Spot welding.

February 19th, 2012

With the firewall all cut out and folded I set about spot welding it together. The spot welder has long copper arms and copper tips at the end. These are filed so the points are about 1/8 of an inch across. You basically clamp the two bits of metal to join between the arms and turn on the power (briefly). A huge current passes through the arms heating the metal between the tips and welding them together.

IMG_1656_1 Spot welder.

Before tackling my firewall I did a lot of practice on scraps to get the hang of it. I think I used a spot welder once at school a long time ago but I can’t really remember. I also found that one in every 20 welds would pop the circuit breaker on my main switchboard!

When I was happy I welded the firewall sides on. The welds came out a little messier than my practice ones since it was harder to hold the whole firewall so it was flat between the electrodes but the welds came out strong and should be fine. I ran the random orbit sander over them to clean them up then sprayed the steel in primer.

IMG_1661_1 IMG_1668_1 Firewall spot welded.

I also welded the MIG corners where they joined. I then clamped it to the car.

IMG_1667_1 IMG_1669_1 IMG_1674_1 On the car.

It looks the part and fits well. Only something is all out of whack since it isn’t in the right place yet. It is closer to the nearside then the offside. I am pretty sure this isn’t the firewall itself but the positioning of the front hoop. This needs a little adjusting I believe and I need to firmly attach it to the car again. Currently it is held in place with clamps and tape!

IMG_1670_1 IMG_1671_1 IMG_1673_1

With it in place I could see how much foot room there is. Not much! There is plenty of length but not much width. With my legs stretched out I can’t actually touch the vertical part of the firewall.

IMG_1676_1 IMG_1678_1 Leg room.

The other job I did was take my wire wheels to be blasted and painted. First I had to remove the little hob caps in the wheel centres. These are metal discs pushed through then bent over on the back to hold them in place. I used a large dowel and hammered them out from behind as I found I wasn’t able to bend back the tabs easily. That worked well and didn’t damage the caps.

IMG_1679_1 IMG_1652_1 IMG_1654_1

Wire wheels.

I took them to a local place. It seems they have done them before and will do them properly. If they just blast them paint them they’ll just rust again in a few years. Instead they blast them then rust treat them and repair any broken spokes. They then paint them. I am not sure what colour I need yet through since I don’t know what colour the body will be yet (or even what it will look like)! Of course getting things done properly is bloody expensive. Probably $700-800NZ. And that’s before I even get tyres and tubes for them.

So my job for this week is get the front hoop correct and properly mounted back on the car so I can make sure the firewall is correct. Next I need to trim the top edge of it then I can fold 15mm of that over ninety degrees to make the lip to hold the bonnet edge. I also need to get some 1mm panel steel that we will then use to make the valences.

Leave a Reply