floor pan replacement - Flux welder? Never welded before. - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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floor pan replacement - Flux welder? Never welded before.

My 66 coupe needs floor pans front and rear on both the driver and passenger side.

seems if a shop does the work, I'm over the $3K range. Looking at youtube videos, it seems to be something I can do myself. the challenge will be cutting to fit. I have some floor pan fitting questions but I'll start a new thread on that.

My 11 yr old who I'm building the car for said he wants to try welding. So.....

I'm pricing out welding equipment. Flux core seems to be the cheapest way for me to go, since I never plan on welding after these pans are in.

Is Flux core acceptable for floor pans? watching youtube videos I see the pans cut and placed. tacked in place then small weld beads run from place to place to allow cool down and prevent warping. then grind down the welds flush.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 12:45 PM
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With the thin sheet metal of a floor pan you will burn through it constantly with a flux core welder, they just donít have the amperage adjustments of a true mig welder using shielding gas ie: c02/argon. Youíll end up pretty frustrated and will never want to weld again. The initial cost is a little more and you will have to buy or lease a bottle from a welding gas company. The good thing is, you will have a more versatile welder and be able to do thin steel metal all the way to 1/4 inch and maybe beyond depending on what machine you buy. The gas is pretty cheap for refills and lasts quite a long time if you constantly remember to turn it off when not in use. You can get true mig welders in both 220 and 110 volts although I would do a true 220 or at least get one that will work on either.

My 2 cents
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 12:46 PM
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I've never welded before either. I own a flux core welder. I've used it a couple of times for more utility-type welding on thick pieces of metal, but so far I've been unsuccessful in getting sheet metal welded. I have succeeded in burning a lot of holes in sheet metal, though. Scrap stuff, fortunately. From what I understand, welding sheet metal is kind of an advanced technique, not something to start with. And, flux core welders can produce usable welds, but probably not by novices. The advice I've gotten is to either get some welding instruction and get pretty good at it, farm it out to someone who knows what they're doing, or buy a MUCH better welder (MIG at least, or TIG) and get some basic instruction before trying it.

I'm putting off the welding on my project for now and working on the engine, until I can either find someone who can do what needs to be done for a reasonable cost, or get some training so I can do it myself. I'll probably end up farming it out, because my object is not to become a skilled welder but to get the car finished.

Just my $.02 worth, discounted somewhat because I'm basically in the same boat you are.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 01:07 PM
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I learned to weld on my restoration. Have a master welder for a teacher so he gave me some tips. Got pretty good at thick stuff then tried sheet metal. Like you I blew big holes in everything. Got some more tips from my guy and way lowered the power and practiced on a bunch of sheet metal he gave me. After several hours of practice I finally figured out my technique. Slow and steady moving the heat around so no one spot gets to hot and start warping panels. Finally got to the point where I could fill the holes I made earlier.


I think Gas Mig is easier than flux core. I ended up over-buying and got a Millermatic 110/220 Autoset gas setup. However, my business does some welding so I wanted something that would handle thicker material. You can get a small gas MIG setup reasonably cheap which would handle sheet metal easily. Used is a good route also. In the end, I decided I wanted to learn how to weld anyhow so I learned on my Mustang. Plenty good enough for sheet metal but I had my guy weld in my subframe connectors and any structural work just to be safe! If you don't care to learn the skill, you can always farm it out to somebody.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 01:46 PM
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The money you will save by not paying somebody to do it for you will pay for a good Mig welder. I don't think you have to buy the CO2/Ar bottle- a welding supply will rent you one.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 01:56 PM
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Iím not a pro welder but I do have a MIG and at my soon to end job a flux core in my work truck. Iíve welded a lot of thin stuff with flux. The key is to get a better quality unit have at least 6 amperage ranges, the more the better. I would shoot for about 8 settings. You also want a variable wire speed. You should be fine. With the sheet metal you want to do a series of spot welds not one long continuous weld and you want to spread the spot welds over a wide range to dissipate heat. Look for a 140 amp welder. Use a short 20 amp circuit at home, donít use a drop cord if at all possible and if you have to use a short 12 gauge cord.

MIGs are great but you can not use them in drafty areas! The flux core really means more clean up. Most if not all MIG will use flux core. Practice, practice, practice.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 02:05 PM
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Flux transfers too much heat to weld gauge effectively particularly for a beginner because flux core wire isn't available in smaller sizes. For straight up MIG (or GMAW for gas metal arc welding) this looks to be your best value in a machine https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...put-64804.html about $400. You'll need to buy or lease a cylinder, get some PPE (jackets, helmets and gloves for the both of you) and you'll be $700-800 all in for the both of you. You'll need some clamps, perhaps some Cleco pins for holding the parts. You'll want at least a 125-150 cu/ft cylinder. Anything smaller and you'll run out of gas often and it will be more expensive in the long run.

Use .025 wire at the speeds indicated on the setup chart. Practice on thicker material and work you way toward thinner material.

