" diameter when all done.

 

Overhead welds are fun, one of my favorite ways to weld. Turn your wire speed down a little and do not stop once the arc is started, welds just like a flat weld. Takes a little practice, if I can do it, anyone should be able to.

 

Mike

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Slower speed huh? I figured a faster speed for overhead.

Due to gravity, the more wire you melt in the weld puddle, the more chance you have of it dripping out of the hole. I'm not suggesting a lot less wire, just enough to make it hotter than you would normally weld. The welding shied gas is another issue, as it is heaver than air. For up side down welds I will turn up the flow rate by 5psi to help. Keeping your nozzle extremely close to the puddle really helps. Get some scrap and try it. With my Miller (running .030" wire) I usually weld thin metal on 2 for amps and 3.5 for wire speed. Up side down, I turn the wire speed down to 3 (if that makes any since)

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It makes perfect sense now Mike. It's been so long since I've welded overhead I don't remember if I increased the gas flow or not, which also makes sense. Thanks for the tip.

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Thanks MIke...i'll give it a try.  You did say " just enough to make it hotter than you would normally weld"....but wouldn't slowing down the wire speed make it less hot?

 

...John

Less wire with the same voltage doesn't "fill" the puddle as quickly. (Look at it as leaning out a air/fuel ratio)Turning up the wire speed with the same voltage requires the arc to melt more filler wire in the same amount of time, makes the weld colder. If you can literally feel the MIG wire pushing into the weld puddle, way too "rich".

 

Set up a part and try different wire and heat settings. Do some experiments to see the differences of less/more wire and how it affects your weld. Be safe welding overhead, 3rd degree buns are not fun! (Ask me how I know :) )

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Tackling a few small areas in preparation for quarter panel patchwork. In fitting the lower quarter patches and trunk drop off, I found a previous "repair". Looks to have been rusted through and filled with Bondo. I don't like Bondo filling up holes so I did a minor repair. Not a lot of time to fix it, much better than plastic filler.

 

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I made the replacement flange, welded it in place, and ground it really smooth. It didn't look quite right, so I placed some simulated spot weld pressure marks into it. I used to have a tool that replicated spot weld imprints, but could not find it. Guess I should make another one. This repair took about a hour and a half, the primer was still wet when I took the picture. There are a few other areas that will require similar small repairs, will get them knocked out one at a time.

 

I'll show the quarter / trunk drop off repair as I get more completed. 

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More patching. There was an area right in the middle of the inner and outer wheel house that was rusted through, right above the  trunk drop off.  I did get the new drop off part all trimmed and primed. Installing it was interesting. This part was butt welded in place instead of the traditional lap /  spot weld repair we've all seen done 100 times. Butt welding is much more tedious, but makes for an "invisible" repair. 

 

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I had to put a slight taper on the new part to make it all line up. With a few tacks, it was ready for some welding

 

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More welding and grinding... poof, all done.

 

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I was also working on the quarter skin patch, along with the  lower portion of the outer wheel house. They are in the works of being fitted and trimmed. All of those parts will be butt welded as well, so there will be no rushing once the parts are tacked in place. I do not like wavy panels. More to come...

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Any idea how the trunk drop off to outer wheel well should finish? Both sides of mine where roached before I started the repairs so I have nothing to go reference. It doesn't seem right for the joint to be sticking into the wheel opening.

 

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It's the area to the left of the mini bike tire in this photo.

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That looks good. The seam does stick out into the wheel area. The factory had a bunch of seam sealer in the bottom of the lip. I would put a bunch in there as well to help with the water / road debris that will collect in that "cup". 

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