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1961 Studebaker Champ, restoration

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  • Mike, I am also new to welding and got rid of my Flux only welder and bought a MIG. Gas welding is soon much cleaner and go down to the .023" wire, argon/CO2 mix. I turned my welder down to the lowest and work up to try not blowing holes which is really easy on our old cars. Get an auto darkening helmet and I recommend getting one with "Tru-vue". I find it easier to see with the more natural colors than the green tint. I spent a decent amount on a Lincoln helmet, but wish I bought the Eastwood Panoramic. It has a bigger screen and much cheaper. Wear ear plugs when welding! I've had a piece of slag bounce into the bowl of my ear and thankfully didn't go down the canal. I've made plenty of mistakes and you can see them in my thread, but I think it's good practice on a car that probably should have been parted out. If you are feeling discouraged, check out my thread and have a laugh, it'll make you fell better at least.

    I think this guy has a few tips on getting started. There are many videos out there.

    https://youtu.be/MfKlNQF-o4I

    Comment


    • Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
      I'd also recommend the mixed gas as you are just getting started and need to make it as easy as you can. The cost isn't bad on a small tank and you'll probably just need the one. Some thoughts on why mixed.

      I'm not a welder by trade so there are a lot of folks that are more qualified but I'll share my experience.

      In unseen areas and floors, I tend to us 16 ga sheet. It's not much harder to bend in small sections and is slightly thicker than the original metal. You can then favor the new/thicker metal side and keep burnouts to a minimum. I like to butt weld but I've been doing bodies for 50+ years and have a good Mig.


      I've been following this thread and really admire the effort you and your wife are investing in the project.

      Good luck, Bob
      Thanks for the advise and links. All very helpful.

      I tried my friend's auto darkening hood, I can see why folks like them.

      Thanks again,
      Mike
      Mike and Dawn

      '61 Champ

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Milaca View Post
        When Bob said "always spot weld", I believe he meant stitch weld. For example, weld a 1/2" long bead, then skip an inch or two and then weld another 1/2" long bead as this will keep the metal cooler.
        Also in regards to butt welding, you can purchase copper-metal backers, which is essentially used as a form that is held tight to the back of the seam to keep molten steel in place (prevents burn-through).
        You can purchase hand-held copper backers or magnetic-held copper backers like these from Eastwood:

        A less expensive alternative would be to purchase some basic copper plate and C-clamp them into place.

        If you do any plug welding, this plug welding plier works great as it clamps the two pieces tightly together and it has a copper back-pad to prevent burn through: ]
        I appreciate the information and links you provided. This helping me alot.

        Mike
        Mike and Dawn

        '61 Champ

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Topper2011 View Post
          Mike, I am also new to welding and got rid of my Flux only welder and bought a MIG. Gas welding is soon much cleaner and go down to the .023" wire, argon/CO2 mix. I turned my welder down to the lowest and work up to try not blowing holes which is really easy on our old cars. Get an auto darkening helmet and I recommend getting one with "Tru-vue". I find it easier to see with the more natural colors than the green tint. I spent a decent amount on a Lincoln helmet, but wish I bought the Eastwood Panoramic. It has a bigger screen and much cheaper. Wear ear plugs when welding! I've had a piece of slag bounce into the bowl of my ear and thankfully didn't go down the canal. I've made plenty of mistakes and you can see them in my thread, but I think it's good practice on a car that probably should have been parted out. If you are feeling discouraged, check out my thread and have a laugh, it'll make you fell better at least.
          I'm hoping to get into town this week, to get a gas bottle, as I have bought the conversion kit to make my welder MIG. And the smaller sounds like a good idea too.

          Thanks for the suggestions, and I will check out your thread.

          They should have a reality tv program about the trials, tribulations and all the drama involved with restoring Studebakers!

          Mike
          Mike and Dawn

          '61 Champ

          Comment


          • Been a busy week, got 4' x 8' sheet of sheetmetal, and an argon/co2 bottle to finish the conversion of my wire welder to MIG.

            Also wire brushed the back cab corners to get a better look.

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            So have an idea where I still have good metal now.

            I also started wire brushing the floor board.

