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Seam Welding PLUS a cage....

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  • Seam Welding PLUS a cage....

    Porsche GT3

    Race cars endure incredible forces during a crash... it used to be common practice to seam weld every lap and butt joint on the car... these days I see more and more that forgo that time consuming hundreds of hours on the rottis....

    Ugly..... but is a perfect illustration of why a race car should have
    every seam on the tub tig welded along its length in and out to insure
    integrity.... not relying on the spot welds alone.. to have it
    unfold like the buttons ripped from a cheap shirt... (a cage alone is not
    enough, and this lacked even that)

    Aside from being drunk.. the
    guy did not know how to drive that tail happy GT3.... traditional tail
    first death slide......

    Porsche builds one of the strongest well tied together chassis in the business but spot welds alone are not enough to hold a car together and dissipate the forces..
    these pictures are hard to look at... the car was reduced to shredded scrap..
    (pics from
    Attached Files
    Last edited by H80N; 06-29-2011, 05:55 PM. Reason: clarity/spelling

  • #2
    Looking at those pics. I'd say he would be in trouble no matter how many seams were welded solid. That was a MASSIVE impact.


    • #3
      Backing into a tree at 140mph or so would not be pretty in any case... immovable object meets incredible energy.... But, I have seen cars that were hit pretty hard and been survivable .... in particular there was a 934 that was hit from behind while stationary by another 934...(at speed). engine and trans were pulverized.... and we ended up rebuilding the car, upgrading it to 935 status and it later won Sebring... that car had been fully welded as well as caged..
      (Garretson/Barbour car was hit by Interscope car)

      No it will not perform miracles...or cure stupidity... but every bit of structural integrity helps... part of my point was/is that cars from the factory need to have every bit tied together for safety's sake if they are going to see track speeds (they also will handle better and last longer)
      I especially love the owners of the German stuff that tell me not to worry cause their Porsche/BMW/Audi/Mercedes is built like a panzer... and they are perfectly safe..... taint so magee.....
      The German stuff is probably the best out there but not good enough without some additional help to withstand the inevitable impact if things go wrong... this is true for a drag car as well as a road racer, nascar etc..

      Cars that were designed to crush and absorb the energy of a 70mph impact while protecting the occupants, become deathtraps at double that speed without some serious reinforcement.....
      Last edited by H80N; 06-30-2011, 12:06 PM. Reason: clarity


      • #4
        Drag cars might be the exception to the rule. Most drag cars "high HP types anyway" the body is just cosmetic, providing some aerodynamic benefits, the cage takes all the impact.


        • #5
          probably misspoke on the drag stuff.. (blanket statements always seem to come back and bite ya) has been many years since I have been to a dragstrip...might have to remedy that....
          and yes the nascar stuff is largely tube framed but the panels are tied in and help enhance the structure (at least to the best of my observation) maybe Andy could help enlighten us on NASCAR stuff.... he has a lot of expertise in that area...
          Last edited by H80N; 06-30-2011, 01:28 PM. Reason: clarity


          • #6
            You're saying that all of the body seams need to be welded in addition to the frame, right?

            A **** of a lot of work there but it's a good thought.

            Sitting here looking at my old Brit vintage racer and thinking Ohmygawd.......


            • #7
              you bet the body seams!!!! spot welds just are not adequate... I knew some of the guys that worked at "Electromotive" during the 1970s.... and if you ever saw that pic of "Devil" Don Devendorf sliding down the track on the roof of his GT6 that car had welded body seams...
              (typically skip welded on the long seams like rockers but full welds across laps like posts etc)
              just food for thought..

              BTW.. I started this thread to stimulate a little bit of discussion about body and chassis structure and integrity during load, vibration and the dreaded impacts..

              (went to find that pic..could not find it..... It may have been a Datsun B210 on it's roof...thought they did triumphs before they got into datsuns.. )
              Last edited by H80N; 07-01-2011, 12:46 PM. Reason: clarity....


              • #8
                I still see Kas Kastner often but never had the opportunity to meet Don D. Met Jimmy Coan though, the engineer.

                Thanx for starting this thread cuz it's makes SO MUCH sense once stated. I seam welded the entire frame but never considered the body. I'll be looking at it next rebuild.



                • #9
                  maybe you have run across an old friend of mine who worked for them for a while then moved on to Brad Frisselle's DeKon Monza effort... am looking for Paul Bernhart... he was a transmission guy... lost track of himabout 1980...


                  • #10
                    I've already sent Kas an Email about Don's rollover, he was the US Triumph team mangaer when DD was driving for them. he mai know Paul as well. I think Electromotive came toward the end of DD's Triumph days??????


                    • #11
                      My exposure to those guys was in the mid-late 70s... met Kas a few times though I doubt he would remember me.... Electromotive was in El Segundo (if memory serves) I was working as a fabricator for Dave Kent at Creative Car Craft in Hawthorne.... lots of neat folks and projects came through that shop in those days


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