Replacing battery mount area of fender skirt

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Good video. Been searching them for a couple weeks now, that's how I bullied myself into doing the work after saying, you can do that dummy. But as life has taught me, I might have jumped a bit quicker than normal meaning, I run this thru my head repeatedly while staring at the project. After yesterday, I'm thinking I need just a couple more sessions staring at it. I guess with the welder in sight too, brings it together more easily.

Did learn I can ground my table, that's good. I think I was confusing the MIG with Flux Core and the polarity swap. I think it was information overload when I was deciding between the two. Assimilated too much data. Resistance is futile.

The welder, as I stated earlier is the Weld-Pak 90-I, is the 120V version and his comment about the power does concern me as a beginner but it has to do with budget. The 220V version was another three bills. Believe me, I seriously considered it, especially since the garage is already wired for a 50A 220/240 circuit. Took care of that for the Fusion Energi but the Energi is now gone. Yeah, tell me about it, that energy too.

The helmet is auto darkening, YesWelder, bought it on Amazon. Gonna go thru a bit more detailed survey on things. Try to look at all the Pro's and Con's of these purchases and this one had over 15,000 ratings with 89% in the 4-5 range. Headed out to have a looksee now.

Got allot going on too. I got behind on some things around the house, that put me behind on the car and then we decided to tackle our "Builder created issue" as well. To attempt at trying to avoid the dread of TMI, that fight involves some water-table/foundation/soil incompatibility issues on a home we built just 3 years ago. The builder informed that everything was taken care of and, well? Not all people are willing to be honest. Anyhow, I'm staring at and working on that when I'm not at the car. Can't say for certain which is the diversion but I'm leaning to the car because it's a hobby and the house is survival and need albeit not my chosen job.
Don't worry about the power of your welder, I have had my 40 year old SIP out on a 75 foot extension cord on a 15 amp plug and the only difference is I have a shorter Duty Cycle time for welding...meaning I can weld about a 1/2 inch at full power as apposed to 1 or 2 inches.
Good luck on the house, Lord knows I been putting off fixing a slab crack in the garage from front to back.
Umm, err uhh... Just got off the floor with my Morons of America Union Rep, local 6-7/8 and he said my helmet was solar powered. He called to ask me about a replacement flash bulb for his phone camera. Needless to say, you can imagine my surprise when I walked outside of the garage and it was clear as day, being that it's day. For what it's worth or to improve my mental image, I saw the difference between the two I had in compare mode (battery vs. solar rechargeable battery) and checked the wrong box to add to my cart. It's sitting on the driveway now.
...Good luck on the house, Lord knows I been putting off fixing a slab crack in the garage from front to back.
Not wishing to take this way off topic but it does involve the car being it's in the garage. The garage slab sits on-top of a bed 57 stone, 4 courses of CMU block deep. We had "hollow" pockets 3 years ago and a small crack appear, about 2" long, at a zig-zag in the foundation wall. Last week it had expanded to 15". This week, the concrete is feathering, multiple chips splintering, so that means it's moving, and now has an offset of 1/16" with an 1/8" gap. The car sits just 4ft. in front of the crack, towards the door and the floor, divided into four sections by the expansion gaps, is becoming unlevel and not in a good way. I can't move the car and so I'm stuck waiting to see what happens. If I sound like a duck looks on the surface, believe me, if the ducks name was Willie Gault, he'd be moving slower than my mind currently is in panic mode.

Yeah, it's settled, the car is the diversion.

Edit: As far as the polarity switch for the welder, it's way to simple, even I couldn't get it wrong. The lead for the gun is attached to the welder and a twist and lock plug/socket has the plus and minus showing the sides. The ground clamp is separate so even I couldn't mix them up.
Welding 001, we're not to 101 yet, 100 more classes to go.

That is the repair of my original disc brake mount. When I pulled it off, it had a broken bolt, when the attempt to remove it failed, basically the drill bit walked even in my drill press, I was forced to replace it.

I did have a couple other attempts at welds today, one butt weld, a couple tacks and a panel overlay. None are worth showing due to the welder and my inability to recognize when it lags on power. I'm listening for that "bacon to sizzle" but end up with popcorn and a mess toward the end. Did do a semi successful pool weld since I'm going to try and replicate the spot welds. It was a fairly large area, larger than what would be around the shock tower or radiator support but once ground down some, the eyeball got really small. No pic of that because what it's attached to looks like I had my eyes closed and earplugs in.

