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/diy/ - Do-It-Yourself

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1755423 No.1755423 [Reply] [Original] [archived.moe]

Didn't see anything like a welding general so guess I'm killing a thread.
Pic related is inside my car door, it's one of the window regulator mounts. It's stamped sheet metal spot welded to the inner half of the door, which is then welded to the outer half. As such the only access I have is through this 1"x2" hole.
I've already talked to several shops and none of them are willing to touch the repair. Most have told me I need a new door, which I completely understand but would like to avoid. It's kind of a shame to scrap the whole thing because of one shitty broken bit, and I'd have to get a paint match done.
I can afford to get the door replaced but I'd like to try fixing it myself first. Only problem is I have no experience welding, so I'd like some advice there. The plan would be to pick out an appropriate welder for this job, then buy a bunch of sheet metal and practice until I'm confident and then some.
My constraints are I only have access to 120V, and I'd like to keep the cost of the welder (minus consumables, gloves, etc.) to the 'several hundreds' vs. 'many hundreds.' I briefly looked at stick welders (due to the size of the hole) but now I'm looking at small-nozzle MIGs.

>> No.1755476

A 120v welder would be plenty enough to weld sheet metal. But it's going to be hard to get in there. At best i think you would get a few tack welds on it, if you can even get the weld nozzle close enough. It needs to be roughly 1/4" to 1/2" from the surface you are welding. You would probably end up using flux core welding wire, so you don't need a bottle of shielding gas. A stick welder would get you in there easier but that is a lot harder to learn on, and to weld sheet metal with.

Is it painted in there? You need to remove any paint to get a decent weld, and if there's anything flamable in there you will have a fire hazard.

I think it would be a really difficult repair for someone with no welding experience. Sheet metal is very easy to melt through, and the confined space would make for a hard/sketchy repair.

My question to you is do you have any plans to learn how to weld in the future aside from this? Will you ever use it again? Several hundred dollars is a lot to spend on something that may not even work and that you will never use again. Would it be cheaper to just buy a used door? Do you absolute need that window to roll down? The jank solution would be to jam something in to hold it in the up position.

If you DO intend to do more welding it may be worth it to try it, accepting the fact that it may not work and you will have to buy a new door anyway. If you do decide to do it, take it off the car and move to a safe location, away from flamables. Have a water source of fire extinguisher nearby.

>> No.1755478

You would basically be welding blind.

>> No.1755483

Is there any way to drill and bolt it in place again, or does it need to pivot around that bolt for some reason?

>> No.1755579

>Is it painted in there?
yes, both sides
I can remove the paint from the visible side but the opposite one is completely inaccessible
the plan is to use a dremel with wire attachment, then say fuck it and keep a fire extinguisher close on hand
>My question to you is do you have any plans to learn how to weld in the future aside from this?
>Several hundred dollars is a lot to spend
not really
>Would it be cheaper to just buy a used door?
not with the cost of the new door, installation & fitting (not going to try that one), and repainting the car (paint is in good condition overall but showing age so it doesn't make sense to just blend)
>Do you absolute need that window to roll down?
yes, I have to badge into work from the car

not sure what you mean, this is a sheet metal bracket, there's nothing to drill into
but it doesn't rotate, this is just a mounting bracket for the regulator body

>> No.1755648

>>Several hundred dollars is a lot to spend
>not really
A replacement door is several hundred dollars.

>> No.1755694

>As such the only access I have is through this 1"x2" hole.
Can you take the interior panels off?
Do any of them cover this hole?
Can the hole be cut larger and then patched up afterwards in a way that doesn't significantly compromise the door?
>I can afford to get the door replaced
That will cost less than your proposed alternative.

>> No.1755701

Well if you want a good mig welder for cheap get an Everlast. Get one that will allow you to use a shielding gas.

You must gain access to the weld joint to clean it with a grinder or your weld will 95 percentage probably fail.

Good luck. Practice makes perfect. You could probably find a school near you where you could learn and do it.

>> No.1755705

Cutting the hole a bit larger like
Suggested may actually work, you could probably get away with not patching it if there is plenty of meat around the hole.

Removing the paint on the visible side is okay, the paint on the opposite side of the metal will burn off a little, but that isn't a huge deal if you can't see it.

Since you are planning on welding more in the future it wouldn't be the worst idea to give it a shot. I recommend getting a mig welder. They can use shielding gas or flux core wire. That way in the future is you want to move to gas for a cleaner weld you can. Is your want longevity avoid no-name machines like what harbor fraught has.

I imagine you've already watched welding videos of you are interested in it, but see if anyone has done a similar repair/welded on door panels.

>> No.1755726

Cut the hole bigger then zip-tie and epoxy that bitch back together. If it was only held on with a spot weld then fixing it with something other than a weld won't be that big of a deal and won't screw up the paint.

