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Hi. Installing new half floor pans in my 71 Nova. Have the old one cut out and ready to cut new floor and weld it in place. Any tips or advise greatly appreciated. Borrowed a wire feed welder and spent $ and time getting ready and then the owner wanted it back. Dang nabbit would like to choke that rabbit. So I need to by a welder to do my floors. Please let me know your recommendations on what to buy. Please be specific on type make and model. I am a complete novice when it comes to welding but damed determined to get it done. Thank you.
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120 volts
I'm happy with mine. BUT its my only experience. You need to find a place to get some gas to go with the solid wire, which I think is well worth it. I do wish the leads were a few feet longer.
 

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Using gas with any Mig will give you better welds. But you can go gas less with the flux core wire. But you will have some splatter and Not so clean looking welds, but a wire brush will clean up most of that.
 

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A few years ago I bought my first new welder and as most of us I cant afford the high dollar Miller or other name brands.

So I bought a multiprocess Vulcan from harborfreight after seeing alot of reviews. Well, I love my machine and welders I know say it welds great. It's easy to use and definitely run gas over flux core. Now I realize I dont need a multiprocess machine and a dedicated mig 110v mig welder for car sheet metal is all I needed.

So, I would say a 110v mig welder around 140 ramps will be fine. Harborfreight has vulcan brand as well as 2 others that are cheaper than the vulcan. Review the heck out of them and pick your poison.

I know with these chinese brands you dont have the support like the Miller, Lincoln or Hobart machines and if something breaks you may be s.o.l. but it all comes down to how much money you have.

Last thing, once you have your welder setup, practice on similar gauge sheet metal but remember the practice stuff is new and clean. If your floors have rust that actually thins the metal and makes it harder to weld without blowing through.

Good luck
 

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I have a Lincoln 180 EasyMig. It's ok. There are many better machines.
Its 110/220. I'd not buy a welder just to do your floor pans, plan ahead and get a 220 machine. Inevitably, you will be welding more than sheetmetal.
Fluxcore is better for rusty metal and windy conditions otherwise i'd stay w/ gas.
You probably want to use .023 wire on your floors
 

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I would agree with Alf. Never know what may need welding. I have a Hobart 210MVP Mig 500553. Its a 110/220 unit and works well for the welding I've done from tractor implements, trailer repair and car "stuff". I got it from the local Tractor Supply store.
 

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Railroaderman and Alf are correct, that's why my machine is dual voltage and is 220 amps. I use my welder for alot of things, fabbing up other projects, repairing implements, smoker pits......etc.

If you feel you may want to get into that kind of stuff definitely get a larger amperage welder. However, if you aren't the type to enjoy welding all kinds of stuff and only need it for your car then a smaller machine will probably suit you well.

But like the old saying "Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it"
 

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I started with a Northern Tool 130 amp mig using mostly flux core for chassis fab work. It worked pretty well because it was set at the high end of it’s range most of the time. Once I graduated into sheet metal, I couldn’t get it done with that machine. I went to gas with it and helped but it would blow through 20ga butt joints constantly. I was a beginner back then and have a few tricks I might try to minimize that now. Ultimately, I bought a Miller 211 mig and it made a huge difference. I can overcome all of my skill deficiencies with that machine. To be fair, most of the problems I had with the NT machine were because of my skill level. With the new machine, I no longer had that excuse. The trick with sheet metal, and it’s frustrating, it has to be as “hot” as possible without blowing through. You are always right on the edge of burning through, for a good weld, in my opinion anyways. Back the metal with a copper spoon or plate, and you widen the margin of error. Plug welds aren’t nearly as difficult as butt welds. If the metal is old and has any rust/pitting/thin or narrow edges, it wants to vaporize and go the metal heaven, leaving you with a hole to fill and a helmet full of verbal grief. Certainly practice on some scrap with type of welds you are going to be making if you’ve never done it before. Be aware of heat management. Sheet metal will distort quickly with heat concentration. Tacks and moving around to avoid overheating an area help tremendously. Pay attention to what the entire piece is doing as you move along. Hammer and dolly (on the weld) can help stretch-out welds that are bunching up the surrounding metal. Heat shrinks, hammering (with an anvil backing it) stretches. Start the arc and direct the heat where there is the greatest mass of material. With pinch welds on on floor pans, get tight seams by working the flange with a hammer and dolly as necessary while there is heat from the previous weld. You can use the previous weld to help form the next weld if that makes sense. You can get that seam to “lay down” nice and tight. For lap seams and even butt welds, I made a pusher that I can lean against to apply force in an area and still have my hands free to weld. I have to use both hands to mig weld, no way I can get the control I need with one hand. I also have to use a small magnetic flashlight focused on the weld most of the time so I can see what I’m doing when I start the weld. In the not-too distant future, I’ll need a cheater lens I believe.

