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12-May-00 Finishing the C-cuts in the Frame

Finishing the C-cuts in the Frame



ImageIt's finally time to strip everything off the frame and finish weld it. I hired Joey Keyman to come over and weld for a couple hours. Joey has been welding since about age four I believe, and he can lay down a bead so pretty it will bring tears to your eyes. He also brought his own welder (Snap-On 140 MIG) so he can get better penetration. My welder is just a little Daytona MIG 110 wirefeed. It does a pretty good job on most of the stuff I need to weld, but on something as important as suspension parts, Joey's is better. I'm *trying* to do most of the car myself but I know my limitations. If the quality of the car will suffer in any way because of my lack of skill in any area, I intend to hire the best people I can find for the job.

After quickly stripping all the parts off the frame (no parts have ever been tightened) we flipped it over so we could weld all the things I couldn't reach with it right side up and less than 10 inches off the ground. If you remember when we made the C-cuts in the frame we never finished them. The bottoms were still open. All that was needed to finish these was a couple strips of 10-gauge steel cut to fit tightly inside the frame rails. The reason I chose to weld them on the inside of the frame between the outer walls was because I didn't want to make the C-shaped cut outs any shallower. If you remember in the first article, C- ing the Frame, I mentioned saving the template for later - this is why.
ImageThe pieces were bent by hand in the vice. The jaws of the vice were kept slightly open and the strip of metal was moved about 1/4 inch at a time to form a nice rounded curve. A rubber mallet was useful in shaping the metal once the initial shape was made. The trailing edge of each piece also has a slight reverse curve to it. As I worked each piece I would keep holding against the pattern to make sure I was on target.
ImageHere is a photo of the first piece lying on top of the pattern. One down - time to make the other one.
ImageWhat do you know? They both turned out exactly the same! See miracles do exist.
ImageI didn't get a shot of Joey welding this because it was kind of bright but as you can see in this picture he did nice job. You can also see that the rear frame horns have been finish welded on the bottom side. The frame is looking better by the minute!

The filler pieces were made and the finish welding was done in about two hours. Now I just need to sort the photos and write the next few articles so you can follow along. It will take much longer to do that than it did to do the actual work so please bear with me while I play a game of catch up on the web.

Oh yeah, I also added something to the website today that I should have done before... the date of each article is now located at the top of the page.