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Picked up a new front clip. How to setup to weld in?


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#1 Jonathan

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 09:43 AM

I was able to get a new front clip for my car since the one I was going to have fixed (the one on the car) is just to far gone. Any pointers or how to's to get this setup, aligned, level, etc before welding it in?

First time I have gone this far on a restore. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2 tsi_tom

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 11:39 AM

How did you get a new one?
Engine
20 over forged pistons
Stock injection system

My restoration project: The Missouri Project

#3 Jonathan

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 11:48 AM

New as in, new to me. Still used.
Jonathan

#4 tsi_tom

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 01:29 PM

Oh ok
Engine
20 over forged pistons
Stock injection system

My restoration project: The Missouri Project

#5 87redcat

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 04:13 AM

Id say all those measurements in the fsm will actually come in handy now. Dont know what section it is off hand but it does show all views of the car body.

I do know youll have to level the car before you do anything. Id imagine utube has a video or two on installing a new front clip.

Post up some pics of your work!
I got blisters on my fingers!!!

#6 Jonathan

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 09:00 AM

Thanks 87redcat, I will pull out my fsm today and take a look. Will document for sure since this is the first time doing this kind of work. Pulled engines, transmissions, rebuild everything. But not cutting up my car! lol
Jonathan

#7 kev

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 12:11 PM

Pretty darn clean front clip you have there...even down to how they cut it off!  

What do you need to repair exactly?  Are your frame rails bent?   If not, I'd suggest drilling out the spot welds of the core support and misc sheet metal etc. and not touch your original rails.   Cut it out exactly how it was installed (via spot welds) just like you are unbolting an engine.  That will aide in assembling the new part and helping make sure everything is in alignment.  The FSM has decent dimensions and there is a body/chassis service manual in existence as well.  But to be honest, just a few pre/post measurements (maybe even getting someone on here to spit you out a few points on their cars) is all you really need.  You should be able to mock it all up and check fitment prior to welding it in.   May have to make a few spot welds here or there to check the hood gaps.  

Fab work is fun...to me much more enjoyable than the basic mechanical stuff.   Although collision work is sometimes challenging.  It's amazing what you find so far away from the impact zone.  Turns what you thought was an easy fix into a huge project.  

A spot weld cutter is the way to go for separating panels where you want to retain one of said panels.  If both are going to be scrapped, then just drill thru the spot welds.   I've tried many types of spot weld cutters.  They are all cumbersome to use but the higher dollar units do not break as easily and have less chance of walking.  I believe the brand that I have been using is Blair.   Always center punch the spot weld first.  

Do you have an air compressor?  If so, a 90 deg die grinder is very very helpful in cleaning up the area before and after cutting.  Buy a rolok adapter and get both sanding and polishing discs.  2" diameter work well.   If you don't have an air compressor, you'll need at least a good angle grinder with sanding discs (not the abrasive discs, the ones with sand paper on them).    The steel in our cars is thin, must be careful to not grind too much material away when you are cleaning your welds.  

If you do need to cut the sheet metal panels and butt weld them in, that is where it starts to get a bit more tricky.  Not impossible by any means but requires a bit more thought, test fitting, measuring, marking...and making sure you only make the cuts when you double/triple checked everything!  You want your panels to be butt up together with less than a 1/16" gap perfectly.  Don't think you can just fill in gaps with weld on this thin crappy metal.  You'll blow holes thru it in a split second and make a ton more work for yourself.  

And just like to wait to make any cuts until you double/triple check everything, the same principle applies to welding.  Mock everything up...get lots of welding clamps if you don't have them already.  Bolt as many parts on there as possible to check all of your gaps, etc. before you weld anything.   As said earlier, if you have to weld in order to support the mock up - just use a few tacks that can be easily cut out if something is off.  

Ok, better stop..I'm just rambling haha.   Let us know how it goes.  Post up some photos of your progress.  There are some excellent fabricators who are members here who would probably offer up some advice (BC_99 is one who comes to mind).  

Kevin

#8 Jonathan

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 09:17 AM

Awesome, thanks Kev. The reason I got this one is that the drivers frame rail is bend right where the radiator support is. So this would cut out just after where it is bent. The one that is on now, is just all tweaked from a front bumper hit. Everything on it, headlight area, just behind the headlights where the front fender bolt attaches is slightly bent. I would like to just cut and weld in just as it is. All the areas in the new clip is what I need. So that might make it a little more do-able/easier, than cutting areas out that I dont need or try to save.

Sucks my AC works great and now I have to remove all the lines and will more than likely have to get all new seals and track a leak down after all this.

Jonathan

Edited by Jonathan, 08 September 2020 - 09:18 AM.

Jonathan




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