Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Welding while lying on the floor is a literal pain

Here's the car as I left it last. The transmission subframe is about 2/3 welded in - the easy 2/3. I had planned to weld the underside while lying on the floor, welding overhead. This turned out to be harder and even less pleasant than I anticipated.

Welding overhead is always the hardest, because when you melt metal, it wants to run downhill, like any other liquid - so it becomes kind of a challenge to get your bead to stay where you put it. If you goof up, it wants to fall off - and being under that is a good way to get droplets of molten metal on you. Not fun.

So it was time to get a little... inventive, shall we say, with my setup. I dropped the nose of the car onto some rubber wheel chocks, and I used ratchet straps and my engine hoist to get the back end up in the air. This put the areas to be welded at a much more convenient height, and also gave me enough angle that I could weld uphill, using the bead behind to support the weld puddle.

This was mildly sketchy, but not too bad. I'd have loved a real rotisserie, but this worked pretty well.

Here's the old weld. Despite my previous practice sessions, this just looked like garbage, even by my standards. I ground all this away and rewelded it. It's still farmer-grade welding, but I am happier with it. 

And, let's face it, it's going to be only a few inches off the ground when all is said and done, so I doubt anyone will ever look at it again.

Here's one of the improved welds. Still not perfect, but way, way better.

And thus my goal is met to drop the tail end of the transmission by about three inches. This should mean a much longer life.

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