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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good afternoon fellow RS25 initiates. After a bit of browsing I could not locate a comprehensive guide to fabrication and welding and I think it could be a valuable resource to the community if we had access to one. I have been looking to start this thread for a while to serve as a melting pot of information for those that are trying to dive deeper into the DIY side of things. Have you ever wondered what it takes to build your own turbo kit from scratch? Or maybe how all the guys on Weldporn lay down rainbow colored dimes? Well you have certainly come to the right place!


I find welding and fabrication to be one of the more intimidating aspects of building a car and I am a fabricator by trade. Most people would rather farm the work out to a professional or their cousin's buddie's uncle that lives on the corner. The goal of this thread is to provide those that may want to tackle a welding and fabrication oriented job with either information pertinent to there chosen task or at least a nudge in the right direction from someone that has already done it. Let us move on to why you actually clicked on this thread, shall we?

We'll start with the veggies ( ya, ya, ya, I know rules suck)

- Absolutely NO SOLICITATIONS! This isn't Times Square, no one wants your shitty mixtape. If you have questions regarding where or who can do work for you, contact them outside of the site


- No Bashing of work regardless of quality. You were not born a fabricator we all had to start somewhere. We are trying to encourage quality work, not discourage those who need more practice.


Easy right? Now what we are looking for:

-Any and all questions about Fabricating/welding

-Preferred tools and equipment

-New techniques or ideas

-Metallurgy

-And the most important, Pictures of your work.


Now if you have read this far you can listen to my last spiel. I am by no means a good among fabricators but will answer any questions within my realm of knowledge or refer you to someone or something that might know better. I am encouraging other DIY'ers and other fabricators to chime in as well, there are too many of you to name so pop in and say hello or answer a few questions. One last thing before moving onto the pretty pictures. I intend to do a featured write up once a month on a specific topic preferably one the majority would like to learn about. This could range from how to armor a clutch fork to which welding rod should I use for cast Iron. I would like to incorporate members work in this so start posting your work!

Here's a few of things I have had the pleasure of doing:

A snippet of the welds on my intercooler



My cold side pre-welding




And a few of the hotside






That is all for now. I will post more when they become pertinent or for a featured post. The first of the month is 3 days away, what would you guys like to see in the first featured post?
 

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Turbo, LS swapped Impreza RS
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
February 2019: Aluminum Sheet Metal Bending

Disclaimer: I hold no responsibility to your personal safety. Fabrication and welding often requires heat, flames, and other things that can harm you if not properly equipped or prepared. Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times because if you haven’t set something on fire it is only a matter of time. Fabricate at your own risk

Did a small side project for my RS. The fuse panel sits right where the passenger airbag was so I figured a cover would be appropriate and keep the largest portion of wiring hidden and tidy.

I started with a model in fusion. The sheet metal workspace makes sheet metal bending and cutting a breeze. Since I unfortunately do not have a industrial sized printer and it was Sunday that I started (Staples was closed, I am impatient) , I was limited to 8.5×11 so I needed all the corresponding dimensions.



With a the dimensions laid out I transferred it to 1:1 on to another sheet. It takes a lot more attention to detail to lay it out on paper with dimensions as it only takes a few times of drawing your line on the wrong side of the ruler to have the whole thing skewed my a 1/16th or more. I have done it a few times now to know to keep a mechanical pencil handy and to use the same ruler throughout the entire layout. You may still be off by a hair or too but the semantics can be altered once the piece is in sheet metal.



The hard part is done now it was as easy as tracing it out onto aluminum and cutting it out. Now since I wanted the piece to be 3D without having to weld 5 separate pieces I added bends into the drawing. There are a few different ways to bend sheet metal and since the likelihood of you guys having access to a finger brake is slim I chose to do it with a homeade press brake. Since my bends were a round number at 90 degrees I could better get away with this. If the bend required is say, 37 degrees, you will be less than fortunate. A press brake is simple, you have a die, a sheet of metal and then your radius die. The bottom die pictured below is a piece of angle iron welded to another piece of angle iron to allow it to stand by itself.



The idea is to press your sheet into the lower die using a die who's radius is the same as the bend you desire. I modeled the drawing with a .125" radius so I could utilize a simple piece of quarter inch flat stock as my upper radius die. I rounded the ended slightly on the upper die to prevent any unwanted gouging in the bend. The sheet is placed atop the die with your bend line centered in relation to both dies. Slowly press your sheet into the lower die using the aforementioned press , adjusting the sheet to center if need be. If you play your cards right it forms a uniform radius bend without having to relief cut or any of that nonsense.





