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2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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Sub’d. Can’t wait to see more tube/cage work and exhaust stuff in here. It’ll give me some ideas and tips for future projects. I wanna start on a rotated setup eventually.

Also the rear rockers on my coupe look like that Alfa
 

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Sub'd. Currently have a Hobart Handler 240 Mig with flux core. Reallllyy need to get myself a bottle. I feel like I burn through a lot of my work.
 

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Turbo, LS swapped Impreza RS
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Discussion Starter #24
Sub’d. Can’t wait to see more tube/cage work and exhaust stuff in here. It’ll give me some ideas and tips for future projects. I wanna start on a rotated setup eventually.

Also the rear rockers on my coupe look like that Alfa
Next months featured article will likely be something tubular and I plan to start importing the rest of my cage stuff slowly over.

For reference this was where they started.



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97 L crap coupe
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Looking for some opinions from you guys. I've been wanting a welder for years now and as always i'm having trouble pulling the trigger on one.

From everything i've read, mig welders are easy but if you really want to learn, a tig machine is what you want. A tig welder will also be able to work with thicker and different kinds of material.

Do you think i'm better off finding something on craigslist, buying a HF vulcan machine or maybe Eastwood?
 

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Tubaru Pickup
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I have a $90 HF fluxcore machine and a TIG welder, The mig with gas sheild is sorta in the middle. Learning to TIG is time consuming, tig welding is time consuming but you end up with nice work, not always stronger, but nicer. I wouldnt recomend a TIG. I would suggest a MIG with with gas. And keep some .030 tips and a roll of innershield laying around for those time you run out of gas
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Looking for some opinions from you guys. I've been wanting a welder for years now and as always i'm having trouble pulling the trigger on one.

From everything i've read, mig welders are easy but if you really want to learn, a tig machine is what you want. A tig welder will also be able to work with thicker and different kinds of material.

Do you think i'm better off finding something on craigslist, buying a HF vulcan machine or maybe Eastwood?
The choice between a MIG and a TIG is the easy one. Do you intend to weld aluminum and stainless more than once in a blue moon? If yes you want a TIG welder, if No you want a MIG.


Secondly, stay well away from HF welders. People have had success with them but you will soon realize there inherent downfalls. The Eastwood, Everlast, and AHP welders are all very good quality for the hobbyist and even outdo a lot of the smaller "name brand" stuff. I personally use the Eastwood MIG 135/ TIG 200 at my home shop but I have welded with the Everlast and AHP and have no qualms with either.
 

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I ❤ BOOBIES
99 Coupe
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16,997 Posts
For a cheap tig, the Eastwood and AHP machines are great, i have the AHP200 and couldnt ask for anything else out of it. The stick mode at 200amps is enough to weld broken farm equipment/plows/mowers etc, and the tig can step down enough to weld razor blades together. It has all the features you'll ever need.

In terms of Mig i own and id recommend a Hobart handler 140. Dead reliable, and easy to get parts for if you never need to change liners/spools etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
yinz always bustin on my $90 HF unit, doesnt weld too bad from a desk jockey

I have no idea what a "yinz" is but you PA folk have some interesting slang.

After seeing you cut open a few tubes for a mock weld test I was curious as well. I'm a completely self/youtube taught MIG welder so I was pleasantly surprised.

I welded this 2"×2" .250" wall mild tube with a Millermatic 211 for a jig.



Im not a CWI but this was the only flaw I could find. Would most definitely fail X-ray.



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Discussion Starter #33
I have driven through it half a dozen times but I have never had the pleasure of visiting.
 

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2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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Anyone have experience with mig for stainless?

Wanna know if I can get away with using c25 gas and stainless wire for making a downpipe? Don’t really feel like buying a tank of the tri-mix just for this. I already have a roll of solid stainless wire, just not the right gas.

I mig’d a section of my fmic piping in stainless with the c25 gas and it did fine. Just not sure how it’ll hold up over time on a downpipe.
 

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Tubaru Pickup
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Anyone have experience with mig for stainless?

Wanna know if I can get away with using c25 gas and stainless wire for making a downpipe? Don’t really feel like buying a tank of the tri-mix just for this. I already have a roll of solid stainless wire, just not the right gas.

I mig’d a section of my fmic piping in stainless with the c25 gas and it did fine. Just not sure how it’ll hold up over time on a downpipe.
75/25 is fine. you dont need trimix
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I concur, C25 is perfectly acceptable. C10 might spatter a little less but the 25 will work fine. Stainless isn't as crack prone after MIG welding as the internet makes you believe.
 

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2001 Subaru Impreza L coupe
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Awesome guys, thanks. The internet makes it seem like it would crack and rust right away. The section of fmic piping I welded is holding up, granted it’s isolated from vibrations pretty well because of the silicone couplers. Good to know it’ll be fine for exhaust stuff too
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
November 2018: DIY fluid reservoirs

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.

Day late and probably a dollar short but fashionably late is my style. Just look how long my build is taking. On this month’s DIY I wanted to cover some of the basics of working with tubing/pipe that will help you progress into the more complicated points of tubing like building a manifold or a rollcage even. This DIY encompasses the ins and outs of making a simple fluid reservoir. While it could theoretically be used for housing just about any liquid, in this case they will be used for brake fluid and clutch fluid.

