wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/2/20 7:32 a.m.

In reply to Crackers :

I actually started the cyber punk thread because this car led me to the aesthetic.

I'm a fan, even though most of what you see might not be viable in real life. It's just fun.

It doesn't hurt to have a genre to shoot for that was made out of rusty garbage.

 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/2/20 7:34 a.m.

First thing I would do is take the cover off, and use compressed air to blow out the internals.  Then put the cover back on and just plug them in.  If they work, then the guts can be used.  If not, metal recycling- there should be some copper in them for the transformers and of course the lead in the batteries.

The odds are that the batteries are what is forcing them to stop being used.   And each will be in 12V increments- 12, 24, or 36V UPS units.  A lot of DIY'ers are replacing the lead batteries with much higher storage LiFePO4 batteres, to be more applicable for significant back up storage for big devices.  Which is what I would use them for.

It's fun to see general metal to be used in challenge cars- our car (way back...) had a lot of metal shelves in it.  UPS box flairs.  

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/2/20 5:42 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver (Forum Supporter) :Thanks for that. We'll see.

Today, I got the front crossmember in.

Some effort required. I needed it square, level and true, and exactly the same distance from the rear cross member I put in behind the driver on both sides. This will carry the two main pick up points for the front lower arms. The radius rods will go in the stock location. The front crash damage has been removed (well, except what was done to the body).

blush

I also tried my hand at this guy's method of doing repair patches. Check it out.

 Disclaimer: This guy welds without a hood, looking straight at the arc, as near as I can tell. I strongly advise against that sort of foolishness.

My patch turned out about like the others. It was a lot easier to fit, I just put a bit much heat in the panel like I usually do. It's fine, because this one's in the frunk.

Wanna know how you can tell I've started settling in to a new shop?

Apologies for the BOLD. Not really sure how that happened.

 

 

 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/2/20 7:30 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

Interesting video find!  I wonder if you don't have access to behind the metal would you do the same thing?

GoLucky
GoLucky Reader
5/2/20 9:52 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

Wow! This video was in my recommendations today. Did the 45degree cuts help you? 

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/2/20 11:40 p.m.

He mentions not spending time to get the panel to lay flat before you weld it. I'd advise you to ignore that. 

All that really does it punt the work off to the next guy. And if the next guy is you, you'll hate the last guy when it comes time to do the filler work. (That panel around the filler neck is warped pretty bad from where I sit.)

However, overlapping and cutting at a 45° is not new and works well on relatively flat panels, but IMO causes problems when you try to do it over a corner, and especially on corners with compound curves. Watch the butt welding video with the Z to see what I mean. (And the welding around the taillight panel on that Z says volumes about his skill level as a fabricator.)

All that said, I have often welded stuff together and shaped it afterwards, but that's definitely not something I'd advise for someone without a lot of practice shaping with a hammer and dolly, or an understanding of how much the panel is going to move when you start stretching stuff in situ. I've had to come back to bite me many times. 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/3/20 7:46 a.m.

In reply to Crackers :

Sorry wheelsmithy- but just have more of a question on technique...

So the issue I have with my refresh is that there's no way to access behind the panel for a dolly.  So I need the best technique to just do some simple hammer work and a skimming of filler.  (funny enough, I found a good amount of filler on the panel, and I know it had never been repaired).

On the first side, I did a blend of the butt weld and using a punch to create a step.  I learned two things from that- do a LOT smaller patches and I got neater results with the butt weld.  But if there are techniques to make that better, I'm all ears.

And w/o good filters for the tube of U's, I'd rather get ideas from here.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/3/20 8:44 a.m.

Honestly, I sort of borked up on the 45s. Access was poor, yet excuses are still like...umm noses. The main benefit I see from Fitzee's method is the fit up. Tacking the piece directly over where it goes, and fitting as you cut makes sense to me. I missed the part where he suggested not having the metal contours match. I feel like having a zero gap fit when the patch laid over the other is key, as Crackers said.

I'm glad for this discussion to happen here, so no apologies necessary. I want to improve, and these videos have the gears turning in my head.

