Rusted from the inside out - Subaru

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:12 pm
Yes I did suggest Oxy Acetylene welding and NO you do not need Hi dollar stuff to do it. ANYTHING including Aluminum can be Qxy Acetylene welded IF you take the time to learn how to weld properly. You don't need to invest more than a few hundred dollars in a good set up either. check this out ... lding-101/
You can Pick up Good used Oxy Acetylene set ups all day long used on Craigs list or Ebay cheap buying new is not necessary.

A Mig will get you going fast and learning to weld with one is not all that difficult.
Using one on European sheet metal wouldn't be my first choice as I said before but it can be done, and done right its just not my choice that doesn't mean its not yours!
Plus even all the manufacture's say that the Mig process should be used on certain places and welds on any car.
I personally use all 4 Processes Mig, Tig, Gas, and Stick no one process is best for all.

A Mig really is the do all in the industry these days.
If you really want a good cheap Mig welder I would look at Everlast welders I have one of there Tig machines and I really like it.
There cheapest Mig machine has a Better duty cycle than the one you just posted and it's cheaper by almost a C note. OH and these are serviced here in the states getting repairs and parts is easy. There Technical support is also Fantastic. I wouldn't touch that machine you posted.
Being able to get your Welder serviced or repaired is priceless as is a Good reliable Warranty! Everlast stands behind there junk for 5 years!
Your friend did tel you right that you want one with a Lot of adjust-ability.

BUT I will say this "You want one with the highest Duty Cycle you can afford!"
******When it comes Welders Duty cycle means everything !*********

Cheap machines are just that CHEAP!
While you could possibly get away with the one you posted this one: ... i-mig-140e
Has a Better duty cycle is cheaper and it has a 5 year warranty adjustable power and wire speed. But not what I would buy!

If I was shopping to buy a New machine for my shop at a min I would look at this one: ... mig-253dpi
Do you really need this much machine ? NO!
But If you look at all the specs and features that this machine offers at this price its very hard to beat You get what you pay for and this one has a lot of cool features for the automotive repair guy.

That doesn't mean you need this machine or the bare basic machine either some were in the middle is fine or even one from another manufacture Miller, Lincoln or Hobart to name a few just do your home work before spending the money compare features and DUTY CYCLE, & WARRANTY call there tech support! can you get through do they answer the phone ? !!!!! Where is the closest service center????? Who pays for shipping for warranty repairs ???? that 70-200lb machine aint gonna be cheap to ship! What are others saying about the machine on line and the company? what are they saying about Warranty service and Tech support?

While you may not know or understand what all those advance features are for on an advanced Mig machine such as the one I posted above now but after learning the basics you'll find the learning curve is very short with a good Mig., your ability's and confidence will build very rapidly and you'll find that you wished you'd bought that bigger more advanced and rather expensive machine instead of the el'cheapo entry level machine.
Its easy to grow into a Machine and 100 times faster to grow out of one that's too small or to basic!

You mentioned The other guy on the other forum covers his welds in Carbon fiber ?
While this may sound & look cool and sound like it will add strength but Its not going too! all it will do is cover Poor welding technique in my opinion.
I know Carbon fiber, I work with it a lot in the Aviation industry I know what it can and cant do reinforcing welds is not one of them.

Your already in your car really deep You need to ask yourself are you doing this for just this one time project or are you in it Forever? not just for one or two cars!
Buying tools and equipment is an an investment in yourself!
I have been doing this stuff for over 40 years I know what I am doing I know I am buying tools that will last a Lifetime and if not I know I can get them repaired or replaced.

With that said
Fabbing up Patches :
You can make a Lot of patches with just a Pair of Tin snips a vice and a Hammer and Dollys yes there are stretchers Shrinkers shears Plannishing hammers English wheels the List is endless, all I can say is Buy what you need when you need it and can afford it.
But buy good quality that will last! Their is nothing worse than a POS breaking in the middle of something that you need done yesterday! good Tools are not cheap! and there is nothing good about cheap tools!
But at same time you don't need SnapOn for everything either when Chraftsmen will do you know what I mean?
When your shopping for tools do your home work shop around Talk to other Pros in the field see what they are using and what works and what lasts.

