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1940's Willys CJ2A

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  • 1940's Willys CJ2A

    hi I am a student (19yr old) going to be working on a Willys CJ2A to bring it back to life the way I want it.

    before I dive into the body work I am practicing my welds.
    since I am new to body work, I dont really know what I am doing. I know that I dont want to heat up the metal to much or it will warp my body.

    should I do a lot of tack welds or do I do constant weld but for a very short bead say 1''.

    here are some of my test pieces.

  • #2
    for a start its good
    1 turn up the heat and hold time if you do stitch weld (lots of connected tacks)
    2 consistency keep the time or speed of travel the same and get the penetration
    3 body panels may be thin but poor penetration on the welds the panel will break out and rust
    4 use a fine flap wheel on the grinder or it the beads are nice keep them ( ive had customers look at my body panels on old school 40s trucks and 60-70s era mustangs and they wanted the beads)

    5 practice practice practice its looking good


    • #3
      thank you cncmachinist.

      some actually told me to lay smaller constant beads around 1''. would that be more appropriate.

      to me I think it would warp panels.

      the other thing I was wondering is when tack welding I would need to have my wire speed and voltage set appropriate to the metal thickness (to hear a constant buzz) some were saying make voltage to penetrate and turn wire speed down allot, wouldnt that mean the welding wire would burn away faster and not really appropriate.


      • #4
        no expert but...

        I'm not sure I know what I'm doing most of the time, but I've put lots of tack welds on my 78 FJ40 Landcruiser "restoration" in the last year. Lots of 18 GA work, some 16/14 GA on the rear sill, etc.

        As with most things I would really worry about good fit (really good fit on the 18 GA), getting everything really clean and heat control. Spread the tacks way out and let everything slowly come together. Some things really need to be well clamped too or they will move enough to screw things up - even when just being rough-tacked in place.

        I just connect tacks these days, every time I've tried even a conservative (1"-less) beads I get into heat/warpage problems. I used to space tacks, grind them almost to surface and try to "bridge" them together. These days I just tack all over the place, grind almost to surface and keep tacking spaces until it all comes together. Grinding down the tacks in the process seems to help getting good penetration when the tacks come together - too much of a heat-sink with all that steel in the previous tack.

        Not sure what GA your sample is but I would also be concerned about the back side. On a vertical weld I still like to see the butt joint "fuse" on the backside. On a flat surface (truck bed, etc.) I like to see a bit of filler/bead that I don't grind if it's hidden.

        You can see some more weld comments at:


        • #5
          Make sure you are using some .023 wire (ESAB makes some for autobody work called "EasyGrind") that should generate less heat when grinding down your tacks. I also use 3M discs on my die grinder that are designed to produce less heat. They are not flap discs, but you can even grind wet with these to reduce heat warpage. 3M calls the material "Cubitron" IIRC. As the other posters indicated, only use tacks and spread them apart. Most of all, be patient. I know how easy it is to try and rush into completing those patches.


          • #6
            when doing lots of tacks connected or snitch welds crank it up till you hear the sizzle that shows the heat to wire speed are just right


            • #7
              The sizzle and I think you can tell by the heat mark ring (before a brush hits it) around the tack (see attached) and again the back side of the butt joint.

              I just set my MM180 by the book/GA and it does fine - just stay on for say, 2 seconds. Also seems to tack well on Autoset.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by gusb; 07-13-2010, 09:53 PM.


              • #8
                thanks guys.
                I think I am getting close.
                Gus do you just keep doing tacks, or in between them do you start a bead that is short?
                seems everyone is telling me something different, so I am starting to think it may be what is comfortable to someones style

                here is a picture of my welder. (dont laugh I would like a Miller but cant afford it im 19, TIG would be amazing)

                its old craftsman, .024 wire, and argon/c02 shielding gas.
                these settings give me a nice solid buz sound when welding.
                book say's for 18guage to set from 3 to 4 volts, I will step it up higher. but when I move it up I would have to weld faster because wire speed is up.


                • #9
                  "sizzle" - think bacon in the frying pan.

                  No beads for me - the tacks finally begin to close the gaps - move around the work piece to control the heat. Grind down any previous tack a bit before a new tack finally meets up with it.

                  Wire speed/V (in this case) should not relate much to "I would have to weld faster..." you're just looking for the correct setting for the work-piece/GA, etc. Someone here with more experience than I should be able to help you with your Craftsman machine's settings.


                  • #10
                    here is todays attempts
                    bottom weld = todays

                    bottom again


                    • #11
                      video I did super fast



                      • #12
                        hey i watched your video its good tacks but go up 1-2 on power (volts) but leave the wire speed and when you tack rotate the torch in a circle motion and hold it down for 1-2 sec more than you were for tacks

                        itll put more bead down get full fusion and will wet the bead out more

                        also since you were welding on a piece of plywood get a piece of steel or copper of a heavy gauge to use as a heat sink and it will really help with sinking the heat through the metal


                        • #13
                          Nice video Shnitzlhaus - if you get tired of working on the Jeep you can always start making movies.

                          I would get off the plywood (unless you just like the smell of burning wood). At least a couple of clamps in place of the magnets to give yourself some room down under the work-piece. IMH(inexperienced)O - you still need more penetration and a good join backside. I would count - "one thousand, two thousand" - or even burn through a few times to to get a feel for what's too much - just watch out for rolling ***** of fire.

                          cncmachinist sounds right-on to me. Wish I had a 1946 Bridgeport (or any Bridgeport for that matter)!
                          Last edited by gusb; 07-15-2010, 07:32 PM.


                          • #14
                            you wont believe this is bought two at auction for 1200 a piece with old kurt vise that still work

                            the back of the machine on the manufactures plate its stamped USACE or united states army corps of engineers 1946
                            Last edited by cncmachinist; 07-15-2010, 10:12 PM.


                            • #15
                              The basic design worked, and Bridgeport didn't mess with it. I have to respect that! I've run into a few MT mechanics that have worked on some pretty old ones as well. I'd love to have some old Bridgeport, Cincinatti Bickford, or LeBlonde stuff.


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