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Feb 3, 2020
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439
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Stanwood, WA
I too would avoid flux core and go gas.
I know a lot of people don’t like them, but look at Eastwood welders. Yes, they are just a branded offshore copy of something else. I have their tig and one of their plasma cutters and for home use, pretty hard to beat (and I have lots of experience on high end tig machines).
You can usually get their mig machines with a spoolgun or other accessories cheap and lots of Black Friday sales and stuff. They make a 135 mig that is 120v and can use gas for under $400. They also have a 185 mig (?) that’s dual voltage so can run on 120v or 240v, you’re just limited when on 120v and I think it’s $500-600?. Worth a look. I don't know anyone who has used one that had complaints.
Another thing I personally like in a welder is a rheostat voltage setting and not a position switch. This just makes it more infinitely adjustable.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
480
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Wausau WI
Been happy with my Miller 215, used that on my rig. Picked up the tig torch for it as well... it can't do aluminum for tig, but it's handy for steel at least. I don't have a ton of room in the shop, so one machine vs two was the play.

May upgrade sometime here, but only for aluminum capabilities.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Richmond, VA
I too would avoid flux core and go gas.
I know a lot of people don’t like them, but look at Eastwood welders. Yes, they are just a branded offshore copy of something else. I have their tig and one of their plasma cutters and for home use, pretty hard to beat (and I have lots of experience on high end tig machines).
You can usually get their mig machines with a spoolgun or other accessories cheap and lots of Black Friday sales and stuff. They make a 135 mig that is 120v and can use gas for under $400. They also have a 185 mig (?) that’s dual voltage so can run on 120v or 240v, you’re just limited when on 120v and I think it’s $500-600?. Worth a look. I don't know anyone who has used one that had complaints.
Another thing I personally like in a welder is a rheostat voltage setting and not a position switch. This just makes it more infinitely adjustable.
That sounds like a great option. Thanks for the info.
 

ceylonfj40nut

Waiting for Barn Time
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X3 on Miller 211 Autoset. It does flux core, mig, aluminum mig. 220v/110v capable. East to use. Set gauge thickness and wire thickness, it does the rest.
 

Rainman

Wondering what my next vehicle will be...
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precisionillustrator.com
VIN plate says production Oct. 1977 so is this an early ‘78. That’s what the most current registration says. Waiting on the title.
I owned a 10/77 FJ40 years ago. Very well known truck too. (Google "Zebranator")

When ordering parts from ANYWHERE, and they ask what year your truck is, tell them 10/77. Every time! You're close to some changes in parts dates and it's easy to end up with e wrong parts. Order from Spector as a last resort and save your money. I won't waste your time on why... I had a bad experience.
 

YODA 88 62

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Austin, TX
Buy a name brand welder= Miller, Lincoln, Hobart. Based on the welders I’ve had, 220V is the best. For most automotive projects you never have to worry about duty cycle with 220V. They also have better internal parts that keep you welding. Gas is much cleaner and easier to see a puddle when welding. Buy a 110V for portability if needed. I ran a 220V setup off an extension cord for a dryer plugs for many years at different houses.

Spend the money on a blue lens, automatic helmet. Huge game changer in learning to weld and watch ALL the detail of your welding puddle.
 
Joined
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890
Location
Houston, TX
I would also advise to buy a big box of cardboard tags and tag every part you remove with the name, where it goes and date You pulled it. Take lots of pictures and create photo files. File Categories electrical/suspension/steering/etc. etc. have fun!
 

DangerNoodle

Essentially a fire wielding monkey.
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Divide, Colorado
I would also advise to buy a big box of cardboard tags and tag every part you remove with the name, where it goes and date You pulled it. Take lots of pictures and create photo files. File Categories electrical/suspension/steering/etc. etc. have fun!

Wait, you aren't susposed to turn them into basket cases?

:flipoff2: :flipoff2: :flipoff2:
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
439
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Stanwood, WA
The worst possible thing you can do is properly tag and bag everything when disassembling. Then, when you put it back together, you know where stuff goes instead of buying parts you knew you had, only to find them when the new part shows up, you don’t spend near enough time on here making posts asking “does anyone know where this goes” and you miss out on all the fun of a simple job that morphed into the biggest mistake in recent memory. Pfffff. Ziplocs are for sandwiches….
 
Joined
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767
Location
Idaho
If you have the coins go 220v for sure but don’t think you can’t tackle virtually all the necessary welding with a smaller welder. I used a 110v MIG with gas for all of my welding. When welding sheet metal you’re going far too fast if you’re running into duty cycle issues. DEFINITELY tag and bag every single part…without exception. What you’re positive you’ll remember will be long forgotten in a 2-3 year period. I took 850+ pictures of my rig as I disassembled it. My recommendation is to take a picture of the general area of the part so you know exactly where it goes, and then take a pic of the part specifically. Make sure you include the bolts removed in the baggie when disassembling, even if you don’t intend to reuse them. I took it a further step and measured and wrote on each baggie the length and thread pitch of every bolt because I knew I was going to replace all the hardware. Made it a lot easier putting everything back. I also bought a bunch of cheap food storage containers to store larger parts.
24847E50-529A-481A-ABC9-C524A23EA29C.jpeg


One last thing I would recommend (I didn’t do this but I wished I had) was restore/refurbish parts you intend to reuse as you remove them. It may keep the project on track. Versus having a million things to refurbish before putting it back together again, which can be overwhelming when you realize the work involved. Just my .02¢.