Hope this helps. Good luck and keep us posted on progress.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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kimmer, you are bringing back alot of bad memories and new curse words i made up whill replacing/patching my sheet metal. However, i do have a cheater lens in my hood. It did help but not as much as putting a bright light on the weld area while im welding. Bad part is I still need to replace the left quarter!

Daddystoy, the good part for you is you dont have to have perfect looking welds in the floor pan since no one is gonna see it. Also, the pans are a little thicker than body panels so dont beat yourself up too much when you make mistakes. Seam sealer will help the finished look.
 

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I have a 30 +year old miller 200 nothing like a USA made unit it may be OLD and big but it just works these were used in body shops it never burns back and never jambs nothing worst the FUXXing around during the welding process Craigs list is a good source for used tools.

 

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I have an old Snap On 140. Same as a Lincoln, I believe. Works great, super durable and parts easily obtainable from Snap-On. You can't go wrong with Hobart, MIller, Lincoln.
 

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Take your time fitting the pans, use clamps, clecos, vise grips, whatever you can to hold things in place while fitting. Sneak up on it, too tight or big is easy to fix compared to too small or loose. Big gaps between the panels will cause you to blow thru a lot. You can make small tabs from scrap sheetmetal and use them to hold the pans in place with a couple pop rivets or screws as well while you weld, weld up the small holes afterwards. Once everything is fitted really nice you could always have a mobile welder come to you for a couple hours.. If buying a machine, buy a 220v machine unless you don't have a plug for it. I have a Lincoln 180 and it works great for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've made some progress. Bought an Everlast welder.So far so good with it. The floors well that's another matter. My father is x British navy Fleet Air Arm and was a rear gunner in a TBF Avenger during WWII. The stories he had. He could swear up a storm but I might of surpassed that this week. Had to make a patch up for the worst mistake but the floor is in on the passenger side and the initial welding done. Have a copper plate to help welding the worst burn through's.
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Well now I have one side welded I'm wondering what people would recommend I do to finish it. My thoughts are tape either side of the weld and apply a sealant like secoflex marine . I have seen some comments on finishing the sealant with a toothbrush in a herring bone pattern. Then paint the floor with POR 15.
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POR 15 doesn't work the best on bare metal or over paint/primer. It is Great if there is some surface rust. I know a body shop guy who likes Sherwin Williams (Sher-Kem industrial metal finishing paint). I have not used but going to try it on a trailer.

If you use POR 15 make sure and wear a respirator.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
POR 15 doesn't work the best on bare metal or over paint/primer. It is Great if there is some surface rust. I know a body shop guy who likes Sherwin Williams (Sher-Kem industrial metal finishing paint). I have not used but going to try it on a trailer.

If you use POR 15 make sure and wear a respirator.
Thanks. Your right about POR 15 not sticking to new paint and bare metal. I have only used it on the frame of vehicles. I spent a lot of time scrapping the Zebart off the old floor only to find it had pin holes of rust. I figure it held moisture to the bottom of the floor and allowed it to rust. The rest of the car is great. It sat in a garage with a cover on it for most of its life. I don't want to put any goopy or tar like stuff on it again.
 
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