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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok AAR is doing it the professional way with a body in white and all the tools and engineering in the world. I am doing it in my garage with a a regular body and most of the tools.

Edit: I just noticed there is no stage 1.

Stage 1: But a 99 JDM spec Altezza with a blown diff, and Strip it to the balls. EVERYTHING must go. Shame really as the interior was in decent shape.





Stage 2: Clean clean clean clean. Have to take off all the crap that the factory puts on to keep out water and cut down on road noise. Ive been using a combination of a Sharpened paint scraper and a 4" bench grinder wire wheel mounted to my angle grinder for final cleaning down to the metal.


Stage 2.5: I got ahead of myself and did some welding on the front shock towers. I ve been doing the drill and fill method where you drill through the first piece of metal only and fill the hole with weld to join the 2 pieces.





This method has some advantages as it seems to add the least amount of weight and you can get some of the underneath pieces from the top by following the spot welds. However my A-hole engineer friend came over and informed me that where as it does add alot more strength the the joint a seam is stronger. Think a button shirt and a stitched seam. You are trying to stop the sheets from buckling and flexing between the welds. So alot harder to flex between the 1" long weld. The question is how much stronger? He didn't know. So i think in the key areas i will do a combination.

So im back to clean clean for a while, so i can start the cabin area and jump around the whole thing so as not to add too much heat into any one area.

Im sure this is more academic for you "Lexus" drivers out there. I drive a Toyota. :p
 

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here is something thats going to get me rep!!

On the sound material that is in a flat position, ie inside the car, where the passengers feet go there is a patch on all sides. Get some dry ice, I used 36 lbs for the entire car. You crush this up and lay it on the tar which is like dynamat and spread it all over but try to hit the whole surface. Let this do it's magic and be sure to leave a window down so preasure doesn't build up and turn the car into a bomb. Anyways you will hear some noises and that is actully the sound material freezing and turning hard. At this point take a flat head and tap it, it will come off like nothing.

I have done a whole is300 with this method and it worked wonders.

Let me know if you need more information.
 

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im way past that point. I used the freeze method and it does work the best. The scraping and cleaning im doing is to take off the seam sealant prior to welding.

What I found works best on the seam sealer is to hit with a tourch for a bit and then it just scraps out with little to no effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
accually i have been using a sharp wood chisel to get the bulk off and then hitting it with a wire wheel. it comes very clean and doesent add heat to the metal, not that i expect you were talking about heating it that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
K got some more done. Finished the firewall the rails underneath and the rear seat reinforcment area. started drilling the doors up. Took about an hour to do the left side. Im doing it from the inside so i can do all 4 doors at the same time and jump around between them. In the doors most of it are 3 pieces sandwiched in there. Im doing one and alot of times 2 welds between the existing spots. These are appearantly some of the most important areas. Once i finishe the doors il do the fornt and rear wimdow openings them move on to the rear bulkhead area then tunnel then put it on a rotisserie to get the underside clean and finish anywhere else i missed as well as in the wheel wells.



 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
More progress, finished driling the door openings and wleded up all the little holes. Only took about 2hours to fill the holes.





Next day was Ash wedensday so we had a holiday, in the middle of the week, gotta love Cayman. So i cleaned all the crap of the welds and primed it to gaurd against rust. Ive been using an automotive primer in a can from a Caribbean company called Automotive Art. It is a hardener based primer that doesent harden in the car because of the pressure or something. Whatever, it works really well and is tough, also can be topcoated in 15 minutes.

Moved on to the rear trunk partition and got that seamed up. the metal is so thin there that i had to do a series of spot welds to make the seam as not to burn through. My welder is running flux core wire, if i used the gas the it would run a little cooler but im lazy and this is working so far.



I got bored of welding and went back to cleaning the rear wheel wells.

 

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Looks good. :approve:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
yes i am and i still am interested. Youll get my deposit on monday. It looks like i will have to go to the thinner wire with gas now, im not really happy how the weld come out when doing the very thin stuff. Like in the wheel wellwhere the 2 parts of the arch come together. Even ther rear partition when i cleaned it upo came out crappy in some areas. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Got a fair bit done this weekend. After i went and got some thinner wire to use with the gas, I 1. Realize this is very different to what im used to. And 2. its not eany easier or forgiving and 3. Im out of gas. Oh well screw it, ill go back to flux core. I got the rear speaker trak done with reasonable cleanlines. One thing i did find though, is that the flux core spark tends to scatter alot less than the gas. This is probably in part due to my crappy welder.



One day ill get a nice miller or something. That being said this thing has paid for itself more times than i can count. Has been flooded in saltwater 2 years ago in a hurricane ,been dropped etc etc and still works pretty well.

So after giving up on that i decided to tackle the windshield and rear winwdow openings. This accually went pretty quick and i got them both done.



I also finished under the front fender brace in prep to put them back on. Hower came up with the bright idea that maybe ill make a stiffer and bigger one. Something like this out of 3/4' u channel steel. something like this.



Any comments?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Its similar to seam welding. Basically when the factory uses a series of spot welds to put the cars together. The quantity and spacing of those spot welds are the weakes part of the chassis. when stressed tha unwelded part of the car can buckle to a small degree by pivoting around the spot welds. By seam welding or spot welding in you are tieing the different sheets of steel better so that they reist the urge to buckle and in some joins pull apart. Therefore making the chassis much stiffer. Anyone have anything to add?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Finished the rear deck lid last night. Also found that there is a panel behind the C pillar that seams to go from the wheel well maybe up the c pillar to the rear glass opening. drilled a couple holes and added a couple spots there for good measure.



So i have to do the trunk side panels soon. Not really looking forward to that cause it looks like a couple of hours in a small trunk drilling about a million holes to then weld. Ill have to get a fan to get rid of weld fumes before i give myself cancer in there.



On an amusing note. The other day i cleaned some seams with solvent with my mechnixs gloves. couple minutes later did some welding. Hmm my glove is on fire. :pissed: and again. oopsy. Also its ammazing how far the sparks fly. The solvent soaked rage was at the other end of the car when i here the WHOOMMFF. :jawDrop: Yikes. Fire safety folks.
 
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