Author Topic: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)  (Read 31415 times)

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
Re: Project Rear Tail Panel replacement has officially started (Pics Included)
« Reply #120 on: February 28, 2017, 04:56:31 PM »
@ Andrew, I buy all my panels from Summit Racing, Rock Auto and Tamraz Auto Parts; occasionally I'll buy from Ebay. I always try to buy from TAC sponsors and members if they carry the parts I'm looking to purchase. These 3, I think only Rock Auto is a sponsor, usually have the best prices and decent shipping. AMD and Goodmark are both regarded as good product.

Stay away from any panels that are marked as "economy" panels. They are lesser quality pressings. They will get the job done but require a lot more work to make them fit. Economy panels will usually be bare and not be E-coated. They get a coat of oil to prevent rust during shipping. I see these mostly with cars from the 50's and Mustangs.

I used economy panels on my '79 for the floors. In the end, it cost me more time and money to go this route because I bought the panels as I needed them. I should've inspected my floor more closely and completely. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you determine exactly what you need and buy the proper panels. For instance, I bought r&l spring braces, r&l toe panels, r&l floor boards, and a complete rear seat panel. I took a big hit on shipping. I could've bought a single, complete floor with toe panels and spring braces for about the same money I spent and it would've been completely assembled.

mrandrew85

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 124
rock auto still has the rear panels in stock for 200.  http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=7082920&cc=1250873&jsn=459&jsn=459 that looks like the correct part,correct?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 09:18:17 PM by mrandrew85 »

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
I can confirm that Rockauto panel is not the same as mine, wish I would have checked there first before purchasing.

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
JG, do you know the manufacturer and part number on the panel you bought? Mine is a Goodmark purchased from Rockauto and has the part number GMK432185079. It came with the lock cage.

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
See my post #17.


Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
I recognize the CHL label from post #17. In my reply post, #21, I mentioned that my inner tail panel had a CHL and a Goodmark label on it. I bought it off of Ebay from CarID. My outer tailpanel, bought from Rockauto, only had a Goodmark label. Do you know the manufacturer of your outer tail panel? I'm always trying to get a grip on what works and what doesn't on these panels.

I've read many posts about the factories making these parts and the companies selling them. It's a crazy situation that's supposedly getting better, albeit slowly. From all my research, it appears that AMD makes the best stuff followed by Goodmark and then Dynacorn. IIRC, Sherman isn't that great. Regardless, there's almost always some adjustments necessary; you'll mostly hear that about reproduced parts but IMO it relates to NOS stuff too.

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
Unfortunately there was no labels on the outer panel just a made in Tiawan sticker, i just know both panels were purchased from Firebird/Camaro Central.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 09:15:09 PM by formula jg »

mrandrew85

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 124
is the right part for the inner piece? I ordered a good mark piece for the rear piece. This one says amd on it. Can I use two different companies parts?

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/amd-870-3574/overview/year/1981/make/pontiac/model/firebird

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
@Andrew, yes that is the correct part and, IMO, the preferred manufacturer, AMD. Mixing manufacturers isn't an issue. I used Goodmark for the outer and AMD for the inner and they fit together very well. Ironically, the AMD inner panel fit the Goodmark outer panel better than the Goodmark inner panel. :shock: Go figure!

@JG, is it too late/impractical/expensive to send that outer tail panel back? I know Canada has a special hell of all its own when it comes to shipping. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It's really a good idea to ask the vendor of your choice who manufactured the part. That's one thing that I really liked about Tamraz, Rockauto and Summit, they usually list the manufacturer. This is were things get sticky. Even though these Chinese companies are competing against each other, they also cooperate with each other. That means you could buy a part from a preferred company but it still comes from one of the poor quality control companies. The better vendors (expensive) will usually work with you when it comes to returns for poorly pressed panels.

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
Yes, to late at this point because the panels are reshaped, drilled for plug holes and painted. At this stage my money and time has already been spent on purchase and preparation of these panels so I have to take it as a leason learned.

As an update I should be ready to weld up the panels within next 2 wks. This is a real elimentory question but have to ask it. By the time I start welding everything will have been painted including trunk floor and quarter panel flanges so would I need to clean off a painted area to bare metal to attach the welder clamp to?

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
Yes, the clamp needs a clean bare metal spot to make contact.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
x2 with FormTA. Clean metal makes the welding process go a lot smoother. Just grind away the paint in an area that's real easy to access with the paint of you choice. You're gonna need to prep & paint the new welds anyhow. With plug welds, usually an inch diameter around the weld is more than sufficient. If you're using a good quality paint that's had time to harden up a bit, 3/4" diameter is good.

