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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    59

    I need a TIG welder for chassis fab and exhaust / plumbing. Do I need to spend 2k?

    Hello,

    I am planning on doing an engine swap and need a TIG welder. Well, I am weighing the pros and cons of having one, I guess I should say

    So I see that this is probably an ideal welder for me:
    http://store.cyberweld.com/mitigwedi180.html

    I've already done a great deal of research. perhaps years of it. I've seen all the insides of the chinese welders and read about the terrible things that happen. So I just want to double check on the forums one last time- is this really my best option? And if so, I wouldn't mind a little help picking out some accessories for this welder, and selecting the proper rods for what I want to do. I am sure I will want extra "cups" and more tungsten. I know I need green and red tungstens, but the rest escapes me. I have used welders before but always somebody elses welder, and they had all the spare cups and things laying around for me to select from and try.

    here is a breakdown of my engine swap:
    1. make engine mounts. I know I want some kind of steel but I have no idea what 'type' of steel. Nor what is acceptable (I am not a metallurgist)
    2. transmission mount: probably from the same material as the engine mounts.

    For #1 and #2, I would like some kind of recommendation for what to ask for from a supplier. I.e. "I need some oval stainless 321 (or whatever) with 0.335" thickness ... " And then it would be cool if someone could tell me how I am going to bend and cut that steel, i.e. what other tools will I need (bandsaw, chop saw, sawzaw, how is it done these days?) Motor will make around 500-600 ft.lbs of torque so it needs to be beefy.

    3. exhaust tubes, I am welding cast iron manifolds to stainless plumbing (probably sources from a diesel truck in the junkyard). I've had success using a mig welder for this application, no issues there. But I would like to try a tig welder. So again, what sort of "rod" will I need, and how is that materials "dealt" with (sawzaw?)

    4. The downpipe and associated exhaust tubes: I've seen alot of "pretty" stainless welds. I have tried welding stainless in the past with a tig welder and had limited success. It definetely wasn't pretty. I believe it was due to my over-heating the metal. That said, Maybe I was using the wrong stainless. This is where my lack of metal understanding comes into play. I am using a turbocharger so the exhaust temps will get fairly high (perhaps 1200-1300*F where it comes into contact with the first length of tube, or hotter) so the quality is important. I just don't know enough about it yet.

    5. aluminum intercooler plumbing- I have this covered. I can weld aluminum very well so I am not worried about this one bit. However, again, I never had to buy rods for aluminum. I would love an explanation for what sort of aluminum rod to buy.

    6. chassis work. I need to weld some supports and various items, like nuts, to the chassis for holding structures. I need to cut and box in the crossmember for clearing an oil pan. Its steel again, and once more I am not sure what kind of rod to use, I guess thats the main issue. I want to make the core support removable so I can swap engines quickly. The exhaust will all be V-banded. I could go on but I think that covers the main points: rods vs metal "numbers" (i.e. 321 stainless vs mild steel and so forth) are my main concerns. thanks for reading all that!

    And if anybody can think of a cheaper welder that will do all of that, I am all corn. Ears
    Last edited by Kingtal0n; 01-10-2017 at 11:49 PM.
    student

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Andover, Ohio
    Posts
    432
    Good luck to you.
    Lincoln A/C 225
    Everlast PA 200

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,392
    The machine you have listed is I believe TIG only.... For same money you can probably get a machine that will do TIG, MIG (FCAW\GMAW) and stick... For home shop it seems kind of expensive and impractical to put everything into one machine with only one process....

    Recently had opportunity to test a ESAB (I know Not Miller/Hobart) machine that could do all weld types and it was in the ball park of $1800.....

    https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...Jv0aAnk38P8HAQ

    Dale
    Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Aumsville, Oregon
    Posts
    5,408
    I have ran one, but a Lincoln Square wave TIG 200 would probably be a better choice. For aluminum AC the Lincoln will give you adjustable balance and frequency.
    MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
    Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


    PM 180C



    HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    59
    thanks guys, and good thinking on the tig mig capability. I have to do more research...
    student

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Posts
    46
    For most of your chassis fab a mig will work just as well and be far quicker then a Tig.
    How much real experience do you have with Tig welding? If you have limited time on one you would do well to take a couple of classes to get some good experience for a cheap price over buying a machine that will see limited use...

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
    For most of your chassis fab a mig will work just as well and be far quicker then a Tig.
    How much real experience do you have with Tig welding? If you have limited time on one you would do well to take a couple of classes to get some good experience for a cheap price over buying a machine that will see limited use...

    Mark
    I am very experienced tig welding aluminum, but I have never done well with steel, especially stainless. So you are absolutely correct, I think I might just go for a MIG machine with C25 and do the majority of the fab work with that. I want to weld up some exhaust manifolds for a turbocharger (stainless V-bands with stainless tube to cast factory manifolds) is fairly common, reliable in the LSx swap field.

    SO which machine would you recommend for MIG welding with C25 chassis fab work? I wouldn't mind if could go both 110/220V, but I would prefer to use mostly 110v for simplicity of course.
    student

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,392
    Not sure where your "simplicity " statement fits.... Only issue is if you have 220VAC availabel in your shop to take advantage of a machine like the the Hobart 210MVP...

    With 120VAC only you are limited to something like the HH 140.... And although I have one, I find at times I wish I had the 210MVP as bigger projects always seems to come along...

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale M.; 01-29-2017 at 08:34 AM.
    Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale M. View Post
    Not sure where your "simplicity " statement fits.... Only issue is if you have 220VAC availabel in your shop to take advantage of a machine like the the Hobart 210MVP...

    With 120VAC only you are limited to something like the HH 140.... And although I have one, I find at times I wish I had the 210MVP as bigger projects always seems to come along...

    Dale
    Well I dont have a shop. I dont really have anything, I would be doing my work out doors and buying the necessary tools as I needed them. I plan to weld stainless 304 exhaust tube, to a V-band, and a V-band to my OEM exhaust manifolds. So I think I need 2% CO2 gas (and possibly with a90% helium if I can find it) and some "308LSi" wire. Does that sound right? I just did some research and that is what I found.

    I have 110V easily. The 220 I dont have, but, I can make it, I think. I know enough about electronics to be dangerous so its a big maybe there, eh he
    student

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,392
    Have electric clothes dryer in garage?

    Dale
    Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,860
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
    Well I dont have a shop. I dont really have anything, I would be doing my work out doors and buying the necessary tools as I needed them. I plan to weld stainless 304 exhaust tube, to a V-band, and a V-band to my OEM exhaust manifolds. So I think I need 2% CO2 gas (and possibly with a90% helium if I can find it) and some "308LSi" wire. Does that sound right? I just did some research and that is what I found.

    I have 110V easily. The 220 I dont have, but, I can make it, I think. I know enough about electronics to be dangerous so its a big maybe there, eh he
    Better plan on building some sort of windbreak to insure you don't spoil welds by loss of shielding. Also, you may need extension cords , and adapter, if you intend to use 220 v dryer outlet.

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