I'm going to try and find a way to run a dedicated plug to the welder where my shop table and the front end are located. Thought about using the Fusion Energi hookup and just rewire for a standard plug since the breaker is 20A but I'm keeping it for the compressor. Less to rewire and since it's code to put the highest rated amp wire in for that type of outlet, regardless of its intended use, it's less hassle to run a new leg for the welder. I think it's me recognizing when to back off due to a power drop. Either that or I return this one and get a bigger model.

By the way, the brake caliper bracket? I was drilling it out to re-tap and you'll never guess what happened, the bit broke off in the hole and now I'm back to square one. I kind of grabbed a little too hard on a motion down and it snapped. Kept it well lubed too but it was also an older bit. By the way, mentioned bacon sizzling above, many years ago I learned to use bacon fat for metal drill, tool and die lube. No one had ever mentioned it until that day, so I would have and did laugh when the maintenance guy told me about it. Danged if it wasn't the greatest drill lube I ever saw. Either way, I have bolt hole repair down as long as I don't try and tap for new threads, I'm golden. Don't remember his last name for credit but his name was Henry, Maintenance Manager at Atria Villa Ventura in Kansas City Missouri 2002, when I worked there.

Edit; I guess I should clarify that the bacon grease wasn't remembered until writing the pre-edited post. While I kept it well lubed, it was with tool oil. Just a little too late for my own good. Then again, looking at my drill bit status, doubt it would have made a difference, I sincerely need to invest in some good bits.
On a serious, but comical warning, just don't lick your fingers while handling any work with that method. It really is a horrible thing to have happen. Yes, I'm speaking from experience. Doohhh!!!!
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I'm currently bouncing between projects so yesterday; I practiced some welds. Not worth showing yet, huhhbhooy, bad would be an improvement. Today, we studied the BFH Theory so, the word of the day, that relates to this theory is, manipulate.
So, the only question I had was, what size BFH should be used to "manipulate" the patch panel into place and, the theory, as it's written, allows for a multitude in variety of things that can be used. Ultimately, it was the 32oz. framing hammer, the 18oz. brass dowel and the 3lb brass dowel alone or in conjunction with the hammer, stainless steel table edge, vice and or mini bend-brake. I'm tempted to just cut to size in the current positions since this is the closest I've gotten things in 4 hours. It will need to be disassemble regardless since I need to paint the battery support bracket before install. That is, unless ya'll have a suggestion. I'm not really worried about rust any longer, as mentioned several times before, it's never seeing adverse weather again, as long as I'm alive.

In the first picture, we have my "practice" attempts at welding. Needless to say, I'm not quite ready to apply things to the car. Soon, maybe in ohhh, say 4-5 years? Hopefully sooner. Okay, to coin the old commercial, "time to make the welds". Oh yeah, the notes, by true butt welds I mean I used the Eastwood tool for the same. Actually, once I got the hang of working it, realized I didn't need to use the vise part of the pliers and just crimped, it was a breeze. There was practice on that as well but not photo journal necessary. The last caveat would be, I determined that posting the "weld attempts" that were made before these, about 3 dzn, were not even up to the level of being embarrassing so why post. Then again, those would have made the ones posted look like works of art. No, my name isn't Art.

The pics below show the trimmed panel in place. Just need to decide how I'm attaching the battery support. Right now, it's merely bolted to the fender skirt and I'm thinking it will need to be secured thru "spot" or pool welds but need to research exactly how some of ya'll did. I'm questioning if it's welded to the frame, or the skirt or both.


Now, just in case I turn this into a complee Charlie Foxtrot, that possibility remains at the forefront of my fears, I ordered the last skirt Kentucky Mustang had in stock. If things work out, either it's going up for sale here, for the price I paid (includes shipping costs) or it's going in the "we'll save that for later just in case I have a major meltdown while driving" pile. I hope never to use that pile, as you all would probably agree and or but also realize, shtuff happens.

One last question, before I start research, is there a way to get factory assembly line, inspection sticker replicas? I also need to know if the caulk-like stuff between the fender and the top rail of the skirt is the same as the seam filler I'm getting for the wheel wells?

That's all for now.
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Started to weld yesterday. Ran into something unexpected though. I was more concerned over the replacement meta than the original but should have reversed the thought. The pool welds went okay but the butt weld? I unfortunately burned thru a couple spots on the original sheet metal and need to get a couple patches made. Otherwise, I'm going to be a better grinder than welder. Don't think I'll need the backup part but too soon to tell. The house and garage are being surveyed today so I apologize for not post any pics of the work. Once I get access to the car again, I'll make sure to get some posted.

