Weld better in 11 easy steps

Carl
By Carl Heideman
Nov 4, 2023 | DIY, Welding, Fabrication, Chassis, Shop Work, Scratch-Built Solutions | Posted in Shop Work | From the Oct. 2014 issue | Never miss an article

Photography by Carl Heideman

Where do chassis come from? 

It’s easy to have a kind of stork-myth response to this question: Chassis simply come from somewhere else. They’re born on high-tech assembly lines heavily staffed with robots performing strange, pneumatic choreography. They’re delivered into your life via dealer lots and junkyards. You can modify them, you can swap them, but they aren’t something that springs …

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Comments
RonB001
RonB001 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/6/22 8:35 p.m.

In #2, you say "use a crisscross pattern for your tack welds."

In the diagrams for #2, it looks like you are talking about diagonally opposite corners of a frame section.

In the pictures and notes for the rest of the article, though, it looks more like you are talking about the corners of one end of a tube.

I can see how there could be reasons for both, so how do you figure out which to do first?

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
12/19/22 8:59 a.m.

This was a very timely article, since I'm welding patches in to the floor of the 325es this week. Unfortunately I started yesterday....but hey, they say lessons learned firsthand are the ones that stick with you the best...

  • welded next to a magnet, which resulted in welding the magnet itself and some real weird arc behavior.
  • didn't alternate where I was welding well enough, resulting in some warping
  • one patch panel had a bit of a gap, which of course immediately blew through
  • didn't quite get all the underbody coating ground back far enough, resulting in contamination

With all the mistakes out of the way, hopefully tonight goes better. Unfortunately these lessons mean I need to re-make at least one patch panel...

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