Also, yeah, this is a no-go if you don't have access to the back. It may be easier to tack the patch on, then cut the whole thing out.

alphadriver: Not knowing what you're doing, I can't speak too accurately, but I find the fewer number of patches I can get away with, the better(edit: meaning if there are two holes, make one patch, not two). Of course, with complicated shapes, as I've said in earlier posts, I like fabrication vs hammer forming. I want to be better at forming panels, so I keep trying to form them. In order to get the job done, I try the hard way until I revert to fabricating. I may get better results simply starting with the fab. Can you post some pictures of what you're doing? Somebody at GRM can help.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/3/20 8:58 a.m.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/1999-miata-restoration/142557/page1/

The patch pictures are on page 2.  The complex shape made it tough to get it all lined up and fitting well.  So for the drivers side, instead of one huge, hard to deal with patch, I'll do 3.  The one small one I did was a lot easier to fit in.  I should have taken more specific pictures when the fitting and welding was going on- but you get so focused on the one thing you need to do, I forget to take pictures.

It does not help that the metal panels I'm using are not perfect, and take some fiddling to get to fit.  The larger the panel, the harder it is to make fit.

And for most if that repair, there's no access once the panel is welded in.  

Between the tough fitting of the large fit, and the cleaner butt weld vs big fill for the crimp of the small part- that's where I'm going to all butt welding.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/3/20 9:19 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver (Forum Supporter) :

The best advice I can give, but not follow is watch the heat.

When you cut your patch panels, they distort with heat (assuming wheel of death, like I use). Tack every inch. Do not tack any more until it is back to room temperature(edit: cool to the touch, not the slightest bit warm). If you blow a hole, move on. Do not try to fill it until it is room temperature. I know all these things, yet still always get impatient. Your patches look really good. The people who can do the invisible, no filler, all metal patches are superhuman. They didn't get there without being where we are. Party on.

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/3/20 12:56 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver (Forum Supporter) :

It's difficult to really answer your question because there's so many variables. But I think the big thing is you actually made more work for yourself by trying to make less work for yourself. 

Honestly, I think you would have been better off making a single larger patch that went almost to the door. Extend your top line all the way to the door seam about 3/4" from the sill and followed that line around to your vertical cut at the bottom. With bodywork, (and especially fabrication work) the "hard way" is, in reality, almost always the easy way. 

It's much easier to fit larger sweeping curves than hard transitions. Also, having your cut line next to body line makes for a stiffer fit up that's less likely to move with heat. I usually put masking tape along my body line and cut next to the tape instead of trying to mark with a scribe, or pen. It makes for straighter more reliably parallel cut lines. 

The other thing people get sucked into (and why I take issue with Fitzees approach) is forcing the panel onto the car. If it doesn't lay flat, you're not ready to scribe your final cut line yet. If you're pushing on the panel or using clamps to force it down you almost always flatten your patch somewhere which stretches it and makes it look bigger than it is. Then you scribe, and when you stop pressing or release your clamps, the panel springs back, you cut your hole at your scribe line and now your patch is too small leaving a gap where you intended to butt welding. Which, you should never cut right to your scribe line anyway, get to like 1/4"-3/8" and test fit again to make sure there wasn't an interference issue you couldn't see. Then cut half of the rest and then use a flap disk or a die grinder with a roloc to fine tune the last 1/8" or so. (If you fit a panel with less than 20 mock ups, you're probably doing it wrong. LOL) 

If you work like Fitzee, and you push the panel down, tack then do small cuts and weld without looking at the fit without the patch panel sprung, you won't realize your patch was undersized until you go to do filler work and find all the low spots. Plus, that patch panel is still sprung, so it won't behave predictably when you try to do hammer/dolly work.

Of course, with panels like this, you're going to have to start with the arch so it will overlap properly, then work to the opposite corner.

With all that said... Just cut yourself a big access hole in the inner well, or the inner structure and weld it back in after the exterior stuff is straight. It really won't matter if your wheel well doesn't get patched back in perfect, and since it's a round section, it can just get hammered back outward to mitigate shrinkage, should you deem it necessary. (But do be careful not to shrink close to the arch.)

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/3/20 2:08 p.m.

