How To Weld Sheet Metal On A Car (Process)

Have you thought of repairing your old vehicle especially a car? Have you mend the rusted car parts to make it strong? Welding the rusted sheet metal is one of the challenging tasks for welders. That’s why knowing how to weld sheet metal on a car is crucial.

A wrong welding approach will make the sheet metal of car structurally weaker. Here, you will learn the best welding approach for sheet metals and how to achieve a better result.

Can You Weld Sheet Metal On A Car?

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The immediate answer to this question is Yes, you can weld sheet metal on a car body. Sheet metals on cars are pretty thin which makes the welding task a challenging job. But you can still weld them by being carefully following some tips.

  • And one of the most important tips is you should avoid continuously welding the metal pieces for more than a few seconds.
  • You need to go for several series of short-term welding until all are filled in and grind flat.
  • The wire speed and voltages should be lower.
  • Also, use a small diameter wire to ensure lower heat input.

Should I Use But Or Lap Welding Technique

Lap welds are a better choice for sheet metal because they are pretty thin. So you get adequate space to weld the two pieces of metal conveniently. It decreases the chance of burning through the panel. Plus, welders can achieve 100% penetration without any grooving issues.

Another benefit of lap welds is getting quicker results. You don’t need to cut the faces or make it perfectly. On the other hand, But welds are ideal for thicker materials as they need higher heat energy input and a small spot size.

Which Welding Type Is Best For Welding Car Sheet Metal?

Mig welding is the best method for welding car sheet metal. Apart from being affordable, Mig welders are an excellent choice for autobody repairs. They come with sufficient amperage to ensure smooth and consistent results.

One of the critical benefits of Mig welding is getting top-quality welds with rapid speed.

Also, Mig is simpler and easier to learn within a few hours than other welding methods. Beginners will be surely benefitted if you consider this aspect.

But remember, you have to be careful while welding thin sheet metal. It needs to have a balanced heat energy input. Otherwise, you will experience burn-through issues.

How to Mig Weld Car Sheet Metal (Process)

Mig welding is one of the best methods for sheet metals. It is beginner-friendly and more fruitful than other welding procedures.

One of the common mistakes many welders make is blowing a hole in the panel. It usually happens for using excessive heat. That’s why you should correct the settings of the mig welder & choose right mig wire to reduce the drawbacks.

Correct Mig Welding settings

Choosing the correct amperage is crucial. It depends on the thickness level of your sheet metal.

Thicker metals will need more amperage than thinner metals. The most basic practice is adding one amperage of power for 0.001 inches of steel.

But remember, aluminum requires more current than Stainless.

An aluminum metal will need 25% additional current, whereas a stainless item will require 10 to 15% lower current. For example, a 0.130-inch thick mild steel metal will need around 130 amperages of current.

On the other hand, 0.350-inch thick steel will be okay with 350 amperages current.

 Choose the Right Mig Wire

The size of a Mig wire should not be more than the base metal. It is a solid rule of thumb to use .023- or .024-inch wire if you are dealing with thin sheet metal.

But, if sheet metal is slightly thicker, you can use a 0.30-inch Mig wire. So, why should you use a small-diameter wire, right? The melting point of this small wire is lower than larger wires.

Additionally, their heat energy output is lower. This will prevent overheating issues.

Another advantage is giving you more control over the weld bead. You can achieve a good weld bead effortlessly.

Tips for Mig Welding On A Car Sheet Metal

  • Tip: 1) Utilize the adjustment of your MIG welding machine if you are welding various thickness levels of sheet metal.
  • Tip: 2) Avoid making many beads too long. Keep them short and quick.
  • Tip: 3) Before welding the final sheet metal, use the Mig welder on rough items to test the result. A few practices will help you to get precise results.
  • Tip: 4) Hold the tip from a correct distance to ensure a perfect level of heating without burning the metal.
  • Tip: 5) It is a good rule of thumb to leave a small gap between welding that will be filled during the welding process.

How to Flux Core Weld Car Sheet Metal (Process)

Flux core welding is usually suitable for thicker metals. But you can use it for welding car sheet metal too. It will be a complicated and tiring process although.

You need to follow a stitching procedure.

Do spot tacks straight from the joint’s beginning to the ending point. Make sure to skip spots that are already heated through jumping. You can achieve decent clamping surrounding the seam. You may notice some crusty flux while welding the metal. Make sure to remove them on time. It is best to clean every tack.

Additionally, use an anti-spatter spray or gel for top-quality and higher penetration. The main advantage of flux core for car sheet metal is getting flatter welds with a minimal metal deposit.

Flux Core Welding Settings

Choosing the ideal amperage is essential. After all, it determines the penetration and weld bead size once completed.

Usually, a higher thickness level of the metal requires higher amperage. But car sheet metal is pretty thin.

For example, 18-gauge automotive sheet metal has a thickness level of 0.0478 inches.

Additionally, there are some latest 20-gauge car sheet metals with 0.0359-inch thickness. The thickness of this sheet metal varies from 0.2 mm to 0.6 mm.

You can determine the ideal amperage setting by following the instruction manual of the flux core machine.

It usually clearly mentions the ideal current level based on the thickness level.

Flux Core Wire to Use

Another important thing is choosing a perfect welding wire. A wrong wire size will result in a compromise in preciseness, quality, and efficiency,

It is best to use 0.030-inch diameter flux-cored wire for car sheet metal.

This particular option works for any sheet metal if its thickness level ranges from 14 gauge to 22 gauge.

The voltage should be more than 120V but less than 210V. Your aim should be to make the metal hot for the best penetration without burning it thoroughly.

But, if the car metal sheet is thicker than the average options, you can use 0.035-inch diameter flux-cored wire.

However, being cautious is necessary to avoid adding too much heat input. Otherwise, you will have to pay the consequence.

Tips For Flux Core Welding On A Car Sheet Metal

  • Tip: 1) Try to keep the metal minimally cool.
  • Tip: 2) Choose the thinnest flux wire as much as you can
  • Tip: 3) Weld a small section at a time to minimize warping
  • Tip: 4) Protect the chrome, sensitive glass, or other from the spatter
  • Tip: 5) Perform the welding task in a well-ventilated space

Final Thoughts

Are you still wondering how to weld sheet metal on a car? We understand that welding thin items like auto body sheet metals is not as simple as thicker ones.

You need to be a little conscious and careful. But choosing the correct wire size and welding setting is vital. Make sure to follow our guidelines mentioned above to get the best result.

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