As far as panels, I'd rather have a poorly fitting, reworked-to-look-right panel than a rotted panel. Just as long as the panel is close, you're good to go. Yes, it's a lot of work. And yes, it's frustrating at times but the end product is worth the trouble. The rot on my '72 was so bad that things were literally falling off the car, on the highway. I pushed the rear windshield out with my hand! On the front windshield, parts of the flanges were stuck to the glass, not the car. :shock:

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
Now this is a step that I like to when plug welding (some call it spot welding but that is a different topic). I grind clean the panel that is behind the panel with the holes, the one that you actually start the weld on. I then prime it with weld through primer. This is a bit expensive but it hopefully will help with rust resistants between the panels. There are many brands but I usually use the 3M brand. It is usually silver or copper in color and conducts electricity. Good luck!
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
After drilling the panels I marked each hole location on the back-up panel then placed sticky dots (the ones they sale at office supplies stores) on the marks, painted and removed sticky dots to reveal bare metal at all future weld points (hopefully didn't miss any).  Forgot to mention I also used sticky dots on the new panels prior to painting them. The dots are slightly larger than the drilled holes so is a little extra bare metal around each hole. Theoretically I should have less trouble welding onto bare metal as I've read many that have had issues welding when using the weld-thru primers, I'm gonna need all the help I can get cause I've never welded before.

On the subject of welding how do you strike an arc with a mig welder?

I know it's an elementary question and with practice may figure it out but I'm anxious and excited to start attaching these panels so any details and tips that get me there sooner are greatly appreciated. Oh and don't worry if you have to explain it like I'm 5 years old I won't be offended.

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
MIG welding is rather simple to do with ice the machine is set up correctly. But here are a few tips. Take them or leave them, right or wrong, this is how I do it.

1) There is usually a guild on the inside lid of the welder that gets you pretty close when setting up the machine as to heat setting and wire speed. A lot of machines only have A,B,C,D settings and are easier set up. This is a great place to start. My stuff is all variable (which I like to fine tune more).

2) Once set up I purge the line by pulling the trigger for a few seconds to get the argon to the top of the gun. You only need to do this at the beginning. Once you are going you are fine as the argon is there. You then clip the wire that ran out while purging.

3) On plug welds, I start in the middle of the circle and let it get hot (only a few seconds) and then moving in a circle work outwards to the overlaid matal.

4) Move around, from say the middle, then far left then upper right. Just move around to keep heat warp to a minimum. Oh, make sure you have everything clamped. You can never have too many clamps.

I'm sure there are more but that is what came to mind quickly.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???


formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
FormTA, please clarify "moving around" in item #4, do you mean moving around within the plug hole that I'm welding or moving around among plug welds from different areas of the panel?

79merlin

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 484
 He means moving from plug hole to plug hole. rather than working several immediately next to each other (heat building up along that line) skip around so the hole next to the hole you just welded has time to cool before you start welding on it. this helps avoid warping and burning through.

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
When you heat the metal it will expand and then contract as it cools. If you hear ticking or a bassy pop sound as the weld cools, give it a few whacks with a hammer and dolly. This will flatten out the plug weld and relax the metal. Generally, it's good practice to tap the weld but usually not always necessary.

Do not wear sandals or shorts. I assume a Canadian knows what those are?  :lol: :lol: :lol: Use UV protection, IIRC the arc is hotter than the sun and can give you a sunburn. I'm assuming you know about using a welding helmet. An auto darkening helmet, IMO, is an absolute must. If your welder came with a hand-held mask throw it away! Use welding gloves, not mechanics gloves or plain leather work gloves.

If you hear a hum when you weld, then you got your heat too high.

If your weld is too proud then your heat is too low or you're adding too much weld.

If the wire burns up without depositing weld or sputters then your speed is too low.

Don't burn so long that you burn through the metal. Do use a welding spoon or piece of copper when fixing a burn through.

Check out Youtube, if you haven't already. It's a great a resource for things like this. I took a welding class with my brothers at a community college. The teacher said not to listen to people that say things like your welding should sound like frying bacon, if it sounds like bacon then there's probably some kind of contamination. According to him it should sound like a spark plug firing over and over really fast and be consistent. The class was a good experience, but not really necessary.

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
You guys provided some great info however one has answered my question about striking that initial arc.

I have all the safety clothing and eye protection just can't seem to find my sandals anywhere, may have left them outside in the snow hehehe.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 05:25:28 PM by formula jg »

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
The arc will strike as soon as the wire hits bare, grounded metal. You may be thinking of stick welding were you need to scratch the stick across the metal. If you try to stick weld in the same manner as mig you will just weld the stick to the metal.

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9095
What, no sandels?  I was burning steel at work a few years ago and a piece of slag somehow got thru the laces and tongue of my work boot. Burnt like.......well you know what for a couple of minutes. I couldn't get my boot off quick enough. Still have the scar on top of my foot.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
Ditto, I have a bad scar on top of my foot too...
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

mrandrew85

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 124
My reproduction panels are covered in a black coating. Should I remove this coating or should I just leave it?

