Proper Sheet Metal Gauge for Weld Repairs - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008 Thread Starter
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Proper Sheet Metal Gauge for Weld Repairs

I have a 1966 Ford Coupe and I need to do a 2" X 2" weld repair in the trunk of my car. Has anyone done body work themselves before and if so what gauge sheetmetal did you use. Also, I am using flux-core to do the welding so if you have any advice to prevent melting through I would appreciate it. As a side note does anyone know how to remove the ignition switch? I am going to sand blast the inside and I have removed everything except the ignition swith because my shop manual does demonstrate it, and for all my trying I can't get it out.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008
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Hiya, welcome to the site. One of our members, Veronica, should be able to tell you how to get that switch out.
And for sheetmetal, you'd do well with using 14 gauge steel and a Tig welder.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008
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Sorry I'm not Veronica( I'd make two of her.LOL)Okay, what you'll need is a paperclip. When you look at the switch you'll see a small hole next to the key slot. Turn your switch to accessory. Poke the end of the paperclip into the hole. Push in and turn the key counter-clock wise. The key and lock cylinder should come out now. Press in on the rear of the switch and turn an 1/8th turn counter-clockwise(as viewed from the terminal end). Remove the bezel switch and spacer. That should do it! Best of Luck

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008
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The older cars usually used 20 gauge (.036 inch) sheet for skin. Newer cars,21 gauge (.033 inch) and 22 gauge (.030 inch) or even thinner. You may find 14 gauge (.075 inch) could be used for fabricating internal reinforcements, but it's too thick for skin.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodbender View Post
Sorry I'm not Veronica( I'd make two of her.LOL)
Hello. I wish that someone would make two of me. I could sure get a lot more done that way.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008
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I have done most of my exterior stuff with 20 guage because I had a 4' X 8' sheet. I recently got a 4' X 10' sheet of 18 ga and it is a little eazier metal finish. I like it. 14 is way too heavy as it is close to 1/8" steel plate. Most of the underbody reinforcments like the stamped frame rails are 16 ga. If you just need a little of 16 ga they sell it at lowes in 2' x 2' sheets for about 25.00 Thats what I paid for the 4'X10' of 18 ga at the steel yard. I would go with 18ga in the trunk for the pan but reinforcments use 16 ga.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008
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18 gauge for body skin? Are you building a Mustang or a Hummer?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008
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Quote:
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18 gauge for body skin? Are you building a Mustang or a Hummer?
Mustang :nogrinner:nogrinnerHummer:nogrinner:nogrinner Thats funny, I like it.

Although a novice, I have found 20 ga to be a bit thinner (by a few thousandths) than most skin and 18 ga just a bit thicker. Exterior skin is probably closer to 20 ga and floor pans are probably closer to 18 ga. The 20 is certainly easier to fabricate with. By the time the welds are ground, and the metal bumping, shrinking and streaching are complete, the patch seems to metal finish a little better with the 18 ga. I welded in almost a full 4'X8' sheet of 20 ga on my Nova with all the modifications and had no problem metal finishing it so it is really a mater of preference in my opinion. But 18 ga is not too thick for exterior skin and probably easier to weld with a flux core machine and/or limited experiance.
Proper Sheet Metal Gauge for Weld Repairs-276458775.jpg 18 ga side marker shave tacked

Proper Sheet Metal Gauge for Weld Repairs-276458805.jpg 18 ga side marker shaved finished

Proper Sheet Metal Gauge for Weld Repairs-128111530.jpg 20 ga factory wheel tub sectioned 5-1/2"

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008
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I can understand your situation. It is rather difficult to weld thin material with flux core mig wire. If it works for you that's all that matters. Sometimes we have to make adjustments for what we have to work with be it funds or lack of experience. If you are like me, money doesn't come as easy as it does with others and we have to go with what works for us. It isn't easy for most of us to fork out 3 or 4 thousand dollars for the latest welding equipment.
Good luck on your project.
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Quote:
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I can understand your situation. It is rather difficult to weld thin material with flux core mig wire. If it works for you that's all that matters.
Were you talking to me?

I was refering to the original poster about the flux machine. I have a gas mig and have welded 22 ga with it.

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Actually my statement can apply to anyone, but Wifes66, I thought that you were using the thicker gauge metal because of your limited experience and that you also only had a flux core only type of MIG.

It is easier to weld a thicker gauge, but personally I wouldn't want to use 18 gauge for extensively sized panels that are used on the exterior of the body. Items such as covering side marker light openings, yes, that's a good idea. It's a personal preference thing as I see it.
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"It is easier to weld a thicker gauge, but personally I wouldn't want to use 18 gauge for extensively sized panels that are used on the exterior of the body."

I agree. If I needed to metal form a portion of a body panel I would use 20 ga. It's nice having a little of everything laying around to choose from though.

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I'm no expert, but most of the panels I've used are 19 or 20 ga. I had a flux core welder and had the same problem with burn thru and with the excessive weld splatter. I broke down and bought a real mig welder and solved all my problems. Ive welded as light as 28 ga with good results. Best purchase Ive made in this project-Throw the flux-core welder away
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I have found that using an old junk fender or door to cut patch panels worked great and saved me from guessing on the sizes. It is from a Mustang so you know it is the right stuff. I have also bought replacement metal from aftermarket vendors when I needed a patch for rear floors and such, it is so cheap and already preformed, just cut the part you need.

I bought a mig welder that can be gas or flux core and have only used as flux setting so far. You guys recommend the gas instead of flux core?
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The guy who needs to be involved in this is steve'swelding. He was a professional welder for years and can address this better than anyone.

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