1974 El Camino SS build

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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:14 pm

Wow awesome job. How did you attach the new quarter? Did you drill small holes in it around the perimeter and then clamp it uoa nd fill the circle with weld to replicate spot welds? Or do you have one of those spot welders with the 2 clamping fingers and do it that way (where you can reach)? Just trying to learn since I have never done one but I need to. The harbor freight spot welders look interesting but do they provide adequate power? I have a MIG with gas and 0.025 wire but I still burn thru a lot when I try to weld on old metal Sad
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:05 am

I drill holes and mig welded it.  I have never used a spot welder.  I have been welding for almost 30 years and it takes a while to get the hang of it.  Adjustments on the welder are the trick.  If you are burning through then you may have too much heat or your wire feed is too slow.  You have to make sure you use enough heat to penetrate into the metal or the welds will break.  The quality of the welder comes into play also.  Cheap welders are hard to dial in and most times do not have the power they need to make good welds.  A 220v welder is always going to weld better than a 110v.  Make sure your metal is clean and cut back to where the metal is good.  Just because there is not a hole does not mean it is not thin from rust. Its something you have to do a lot to get good at it.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:18 am

Thanks so much for your input.  I currently have a Chicago (harbor freight) MIG with gas that runs 220v.  Seems OK but might need to upgrade to professional level welder.  I use the smaller wire (0.024). Is that what you use, or are you using 0.030 wire?  Your welder brand?  Was also wondering with the big elco NOS quarter, did you clamp it all around and start your welds around the wheelhouse first?  I don't know how much the panel moves around as you jump around with your welds (to prevent heat soak).  Or maybe other critical area to lock in first with weld so that you don't get unwanted gaps?  I have been erring on the low of the low side of my settings and have had the welds break due to like you said, not enough heat, probably out of fear of burning thru.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:29 am

I use 0.024 wire for newer sheet metal. I usually work on 1959 and older stuff and I use thicker wire for it.  My welder for sheet metal is a Lincoln SP175.  When you put a quarter on, it needs to be clamped all around and in the correct spot prior to any welding.  I started at the roof and worked my way down and back.  The critical alignment is at the door and roof then back at the tailgate.  You don't have to jump around since your spot weld holes are far enough apart to not worry about heat soak.  The quarter was pretty easy since it had to line up at the roof/door jamb and at the tailgate.  It aligns itself if the inner structure is good and the shape it should be.  After market panels are a different story.  I clamp at each weld point I can as I go. Always check alignment as you go.  Do you have a quarter you are going to put on your car?
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:02 pm

Yes I have an NOS driver's side quarter and NOS outer wheelhouse that I plan to put on my 1973 Chevelle. It needs a tail panel and trunk too, so I need the aftermarket trunk pieces, drop offs, and repair needs to happen to both inner wheelhouses. I do have the NOS tail panel too. I imagined that the order would be to remove tail panel, outer quarters, then all the trunk panels (while leaving the reinforcements that house the body mounts. Repair the stock stuff then install the trunk floor pieces, drop offs, outer wheelhouse quarter, then tail panel.. all while car is still on its wheels assembled. I would also leave the trunk lid bolted on undisturbed so it can be an alignment reference.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:22 pm

Buggy I love what I'm learning from you just don't want to threadjack your el Camino thread Smile. Perhaps I'll start my own thread inquiring about my car, with photos and my questions. Be on the lookout for a new thread, would love your input as always!
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

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