ETS Drift Ute – A day in the life

Any day where i get to spend the majority of it in the shed is a good day, i had a bit of clean up of the workshop and then got to work. I had planned to spend most of the day welding, the rear cradle was only really tacked up, the diff mount was only tacked and all the suspension mounts were also only tacked in position.

After removing the diff, suspension arms and driveshafts it was time to weld the new cradle, to give you an idea of the amount of time TIG welding takes i spent about an hour and a half welding this up.

After that it was time to weld up the swaybar, being chromoly i tried to keep the heat to a minimum, although its not super critical you shouldn’t heat it too much. I use MIG wire as filler rod when welding chromoly, apparently its got the right ingredients and is easier to get a smaller weld.

Then it was time to finalise the welding on the chassis, i finished off the diff mount and swaybar block mounts.

Then i finished the day off with the final welding on the suspension arms, I’m really happy with how everything came up and am just starting to get really comfortable on the TIG, yes its taken a while!

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14 Comments
  1. wow, you’ve inspired me to learn to weld from all this awesome fabrication you do, i can do a little bit of stick welding but i think i’ll go to tafe to learn the black art of tig 🙂

    Reply
  2. How does the miller digital elite cope with the the finner arc of tig?
    Have you tried low amp tig with it?
    Get flashed at all using it?

    Reply
    • Its been great, if you turn up the sensitivity you will never get flashed on even the tinyiest welds.

      Reply
  3. Please, please don’t paint this chassis when it’s finished. Clear coat it and show off those welds and brilliant colours!

    Reply
    • YES, clear coat FTW, show off those awesome beads

      Reply
      • Im going to look into this, clear coat would look amazing

        Reply
    • Painting that chassis would be a painters night mare

      Reply
  4. Ha I was just going to ask what finish he was going to leave all the chassis work Thorson, I agree leaving it bare metal other then a clear coat or similar will look awesome!

    Reply
  5. I fully agree, you cannot paint this at all!
    Clear coat.. Done, and epic win all round

    Reply
  6. Wow. very clean welds with the TIG man. What kind of gas mix are you using?

    Reply
  7. In my experience, there isn’t a clear paint that is durable enough for real world use, but clear powder coating seems to work great.

    Reply
  8. Hey Nigel, I only discovered this last night and spent hours reading it and going over the images.
    I’m a welder by trade and I’m amazed by the work and skill displayed in this project, cannot wait to do something similar once I’ve got a work space of my own.
    I am in agreeance with the above it would be a blasphemy to paint any of the tube work in anything other than clear coat, I will come and introduce myself to you at the next drift event and try and persuade you in person.
    Thank you for the inspiration

    Reply
  9. “A day with no life”
    sick mate!

    Reply
  10. Hey bud,

    Nice work. The problem with getting too much heat into chromoly is it becomes very brittle, this is why there are no australian standards for welding it with a mig. The reason you use standard mig wire as a filler is to try to keep the weld as ductile as you can. If you used chromoly as a filler it would just be too brittle. This would only be an issue in a crash though. Keep up the good work.

    Brent

    Reply

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