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Steve's AWESOME Brat

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Pretty cool! Might get the inside sandblasted and coated while you are at it.

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wow, never seen a gas tank in the manner like that....:)

thats a lot of work. hats off to your determination.

i've come across new replacement tanks on ebay...pretty cheap, never used one of them -they could be junk for all i know

 

Really? I've been looking for one for some time, haven't found one.

 

Also tried all our suppliers at work (I work for a jobber), nada.

 

And yea, I'm planning on getting it sandblasted, and then once it's welded back together I'll use the POR15 US Tank sealer for good measure/future rust prevention.

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for welding petrol tanks up i've alway purged the tank with CO2 before and during welding...costs a bit more in gas but is better that than joining the blown into the roof club...and its alot less drama than doing all the stuff that you have done.

 

still i understand why you have gone to the lengths that you have...petrol vapour takes no prisoners

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DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a guide on how to weld. Your welds should not like mine. I do not know how to weld, I just bought a welder and started gluing stuff together. I've never been taught. The one thing I've been told is that if you can't weld well, weld a lot. Furthermore, if you don't properly purge your gas tank, it WILL EXPLODE AND KILL YOU. So yea. Be careful, and learn how to weld better than me.

 

IMG_0080.jpg

 

Next step is to seal off the tank and pressurize it to around 5psi with compressed air to find all the pinhole leaks.

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Pinholes may certainly be a problem. Make sure you coat the tank with sealer BEFORE you paint the outside of the tank as any pin-holes will allow the sealer's prep chemicals to get under the paint and bubble it. For the same reason - don't use any bondo on the tank either. Not that you are likely to do that since it's not seen - but just relaying what I know from a motorcycle tank I worked on.

 

Don't be sad about your weld appearance - it takes a lot of time to be proficient with sheet metal and most inexpensive welders aren't suited for it right out of the box. You need thin wire and 100% CO2 to do it right.

 

GD

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I'm using .30 flux core :rolleyes:

 

Burns through the new metal and any rust-weakened areas in the original metal almost instantly. Quite a challenge.

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Yeah that's a bad combo for sheet metal. That would try my patience for sure. Even with .23 I have to be real careful using my standard 75/25 gas mix. Wish I had the money for a second bottle so I could have C02 on hand for sheet metal. When you do automotive it's very often useful. It's on my list :rolleyes:

 

With the flux core I would be worried about slag inclusion causing some serious pin-holes. Since you obviously can't run a solid bead on the material you have to do a lot of start/stop work and that leads you to weld over the top of already cooled slag - remelting it into the weld puddle. This causes porosity.....

 

It's sad that so many first-time welders get bit by these low-buck flux core machines that really aren't suited to producing a fine weld job on anything but a farm tractor implement. The old adage here is so true - you just can't do quality work without quality tools. Unfortunately I learned that the same way your are learing it - bought a cheap flux-core machine and made some really crappy looking welds with it. It wasn't until I got some formal training on the subject that I could even make that poor thing weld decent and even then it's still a cheap POS and has limited useage, too few and unrefined controls, and is just generally not a pleasureable thing to use even for someone with the skills to do so.

 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder

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Mine is a gas/no gas welder, it's got all the attachments for hooking up gas, but a cylinder just isn't in my budget for the amount of welding I do, and the setup of my 'shop' (i.e. my dirt driveway)

 

Wind = gas blown away

Dirt floor = dragging a cylinder around with no cart

 

It's not a bad little welder, but it is what it is...

 

I'm relying on the tank sealer to deal with any leftover pinholes once I've got it 99%, then I'll be priming, painting and undercoating the outside of the tank.

