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Old 05-01-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
dpbgst13
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Default Welding Seams

I had a quick question. Has anyone taken apart all the interior and welded all the seams that were press welded? I know a roll cage is the best but I have a welder and some time. Was just wondering if anyone has seen some rigidity from doing this.

thanks dan
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:48 PM   #2
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Most professionally-built unibody-based racecars and nearly all rally cars get seam-welded for additional strength and stiffness. Typically 1/2"-3/4" long MIG-welded beads at about 2"-3" intervals is fine. Far stronger than spot welds alone. I wouldn't bother with overhead stuff, but the floorpan/rocker panels and any structural members should be reinforced.

I've seen older racecars that weren't seam welded with torn metal at the factory spot welds.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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Need to be careful to not put too much heat in one spot, or you can warp the chassis though...

Ask me how i know
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:04 AM   #4
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And the schmutz they use to seal everything up from the factory can lead to some subpar beads.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Dont you have to media blast the shell first? Or I guess you might be able to wire wheel it clean? But it seems like that would take forever.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Acid dipping it would be the correct and best way to do it.
Wirewheeling will work on the gunk you can see, but does not reach under the panels you will be welding, and there is sealant there as well, which will make welding difficult, and the welds themselves sub-par.
Also,I don't think the fumes emmiting from the sealant and stuff are not to good for you.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob the fabricator View Post
Most professionally-built unibody-based racecars and nearly all rally cars get seam-welded for additional strength and stiffness. Typically 1/2"-3/4" long MIG-welded beads at about 2"-3" intervals is fine. Far stronger than spot welds alone. I wouldn't bother with overhead stuff, but the floorpan/rocker panels and any structural members should be reinforced.

I've seen older racecars that weren't seam welded with torn metal at the factory spot welds.
heck, it's not just old race cars. The BMW Z3 and the M roadster variant have only a single mount for the rear diff. Over time it rips apart all the spot welds in the rear end of the car.

we know of a dude in toledo who is doing quite well with a dual mount rear diff and new subframe kit he's come up with.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. This takes FOREVER! I have done the seams that holds t he seats to the body and also the rear deck. Next is around the strut towers all the way down to the floor. I'm verrrrry nervious to go near the gas tank so i will not be completing the welding until I remove the gas tank.. That probably will not be done for a while. Let you know how it goes. So far so good.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:49 AM   #9
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Some friends and I are building up an Escort for Chump Car and we put a lot of hours into removing the paint and glue from all the seams in preparation for seam welding.

Flap wheels work a lot better than wire wheels - you can move down a seam twice as fast, at least. But there are corners that only a smaller wire wheel could get into, so it was good to have both. We removed the gas tank along the way.

I think stock Escorts are actually held together by the glue as much as by the tacks. It was pretty eye-opening. The shell is now far stronger than it was before we started, that's for sure.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:07 PM   #10
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the snapon crud thug. is the ****! its not cheap buy a long shot but it works amazing for doing seamwelding.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom@kartboy View Post
the snapon crud thug. is the ****! its not cheap buy a long shot but it works amazing for doing seamwelding.
**** YES! If only all the thugs worked as hard and as well as this one!
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom@kartboy View Post
the snapon crud thug. is the ****! its not cheap buy a long shot but it works amazing for doing seamwelding.
^this

I love my Crud Thug.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSFW View Post
I think stock Escorts are actually held together by the glue as much as by the tacks. It was pretty eye-opening. The shell is now far stronger than it was before we started, that's for sure.
...or not. I worked on the stripping, but not on the actual welding. I found out last weekend that gases from burning glue were interfering with the welding, so we welded less seam than we stripped.

Anyone have tips for dealing with that kind of thing?

We got the shock towers pretty good but there's a lot more that I'd like to see done.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSFW View Post
...or not. I worked on the stripping, but not on the actual welding. I found out last weekend that gases from burning glue were interfering with the welding, so we welded less seam than we stripped.

Anyone have tips for dealing with that kind of thing?

We got the shock towers pretty good but there's a lot more that I'd like to see done.
torch it first.. or crank up the gas.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:32 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tips.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:04 PM   #16
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If your worried about residual glue, get a acetelyne or MAPP torch and burn the seams- Way below the melt point or weakening of metal point, but it will get rid of the sticky glue seam sealer stuff.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:19 AM   #17
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liquid nitrogen will take that seam sealer out, it will freeze it then you can tap on it and it will break off allot less toxic that way
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:00 PM   #18
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Where can you get liquid nitrogen? That sounds kinda fun actually.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSFW View Post
Where can you get liquid nitrogen? That sounds kinda fun actually.
I believe welding supply stores carry it.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:18 AM   #20
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Thanks for the tip.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:51 PM   #21
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Also try dry ice instead of liquid nitrogen. We took out sound deadening material off a floor pan and it worked great
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badler View Post
Dont you have to media blast the shell first? Or I guess you might be able to wire wheel it clean? But it seems like that would take forever.
I don't recommend media blasting. Too many people (operators) don't know what their doing and can stay in one spot too long causing catastrophic weaking and pannel distortion. Unless you have a guy that has done this with SODA in the past, and knows what he is doing, don't try.

As for dipping or stripping ... pros and cons to each. If you want the strongest car possible, don't dip it. If you want the cleanest welds and easiest to work on with the least amount of weight, dip.

Again, acid dipping a car improperly can really weaken the panels. Too long or not enough can have the same effect. Also major downside of this is that the primer and sealers from the OEM assembly is no longer there, so inside frames, rails, etc the car is much more prone to rusting !!!

On our current build, we removed as much undercoating, silicon, etc as possible from the seams. We actually yous the "JET" brand version of the crud thug. Same thing, different name.
If you have stubborn areas, I suggest dry ice as well, but this really only works if you have the frame on a rotisserie so you can keep the ice in the spot long enough for it to do something.

We then take a very LIGHT flame and try and dry out the remaining bits. You can pass with a little pic and get most out. If the panels are "warm to the touch" (keyword being warm, meaning you must be able to touch them) you can simply increase the gas flow a little and weld away.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1990556

Don't stay in one spot too long, and don't let things catch fire .... very, very, very bad (too much heat distorts the panels)

-mark

Last edited by MSI; 06-09-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:59 PM   #23
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i saw the crud thug on the snap on truck and blew it off. i will investigate on your opinion.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #24
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I buy snap-on stuff but I try to find the original mfg. first to save money.
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