As far as making Parts I my self use a Lot of Prefabbed sheet metal parts from the after market world or the Junk yards and Cut my rust repair patches from those.
For me it saves a Lot of Fab time there are a Lot of parts that will take you a day or two or more to make or you can buy a $100-$200 used or aftermarket part and just cut off the piece you need and your back to welding. How much is your time worth? how fast do you need it done? ask yourself before trying to make a patch.
Then theirs the simple patches you can make with a vice Tin snips Hammers Dollys Piece of Pipe chunks of angle iron even a Stump you'd be amazed at what can be made with Just an old tree Stump and a few Hammers Dolley's.

Check this guys stuff out ... SSUkzZ2Jlg
His how to build a Roll cage is probably the best How to in the industry he tells you and shows you how too make it the right way.
He also offers Classes here in Vegas from welding to Fabrication how too if your ever out this way send me a message we can meet up.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:23 pm
Doright, I'm still digesting your last post. Thanks for the reply.

In the meantime, I'm getting ready to buy a O/A Torch setup. I'm leaning towards the Meco Midget due to price and size. Although the Victor J28 looks pretty small as well. I'd like to have one Torch for all of my welding. I've read that once you start trying to weld over 16 gauge, you will start to run into issues ( From this table (, it looks like the Midget can weld up to 0.089" thick metal or like 13 gauge sheet. I'm worried that this won't be enough for my roll cage work. It looks like those mounts that I want to build are around 1/8" or 0.125". This is clearly thicker than the largest metal the Meco can handle.

But cage mounts aside (that's down the road a ways), I need to weld some brackets that I cut off back onto the car. These brackets, for the most part, are 18 gauge (0.0478") tack welded on top of either 18 gauge or 20 gauge (0.036"). Worst case scenario, they are 18 on top of 18 = 0.96" or like 13 gauge. This looks to be a bit above what a N7 Tip is rated for.

Will I be able to tack weld these pieces back on with the Meco? Or will I be sitting there for days heating the entire car up in order to get the metal to fuse. Is tack welding two pieces of metal overlapping each other like this a good application for a torch? It seems like everyone uses a torch for buttwelding only.

I've read that the pressure range of the regulator matters since you'll be able to get better adjustment for these small torches with a regulator with a lower maximum pressure rating.

Tanks: What size for my application? I don't want mega huge tanks but I also don't want to run to the store every weekend to get them filled.

BTW, this weekend I think I'm either going to get a metal brake or a bead roller. The angles of the the patches that I need to make will really benefit from one of these tools. And beyond my patches, I think I have some other good applications for those tools with this project.

What scares me is how exact the patches must fit in the gaps. I'm pretty worried my patches will be completely terrible fitting and I'll be trying to fill quarter inch gaps.

Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:54 pm
Finally got through all of Doright's response.

I am heavily leaning towards an oxy Acetylene setup based on the videos that you and others posted. It looks like it's a lot less messy than my short experience with the flux core mig. And looks a lot easier to control.

I never heard of everlast before (not saying much considering my experience). I was looking at Miller, Hobart, and Lincoln, in that order, based on a friend's suggestion (the friend letting me borrow his lincoln mig). The one I thought might do the trick is this Lincoln one:
It has a duty cycle of 25% @ 200A and 230V. I don't know if that's good. The high dollar Everlast one, which is really way out of my budget, is much higher. The Lincoln also, I believe, has completely variable control on the voltage. They don't advertise that however. I like that even the Everlast Power imig 200E, has a variable voltage control. All of the lower priced hobarts have stepped voltage control.

I would consider a used O/A setup... if I knew what I was looking for. There seems to be a whole crap ton of equipment for sale on Ebay... but where to start? One of the things that makes it hard is there doesn't seem to be much info out there when it comes to model #'s. For instance, this victor SKH-7A: seems to be a really good deal. But I can't seem to find any useful information on it. I think it came up when I searched for Victor J28.

Regarding my last post... I think I was reading that chart wrong. I think the decimal Inch column on the left refers to the drill size and not the metal that it can weld. I found this table ... /Menu.html which tells me the thickness of material that one can weld is much higher than what I thought before.