When I finished the cover I quickly realized it looked pretty bland. Maybe some labels, nah. A few stickers, negative too gawdy. A personalized logo, now we are talking. Some of you may have seen my "Factory Fabrication" stickers floating around in my journal as that is what I masquerade as for any sidework I take on. A few doodles later I whipped up this:



Twin stylized F's for you guessed it, Factory fabrication. As much as I like hand drawings it was easier to pop the drawing into Fusion to make sure it was perfectly symmetrical and give me nice drill and cut lines.



I don't have a plasma table to I cut out the logo with a hand shear and then filed all the remaining material.



Which I then welded onto the cover, drilled the holes and mounted it so together. I don't like how the center weld looks so I think I am going to leave the center slot open next time.



Questions, comments, critiques are always welcome. I hadn't touched a TIG in nearly a month before this project so I wasn't entirely displeased with my welds but there's always improvement to be made.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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I ❤ BOOBIES
99 Coupe
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No bender pics to share :( ?
Fiiiiiine.

Started the cage last night, after doing a test bend i forgot to weld the bottom inner section of the bender plates, so it blew apart :lol: after fixing that i got to use it, theres way more math involved that i had thought but i have it all figured out, only messed up one tube.



Got the hoop nice and tight to the b-pillars as well as tight to the roof bars, once its on the place it should be about 1cm or so from the bottom of the bars





I also finally got to use the eastwood tube notcher which is awesome, i need a better spot to mount it but i should be able to get by where it is now. The belt sander and wire wheels i have on the other bench are the beez neez too. But the notcher is fast with the milwaukee hole hog saws, nice clean even cuts that clean up quick with a flap disc.



I got the down tubes as tight as i could to the a-pillar, enough that i can weld around the tubes at the bottom and still get the wiring around the side into the door sill. Im going to chop off the ends of the dash beam and weld plates to them, and mount it to the cage rather than the car so its still removable. If i notched the beam i think it would be kinda flimsy and i dont want any problems with it.



I made a few of these to mount to the cage for various crap like battery box, dash beam plates etc etc. Ill just weld the end closed so its flat.

 

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#32
95 Coupe, 95 Sedan & 95 Wagon
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12,114 Posts
Weld a washer onto them with nuts welded to that on the bottom, give you mounting points to screw things into.

My current car, I can the a-pillars in front of the dash beam, knowing it was stuck in there anyways since it swings forward from the passenger side to get off the studs on the driver side, I just welded 1" tubes between the a-pillars and dash beam.

I still chopped up the ends on the dash as well. Weight savings
 

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Baby❤Daddy
98L Wagon
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heres some of my attempts. welding a bracket in that the rear seat belt attach to in the passenger sprinters. i dont like them. tips, criticism?





 

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Discussion Starter #14
heres some of my attempts. welding a bracket in that the rear seat belt attach to in the passenger sprinters. i dont like them. tips, criticism?
The first two look hot and stacking tacks. Bottom one is damn good. Do they require a specific technique, whip, push, pull, etc.?

I did a downpipe
The rest of the truck is chopped liver apparently

I wish i had the money for another tank to pack purge and make pretty things, i just roll with the sugaring :lol:
Post turbo there really isn't any reason to purge unless it is supporting weight or prone to cracking already.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
October 2018: Armoring Clutch Forks

Disclaimer: I hold no responsibility to your personal safety. Fabrication and welding often requires heat, flames, and other things that can harm you if not properly equipped or prepared. Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times because if you haven’t set something on fire it is only a matter of time. Fabricate at your own risk.

A common weak point found behind a naturally aspirated Subaru is the clutch fork. A quick background for those that have not worked with a clutch before, a clutch fork is the “lever” that physically moves the clutch fingers in or out depending on the style of the clutch. Since a clutch is under a great deal of load in order to provide enough clamping force to hold the torque of the mighty boxer this portion of the system sees high levels of stress at regular intervals. Add in aftermarket pressure plates and aggressive shifting and you are pretty much guaranteed to bend, crack, break or otherwise maim your clutch fork.

While there are various ways this problem could be alleviated, keeping to the DIY spirit of things I will outline the most common and very effective method for armoring the clutch fork. Being a simple stamped piece of what it is likely bottom-of-the-barrel sheet metal the clutch fork does not exactly give off an aura of strength. The two outlying prongs that surround the release bearing and the thin main body of the fork present susceptible weak points and are the main parts of the fork that require armoring. There are multiple ways to armor the fork, none of which are necessarily wrong although I prefer the method used by Ravensfan77 and his pictures are the ones I am using.

