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Automotive welding questions: it's a bit long.

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  • Automotive welding questions: it's a bit long.


    How to explain this in simple mans terms?

    I'm 23, I hate working for family, and I like challenges.

    I am currently building a 1990 audi coupe quattro that I have converted to European S2 spec. This is the first car I that I have ever built and it took four years. I taught my self how to do everything. Reading schematics, putting motors together, wiring, turbo charging, Suspension overhaul, tranny and rear differential work etc.

    To be honest I have never even welded anything yet in my life time.

    So here's my challenge:

    I want to build a mid engine coupe quattro. I have everything planned out and I know it will work even though no one's done it before. The front and rear subframes are identical except for the rear diff mount which can be easily cut off.

    I basically have to flip the rear subframe, which will allows the tranny to mount to it for mid engine applications. I also have to flip the rear suspension from left to right and vice versus. Which allows the tie rods to match up to the rear subframe. Flipping the subframe around even attaches to the stock bolt positions. I even have a couple of options for sway bars. I won't mention whats needed for: electrical, coolant plumbing, fuel tank moving, power steering plumbing etc. But it's not really that bad.

    Basically I will need to weld in:

    engine mounts

    exhaust system

    some tubing for chassis stiffness

    Tubing to run cables through the front engine tranny tunnel for the clutch and throttle body. Tubing to run coolant through for the radiator if I choose to do a front radiator setup. However I am leaning towards a rear radiator setup. Nevertheless I want to run stainless steel tubing as much as possible vs silicone lines.

    Probably mounts for the rear radiator setup.
    Tubing for the porsche boxster cable shifter

    New fuel line brackets

    Possibly new brake line brackets

    Here are pics of the older front engine setup which have welded on engine mounts:

    The new audi 90 series came with replaceable engine mounts:

    These are what I want to use because this will allow me to drop the motor from the bottom of the car.

    Basically I need to fabricate brackets for these to attach too.

    I am considering Cutting out a front end of a B4 audi 90 sedan and welding in it's frame rails.

    This is another fellow enthusiasts car:

    I bought the car for $1500 and it's nothing in comparison to what they typically sell for these days. I am keeping the majority of the parts off the car for my current project the S2 conversion as back up parts.

    I don't believe I will fail at building this car but I do believe it's going to take a long time. To me time is not a problem. Especially with new england

    Ironically They build nascars tube frame a couple of towns over from me. Worse case senario I can see if they will help me with my swap. I also am friends with the guys that own a body shop not to far from me.

    I may take night classes to learn how to weld but I figured I read a couple of books and have a couple of my construction buddies come over and show me a thing or two. I also am friends with the Sculpture department at RISD in providence and they could help me learn how to weld.

    Basically I am typing all this becuase I wanted you to know even thought I am going to jump in the deep end of the pool with out learning how to swim. I am not affraid to learn how to swim even thought I might even sink.

    I also have idea/parts I want to build to sell to people.

    The problem with coupe quattros is that the tie rod attachment placement is far enough up the front strut housing that when you put coil overs on the struts you can't lower the car as much as you like becuase of the tie rod mount.

    I want to fabricate a sleeve that fits over rear strut housing that allows for a 45 degree angle upward to meet to the stock front strut housing tie rod placement.

    The rear strut housing do not have a tie rod mount on them and they are interchangeable with the front housing because they are both Mcpherson strut designs.

    This basically would allow another 1-2inchs of dropping which in my case would allow the car to sit lower with a mid engine design.

    Ironically the Rallye s2's have this same design setup but no one can get there hands on them:

    You can see the cnc machines hub carriers with built in tie rod mounts that angle upward.

    Basically what welder should I consider buying from miller?

    To do all this stuff.

    I want to be able to fabricate exhaust systems with v-band clamps too.

    I also will need to build intercooler tubing.

    What welder would allow me to weld aluminum and stainless steel?

    Any good books you guys might point out?

    My car:

    Last but least you ask why I might do this?

    To learn. To do it and have it work is a positive. To do it and fail at it, it's ok. Cause I will still learn.