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
Actually I'm not referring to arc welding I kindda know how that works. Let me ask this another way, at the moment you squeaze the trigger whats the distance between the wire tip and the sheet metal?

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
If you mean the tip of the wire, from zero to 1/8". You can touch the wire to the metal and then pull the trigger to start burning. I usually stay back the tiniest bit.

If you mean the tip of the gas nozzle, you want to try to keep the wire extended 1/4" from the gas nozzle as you burn, at all times. You can make this distance greater but then the wire becomes more difficult to control physically. Another issue is if you go too far past 1/4" your weld may not be protected by the shielding gas. You'll know that situation right away because the weld will be ugly and you may get splatter and black soot. Also, IIRC, going too far out can cause a voltage drop in your arc. It would sorta be like running at too low of a heat setting causing a cold weld. I may have that backwards and it causes a voltage spike burning up the wire before it can deposit a weld. It's been so long since I learned the basics that my memory is a little fuzzy.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 11:05:44 PM by Ford5of5 »

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
What forf5of5 said. One more tip. You will have to check your welder. Some have the wire got all the time (which I hate) and I end up flashing myself (not the good kind) which is not good for your eyes. Other's are only live when you pull the trigger. This is more of a cautionary warning. If yours is live only when you pull the trigger you can position yourself a before you drop your helmet. Now that said, with today's auto darkening helmets it's not much of a problem but I still use my old flip helmets from years gone by. BTW don't skip the helmet, I used to be the helmetless guy who just closed his eyes. Not a good choice, especially when welding for a period of time. I have sun burned my face one too many times which probably lead to the skin cancer. Just giving you a small warning. All good questions. 
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Ryoko

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 495
Biggest issue I ran into was not wearing gloves and getting sunburned hands/arms -- especially from TIG.

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
LMAO! even though I probably shouldn't. I've had that sun burn too and it looks ridiculous because the area around your eyes are stay light because you're usually squinting. Kinda like a raccoon look.

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
The good news is I didn't burn myself, the bad news is I suck at welding:



Tried several voltage and wire speed rates but it just kept burning through, I think the nozzle and wire tip was too far from the sheet metal (who am I kidding I have no clue what the issue is).  I noticed the angle I hold the handle has a fairly big impact on how it welds, should I be holding it straight up and down at a 12 o'clock position or rotated sideways like a gangster holds a hand gun?

mz-formula

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 783
You will get there.  I will say first off I am by no means a super welder... but, a couple things to keep an eye on.

most important ... Polarity.  make sure the polarity is set correctly for flux core or sold core with gas.  it makes a huge difference.
and the next few things in really no order.
shielding gas flow rate.  I think I use 19 ... others feel free to chime in.   the idea is you want enough, but not so much you are wasting it.
Feed speed. It should sound like bacon sizzling.
Wire size.  .030 to . 035 is ideal for what you are doing.

Helmet wise, make sure you can see what your doing, that makes a world of difference too.   I am not big on Harbor freight, but ... I will tell you the HF blue flame helmet is awesome for the price.

and lastly, YouTube has some great how to videos on mig welding.   Its actually how I figured out what on earth I was doing.  You will get it.   On the big plus side, that bead in the upper right looks pretty darn good.

Keep at it!

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
Pretty sure I got the polarity right but will recheck it.
Gas was 25-30 will turn it down.
Wire is .023" is that too small?
I am having trouble seeing but mostly because my poor vision in one eye (presciption glasses don't help much).

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
I guess it's personal opinion but I can only weld sheet metal with .023 wire.  You got one really good weld going in the top right. When I weld sheet metal it is totally different than when I weld 1/8" and up. I basically use what I call stitch welding on sheet metal. Buzz lift, buzz, lift buzz. If I am running a bead I either do little "U"s or little circles. You have to stay in the puddle with both. What this does is move the heat from one plate or part to an other. Depending on how thin and how fast each area is melting determines the speed of said "U"s or circles.

Based on the photo I think heat is right, you just need to move a bit quicker if bead welding. If plug welding buzz, move in a circle stop (3-4 second weld). Like mentioned above. Watch the wire and it melting rate. It should make a constant trying sound. Not popping and plattering. It should melt constantly, not so fast that it is pushing back at the gun and not too slow that it Kent's back to the tip and clogs the gun.

Like I said I have 3 wire welders. One with .035 no gas 220 for thicker stuff. Another? .035 no gas 120 (for mobile Jobs). And my MIG with .023 for body work and small projects. Just throwing this out there as I don't know your machine but for plug welding I would start with the second setting up from the machines lowest setting and adjust your wire speed as needed.

