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Stitch Welding for Dummies?

Posted by Aaron Luptak 
Aaron Luptak
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Stitch Welding for Dummies?
December 06, 2014 05:15PM
finally looking like stitch welding the civic is in the foreseeable future (I've got a solid month before the 1-year anniversary of pulling the engine), got some questions...

on general prep:
* I think I remember seeing something from Gene along the lines of "wire wheel, torch until it stops smoking, wire wheel again" - that's what I'm planning at least. any other options I should be considering? propane good enough for trying to burn out as much crap as possible?

specific prep:
* there's a seam between the shock tower and the firewall. not a lot of room, certainly can't get a wire wheel in there with my 4.5" grinder:


on general welding:
* Ford manual says 1/2" welds with 1.5" between. The civic has a few little reinforcements that aren't particularly big, might get 2 welds on a side with that spacing. 1/2" on 1/2" off for those spots, weld the whole thing, ???
* JVL says 030 wire for more material being deposited with less heat, right?

welding specifics:
* there's a fair number of pinch welds on the front end. some, like this one that lives underneath the top of the fenders, is cut flush:

others have a little lip to them:

With the lip, I assume I just treat it like any old lap joint. Where they're cut flush - am I going to have to walk a bead right along the top of that edge?

* There's a pinch weld running across the bottom of the inside of the wheel arch, parallel with the tire.

I don't think it's really a clearance issue, much more concerned about the rubbing that we see under lots of compression with the wheel near full lock - but still, it would be nice to not have it sticking out. it's joining two pieces together to make a box part of the unibody, so I'd imagine the bend itself isn't adding much strength. Maybe bend it down to one side and tack it down?

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Re: Stitch Welding for Dummies?
December 06, 2014 07:40PM
Seems like Datsun used to say weld an inch, skip an inch but JVLs numbers are just fine also. That seam sealer is nasty shit to breath, I'm still here and have inhaled a bunch but I wouldn't advise it. It also blows out when welded and screws up the weld. So cut, scrape and brush what you can. Clean metal welds nicer than painted anyway. The seam sealer is applied after the spot welds when new so it usually isn't very far under the edge. I use .030 for most everything. Keep a fan going to blow the fumes away.

That edge in the wheel well isn't a concern for me. You could smack it up but in reality if your tire is spending much time up there you have other worries. Plus the edge wouldn't cut any deeper than the tread would it?
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Re: Stitch Welding for Dummies?
December 06, 2014 09:01PM

And some dental picks, a torch if you need/want will help clear that out.

Welcome to the cult of JVL drink the koolaid or be banned.
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Stitch Welding for Dummies?
December 06, 2014 09:15PM
Liquid Nitrogen is your friend.
Not dry ice, liquid nitrogen.
The shit works, the rubberized crap flys off with a little tap of a chipping hammer..

On Xratties the car is ready to weld when the rubberized shit is out of the way...

No reason to waste the time with outdated methods, the knowledge base has grown.
Benefit from other people taking the time to read then apply new, cleaner, safer and much much faster methods...

Yes it costs money but your time is worth something too..

John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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Re: Stitch Welding for Dummies?
December 07, 2014 12:36AM
pm me email me you email addy and i'll send you video do's and dont's. there things i see in your piccies i'm to lazy to address via text. video snips will do the trick fast

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