While the materials list can be altered to suit your own personal needs I tried to use as much as I had laying around rather than going out and buying the materials or even buying reservoirs (The Tilton reservoirs that I wanted were $30 a piece, I have the cost of argon into mine). Having a few lengths of 1.75 inch diameter stainless leftover from my exhaust I figured that would be a good starting point. I broke out the trusty harbor freight chop saw and cut three pieces to 2.5 inches. This measurement and size of the tubing fit my needs; feel free to adjust them according to your own.




While the chop saw is an excellent (and cheap) tool for making straight cuts on tube it does leave quite a bit of leftover cut material around the edges. This extra material can not only wreak havoc on your gloves but it will also contaminate your weld. The extra material can act as “filler” and make the puddle inconsistent or even add impurities. To address the leftover cut material I like to use a carbide burr on a straight die grinder. I prefer MAC’s mini die grinders as the cheaper ones can’t keep up with the all day abuse. At a hobbyist level one of the non-tool truck brands will work chipper. In the words of my fabrication teacher Mike Streicher (he beat out Jeff Gordon for the USAC Midget championship in his own chassis, he knows his stuff) “If you cannot rub that piece of tubing along your nut-sack, It is not deburred enough”. For the ladies reading I would suggest employing a male friend or significant other. I can guarantee if you mention taking their pants off they won’t think twice that you are about to rub a sharp piece of tubing along their private bits. Pictured is a, pardon my Mandarin, Nut-sack worthy deburred piece of tubing.



After a short trip to urgent care to stitch up your nether regions it is time to cap the tubing. The easiest way to go about cutting a perfect circle that I have found is a hole saw. Now personally I hate using hole saws. If you are not using a speed adjustable drill press it is pretty easy to overheat the saw and dull it up. At $10 and up per saw this gets rather pricy. Since the material in question was only 18 gauge tin snips were the ideal candidate for the job. I traced the tubing onto the sheet and then cut along the inside of the sharpie line; you could also scribe it with a compass and just cut along that line as well. It’s more of a preference thing than anything else. Unless you are a Savant with the snips you are going to be left with a slightly jagged circle. This is fine, I will explain how this is alleviated in the next paragraph. Now is time to tack your caps to the tubes. Finding a comfortable position to weld tubing is very difficult. I recommend trying a handful of different seating and arm rest positions before settling. I like to use a crows foot or a hammer to keep the caps secure on tubes while I am tacking. It is very easy to knock the cap off by mistake with the filler or have the MIG wire not start and arc instantly and do the same.





Ignore your jagged bits of circle and tack the cap on where it is closest to the rim of the tube. Try for at least four evenly spaced tacks but no less than two. I ran a few autogenous (without filler) beads for tacks as I have used snips a time or two before this. Using the proper filler wire and gas mix is essential to a sound weld. Since this is stainless tubing to mild caps, I used 309 wire and 100% argon for TIG welding.




Now that your cap(s) are securely tacked it is time to add the bungs and NPT fittings on each end of the cap. For an appealing look I like to center all my bungs. Now with a jagged circle it is difficult to reference an edge to properly center the circle. Assuming you placed an appropriate amount of tacks you can take the tubing and run both edges along the bench grinder or belt sander to flush the caps to the tube. Now layout a square on a piece of paper with the same leg lengths as the diameter of your chosen tube and intersect the corners to create a center point.



Place the capped tube in the center of your square aligning the edges accordingly. Take a sharpie and mark where the corners meet the intersecting lines. You can then draw a line from each corner on your tube creating the same intersecting point that you drew on the paper. Drill the holes according to what size bungs you are using and bingo you have nice centered holes.




Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of stepped bungs for easy centering. A neat trick I picked up was to use the drill bit I had used to drill the initial holes to center the bung. Be very careful when doing this as it can easily destroy the heat treatment of the bit. A piece of round bar would be more ideal but unless you have access to a lathe or a large stock of round bar it is not nearly as easy as whipping open your drill index and selecting the appropriate size.




Assuming you have followed along this far all that is left is to weld out the caps and fittings and use them as you intended. If you are using stainless it is a good idea to back purge the welds or use some form of flux to prevent sugaring of the welds. This can leave debris in your system and could potentially destroy the components. As always fabricate at your own risk. I hope this DIY provides a few techniques you can utilize in your own projects and if any questions are to arise feel free to post below and I am sure one of the many great fabricators that lurk in this thread will chime in to help.



Next month’s article is still up in the air so I am going to leave it up to you guys. Would you prefer an introduction to the various types and techniques of welding or dive deeper into the tubing side of things with either some cage basics or exhaust fabrication. Cast your opinions below!
 

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my only suggestion is to work on your fitment of parts in some cases.

Example your brake resovoirs watch out for the way they are ground. From the photo it looks like part has a outside bevel while the rest is flat. It can change the way the weld will look and even the way it penetrates.

This isnt me trying to be negative. But just something to help you grow as its something i have now become ocd about. Fitment is part of the key to good consistent welds.
 
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