In reply to Crackers :

The big issue I had with the big panel was that it was curved a little different- so at some point, there was some forcing just to get metal close enough to weld.  Which ends up being the bottom of the patch.  That would have worked well had the panel had a vertical flange that welded to the structure of the car- which is how my Alfa is put together.  But the Miata isn't- I'm not even sure how the bottom of the panel is welded to the car, but it appears that there's enough there to spot weld it from behind somewhere.  It's almost as if the outer panel and the middle structure is put together prior to the ouer panels are welded to the main tub structure.  And that kind of makes sense- as there would be a partially sitff structure for the thin body to be welded to before the whole chassis is finalized.

The end result is that I need to spot weld the bottom of the panel to the inner structure- which really mean roset welds, and that is tough when there's a lot of tension pulling it apart.

Before i dercide how to do the drivers side, I'll look at it again.  It was just so unwieldly and no good place for one to clamp it together....

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/3/20 8:17 p.m.

The correct/hard/easy way to go about it is to reshape the patch panel.

It's a pretty standard thing for most restoration shops, (especially rocker panels for some reason) but I understand how that's problematic for someone without a lot of training and or a few grand in machinery to pull off.

I find it hard to believe that manufacturers are having issues making matching panels for such a relatively modern car. (Not that I don't believe you, more an indictment of modern repro manufacturers.)

In any case, more detailed information on your specific challenges might help identify where your problem spots are. The solutions are sometimes counter intuitive, if you share some pictures of the fitment issues you're having someone can probably help point you in the right direction.

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/3/20 8:26 p.m.

A pair of either of these style spot weld clamps are invaluable for doing Rosette welds on flanges. I have 2 pair of the ones on the right and would have 4-6 more if i weren't so cheap. LOL

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/4/20 5:17 p.m.

More spot welding today, then some hacking and mock up. I had to stare at this from various angles, and walk away muttering and thinking several times.

And I ran out of gas.

It looks like Metal Supermarket will load me curbside, and I'll see what Airgas will do. I have a mask, rubbing alcohol, and a drive to get my weld on. Looks like a field trip in the morning.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/4/20 5:38 p.m.

Those are 205/50/15? They look positively humungous on there. In an awesome way. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/4/20 5:48 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Yep 205/50/15s. And they are HUGE. I may go bigger on the back. All depends on if I get tires mounted up before I build the rear suspension. And that's a ways off.

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/4/20 6:01 p.m.

If you don't end up having to clearance the frunk lid because of low I'm going to be sad. 

In reply to Crackers :

The frunk lid will need bulges to go over the shock towers, and the wheel wells will come up over the top of the front fender.

Not this extreme.

Maybe more like this.

See why I've been poring over cyberpunk car images?

Because I lack the skill to pull this off.

So, gonna do the best I can with what I've got.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/4/20 6:23 p.m.
Crackers said:

If you don't end up having to clearance the frunk lid because of low I'm going to be sad. 

I approve of this message. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
5/4/20 6:38 p.m.

This is at ride height. I have a 3 1/2" PVC spacer between the top of the strut housing and the tophat to give 2" of suspension travel before the bump stop. 

Note the tophat is well above the hoodline. 

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
5/4/20 6:48 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:

In reply to Crackers :

Because I lack the skill to pull this off.

 

Cut yourself some slack, 

EVERYBODY lacks the skill to pull this off.

However you do get bonus points for having a clean picture of it. 

03Panther
03Panther Reader
5/4/20 7:35 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve (FS) :

I like your thinkin' sir!

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/4/20 8:58 p.m.

Pfft.... 5 INCHES of ground clearance? What are you planning to rallycross this thing? 

Is this a typical MacPherson set up? If you're going cyberpunk, you need exposed cantilever suspension. LOL

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/4/20 10:56 p.m.

So this project has me over here trying to think of how to modify a MacPherson system to a cantilevered dual control arm with minimal budget hit.

Hold my beer...

What if you cut the strut tube at a suitable length and welded a spherical bearing to the strut tube? Then, modifying an existing a arm would be trivial. 

If you can get resourceful about aquiring raw materials the only considerable expense would be the spherical bearings and new shocks. (And probably a lot of time.) 

Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
B0FLdrKiXWBgcAkniyxOLZTUo298YWlK6vcdtQMqYUIiiu8AnQYTcg8t7274M0wa