Keep at it you'll get it.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
The welder I'm using is a Lincoln 110 (borrowed it from my brother) and I lowered the gas to 20 (was at 30).

Got more practice time today and noticed how the welder sounded better when I kept a tight distance from tip to sheet metal. Also, the buzz stop buzz technique gave me better control. I had to switch to a regular work glove on the trigger hand cause I just couldn't feel when the trigger was being pressed.

May have to get my own helmet (this to is borrowed) or find out how to clean it because I cannot see the hole or the butt that I'm welding, pretty much guessing where the wire tip is while welding.

What can I do to reduce the molten weld height?

79merlin

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 484
I use an auto darkening helmet from Northern Tools. I think I paid like 40 or 50 bucks for it. They also sell a magnifier (some call them cheater lenses). You can put that into the welding helmet and not have to wear your glasses. Think of it kind of like building reading glass magnifier into the helmet lens. This really helped me when I got that all setup as I no longer had to fiddle with my glasses under the helm.

I am no expert, but if you are getting too tall of a bead you either have too much wire speed or too low of heat. The heat could be from too low of a setting, but it could also be that your tip is too far away from the metal you are welding.

Some guys really like tilting the gun (to help avoid burn through), but I burned through way worse when I get below say a 45* angle. I find that 45-90* is my sweet spot. I get more angle than that and I burn through.

Here is another tip I would offer. Get some copper and get it behind the place where you are welding. The weld will not stick to copper, but the copper will kind of act like a heat sink. You will never burn through if you have a copper backer on metal you are welding. I took a 3/4 copper pipe i got from Home Depot and pounded it flat with a hammer on my garage floor. I cut it into 2" strips and use as strong of magnets as I can get. They will hold the copper to the steel you are trying to weld.

Hope that helps,
Todd

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
Helmet with magnifying glass, another great tip from you guys  :smile:

I was also burning through much easier when the gun was tilted and at a lower angle. Correct me if this is wrong, the angle on the gun looks to be approx. 45 degress off the trigger handle, right.  So as a reference if I want to keep at a 45 then the trigger handle should be parrallel to the work piece, or am I not doing the math right?

I've been using a copper piece for my practice welds, haven't started experimenting with plug welds yet because I know my first welds are mostly butt type or hole repairs from drilling out the panel.

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
@JG, you should be able to drop your gas between 7 and 10. 20-30 is for welding outside, especially when there's a breeze. I keep mine around 15 and I use a box fan to suck the fumes away from me indoors. These numbers are for reference as all machines and bottles act just little different from one another. You'll know just by the sight of your welds if you are using enough or not enough. Definitely want to get yourself an auto darkening helmet, it completely changes the game. You can give it to your brother as a thanks and a down payment for when you want to use the machine again.  :lol: Totally solves the "I can't see" issue. They are fairly reasonable at $30-60 at discount tool places.

x2 with Merlin on the welding angle and copper. After 45*'s you are increasing the surface area of the wire exposed to the weld and thus the heat. I could be making that up but, it sure sounds good! If you make your own welding spoon, don't take sand paper to it to clean it up. I did that and ended up abrading the copper giving it a mechanical anchor for the weld to attach to. The copper will not actually be welded to the steel, it's more of a dovetail joint and will be a PIA to seperate and clean up.

@ Andrew, take a rag soaked in lacquer thinner or acetone and let it sit of the panel for about 5 minutes. Then take a clean paper towel and wipe the area where the rag was sitting, use some pressure. If the paper towel has no black paint on it then you are most likely dealing with E-coat (electroplated primer), it's good stuff. If your paper towel is black, then you're probably dealing with a shipping primer and it should all be removed and primed and prep with a good quality paint of your choice. Where did you buy the panel?

formula jg

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 660
First thing I'm doing next weekend is drop the gas to 10 and see how it welds from there.

This is an auto darkening helmet but I think the lens may need replacing. I'm sourcing some helmets right now but gonna keep it for myself (my brother isn't the best caretaker of stuff, besides I bought the tank and gas and told him he can have it when I'm done).


Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
IIRC for most welds, plugs and stich welded butts, you're best off to keep your gun at 90*'s to your work. 45 is for fillet welds but in theory it is still 90 in relation to the bead you're running. When you're gonna lay a long beads you would start your gun at 90 and then tilt it 5-10 degrees away from 90 in the direction of travel.

Ford5of5

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1098
  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
There should be a clear plastic piece protector on top of the lens. They get scratched up over time and need to be replaced. It's also possible that they screen and lens just needs to be cleaned. Grinding creates a lot of dust.

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3138
What shade is the helmet set at? Who knows, it could be set at 10, which is why you're left in the dark.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???