    To brag about it. I sappose it's no different than what's on telivision these days with jesse james and all them.

    To actually create something I thought of in my head.
    Builds the ego up nicely.

    I guess I will keep it this short for now. I am sure if some one replies to this I might have more questions.


    Anyone know of a good night welding classes to take in the Providence RI Area?

  • #2


    I know how it feels (at least, I think I can remeber - it's been 40 years...) to be 23 and at odds with the world. I admire your spunk.

    I'd buy a Millermatic 210 w/3030 spoolgun, dual cylinder rack, an 80CF tank of C-25, and an 80CF tank of 100% Argon. Bigger tanks if you can afford 'em.
    It's all the welder you will ever need for what you want to do.

    Your intent to take classes is exactly the correct approach. If you want to read what I think is a good text for a beginner, get "Welding Essentials" by Galvery and Marlow. Any good bookstore will have it for $30 +/-.

    Best of luck to you. keep us posted!

    ...from the Gadget Garage
    Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
    Handler 210 w/DP3035
    Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange


    • #3
      miller student pack

      you might consider the miller student pack also. lots of good reading and a free jacket with welder purchas.
      atached is a pic of what you get

      good luck it looks like a big project.
      Attached Files
      thanks for the help
      hope i helped
      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


      • #4
        Welcome aboard, Fun and Hank as always giving great advise, my take is similar learn and practice the processes for your project. I think most of you work could be done with a solid mig {mm210, my choice} however most of the intercooler and exotic intake work I've seen was done in tig. You are taking on a pretty severe rebuild and good luck.

        Develope safety as a first priority in the fabrication and the work being done. Safe work habits can and will keep you healthy. If you take classes you may make friends that you wouldn't otherwise, just a hint of where skills can come from besides a classroom.



        • #5
          I would have to agree with the other suggestions. Take a look at all the work you will be doing and ask yourself, 90% of my work can be MIG welded, do I need a TIG machine or can I job that other 10% out or use a friends machine. If doing it all means alot to you, then a TIG welder like the Syncrowave 180SD or the Dynasty 200 would be your beast. Otherwise go with the MM210.

          Welcome and good luck



          • #6
            Well I started to look into things. The only book at Barne's and noble was "welder's handbook". Which is fine, because it only cost $20.00. I am going to probably order some other books online from amazon since I want to learn how to work with carbon fiber and fiberglass too.

            I'll keep you guys posted. I am going to keep an eye on the classfieds in my area and see what I can get used from miller. That is if people are selling miller products.



            • #7
              Check your local welding shop. once in a while they will know of used one for sale by some one wanting a bigger machine. That's how I found my MM 172.


              Thermal Arc 185-TSW
              Millermatic Challenger 172
              Atlas Craftsman 12 by 24 Lathe
              Esab PCM-875
              Wholesale Tool Mill-Drill


              • #8
                If you guys don't mind I would like your opinions on this thought:

                As much as I want to jump into welding. I also am considering this option. I thought about just tac welding everything into place and then taking the car to a qualified welder to have them finish the welds.

                If I wanted just tac weld engine mounts, exhausts, coolant plumbing, shifter arms, clutch levers, power steering line brackets, coolant line brackets, fuel line brackets, fuel tank mounts, and stuff like soo.. Which modestly priced welder could I get away with using? The problem is I want to love the hobbies that I work on. Not to say I don't think welding would be for me. There is just this thing that you can't explain. Some times your not meant to do the things you want to do. If my heart is not in welding, then I don't want to be sitting on $1500+ worth of equipment.

                If I am going to do this then I want to do it right. Safety is a concern to me of course. But at the same point I don't want to take forever to be confident in my welds before I committ to this project. I just need back up plans etc.

                I like to think as much a head as possible before I do anything and have about 3 or 4 options at every obstacle.



                • #9
                  MM135 to tack

                  i would say if you just want to tack it and let a pro do the welding (good ideal if structual) then the MM135 would do fine and is 120V with under 30A draw . so you wont need anythig special to use it. and it's small easy to store and move around.
                  thanks for the help
                  hope i helped
                  feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                  summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.