I will continue my blabbering later on. Off to bed for me.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:39 am
This is the one I have, and I like it. It also has the low pressure regulators.
They claim it can weld 1/4" steel, but I have only used it for sheet metal. If you talk to him on the phone he may give you a discount. ... ssure.html

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:08 pm
chevman wrote:This is the one I have, and I like it. It also has the low pressure regulators.
They claim it can weld 1/4" steel, but I have only used it for sheet metal. If you talk to him on the phone he may give you a discount. ... ssure.html

Thanks for this. I think I will call them and describe a couple scenarios of the welding that I need to do. sheet on sheet spot welding, but welding of my thin subaru sheet, and welding on some thicker (1/8" or larger) to the chassis for the cage (I still need to watch the video that Doright posted of a roll cage).

I did call Tinmantech last week. I spoke to a lady who did not seem to be too knowledgeable. But she asked the owner of tinmantech if it was possible to weld 3/16" sheet metal into a car's chassis and he confirmed that it is possible but that I would most likely need the tip extender due to how hot it's going to get. His complete setup is quite a bit more expensive than the kit that you posted. Is it worth it? How do you like the equipment that you got? Does it perform well?

I have the following helmet. It works great for the flux core mig. Will it work for gas welding? ... op?ie=UTF8

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:31 pm
I don't have any experience with the meco torch, but I suspect the main advantage is its light weight, I'm very pleased with the smith torch. If you call Daggar, Craig is the owner and usually the only one there and he will be able to answer any questions you have. The guy in the video is far more experienced with the torch, but he is only there during their metal shaping classes.

The helmet you have will be fine, you only a #9 lense for gas welding. If you get a torch, I would suggest a lot of practice with just a puddle running across the metal without filler rod, then more practice with filler rod before you try even more practice on a seam.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:58 pm
Agent H
Sorry my posts so long winded BUT the Rabbit hole is deep when it comes to welding.
I first learned to gas weld when I was a Kid then moved on to Stick welding and Mig welding the First set up I purchased was a Mig because it was industry standard and every one swore by Mig welding on Cars. Everyone STILL swears by Mig welding on cars! including sheet metal BUT if you want Quality welds with low Porosity you come back to Gas welding or Tig welding thin metals if you really care about the quality or your workmanship.

O E welding is the do all as I said earlier BUT You do need more than one set up to do it all Yes the Meco would be too small for Thick metals its more for really Thin small stuff and comfort doing it for long periods of time.
The Bigger Victor would be better for thicker stuff and will do a lot of small stuff with a double 0 tip or a triple 0 tip The smaller Mico is for very thin stuff its small very light for doing sheet metal you don't need a Meco! a Victor double 0 tip is fine for a lot of thin stuff. their is also a 000 and a 0000 tips available for the Victor. you also dont need the Gas Saver I linked too earlier either its just a really cool add on to any gas welding set up.

No one welding process MIG TIG Stick or O/E does it all perfectly all have their strengths and short comings which is why they all came to be.
Oxy gas welding does come close doing it all, However no one single Torch is going to do it all. Which is why there are so many out there.
As an example I have Two Victor Torches and my Meco with Multiple Tip set ups for each.

Even with My Mig set up I have Multiple Torches and Liners then there is multiple Drive wheels for different size wires and different size Tips for the torches and the wire size.

Another example with my Tig set up I have Four different Torches and a TON of different size Tungsten and different Tungsten compositions of metals I mainly use 2% Thoriated but I have others including Pure Tungsten for Aluminum, ALL in different size diameters from .040 to .125 and all in between and I have them all, Then there are all the different Size cups different size lengths and openings and then their are the Gas lens set ups with the clear Pyrex Cups yup got those too. The list is endless once you go down the Rabbit hole it just doesn't stop.

As far as Machines go I would look at the Everlast units before the Lincoln or Miller You can get a whole lot more machine with Everlast for money spent.
For your cage and some of the thicker stuff your ganna want a Mig or a Tig.
A Mig is gonna be the way to fly its fast and easy to learn OR a Tig set up harder to learn.
Gas welding and Tig welding are both Harder to learn BUT once you can Gas weld picking up Tig welding will be a cake walk.

As Far as Making Patches go they need to fit tight with little to NO Gap chasing a big gap is a no no with any of the welding processes, Its better to make another piece that fits good and tight than chase big gaps.