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Mine is a gas/no gas welder, it's got all the attachments for hooking up gas, but a cylinder just isn't in my budget for the amount of welding I do, and the setup of my 'shop' (i.e. my dirt driveway)

 

Wind = gas blown away

Dirt floor = dragging a cylinder around with no cart

 

Yeah - not condusive for you probably. Although for windy conditions the best combo is flux core *with* gas. But in your case it's probably best to just wait till the wind dies down. Wind can be combatted by increaseing the gas pressure as well but you use gas more quickly. A small bottle can be easily carried and would dramatically increase the abilities of your machine (on a calm day). Check craigslist for used bottles. It only costs about $25 to fill a small bottle.

 

It's not a bad little welder, but it is what it is...

 

Yes - they will stick metal together. If you take a class or have a friend give you a lesson or two with a professional machine you would be better equipped to setup and use your small flux machine.

 

Oh - and another tip with the 110v machines - you MUST use a decent sized extension cord if you use one. The amperage draw will choke a small cord. 12 AWG minimum and 10 AWG for anything over 25 feet. I made this mistake on my first few attempts - my machine would strike an arc but the wire feed motor would not keep a constant speed and it wouldn't weld for beans like that.

 

I'm relying on the tank sealer to deal with any leftover pinholes once I've got it 99%, then I'll be priming, painting and undercoating the outside of the tank.

 

Yep - that's what the sealer is for. I'm sure it will be fine and no one is going to see the weld - especially after you undercoat it.

 

GD

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If it's a true "pin hole" then even water would have a hard time doing anything but drip slightly - surface tension will keep it from passing through the hole easily..... now if it's a "nail hole"...... well you are gonna have a real time with that. Probably have to dam up the hole with something first - maybe duct tape, etc?

 

GD

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I'm gonna let this stuff thats in there now set, fill it up with water again, mark any drips with a scribe, then use seal-all to patch the holes, then go another round with the tank sealer

 

And yea, they're more like finishing nail holes than pin holes I suppose. Maybe up to a 1/16 in for the biggest. Probably around a dozen or so? Bleh. This sucks. I just want a new tank :-\

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So... she seems to be leak free!

 

Taking it in for the first inspection tomorrow, then after it fails horribly, we'll go from there. :lol:

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Drove the Brat to the inspection place this morning... feels a little weak. Probably needs the jetting looked at.

 

They might be able to squeeze my inspection in for this afternoon, but it'll probably be monday... I hope it passes :s

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Failed on account of rust. ************.

 

Ouch, I'm sorry guys.

How bad is it?

Like, a couple weekends and it'll legal, ugly but legal?

Or are we talking it needs a full restoration?

 

Twitch

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Ouch, I'm sorry guys.

How bad is it?

Like, a couple weekends and it'll legal, ugly but legal?

Or are we talking it needs a full restoration?

 

Twitch

 

I haven't taken a close look at it, but it sounds like it needs some extensive work. I'm wondering about just tacking in a couple pieces over the rust holes and undercoating over them, then ripping them back off after to do a proper repair down the road...

 

The issue is that I have to move in 3 weeks, and I'm trying to get my impreza wrapped up too.

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Blargh.... Not doable. They apparently will scrape off anything that looks like fresh paint. So it needs to be done properly.

 

Time to find a rust free parts car.

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Man - they are that anal about rust up there? You can't take it to another registration place that's not so picky?

 

That sucks - sorry to hear about your continued roadblocks on this project. :mad:

 

GD

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Unfortunately most anywhere is going to be the same.

 

The one saving grace is that being in the PNW, it's really easy to find a rust-free EA81 wagon I can hack all the floor out of to put into the brat, I'm assuming for the most part it'll be similar/adaptable, if not the same.

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If it's cabin floor pan metal you are after make sure it's one with a matching transmission type and definitely only get a 4WD. There are clearance issues with the 2WD tunnel sheet metal and the larger transmissions.

 

GD

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It's mostly the front left wheel area, rad support and rear right frame-tunnel-thing area

 

I'm not too concerned about holes in the cabin floor, I can just chop out what I need to and weld in some sheet metal.

 

I think I might have to invest in some gas before I tackle this tho :rolleyes:

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