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Old 06-15-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
goalieboy1
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Default Seam Welding

Hey guys, I will be putting a cage n my car within the next little while and came across the term "seam welding" what exactly is it, pros and cons and is there any special technique to doing it or can it be done by mig.

PS. Mods, sorry if this isn't the right spot, move if necessary but couldn't find a fitting category in technical.
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:11 AM   #2
WAYGONE1
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http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1740176

READ

Its at the bottom of this forum you posted in. Examples everything.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:11 AM   #3
urabus555
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Here is my oppinion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by goalieboy1 View Post
"seam welding" what exactly is it
Seam welding is also referred to as 'stich welding'. It is a bunch of small stitches, or welds laid across the seams of the unibody. Because welding changes the structural properties of metal, small beads are laid at specific intervals. This HELPS to prevent warping of the shell, as two sheets of steel when heated and cooled (during welding) want to change shape slightly. Also, the OEM spot welds are doing a fine job, seam welding just helps out to add a bit more strength and rigidity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by goalieboy1 View Post
pros and cons
Pros:
Stronger shell
Safer shell
Localized crash damage
Easier to 'pull' crash damage (not to fix though)
Awesome way to learn to weld
The cool guys do it

Cons:
It's an obscene amount of work
Lots more work to replace body panels
You'll get told by 1000's of people that you don't NEED to do it
Lots more work to replace body panels
It's an obscene amount of work

^^^both of those lists can be expanded upon


Quote:
Originally Posted by goalieboy1 View Post
is there any special technique to doing it or can it be done by mig
I only know of one person who has ever done it with a TIG welder, the rest have used MIG.

There are as many techniques as there are welders (from what I gather). I listened to my cage builder and a local car builder/racer. You can read about what I did in my thread. Some people push the bead, some pull, some do what I did for the majority of my shell.

Spacing the stitches is also something you'll hear allot about if you ask allot of people. I chose 1 inch welds every 1.5 inches because that's what my cage builder suggested... I've heard everything from 0.5 inch welds every 2 inches up to nearly full beads across the seam.

The Truth:

You more than likely don't need to do it! There are more reasons NOT to do it than there are to do it. If you were building your 3rd car, you'd been placing high in your class consistently for a while, and your car was oozing horsepower, then seam welding would most likely be necessary.
I did it because I thought that the possibility of minimal gains was worth my time, for many (unique to me) reasons.
That being said, seam welding around your front strut towers is a VERY good idea!

EDIT: If you are NOT acid dipping the shell, budget 30 hours minimum to seam weld your car...
(don't acid dip your shell - you never get paint back where you need it)

Last edited by urabus555; 06-16-2009 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
rallynutdon
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+1. Don't need it most of the time (do it around suspension pickup points). Also, check the rules to make sure they allow it. I imagine most do but you can't undo it.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
RB5 Clone
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...and if you DO seam-weld, grind the goopy undercoating off where U are going to weld at the very least.

that way 2 things happen:

1--welds are better quality and U don't have to breathe as much toxic smoke

2--U won't catch the goop on fire and damage other important stuff on back side of the panel you're welding. Don't ask how this was learnt...... Be expecially careful when seam welding in the footwell areas, lots of important wiring you don't want to get cooked.

Long-term, it's best to remove all the body putty. even if you do prep the actual weld arreas and leave rest of the goop on, the welds will lift the coating a bit and let water/salt/road grunge in, and this leads to localized rust probs after a few seasons.

and as to the question of seam weld or not, our team's second suby shell was not seam welded. after a couple of events, we could see how panels around the transmission tunnel had pulled apart 3/8" in places. Car got seam welded shortly thereafter. MUCH easier to do when car is totally stripped for cage work rather than after it's built.

Last edited by RB5 Clone; 06-16-2009 at 02:08 PM. Reason: brain fade, breathing too much weld smoke...
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
urabus555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RB5 Clone View Post
Long-term, it's best to remove all the body putty. even if you do prep the actual weld arreas and leave rest of the goop on, the welds will lift the coating a bit and let water/salt/road grunge in, and this leads to localized rust probs after a few seasons.

and as to the question of seam weld or not, our team's second suby shell was not seam welded. after a couple of events, we could see how panels around the transmission tunnel had pulled apart 3/8" in places. Car got seam welded shortly thereafter. MUCH easier to do when car is totally stripped for cage work rather than after it's built.
Thank you - Thank you - Thank you

I have taken alot of flack for striping the body putty and seam welding my first car! My reasoning has been almost identical to the experience you've shared above.

By the way, I saw one of your Tulip's at a local RallyX (when it was between owners - as I understand it). That was a beautiful car! So much logical development. I wish I had a camera and a note pad. There were so many little improvements and tricks. It seemed like every time I looked at it there was some new solution to an inevitable problem. Very inspiring!
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
goalieboy1
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urabus555, thanks alot for all that info, i know you already had a build thread going on with all that but that involves alot of filtering to find where as you were just staright up with everything. After reading I dont think I will end up seam welding the car as of right now, just being as like you say I dont NEED it. But if it starts rippin apart, then I guess I may do it. Again, Thanks for all the help.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
RB5 Clone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urabus555 View Post
saw one of your Tulip's at a local RallyX (when it was between owners - as I understand it). That was a beautiful car! So much logical development. Very inspiring!
Thanks. Crikey do I miss that old battlewagen. That was our original Tulip, built out of a 110K mile grocery getter base model L sedan. That car was literally built up out of dozens of separate subies. Ended up with 20-some rallies in the logbook, not to mention dozens of rallyxes and teaching/testing/spank-me days at Team O'Neil. Sold it in a weak moment, still kicking myself over the decision.

Oh well, glad you got some tips from checking the car out.
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