Here is a Everlast machine that does MIG TIG and Stick all three processes and its only $1500 cash Plus it has a 40% duty cycle wich is Not bad. Plus it includes all the torches to do it. its dual voltage 120v or 220V But it doesn't have AC! but it does have the Pulse functions for mig and Tig. ... ig-package
If I was looking to buy another machine and I probably will lol I would probably buy this one ... ig-package
It does Mig Tig and Stick plus it has "AC" and its a dual voltage machine 120v or 220v plus it does Pulse mig or Tig its a very versatile machine.

I have Two Tig welders at this time a Miller Shopsmith 300 with a Miller 251 High freq box and a the strait up Tig machine from Everlast. I have to admit I really like my Everlast machine. ... rtig-250ex

There is a Lot to know about welding there is good info out there and Bad on the Net, To make matters worse there is a lot of cheap Junk equipment to buy on the market! always do your research! Its a lot easier to sell a Name brand equipment used when its time to upgrade than cheap junk that sits in the corner of the shop.

There are reasons Good equipment is COPIED Like Victor, Miller, Lincoln, Hobart etc,
Take Victor for example it is a quality name they make good equipment, There are Millions of COPIES with adds that say "LIKE VICTOR" They even look like the Victor and Parts will interchange BUT Its NOT a Victor! Beware of cheap Copies!
There are safety check valves and flash back arrestors in most of Victors stuff the others don't have or include that you need to buy separately or add on nothing worse than a big Ca-boom in your garage! ... tyOutfitSu

There are many other good brand names in welding I only mention Victor Miller and Everlast because I use Them But Harris and many others make good stuff too there are many others. But when you check out resell values Victor and miller stand above the rest.

As far as Tanks go Get the biggest ones you can afford and are approved by your Local welding supply house where you'll be buying gas nothing sucks more than buying tanks you cant get refilled because there not approved by them or there out of Hydrostatic date and or running out of gas on the weekend and your welding supply store is closed.

If I had to pick between a Bead roller and a Brake I would pick the Bead roller.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:22 pm
Hey Buddy I found couple more machines for ya to check out!
1st one is a Tig/Stick machine But its a serious machine for the money and its endorsed by non other than Justin from the "The Fabrication series" on You tube.

Justin demoing the machine and Trying it out

A Link to the Prime weld 225EX ... r-warranty

This is very seriously a very nice machine 120v/220v AC/DC machine with PULSE for $775 how can a guy go wrong??? 225 amps is plenty to weld .250 Aluminum a water cooler and water cooled torch but that stuff can come later.

here is another one AHP
210 amp machine $690 Bucks!
Although not really endorsed by Justin in the Fabricator series he does have them in his shop.

Both machines have a 60% duty cycle both have the Pulse feature bot are AC/DAC machines as well another Big plus as you really want AC to weld Aluminum and some other exotic metals. The Primeweld comes with a Killer CK torch! that's a big plus!
Both machines only go down to a low 10 amp low start, The Everlast I have has a 5 amp low start which is why I chose it! I wanted a low start amp for really thin material.

AHP MIG machine
This is curious its a 250 amp Mig that does Stick and TIG
$1100 Does Mig Pulse and Tig Pulse 60% duty cycle as well
I don't know anything else about it.

Basic Tools of Fabrication

This is no means a complete list or all a Must have either.
As a Matter of fact I have very different tool needs for what I do or for what I need to do.
BUT he covers a Lot of basic type stuff all the same.
I have a lot more than what he shows and he has a few things that I don't have, some I wish I had or will be buying soon others are more advanced than what he has. But all the same no one says you have to get it all your first week, These things are purchased as needed over a period of many years, Mostly as needed when needed.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:57 pm
I really appreciate all of those welders and the extra advice and videos you posted. That is a lot to consider!

I'm super anxious to get going. So I ended up plunking down the cashola on that Dagger tools Oxy Acetylene setup. I probably could have saved $100 by going with that Victor J28 handle and some used tips. But right now, I just want to jump in and get going.