By the way, lesson learned was, needed to practice with sheet metal from 1972 and 2024 together, not on the car. Doohhh!!!!
I'm at about the same expertise as you but I have learnt a few things on my journey that may help.
Nothing is better than practice and experience and we are probably about the same so no comment. The list below is just procedural and I apologize to everybody if I am doing a "No shit Sherlock"
Also, any input would be welcome. Especially from Fabrice.
  • First thing I do is an ohm reading between the job and the earth clamp socket. Some times there may be seam filler between some of the panels. If the car is on jack stands make sure there is not a false earth flowing somewhere else.
  • For me the closer the fit between body and new panel the better.
  • Try and make all corners round. A spike of metal such as in your top LH corner can not take too much heat and will probably be an Achilles Heal for a blow through.
  • When car panels are pressed I get the feeling some areas are thinner than others, as on curves or creases. Plus previous owners might have ground areas down to thinner thicknesses. Probably bias your stitch weld to the new metal.
  • Take the stresses out of the tack welds by lightly hammering them out with a small hammer and dolly. Continue occasionally as you proceed.
  • Blow a hole! STOP. Have a cup of tea or a good night's sleep.
  • There are heat sinks (picture below) Magnet on the stem copper on the head. Lock the copper head in behind the weld. These too can heat up.
  • Something else makes life easier, a smaller helmet. (also pictured) Can take the goggles out and cover your nose and mouth with a bandanna. Able to get closer to the weld in small apertures.
Welding heat sink.jpgWelding mini mask.jpg
I found that if I started low on the replacement patch, I could move into the original sheet metal with short steps. This worked rather well in most areas but in some areas, just didn't like anything I tried. Did have a couple magnets available but the areas, in that high corner near the top of the skirt by where the headlight area is, couldn't be reached.
I ended up using a patch of scrap from the replacement and tacked it in place to back weld from the inside of the engine compartment. I've included a couple pics of the semi-finished work. after I patched some of the burns, I went back and ran a decent bead to take up some voids between the patches and then took to the grinder. That only lasted so long since I ran out of flap discs and was avoiding using the wheels. They get too aggressive and they're difficult to use in tighter areas so end up biting into good metal.
I'm planning on getting some metal patch epoxy to smooth over the rough areas. Everything is ground down as far as I feel I can do safely so the skim coat should hopefully make it be more presentable. I'm taking the approach as if I was doing sheetrock mud; don't over work the area, it only makes it worse. That's why I hate sheetrock, my pastry chef skills come into play and mud just isn't frosting. As long as it's kept cool, you can rework most frostings quite long but not mud.
Once that's all sanded down, prime, paint and then, it's on to the oil pan. After that, then a look-see at what needs to be replaced in the trunk area from that leak. Right now, from what I can see, it's spots and not areas and also only involve wheel wells so I'm not worried if my smooth application doesn't dramatically improve. Undercoating and trunk spray will save the day.
I'm getting the hang of heat and speed but if it takes me time to get some home projects done, all that "muscle memory" will be a little lost. Then, it's back to the practice dummy to get better. Actually, hitting the practice dummy is not such a bad idea anyhow. I can run this gas cylinder out and start fresh in the trunk.
By the way, definitely looking into a set of welder sleeves for any further grinding. Got quite the "grinder tan" yesterday. Long sleeves wouldn't have made a difference other than holding the hot grinder waste on my arm longer. Doohhh!!!!

IMG_2524.jpg IMG_2525.jpgIMG_2526.jpg
I'm really lucky in the fact that I'm the third owner and there haven't been really any previous projects for the car other than a repaint by the original owner's family right before the second owner took possession in 2006. I do believe I've found a couple dents in the right fender top that were "filled" but everything is strictly original sheet metal. That was actually the reason we didn't replace more of the skirt. The number stamps all exist on everything I'm working with.

Ya'll here have helped a great deal too. Plus, there's the dozens of videos I've been watching on YouTube the last year. It's basically taken me that long to build the project in my head. There are many times I'd just stand there and stare at the area to see the big picture and what devils are lurking in the details. In the end, all I see in the big picture is, it's made up of all those little devil-demon details.

After reading your list, I do see somethings I'll make happen if other things need replacement with welds. The one thing about the corners on mine, I actually used that as a very slight overlap. Just enough to allow for the panel to fit with some rigidity and align the key areas more easily. By easily, I say with a great amount of pull applied using ratchet straps and clamps. For what it's worth, ratchet straps, hooked in the holes along the bottom of the skirt, really proved to be very beneficial in getting everything to align properly as well as hold them in place for pool or tack welds.

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