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Old 02-24-2003, 09:45 PM   #1
Ru fan
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Question Seam welding, how is it done?

I am thinking of picking up a 1996 Impreza L to be used as a track/auto-x car. Over time, and as funds allow, I would upgrade nearly the whole car, starting with safety items, and end with a drivetrain swap. The car has light nose damage, and blown airbags, so I have no problem with taking it down to the bare metal. The goal with the chassis work is to make it safer and stiffer. I was thinking that a nice weld in 4 point roll bar along with some seam welding would do just that. Anyway, from what I understand, seam welding is done by building up little beads about 2" in length, and then skipping 2", and so on. What parts of the car need the most attention? What else can you tell me about this process? Any tips you may have would be great.

Later,
Seth E.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:14 PM   #2
ellisnc
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Did someone say track day

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If it's going to be a track car, the easiest thing to do is probably to get it dipped in acid to take everything off. I'm not exactly sure how you go about finding someone to seamweld the car, but they need it on a roticerie to do it right AFAIK. It's not uncommon to see increases in chassis bending and flexing resistance in the range of 50% by seamwelding from what I've read a few places. Obviously this varies with the starting chassis and technique.

Anyway, if you have the car stripped down and can find a place locally that knows how to do it, I'd go for it!
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:27 AM   #3
Thug
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Default Re: Seam welding, how is it done?

Quote:
Originally posted by Ru fan
I am thinking of picking up a 1996 Impreza L to be used as a track/auto-x car. Over time, and as funds allow, I would upgrade nearly the whole car, starting with safety items, and end with a drivetrain swap. The car has light nose damage, and blown airbags, so I have no problem with taking it down to the bare metal. The goal with the chassis work is to make it safer and stiffer. I was thinking that a nice weld in 4 point roll bar along with some seam welding would do just that. Anyway, from what I understand, seam welding is done by building up little beads about 2" in length, and then skipping 2", and so on. What parts of the car need the most attention? What else can you tell me about this process? Any tips you may have would be great.

Later,
Seth E.

You've pretty much got the idea. It's done in a "stitch" pattern. Id say the most important points would be the strut towers and surrounding areas.
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Old 02-25-2003, 10:40 AM   #4
igor
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Yeah; the principle problem with seam welding, is that if you don't do it right, the metal-expansion can bend your car.

So, here are some tips:
- Do the roll-cage first, which will stiffen the whole thing up.
- Don't do it section-by-section, do it gradually all over the whole car: couple welds here, couple welds there, etc. This will spread out the strain
- The 2" weld, 2" gap pattern is good, as it allows a little bit of flexibility.

Good luck!
-jeff
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:07 PM   #5
Ru fan
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I know a few locals who are decent at welding, so I want to ask them for some assistance. What kind of welding tools are needed? I know very little about the process. How about the areas under the car? Somebody said to pay close attention to the strut towers, but where are the seams on the towers? Are there any websites that show good pictures of this process?

As for the safety side of things, I was thinking of doing a 4 point roll bar with a horizontal bar behind the seats for the belts, and possibly a "X" going between the diagonal bars in the rear for some additional rigidity. Is there anyway that I could turn the bar into a SCCA legal cage at a later date, when I have the funds?

Thanks,
Seth E.

Last edited by Ru fan; 02-25-2003 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:34 PM   #6
paultg
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From www.rallispec.com is a picture of their Celica Rally Car when it was under construction. You can see the seam welded areas of the car.

It's alot of work, but a cool project either way.



Paul G.
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:02 PM   #7
mch
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You might try the folks at Vt Sports Car. IIRC they ran a subaru rally car last year and had some info on their web site that included seam welding the car before building it up.

They are running an evo this year so don't be put off by the splash page.

http://www.vtrally.com/

mch
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