To start, templates need to be made that represent the pieces of armor you will later cut from steel. Normal computer paper, cardboard, and chip board are common template materials mostly selected either by preference or their ability to conform to the shape you intend to make. For these templates chip board commonly used for soda and cereal boxes works quite well. Since the sides of the fork are already extruded you need only to concentrate on the top and bottom of the fork respectively. Starting with the top, lay your fork onto the chip board and trace the outline of it. Remember it doesn’t have to be exact as you can manipulate the metal versions as needed when the time comes although the closer the template is to the actual thing the easier it is to reproduce. Keep in mind that when creating your template you should test fit the release bearing periodically to make sure you are not going to rub the hub or the clip. It is very disheartening to weld an entire project together and not have it fit properly. The next step while not necessarily required provides a more aesthetically pleasing finished project. Take a ruler and reduce your outline of the fork by a quarter inch on all sides. This gives the weld bead a place to sit without it getting clumped on the edge. Once done you can cut out your template and check its accuracy on the fork. If all checks out you can transfer it over to metal. Since I predominately TIG weld I use a scribe to trace the template onto steel but if you are using a MIG or even an old tombstone stick welder you can use a sharpie or magic marker you pulled from your child’s book bag. Various thicknesses of metal will work but for the ease of cutting and manipulation 18-20 gauge would be plenty strong while still being able to be cut with a set of hand shears. The underside of the fork will require 3 separate templates to make it easier but the same process you used on the front side can be applied here. Assuming you have followed the steps to this point you should have something resembling what is pictured here:



Once you are happy with the fitment of the metal pieces you can begin the weld preparation phase of things. Cleanliness is a HUGE (Insert your favorite Trump joke here) factor in producing quality welds. Any residual grease, oil, and debris should be removed from the fork and then where you intend to weld should be brought down to bare metal. You can then clean the metal with your preferred solvent (I like acetone or non-chlorinated brake clean). Now that you have a clean surface to weld you can fit your armor plates onto the fork. It is best to clamp the pieces in several areas to prevent the armor pieces from lifting off the fork as you tack weld it. Strategically placing your tacks at corners gives you a point to shoot towards as you weld. Once your pieces have been tacked you should have something close to this:





The pieces pictured are obviously not tacked on but it gives you an idea of how it should look regardless. Now comes the fun part, welding it. Seeing how there is a variety of different welders and weld processes that would work here, It is hard for me to give you any settings that would be pertinent. If you are struggling with setting up your machine just say so in the comments and provide a few details on the machine and materials and we should be able to at least point you in the right direction. Once the machine is set you can begin welding, hopefully remembering to wear the proper PPE for the situation. Seeing how the fork is rather small and is not made from very thick materials heat can easily warp the fork. You can combat this a few different ways. The easiest is to stager your welds. Weld one portion of the armor the move on to another and continue doing so, the same way you would tightening your lug nuts. Further building upon this you could wait a few minutes between weld passes to let the piece cool naturally back to shape before beginning again. Taking it another step further you can clamp the fork to a piece of aluminum or copper if you have it to dissipate the heat faster. Use these techniques on your own discretion but for the fork I would say staggering welds should be enough to prevent any unwanted warping. You can see that Ravensfan77 staggered his welds and did welded the piece in a series of small stitches to prevent warping.



This outline can be altered a few different ways to suit your personal needs or equipment but gives you a good platform to start from. I encourage other members to post their results or any questions regarding the process. I look forward to seeing your work! I would like to thank Ravensfan77 for providing the pictures and sharing his thoughts on the subject as well as falling asleep on me when he was supposed to be proofreading it!

-Ted
 

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I ❤ BOOBIES
99 Coupe
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So last week i ordered a 1/2" dimple die to make some small brackets, they sent me a 2.5" which is yuge. Im thinking to myself what the F am i gonna do with this. Turns out the end of the muffler blew out on my quad i use for plowing, it also turns out the chamber at the end is the exact same size as the dimple die :lol: so i made a new cap.

The one i ordered on the right, compared to the 2.5 incher



The original cap



Cut off and cleaned up



Some stainless cut/dimpled



Welded and ground down, threw some paint on it afterwards. Fingers crossed i can get through the winter with this one, damn thing is $300+ from the dealer

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Banshee: I have never used the closed dimple dies. Do they shrink the piece your dimpling?

Omiotek: No fancy chassis picture for us to drool over?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A little bit of work I did last week. One of our four restorations is a 59-63 (I think its a 61) Alfa Romeo Guilietta Veloce with a factory Pininfarina hardtop with extensive lower rust and rot. I cut all the nasties out and reskinned the entire lower half of the ca. All the welding was done with a TIG so I can hammer/dolley where needed.








 

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I ❤ BOOBIES
99 Coupe
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Banshee: I have never used the closed dimple dies. Do they shrink the piece your dimpling?
No nothing noticeable, these are cheap and i got them to use with my press. Its the first time ive ever used them and was pretty straightforward, drill a hole, de-burr it, squish it then weld it. The inner hole diameter does change which id assume differs between materials, this stainless was real thin so i bet it stretched a good amount.
 
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