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Old 08-31-2008, 08:00 PM
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Brazing body panels?

I just bought a 3'x4' sheet of metal to cut out and repair my rocker panels on my daily driver. Went over to a buddy's & he was doing the same thing to his truck. He has a 110v 100 amp Lincoln mig but even on the lowest setting was burning thru the metal on his truck and most likely would on my car also. He also has a lincoln buzz box 225A ac only welder and an oxy/acetylene torch set. Question I have is would it be possible to braze in the pieces with the torch? I was wanting to get these holes repaired before winter & snow but if this won't work will have to either use some sort of panel bond or rivets to hold the metal in place. I'm looking for a lasting cure rather than a bandaid such as just filling it up with bondo because I'd like to keep it for a long time & am allergic to car payments Any ideas?
Thanks, Steve
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:08 PM
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Steve, brazing is a bad idea. Yes, it "can" be done, but it is an open can of worms. I would glue it with structual bonding adhesive WAY before I would braze it.

Brian
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:24 PM
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Steve: Need some more info, what wire are you using, shielded or flux core. Have you ground all the old paint and crap off before trying to weld. Always remember mig hates rust. If you are burning through with gas shielded, then there must be rust under the panel. I used bronze and oxy/acetylene for years before mig was commonly available, just make sure everything is clean, Only weld a 1/2 in at a time and cool each spot with a wet rag to avoid warping the panel. Remember rust doesn't sleep but you can do a good job of hiding it. Arc wont work it's too hot for sheet metal.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:26 PM
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I have brazed in many patches years ago......You have to really watch your heat......With todays technology in welders, there is little call for it. You should be able to turn that mig down enough.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olcarguy
Steve: Need some more info, what wire are you using, shielded or flux core. Have you ground all the old paint and crap off before trying to weld. Always remember mig hates rust. If you are burning through with gas shielded, then there must be rust under the panel. I used bronze and oxy/acetylene for years before mig was commonly available, just make sure everything is clean, Only weld a 1/2 in at a time and cool each spot with a wet rag to avoid warping the panel. Remember rust doesn't sleep but you can do a good job of hiding it. Arc wont work it's too hot for sheet metal.

Not sure what wire he was using but he had ground all the paint & primer off the area he was going to weld. The patches he was using were thin galvanized which it didn't burn thru, it burned thru the actual truck metal. All he was doing was tack welding it maybe 1/4" then moving a few inches & doing the same thing & it was dong this. The ground clamp was attached to the galvanized patch piece which was clamped in place. The piece of metal I bought isn't galvanized so I don't know if it would work better or what.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:41 PM
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So it was able to do the takes every couple inches..This the way it is done don't expect to lay down a bead the full length of the patch. Just be prepared to burn through if you hit a thin spot. Thin spots can also be caused by grinding too aggressively and thinning the metal..
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olcarguy
So it was able to do the takes every couple inches..This the way it is done don't expect to lay down a bead the full length of the patch. Just be prepared to burn through if you hit a thin spot. Thin spots can also be caused by grinding too aggressively and thinning the metal..
Wonder if this wasn't what happened as he was using a DA sander when I got there & the metal did seem real thin around the hole. I have a 3" die grinder which I'll use to prep mine, hopefully will be easier to keep from thinning the metal down. The sheet I bought is fairly heavy gauge material so hopefully.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:52 PM
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you say fairly heavy, do you know what gauge. You will have to apply your heat more on the thicker panel or you risk burning through as well.

If you want you can pm me and i'll try to answer you better.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olcarguy
you say fairly heavy, do you know what gauge. You will have to apply your heat more on the thicker panel or you risk burning through as well.

If you want you can pm me and i'll try to answer you better.

Just went to the barn & mic'd it in several places & .032 is the minimum thickness reading I got. What gauge would that make it?
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:33 AM
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That is probably 20 or 21 gage material, from that measurement. Keep in mind that when mig welding, if there is a gap between the pieces, when lap welding, you can easily burn thru.

You should get some pieces of the same thicknesses and practice to get the welder set-up, and used to welding it, before trying on the vehicle. The size of the extension cord, and location of the ground clamp also can effect your welds.

BTW.... Welding galvanized is dangerous!

Aaron
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:41 AM
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19ga. = .042in
20ga. = .035in
21ga. = .032in
22ga = .028in

That is a good thickness. I prefer 20ga satin coat as it tends to last longer in this salt mine that we drive in every winter. The metal in your truck should be about 22ga. I had a 2002 dodge van in the other week with a cut in the rear quarter. Fellow backed into a dock plate. Could not weld it, kept burning through. I had to back the weld up with a patch from behind to give it some thickness. I have a collection of different size copper pieces that I sometimes use to back up a weld as well.
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