>> No.1755752

Your car is held together with spot welds and glue.
>t. Automotive factory maintenance

>> No.1755776

There is also the possibility of drilling through the two pieces and using pop rivets

>> No.1755874
File: 3.05 MB, 1866x1242, Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 4.43.44 AM.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

it's not really a money thing, I'd just prefer not to part with the original door
especially if I can try to fix it with equipment/skillset I was already planning on acquiring at some point

>Can you take the interior panels off?
this is with the panels off, pic related
>Can the hole be cut larger
only by a very small amount before hitting some of the spot welds that holds the whole thing together

do you mean drilling out the spot welds for the bracket & riveting it back in?
it's probably possible, but I don't have any schematics and no visibility so I'd have to guess which spot welds hold it in vs. hold the door together

grinding instead of wire brush?
okay, should still be possible with a dremel within that space
how much of a gap between the pieces is safe to fill? (guess if I practice first I'd know)

>I imagine you've already watched welding videos
yeah because I'm interested in welding & other metalworking I follow a few youtube channels but also specifically researched for this
I didn't think it was wise to be the guy who says "I watched a few videos now I know everything"
so I figured I'd ask /diy/ for extra input from people who've actually welded

>> No.1755894

It is indeed a good idea to ask experienced people. :P

Drilling out any surface that the two parts meet would probably work, but it is hard to know if there is space on the back side.

A gap between the parts is okay but will make it harder to weld without melting through parts.

>> No.1755903

yeah you want to grind it. a wire wheel is sort of ok, but not really, you want bright shiny white steel. sand blasting would also be ok (ridiculous I know).

a dremel with a grinding wheel or chain saw sharpening stone or cut off disk would work fine but your gonna have a hell of a time in that tight space.

>> No.1755918

>remove paint
not at all necessary, especially with stick / flux core and not even especially important with MIG. Paint catches on fire? Blow on it to put it out, have done it many many times myself.
I broke the same thing top and bottom on my truck door so I took it off, prepped it and did a shitty tiny little mig weld that held for 5 years but I never painted it so the other day it finally rusted enough and cracked again so I said fuck it, stick welded it right in place with a monster gobber of a weld and it is now probably 3x stronger than it was from the factory. Like >>1755752 said, anything substantial you do with a welder is likely better than it was from the factory.

>> No.1755943

If you want you can even sprits a little spray paint on the weld afterwards to prevent rust.

>> No.1755953

yes I plan to
either that or dab some on from one of those paint repair kits, it's inside the door so doesn't really matter what it looks like

>> No.1755957
File: 302 KB, 859x555, BlueMetalBrace.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Since you already have another hole to the left, is there room to put a bolt through it, then a piece of metal cut to be a brace/bracket to connect the mount to? You could tack/spot weld, rivet, screw/etc the broken piece of the current mount to the new piece of metal too.
Basically moving the load to the new hole with a piece of metal shaped as blue in pic

>> No.1755962

that's pretty genius actually
the whole mechanism does torque pretty bad along the crash bar, meaning there's a force perpendicular to the plane of the broken piece
but it should work if I make the replacement stiffer, like bending up the edges

>> No.1755987

Also use fender washers on both original and new bolt to further distribute that force?
Forgot to mention, lube the hell out of everything, clean all the glass, and lube or replace the felt rubber channels the window slides in to make it less likely to damage anything further.

-Personally I think everything outside the powertrain and suspension on modern cars is engineered to the bare minimum strength and material (plus like 5% for forces when you hit potholes, just to make it through the warranty) to be as light weight and cheap as possible: for profit, fuel economy claims, and to turn the entire vehicle into a crumple zone weaker than a 5mph bumper "for safety" so you can carry your former car in a suitcase after any accident that does more than scratch paint. So just dust/grime in the tracks alone can probably push the limits of power window mounts, since cleaning and lubing sure makes a hell of a difference on manual windows.

>> No.1756063

stick weld it back together with 6011 rod you fucking noobs there's plenty of room to get in there with a 5/32 rod and tack that shit back together. It's just a fucking motor mount on an internal panel just try it, worst that could happen is you have to buy a new door anyway... put tape insulation around edges of hole so your rod doesn't short out on wrong part of door you will have plenty of room to see with a tiny welding rod inside there

>> No.1756065

A newbie it's gonna have a hell of a time striking an ark in that tiny space.

>> No.1756066

well then he should trade a couple cases of beer to someone more experienced or make a wooden jig and practice striking an arc through a hole in a piece of chipboard or something but he doesn't need a new fucking door just weld the shit back together like i said, worst case he fucks up and has to buy the door anyways.

>> No.1756169
File: 68 KB, 953x740, welder.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

I just got a garage so I'm planning on buying my first TIG welder. What's a good 120v entry-level rig for learning on, and eventually for light hobby work? Are those chinesium Amazon specials gonna blow me up?

>> No.1756180

dont listen to this faggot. properly remove all paint before welding. can you weld over paint? yes, you can also produce sub par welds.

>> No.1757140

Dude with that hole, stick is the only way to go.

Also why not use some epoxy? Get the strongest industrial strength one you afford and dab it up.

Or find some stick welder who can is awesome at welding and pay them $20 or buy them a 12 pack of beer. It should take longer for them to get the welding machine set up than it would to put one tack on that piece. Also don't talk to a welding shop owner or shop foreman, talk to one of the welders. If you can find a welder with a truck with a welding rig set up on it, even easier. You know those guys are probably good.

>> No.1757260

What model/year car? I find it hard to believe that anyone makes a car door by installing the regulator and then spot-welding it closed. Making it impossible to remove or maintain.

>> No.1757263


This is honestly the only way to do it properly.

If you weld it, it will be a shit weld, because you can't really clean it properly before hand. I know because I've done it before. Yes you can weld through the paint and eventually get it hot enough to burn all the paint off so you get a good weld, but really the bolted bracket will be your best bet.

>> No.1757340

The regulator is removable, this is the part of the door the regulator mounts on

yeah at this point I'm planning on doing the bolt-on
if this thread's still up then I'll post results

I wish I knew some welders or people who knew welders

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