I have a very very stupid situation that I have to deal with in order to work on my car, so time is of the essence. I don't want that to sound like I am going to rush things like a fool. Well, maybe a little bit like a fool. I am inexperienced after all. My job is in South Delaware which is also where I live. Over a year ago I landed a job after 7 months of unemployment. Like all spoiled brats my age, I move home with my parents and mooched off of them until I found a job. I finally found one and it was 2.5 hours south of my home and my garage. I vowed to myself to finish my car project which I started back in 2015. Shortly after totaling my WRX, I got searching for a 2.5RS... the coveted 2 door coupe, to turn into a rally car of sorts. I jumped on the first one that seemed to be in relatively good shape. Then the race was on to find a garage where I could do the work. I secured the garage, a nice 3 bay unit in a small town in the Philly burbs, only about 20 min from where I was living. Close enough to go to after work. Sh*t got upended, as it does, several times and here I am. Heading North for the weekend. Little did I know how much a can of worms this thing was going to be when I cut off the rear fenders! FML.... It's a total rust bucket! Rust and holes every where. All of a sudden the scope got a LOT bigger.

Here I am. Fighting for my time during the weekend to make forward progress and hopefully do things right. My goal in the coming weeks is to get the hang of things with this torch and some test pieces before touching the car. And in the meantime, I plan on fabricating the patch panes and continue my grinding of rust. There will likely be many more questions as I go.

This is probably the most positive I've felt about this project in a long time. I still feel bewildered, overwhelmed, and under-skilled. But at least now I have a couple proper tools, most importantly the torch, to make this start to come together. Thanks so much!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:42 am
Your going to want to find a Steel supply house some where near by and Get some 1/16" or some 1/8 thick stuff to practice on lots of it and cut it up into coupons 4x4 or so.
also get some 18 to 20 gauge mild steel cold rolled sheet.
They will probable want you to buy a whole sheet to get some OR they may have a Scrap bin you can pull some from.

There is also this place ... teel-sheet

DQAk is a silicon or Aluminum killed steel during the process of making it I have several sheets of it I use it for making Patches with, Its Softer than regular Cold rolled and easily formed into Shapes. (That's a secret!)

Any way your going to want to cut a bunch of Cold rolled up into small pieces 4"x4" and 4"x8" to Practice with use the 1/16 inch thick or 1/8" thick at first There is no easy way to say this but you need to be prepared to spend a couple weeks 40-80 hours Practicing Gas welding before even thinking about looking at that car! Just Lay beads start out with just making weld pools and drawing them down a strait line when you get that down start adding filler wire and drawing beads when you can make decent beads with good penetration on flat stock Then start laying a piece over another piece and weld the two together then try a T and then Finally the But joint.
The scrap man is gonna love you but don't worry about it your learning the Hard way!

Your going to want to build a Little bench 1st to work off of.
I worked off a wood bench for years with a Pieces of 3/8" thick 1 foot by 1 foot steel plates I picked up at my local steel supply I just placed them all side by side and covered my wood bench with them. not saying you need to do the same but you want some steel under you when your welding so not to set fire to your work bench if you use wood.

As I said I used that wood bench for years always with a good fir extinguisher at the ready lol till I shelled out the cash to build a real steel bench to weld on.
Your also going to need a way to cut the metal when you get some.
There are Hand Sheers, Hi speed grinders, Sanding disks, cutting wheels, throat less shears the list is endless on ways to cut metal.

I have a P O S throat less shear from Harbor freight its cheap its junk and its cheap! it works it cuts metal it will cut sheet metal in circles it cuts squares and strait lines and its cheap junk its loose its sloppy its junk But hey it cuts might be right up your alley. ... 38413.html

ALSO get a FIRE EXTINGUISHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
20-40 bucks don't be cheap! better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it! ... tinguisher

Dont forget to get your welding wire for mild steel ER70-6 or -2 is fine or RG45 or RG60 if you go to Airgas supply where ever you get your Acetylene and Oxygen from should have some. There are literally hundreds of different rods you can buy for different materials.
I like 1/16" filler rod myself there are thicker and thinner ones also available.
Its always easier to add more filler rod when welding than take away though that's why I like the 1/16" over the 1/8"

If you don't watch all of these watch these two first ones at least!

Have fun post some Pics ... ons/videos
Filling your holes
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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