Good places for welding on the internet.

Welding Web https://weldingweb.com

Welding tips and tricks on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqq...j4-UApS_m_6mPw

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 02:15 PM
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Flux core isn't going to do it for sheet metal. It's going to burn through and it's messy.

I have a mig welder that I used for odd small stuff and body work at home but I had access to better equipment at the shop for big stuff. I have recently replaced it with a Harbor Freight Titanium 170. It works very well in fact as well and some ways better than the blue or red machines I have used. I got a really good deal on it but also look at the northern Klutch brand as they use most of the same components.

Basically you don't weld body sheet metal you tack it together. Many many tacks and you spread them around to keep from heating up one area then you eventually overlap them. Grind the weld bead down but not the surrounding steel then weld it again in all the spots that have pinholes. Grind and repeat.

I am not keeping my old one so if anyone local is interested.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 02:30 PM
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Flux core is possible, but very messy and frustrating.

I would buy a used MIG off of Craigslist or whatever, use it for your floor project and whatever else you need, then turn around and sell it for the same money.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:41 AM
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I tried flux core as I didn't yet have a bottle of welding gas. Did one hole them immediately went out and purchased a bottle of gas. The flux burned through and left splatters of metal everywhere. Not worth it.

I use flux core on thicker materials that don't need to look nice such as the car rotisserie I built. Anything on the mustang gets welding gas.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 01:20 AM
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Okay, I wasn't going to pipe up on this, but that's three or four posts now saying (in effect) that flux core just burns through sheet metal. For flux core on sheet metal the voltage must be low and the wire speed slow. Low and slow. Easy, fine welds and you can even have a fan blowing the fumes away.
(Less splatter too.)
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaytona1 View Post

my 11 yr old who i'm building the car for said he wants to try welding. So.....

.

keep your child away from welding gasses!

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:08 PM
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You can use flux core but it is a lot harder, especially for a newbie. Look into getting a new or used MIG welder as others have pointed out. It comes out a lot cheaper if you do the work yourself. See attached pics when we did my 65 Mustang. Used a plasma cutter for the toe board area, which doesn't sound like you need, and for cutting the center section of the old floor out (just be careful of anything that might be under if you go this route). After cutting the center non welded section out it made it easy to use a spot weld drill bit and an air chisel for the old floor removal (can be done without cutting out non welded sections but harder if floor is in one piece). A lot of grinding to clean and prep for the new pan then weld through primer. We did replace a section of the toe board so that was a solid weld but done in small sections of 2-3 inches. The new pan and seat platform was drilled every 3 inches or so before installing for the new spot welds which is all you do for the install, spot welds only. Study up and practice spot welding, straight down gets pretty easy but side or overhead takes practice, some MIG welders come with a spot weld feature so something to consider. The finished pic shows seam filler after most of the work was done. I'm not finished, more seam filler and sound deadener still to be added, but it should give you an idea of what a few days of work can be done on your own. $3000 is a good reason to learn. Good luck, Jim
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Fllor replacement (3).jpg (427.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Fllor replacement (2).jpg (367.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Fllor replacement (4).jpg (359.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Fllor replacement (5).jpg (311.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Fllor replacement (1).jpg (337.4 KB, 9 views)

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:18 PM
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Honestly, I wouldn't touch a flux core welder with a 10 foot pole especially when a cheap Harbor Freight $180 MIG welder will do the trick just fine.(expect to me into the welder for $300+ by the time you buy a bottle, get it filled, and buy some wire(.023 wire for sheet metal work by the way, .030 will be more difficult to control and more prone to burn through)
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdnck1 View Post
You can use flux core but it is a lot harder, especially for a newbie. Look into getting a new or used MIG welder as others have pointed out. It comes out a lot cheaper if you do the work yourself. See attached pics when we did my 65 Mustang. Used a plasma cutter for the toe board area, which doesn't sound like you need, and for cutting the center section of the old floor out (just be careful of anything that might be under if you go this route). After cutting the center non welded section out it made it easy to use a spot weld drill bit and an air chisel for the old floor removal (can be done without cutting out non welded sections but harder if floor is in one piece). A lot of grinding to clean and prep for the new pan then weld through primer. We did replace a section of the toe board so that was a solid weld but done in small sections of 2-3 inches. The new pan and seat platform was drilled every 3 inches or so before installing for the new spot welds which is all you do for the install, spot welds only. Study up and practice spot welding, straight down gets pretty easy but side or overhead takes practice, some MIG welders come with a spot weld feature so something to consider. The finished pic shows seam filler after most of the work was done. I'm not finished, more seam filler and sound deadener still to be added, but it should give you an idea of what a few days of work can be done on your own. $3000 is a good reason to learn. Good luck, Jim
Note: Just reread your original post. If your doing partial replacements, you will have to cut out the old sections and do a full weld on the replacement. My example was for a full floor replacement which I found to be easier.

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