Separating spot-welded body and frame parts

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  1. moparmat2000

    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    moparmat2000 submitted a new Article:

    Separating spot-welded body and frame parts

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2019
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    • toolmanmike

      toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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      Nicely done Matt
       
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      • sireland67

        sireland67 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Thank you,
        Finally a common sense write up instead of starting with "you need sheet-metal cutter".
        I have found common drill bits are way faster than the sheet-metal cutters, just buy jobber bits at your local fastenal, they seem to stay sharp the longest, and are about the same price as hardware store bits.
        Also I use two drills, one for the pilot bit and one for the 1/4" bit or in your case 3/8" bit, it always seems you miss a spot weld or two and changing bits consumes more time.
         
      • moparmat2000

        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Yes, i had the pilot bit in my air drill, the bigger bit in my electric. Some welds can be seperated with a 1/4" bit. The floorpan ones are big welds. A 3/8" just about does it with those. On floorpans that are rusted out that i am trashing, i dont use the drill method. I cut the sheet metal out around the frames, then grind down the spotwelds and chisel off the strips of metal thats left from the old floor. In this way theres no drill divots in the framerails to fill and grind down.
         
      • moparmat2000

        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I did this write up because i have had people tell me it was a bitch in a half to drill spotwelds out and cleanly seperate the pieces. With the RH rail i went into the shop at 3:30pm, and had it apart from the floorpan by 4:30pm.
         
      • pishta

        pishta I know I'm right....

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        I chuckle at guys who think they need a 220V welder to do unibody work when most of it is 18G with the frame being maybe 14G.
         
      • moparmat2000

        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I have used spotweld cutters, however they leave a little nub in the center of the piece you are keeping that needs to be ground off, plus my chisels slide thru the weakened spot welds better when its a partially drilled hole without that raised nub from the spotweld cutter.
         
      • moparmat2000

        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Yep wire feed Lincoln weld pak 100 is what i use.
         
      • famous bob

        famous bob mopar misfit

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        They say, necessity is the mother of invention ---------
         
      • moparmat2000

        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Cobalt is where its at. Took 2 of em to get all this apart
         
      • pauly

        pauly MOPAR or no car! FABO Gold Member

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        I drilled out the spot welds on the tail light panel and trunk floor of my 70 Duster. It can be time consuming, but with patience, it can be done cleanly so you don’t have a bunch of prep work before you put the replacement parts back in.
         
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        • Dave 74 Dart

          Dave 74 Dart Well-Known Member

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          Being a newbie at rust replacement and alot of work in that department coming up on my dart, I appreciate you guys taking the time to "spell it out for us" ! THANKS for the very helpful step by step info Matt !
           
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          • Sedanman

            Sedanman 67-9 Valiant specialist

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            Well done!
             
          • DartOS

            DartOS Well-Known Member

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            Matt, have you ever tried these? Picked them up at a swap meet years ago. Center pin is spring loaded. If the saw blade gets dull just un-screw it and turn it around. Works pretty good as long as you center punch the spot weld.

            20190331_095334.jpg
             
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            • moparmat2000

              moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Hi Rory,

              Yes, i have spotweld cutters. The ones i have are called rotabroach, made by Blair manufacturing. They range from 1/4" up to 3/4" in my kit. They work pretty well. My kit of cutters cost me about $65 a number of years ago. However i have found that drilling eliminates the nub in the middle that you have to grind down after using the cutters. With the drill bit method, my chisels cut cleanly thru the centers with the drill holes and dont get hung up on a nub left from a spotweld cutter, plus the drill bit method is a cheap way to do this for people who dont want to spend the money for dedicated spotweld cutters. I cut the first half of this car apart with my spotweld cutters and my chisels. The latter half with my chisels and the drill bit method. I think the drill bit method is actually better, faster, and cheaper.
               
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              • moparmat2000

                moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Blair cutter kit. $70 vs a couple of 3/8 cobalt drill bits at about $7.00 each. Most people will go for the drill bits lol.

                Screenshot_20190331-102544.png
                 
              • DartOS

                DartOS Well-Known Member

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                I've got several 5/¹/16" and ⅜' bits I've changed the angles to around 150° to keep from drilling too deep into the underlying material.
                How did y'alls swap meet go?
                 
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                • moparmat2000

                  moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Didnt know we had a swap meet. Was it this weekend? They dont advertise well.
                   
                • moparmat2000

                  moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Just checked. Well so it is this weekend. Had i known i woulda hauled my unneeded mopar stuff up there and would have been a vendor. Yesterday was windy as heck. Its only 45° currently. Woulda been a little cold hanging out and keeping stuff from blowing away though.
                   
                • IMFURYS

                  IMFURYS IMFURYS FABO Gold Member

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                  Awesome job Matt, as usual. I'm sure this nice write up will help a lot of people who will have to do this type work to their projects or for needed parts. No disrespect meant at all, but I hope I don't have to practice this on my Barracuda (crossing fingers).
                  Keep up the nice work when you have time. You do a great job of writing up the process and of course, the pics help too.
                   
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                  • toolmanmike

                    toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Hey Matt, I moved this thread to "how to" articles. It should be at home there.
                     
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                    • toolmanmike

                      toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Wow, this guy has been busy! [FOR SALE] - Dart body parts
                       
                    • moparmat2000

                      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      He sure has been busy. Looks like lots of pieces for somebody wanting to clip a frumpy 74-76 darts tail feathers and put on a 70-73 ass end. Look at all the front framerails he has stacked up like chordwood.
                       
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                      • moparmat2000

                        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Made me a new spot weld splitter knife. .050" thick stainless and some 1/4" aluminum plate handles. Old one was worn to a nub.

                        20191223_161621.jpg

                        20191223_161629.jpg
                         
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                        • moparmat2000

                          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          I went a little extreme on it however the holes aren't perfectly spaced or in an exact straight line. I figure this thing is going to get hammered on, dropped, stepped on, etc. over its lifetime so I didnt get really super crazy with it. My old original one in the pix at the beginning of this thread was pretty nice looking like this one is, but was nice about 20 years ago when I originally made it. It's been used and abused.
                           
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