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Old 10-17-2006, 12:24 AM   #1
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Project: Lets weld.

Let me start this out with a story. Back in 1994, my sister bought a perfect 1989 black CRX si for $6000. In January 2003, when I got my license, she gave it to me. So what if it's quarter panels were kind of rusty? It was my car. Maybe it was too powerful for a 16 year old (we bent the suspension, but fixed it with junkyard parts), but it was fun to drive and it got great mileage.

In October, I was waiting to pull into my driveway, and I was rearended by a lowered, riced out nissan pickup. The cop said judging from the skid marks, he was probably going 50 mph. Ouch. Well, the poor crx had sacrificed itself for me, and the truck wasn't in great shape either. If I ever get the pictures scanned, I'll post them here. But for now, I'll say one thing to describe the damage: The rear tires were pushed ahead, all the way into the seats. The left side trailing arm ripped the driver's seat off the floor.

The car still ran perfectly fine, and I parked it in the driveway until spring, when I started stripping it down. My neighbors love me I'm sure.

In January, I convinced my brother-in-law to take me to a dealer's auction, where I came across a golden-colored-beauty. We bid $500 dollars, but after auction fees, paperwork, and dmv fees, it cost me about 765 bucks.

On the drive home, the only thing that distracted me from the 264 thousand mile old balljoints was the bent shifter and the layer of cigarette butts covering the floor. But I was happy because it has very little rust compared to my crx.

I spent the whole month of may in my autoshop class swapping the engine/tranny/wiring/dash/door panels/fenders(civic ones were rusted)/front bumper(to match the fenders) etc. over to the civic.

A blown headgasket and then a blown engine later, we have my favorite car:

(well, I guess that was summer 2005. But it's the only one I have online of it intact).

The Wisconsin winters have finally taken their toll on this car, however. Now that I have a beater, I've started stripping this beauty down to get the buildup it really deserves. I knew my welding class would pay off.

Anyway, you probably want more pictures than you would text, so here we go.



It's almost as stripped down as you can get while still be able to move it around under it's own power. Next week the engine and wiring gets pulled.








(See the rust? This is what happens when people are lazy replacing your windshield...)


More rust...






Look at the rust into the channel...


You can see through rust!!!

On my last trip to California, I cut some rust free rear quarter panels off a 1991 STD. I have pics, but they're on my other computer. I'll edit them in later.

Wish me luck!

p.s. Some people have told me to just junk it and start out with a rust free shell. I don't like that idea for many reasons. I believe a rust free from the factory 88-91 civic to be sort of a unicorn, you can see it, you can experience it, but you can never really have it. Seeing the inside of those quarter panels shows where the factory missed many times with seam sealer. I'm going to rust proof much better than Honda did. Plus I just like this car. They may be plentiful now, but if we throw every one away, we're not going to have an abundance of these cars for very long.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:09 AM   #2
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Project: Who here knows how to weld?

I have iso standards certification in mig , tig and arc , in aluminium , stainless steel , cro-molly.
So I have ton's of experience with molten metal drops falling into my boots.

PS . you see unicorns ?
PSS, that rust isnt so bad.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:42 AM   #3
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Try cleaning it out and see how much space you need to fill. If you're lucky, all you may need is a few coats of a rust inhibitor and some bondo.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:13 AM   #4
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I can TIG weld aluminum, stainless, mild, and chromoly, but I am not certified like gammy is.

Just make sure you take your time lining up the parts and making sure there are no gaps when you go to weld...you'll do fine.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:53 AM   #5
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Ok, my title is misleading. I do know how to weld. I was just trying to be clever, oh well. I know the rust isn't *that* bad, but suspension bolts are rusted in badly underneath, too. I just want to fix the car up before it gets real bad.

Unless I rewire the barn, I'm stuck using my 110 volt stickwelder, but I can probably get by with that.

DaX: I'm not certified either, but I've tigged those things except chromoly. Just curious, is there something special to it or not?
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagpipe goatee
DaX: I'm not certified either, but I've tigged those things except chromoly. Just curious, is there something special to it or not?
I found that chromoly welds very similar to most steels, nothing too special. I also should say I've welded a ton of steel, a bunch of aluminum, and only some chromoly. One day I'd like to try welding inconnel and titanium.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagpipe goatee
Unless I rewire the barn, I'm stuck using my 110 volt stickwelder, but I can probably get by with that.
You won't be doing much panelwork repairs with an arc welder thats for sure.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:18 AM   #8
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You're probably right, gammy. Warpage on those thin panels would be an issue, wouldn't it? Well, there's stuff other than panelwork that needs welding, too, and I can tack it without much warpage, then. At least there's 220 running to where I'm working, just not run from the box. When it gets warmer my uncle will help me set that up.

It seems like nobody thinks I'll be able to do this. I know far from everything, and I've never done a whole car before. I actually don't care if it looks as perfect as from the factory when I get done, I just care that it won't rust immediately again. I want to KEEP this car.

This is more of a project thread, as I work I'll post my progress. I know some say the rust isn't that bad, I guess it's not in comparison to other civics you see, but it's bad enough that something needs to be done about it now.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagpipe goatee
Warpage on those thin panels would be an issue, wouldn't it?
Even if you used the thinnest stick you could find and run the lowest power needed for that stick you will still blow holes in the sheet metal.
Car sheet steel is often 0.6 to 0.8mm thick where the minimum recomended arc welding thickness would be probably 2mm+.

Go buy a MIG , even a small gasless one will run off low voltage lines and you will be able to make good repairs on th ebodywork, but even with a MIG its not a magic carpet ride.
You will still need to be carefull with warpage and other heat repalted damage.

Practice well before hand , know your welder , use anti spatter spray and oh yeah , dont learn to weld on your car , learn first , weld car after.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by onegammyleg
Practice well before hand , know your welder , use anti spatter spray and oh yeah , dont learn to weld on your car , learn first , weld car after.
I actually already have a mig, it's a medium sized miller. I already learned to weld, mentioned that many times. I took a semester long class at my local technical college. I focused mainly on mig, but played around with tig and arc. I've done a lot of practice with the mig. Not so much with the arc, but I know enough to not just jump onto the car when you have a new welder.

The last thing I welded was a downpipe for my rabbit, It was 16 gauge metal. If memory serves, that's 1mm thickness, correct? I migged it first, but I needed to "adjust" it, which my arc worked perfectly fine for, as long as I used the smallest sticks I had.
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