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welding....start of a bigger story

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To start with a big thanks for all the help I have had from this forum already.

Tomorrow I am borrowing a friends arc welder to repair a small patch of rust/grott in the driver side bulkhead outrigger.

I am happy to cut it out and then match the gap with a similar sized bit of steel, can tack weld it in and then seam weld to a fashion.

with lots of red oxide and when waxoil/hammerite what do I need to look out for???


PS feel like I am opening pandoras box!

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Or dab-it-and-hope-for-the-best stick-welder?

Whatever you use, preparation and 101%-cleanliness is essential: use a needlegun to clean down to *true* bare-metal on the old parts [this is invariably where you get to discover the rust is far more extensive than you first thought and you need to cut out a lot more...].

Unless the old metal is truly clean you can't weld satisfactorily: a stick-welder will give 'pigeon-****' spattery results and MIG/TIG will wander off-track when it finds any rust. Equally, unless the old metal you're welding to is sensibly solid and of a similar remaining thickness to the new metal you're letting-in you'll just blow holes in the old stuff.

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Make sure that the edges of the hole you've cut out of the outrigger is thick enough to weld to and is back to shiny metal before you weld and make sure that the welder is not turned up too high and blows holes in the joint, too low and the rod will stick on contact, make sure also that the earth lead clamp on the welder is on clean metal in close proximity to where you're welding, and use a welding mask. Best to do a practice weld on some metal of the same thickness first to get your welder setting right.

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As they are only a few quid to replace, use the Earth Clamp as sacrificial.

Clamp it as close as possible to the part you want to weld and strike the welding rod along it several times, to get the end white hot.

This makes it much easier to strike the intended weld. A reactive welding helmet makes life so much easier.

An inverter arc welder makes life even easier.

After welding, grind off, re-weld if necessary, and then grind off and if it is welded solid but looks complete pants maybe spread some filler to make it cosmetically more acceptable for the test station.

Practice makes perfectish.


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.....only 400%? you have been lucky!

If you are fitting a patch into a cleaned back hole you will find it easier if you tack strips to the edge that are on the underside of the surface then lay the patch in and fill the gap if you see what I mean . If you are overlaying the patch just make sure its thick enough to weld to and as clean as you can get it . Use thin rods 1 - 2mm then you will have a better chance to control the arc temp. and thus the weld



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Why not replace the whole outrigger?

new ones come on a plate

No they don't. New ones are a real nause to fit the way the wrap around the top of the chassis, access is poor even with the floor out

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I'm going to say something different to the rest and is purely based off the tone of your post and isn't ment offensively

Only do this if you are patching the top surface of your X member... I say this because arc welding on light gauge stuff is difficult 2mm steel is fair enough to learn on when its flat, hunt around you can get a 1.6mm rod if you can only find 2.4mm rods then you will have to overlap your patch or you will blow holes instead of welding, the overlap will give you some more material to soak up some of the excess heat 2-3mm of overlap should be spot on the weld should burn this up leaving you with no moisture trap overlap area, to help burn this overlap angle your rod about 45-30degrees off vertical so your angled into the thick over lapping area

Trying to learn how to do a vertical or overhead weld, this will more than likely end up with you paying someone finish the job (I have over 20yrs welding and I don't do overhead arc unless I have no choice)

Now if you can get access to a mig your filler wire is alot smaller so there is less heat giving you plenty of time to sort your welds with a wee bit of practice you'll even manage overhead just remember to wear welding gloves you get too much heat in the weld and you will have molten metal falling lol

A wee trick to find out how far your rust goes, hit the surrounding area with the ball end of a small ball peen hammer or a arc welding chipping hammer, don't be shy about it, if it dints or punches through you have more rust than you thought lol and expect it to be alot more than what you see.... alot

Once replaced 1/4 of the floor in a car because of a finger sized hole

Good luck

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The ones I have seen do, forgot about that over the rail bit on coilers :(

Here you go, these ones http://marksgarage.co.uk/images/STC8355-OUTRIGGER-N-S.jpg?osCsid=n6bj63rt9jvaekufipi0be2r84

Thanks, I'll bookmark that, I've never seen those ones with a plate on before and I've fitted enough :) I think next time I do one I'll use one of those
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As mentioned above in a previous reply, practice first on scrap metal of similar thickness to set your welder up, best to get it wrong on scrap metal first rather than the lovely piece of fabricated metal you plan to use to do the repair..

Is Arc the only welder you can borrow...?? Mig is a lot easier I find as I'm not really a welder more of a grinder type..!!

Well done for having a go though, only way to learn...

good luck..

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invest in one of these. its a great starter welder, youncan use gas for better quality or no gas flux cored wire if your outside and its windy, i started out with one of these and its been great, i wouldnt want to try to stick thin bits of metal together with a arc welder.

a small mig is a excellent investement especially for a land rover owner,,,,

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Had planned to cut it out, and may well, but metal worker friend said dont worry about it!


I'm no metal worker but he is so wrong with "patch over and don't worry" theory, you just end up replacing the whole thing next time as the rot accelerating where it gets damp behind the patch just affects a far greater area next time.

Best advice here, do it once, do it right!

Or maybe pay someone else?

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So job done.

I did cut it out but patched over the top. Found this was easier, it was my first go!

Happy with the weld, but already thinking about how I might do it better next time.

No photo, as it needed lots of grinding to remove the pigeon splats, have coated it with hammerite and waxoil, which makes the scrappy edges less ugly!!!

Can already see how to do a better job next time.

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Happy to do it right.

Just wanted to check before cutting, as this is a point of no return.

Thanks for help.

PS I blame you all if in a months time I am addicted to welding.........

Good luck, I love welding, good reason to own a Discovery 1 :lol:

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