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            Also to find out where there is still good metal. But, I rushed things a little, just to have a little victory of sorts, so I painted the wire brushed area, just to have something nice to look out for once!

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            Mike and Dawn

            '61 Champ

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            • Well, cleaned and painted more of the cab floor that is good metal.

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              Started wire brushing the inside of the doors, drivers side ok so far. Have not done underneath it yet. Passenger side, well, more rust.

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              Few months ago, I would have been bothered with this new rust, but now, the rust I am finding does not compare to the front cab corner's rust. So I see new rust, shrug my shoulders, and move on, lol.

              I think my plan for the interior is to get what is structural all good, then just paint everything black, and call it good till the rest of the pickup is done. I think new interior can wait.


              Mike and Dawn

              '61 Champ

              Comment


              • Decided to take a break from the cab issues. Started to clean and paint the new engine I have. Before and after. Not done yet.

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                I think I will break with tradition here, I really like the looks of the grey painted valve covers. The bright yellow is little to much for my taste, for this pickup. I like the more subtle colors for this pickup.

                I got a new steering gear box, cleaned and painted it to. Guessing it won't stay this nice for long.

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                Yeah, red is pretty bright too......... oh well.



                Mike and Dawn

                '61 Champ

                Comment


                • I also cleaned up the new steering column.

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                  I still have to paint the end of it, and clean out the top of it inside.
                  Mike and Dawn

                  '61 Champ

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ChampCouple View Post
                    Well, cleaned and painted more of the cab floor that is good metal.

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                    Started wire brushing the inside of the doors, drivers side ok so far. Have not done underneath it yet. Passenger side, well, more rust.

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                    Few months ago, I would have been bothered with this new rust, but now, the rust I am finding does not compare to the front cab corner's rust. So I see new rust, shrug my shoulders, and move on, lol.

                    I think my plan for the interior is to get what is structural all good, then just paint everything black, and call it good till the rest of the pickup is done. I think new interior can wait.

                    Sounds like the the same plan I have. Good luck Mike.

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                    • Looks great! It is going to be great.

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                      • It's always nice to get a few parts cleaned up and painted. Kinda gives you some momentum to tackle the next repair. One step at a time, you'll get there.

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                        • Been trying to do some sheetmetal work. Mostly welding in patches. I thought starting on the inner fender would relatively easy, but with the metal so pitted, really hard to weld. But to replace all the pitted sheetmetal would be an even bigger undertaking.

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                          Can't really say I am proud of the results, but this being under the battery tray, won't be seen much, so kind of a good place to start learning I guess. Practicing with new sheetmetal helps, but certainly not the real world.


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                          Mike and Dawn

                          '61 Champ

                          Comment


                          • I have really wanted to work on the cab, to fix the cab corners. But I realize I don't have the skills to do them yet. Thus I have been working on the rust spots on the front fenders. And these are proving to require more skill than I have......

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                            So what I thought was a few rust holes, is a real mess. The other fender is actually worse. This fender only had a few rust holes on the inside sheetmetal, so spot welded them up. I would have replaced that sheetmetal, but it's kinda L shaped, for attaching to the cab. Yes, that would have been the right way, but it would take me so long to do that. And not even sure it would have turned out ok.

                            With my wife's help, we cleaned all the rust out, and made a patch. Have not yet welded it in.

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                            Mike and Dawn

                            '61 Champ

                            Comment


                            • It looks good from here. Practice, practice, practice. Once you learn how to weld, you can pretty much make any little panel. i like watching Fitzee's videos as he breaks it down and keeps it short and simple. He says not to worry, just make the piece you need to fit.

                              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6J...cru8XPWr3EvJnw

                              Keep at it, you'll get there.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Topper2011 View Post
                                It looks good from here. Practice, practice, practice. Once you learn how to weld, you can pretty much make any little panel. i like watching Fitzee's videos as he breaks it down and keeps it short and simple. He says not to worry, just make the piece you need to fit.

                                https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6J...cru8XPWr3EvJnw

                                Keep at it, you'll get there.
                                Thanks for the link, just watched some of his videos, very good.
                                Mike and Dawn

                                '61 Champ

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