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Has anyone had experience with welding sheet metal on the body? My RC has some damage under the driver's side tail light which is too bent to pull out. The body shop I went to said that they if they welded a replacement piece in, it would require that the whole side of the rear quarter panel be smoothed since welding on the flat sheet metal will cause waves in the metal. Has anyone had any experience with this? Am I getting the straight story? What type of welding is best to do this type of repair? Needless to say, I am trying to do this at a reasonable cost. Thanks.
 

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Yes, welding will cause ripples in the sheet metal, it seems like they are giving you the straight story. Welding on sheet metal body panels can be a real art to get it right. Low heat is the first thing, tig is probably the best, but mig works good too, I wouldn't try it another way. You have to stich weld it, meaning you make a bunch short small welds along the whole joint so you don't over heat the metal anymore than you have to. Then you go back and keep doing this a little at a time 'till the whole seem is welded. Then grind them down, again trying not to overheat the metal - then you will still have to work the whole thing over with hammer and dollies, then you'll probably still need some Bondo - keep the bondo as thin as possible say no more than a 1/8" - it's a lot of work, and takes a lot of time -

Camo-Ram is one of the real pro welders that I know of on this site, maybe he will see this and have some better tips for you
 

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Yep the metal will flex a little bit to much heat is used. Maybe you could consider cutting a patch panel out of a junkyard truck and then cut yours out and epoxy it in with the new panel adhesives they have. They work awesome. Of course you will still have to use a little bondo when you're done but it will be a sound repair. It more or less is just a personal preferance thing.

 

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When i did some patches in the floor of my RC i MIG welded it. Oldman Is right. You will want to stitch weld it. I wouldent go more than 3/4 of an inch at a time. Than go to the other side and do it again. because it is sheet metalk and not going to be supporting anything you can also take a wet rag and cool the weld down after your run a bead. This will keep the warping down to a minimumIt is eaiser to do a whole pannel than it is to do a patch. There is more fit up involved when you patch. It is harder. This is why theay want you to replace the whole thing. It does sound like theay know what theay are doing. rember, when working with sheet metal, low heat and small welds. Take your time. The whole point of replacing is not to have any bondo. So go slow and you should be fine.
P.S. There is a How to from when i did some patch pannels on my floor board. http://www.ramchargercentral.com/boards/index.php?action=howto
 

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depending how you go about it the have a flanging tool if u want to cut out the corner you can flange a male and female side drill holes and spot weld or plug weld them and use filler to blend the seam you canot do a full weld in 22ga steel even stich weldin it will make the panle heat up too much ,temper the metal and make the welds way to hard to grind even if mig welded .That is why they use spot weld in the first place !!!! wht ever u do go slow and ask a lot of questions ..... how is it to bent to pull out u can get verry creative and do a lot these days .... like a pin gun that will weld a pin.... looks like a finish nail on the metal and u can hook up a slide hammer to it, if it is streached out you can shrink it with a shrinking hammer and heat while dolling it out ...mabey if u could post a cpl of pix of the damage someone could give u a cpl other options...... good luck and rember ask a lot of questions cut once it is cut out you cant go back
 

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Camo Ram - Thanks for jumpin' in. I was just trying to give this guy an overview of what needs to be done. You are right, no bondo is the end point, but oh man, this is like a "black art" you got to do a couple welds, work it with dollies, do more welds, work it etc etc, a whole panel is better than a patch, but still a lot of work to get it right - but this is also show finish kinda talk - I think it would be really cool if we had some kind of body work page on this site....
 

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Camo Ram - Thanks for jumpin' in. I was just trying to give this guy an overview of what needs to be done. You are right, no bondo is the end point, but oh man this is like a 'black art', you got to weld a little, work it with dollies, weld some more, work it etc etc. A whole panel is better than a patch, but still takes a lot of work, but in some ways, this is also show finish kinda talk. I think it would be really cool if we had a body work board here....
 

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MADE OF METAL said:
depending how you go about it the have a flanging tool if u want to cut out the corner you can flange a male and female side drill holes and spot weld or plug weld them and use filler to blend the seam you canot do a full weld in 22ga steel even stich weldin it will make the panle heat up too much ,temper the metal and make the welds way to hard to grind even if mig welded .That is why they use spot weld in the first place !!!! wht ever u do go slow and ask a lot of questions ..... how is it to bent to pull out u can get verry creative and do a lot these days .... like a pin gun that will weld a pin.... looks like a finish nail on the metal and u can hook up a slide hammer to it, if it is streached out you can shrink it with a shrinking hammer and heat while dolling it out ...mabey if u could post a cpl of pix of the damage someone could give u a cpl other options...... good luck and rember ask a lot of questions cut once it is cut out you cant go back
Crap I hate this server - just posted my post twice :mad:
Your also right on - there is basically nothing on our heavy metal Dodge's that can't be fixed. Pin welders cost $$ but are cool. U can do it with the slide hammer thing, drilling holes and weld the holes closed - it works but a little lame. But I don' t really agree with the cut once thing - it's metal - you can always fix it - just a big pita....
 

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Alright I have a few ideas to drop on you about this as I have welded a lot of sheetmetal on auto bodies also. First these guy's you went to aren't jerking you around. All they told you seems to me to right on. Mig is the way to go on this deal especially if you cannot tig weld. tig welding is not an easy form of welding to learn. It is also the most expensive form of welding equipment to buy so skip that suggestion. Mig welders can be run very cool. with the right sized wire and a decnet welder you can weld body panels with minimal bondo and minimal hammering and dolling also and here's how to do it. First back the metal with another piece of metal that has been tacked in small increments all the way along the piece. this will serve two puposes. The first is that it allows the heat from the weld more are to dissapate and that helps with the flexing and warping of the pieces being welded. The other is it helps tremendously when you grind the weld down by giving the heat more area to go. The second I dea Id like to interject is to use a slightly thicker piece of sheet metal as the add in piece this helps the pieces maintain there form and also the heat thing again. Stitching is the only way to weld sheet metal with the proper wire size in the mig and I mean small at maximum .030but preferably .020 to 025. the heat will be kept at minumum if you give the panels time to cool and cool the metal arond the weld with a wet cloth as camo said. The key is Take your time. and pay attention.
Mid_evil_thymz
 
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