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Tig for chassis work

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  • Tig for chassis work

    Currently putting together a 94 mustang to make into a track car and wanting to purchase a tig to do my own chassis work with (sub frame connectors, anti roll bar, coil over mounts, things like that) and wondering what would be a good machine for that? I dont plan on doing much if any aluminum right now so a DC only machine would work for me. Have thought about the syncrowave 200 but really would like something more portable so, Was looking at the maxstar 150 STH or the diversion 180. Which machine would be the better choice or should I look at something else?

    Last edited by BB94Mustang; 08-10-2010, 11:29 PM.

  • #2
    This isn't an exact answer but if they allowed MIG in this class for roll cages it would be my machine of choice, so much cheaper and faster. Maybe MM211.


    • #3
      Welding to the car chassis is hard to do with TIG. You have to clean ALL rust, corrosion and galvinizing off or there is no hope of getting a good bead. For the fab of the parts going onto the car it is great. But when it comes to welding to the car I would go with a MIG welder.

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      • #4
        The real answer is you might want both MIG and TIG.

        I agree with Dan's comment.

        With the Fox chassis Mustangs, one of the first modifications you should do is subframe connector. If you buy one of these from Global West, MM etc. you will find that the mounting flanges are warped from the heat of the manufacturer's welding. Even with a BFH, gaps will be huge. That means you are going to have larger gaps to fill. Makes it difficult to weld with TIG. If you do go TIG, consider a TIG machine that can do stick as well. That rules out the Diversion (I think). I don't know if the Maxstar str has remote control. Personally I'd look more at a used Maxstar 200.

        For things like roll bar/cage, I hate, and I mean hate MIG. Trying to get a big MIG gun all the way around a tube is tough, add a mostly inflexible cable (or worse a spool gun) and you end up with really ugly looking welds. Basically for cage work, exhaust work, adding tabs, mounting brackets (radiator supports) I prefer straight TIG. Another thing to consider, I have looked at plenty of older cars where someone was half way through converting them to a race car. The cage would be typically MIG'd in with a Home Depot style welder. It would be so ugly that I had to explain to the guy that not only don't I value the car more because it has a cage in it, but I need to reduce the value (offered price) because now I have to cut out the piece of s***.

        That being said, with the exceptions noted above, if your going to use items from say Griggs, they seem to be focused on making everything MIG compatible.
        And when you say "track car", I assume road racing and you want to at least study what Griggs has to offer. They like rosette welds which are a 2 second job with a MIG, and 2 minute job with TIG.

        Bottom line, you _can_ do everything you need with a TIG - just takes longer. You can't do everything with the MIG (but maybe you can do enough).

        For the longest time, I did everything I needed with a Dialarc HF (older TIG machine).

        Only recently did I get a MIG (maybe 2 years ago). I have found I can put down really nice looking beads even upside down. Just a matter of getting the gun in there.

        Depending on budget (from cheapest to most expensive option)
        Used, old TIG -> used Maxstar 200 -> used Dynasty 200 -> new Dynasty 200.
        If aluminum comes up and you don't have the budget for a Dynasty, I would consider the Diversion as a minimum. You can do aluminum a number of different ways, but for the thin stuff, high frequency is the way to maintain arc control.

        If you do decide MIG is the way to go:
        Used, old MIG-> used 251 or used passport -> used 252 or new passport -> new 252. I'm very bias toward the 251 and from what I can tell, the people that own passports love that machine (Something about giving it up once they pry some cold dead fingers off). Keep in mind there are Passports and Passport Plus - the Plus allows spoolgun (which makes aluminum easier).
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        • #5
          After thinking about it a bit I've decide that with were im at right now with my car/project that a mig would be the better choice for me and that I will look into picking up a tig at a later time.

          For a mig I was looking at either the MM212 or a PM216, what are your opinions on these 2 machines? Which would be better to go with for my planned usage (Cage would be done later on once I got a tig) or should I look at machines in the 250+ amp range?
          Last edited by BB94Mustang; 09-11-2010, 03:52 PM.