Most important thing is to double what you think it will cost, have fun, and don’t be afraid to get in over your head and try something you don’t think you’re capable of. You might just surprise yourself. Prior to my resto, I had never done anything even remotely close to a frame off. In the end I did absolutely everything (minus the leather upholstery) myself, including the paint. It was a helluva journey and one I’m super proud of accomplishing.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Richmond, VA
I would also advise to buy a big box of cardboard tags and tag every part you remove with the name, where it goes and date You pulled it. Take lots of pictures and create photo files. File Categories electrical/suspension/steering/etc. etc. have fun!
Thanks, Great advice.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Richmond, VA
If you have the coins go 220v for sure but don’t think you can’t tackle virtually all the necessary welding with a smaller welder. I used a 110v MIG with gas for all of my welding. When welding sheet metal you’re going far too fast if you’re running into duty cycle issues. DEFINITELY tag and bag every single part…without exception. What you’re positive you’ll remember will be long forgotten in a 2-3 year period. I took 850+ pictures of my rig as I disassembled it. My recommendation is to take a picture of the general area of the part so you know exactly where it goes, and then take a pic of the part specifically. Make sure you include the bolts removed in the baggie when disassembling, even if you don’t intend to reuse them. I took it a further step and measured and wrote on each baggie the length and thread pitch of every bolt because I knew I was going to replace all the hardware. Made it a lot easier putting everything back. I also bought a bunch of cheap food storage containers to store larger parts. View attachment 2795147

One last thing I would recommend (I didn’t do this but I wished I had) was restore/refurbish parts you intend to reuse as you remove them. It may keep the project on track. Versus having a million things to refurbish before putting it back together again, which can be overwhelming when you realize the work involved. Just my .02¢.

Most important thing is to double what you think it will cost, have fun, and don’t be afraid to get in over your head and try something you don’t think you’re capable of. You might just surprise yourself. Prior to my resto, I had never done anything even remotely close to a frame off. In the end I did absolutely everything (minus the leather upholstery) myself, including the paint. It was a helluva journey and one I’m super proud of accomplishing.
Awesome, thanks for the tips and the encouragement.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
31
Location
Fairbanks Alaska
There is no shortage of basket cases out there from people who bought something and then tore it apart. If it runs and goes then leave it that way. Fix the brakes, change all the fluids, tune it up, and have some fun driving it. You will get lots of attention. It looks way cool.
Then, in a year, get all the sheet metal and money and parts and stuff lined up. First do this. Then pull it apart.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Richmond, VA
There is no shortage of basket cases out there from people who bought something and then tore it apart. If it runs and goes then leave it that way. Fix the brakes, change all the fluids, tune it up, and have some fun driving it. You will get lots of attention. It looks way cool.
Then, in a year, get all the sheet metal and money and parts and stuffed lined up. First do this. Then pull it apart.
I definitely want to have it running as quickly as possible. I plan to address the brakes and locked up transmission first but definitely need to work on the floor pan so I don’t fall out while driving. Haha.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
480
Location
Wausau WI
Agree with @Jetlander above...lots of photos and bagging/tagging are key, and that's really whether doing it piecemeal or frame-off/all-in. You'd be surprised on how often you take something simple apart like a heater fan and then go "hm, which way did this go?" when you reassemble. It's also nice to take pictures after for the comparison/story as well. I use Google Photos, works well...photos are ordered by date, taggable, and backed up. My album is over 2300 photos at this point.

Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 10.26.51 AM.png


I'm in the great white north, but I'm guessing similar in VA - the winter season is a great time to knock out a lot of the small refurb bits. I used that time to do things like the seats, heater, air filter, small hardware, wiring harness, etc. Then once nice weather comes back around, you can really jam away. Even doing that, it did feel like there was a LONG line of parts to sandblast. I'm still waiting for the last one, I'm blasting the hardtop gutter today. 😆

As far as frame-off vs piecemeal...well, that's up to you and your goals, timing, and interest. There is some value in doing a frame off as you get some efficiency by having stuff out of the way - it was interesting how the vehicle got harder to work on as more parts went on this summer. (Brake lines are MUCH easier to replace when the frame is bare, and the starter is much easier to replace when there's no fenders. 🙃 ) But there's also value in keeping it driving and chipping away as you have time.

Would be interesting to hear @Jetlander 's guess...my best estimate is somewhere around 1500-1700 hours into mine, but I had a lot of rust repairs to deal with and did everything but the frame sandblasting and machining the engine block.
 

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