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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Im debating over wether or not to fabricate the captive nut closing panel for the bottom of the heater channel out of 16 GAUGE stainless steel spot welded to my new heater channels before I fit them.

I have fabricated 2 complete floorpan halves out of 16 gauge so the skills are not a problem, see picture of my floorpans.

Also 15 years ago I replaced 2 heater channels only to have the bottom plate rust out in 4 years.

My thinking is if I make it out of 16 Gauge it will be stronger than original so not need any pressing rigidity, the captive nuts will be stainless steel.
This panel is so simple as it is just a flat strip with nut on it makes sense to me to make it rustproof so I dont need to do it again.
The whole heater channel will be por15ed to protect the heater channel top half but from my experience the bottom plate is the first part to go.

Speak out and tell me what you think??




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due to the differences in the steel, i think it would rot out the section where the mild steel heater channel meets the stainless steel bottom plate, possibly quicker than a normal mild steel bottom plate,

not 100% sure on this, but its proberbly a good reson why no one makes stainless steel repair pannels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nice one alex, i was looking at this and found

"but be advised if you
weld 2 different metals together you will get an increase in corosion at
the joint due to an effect called thermocoupling."

Im now thinking of replacing it with 16 gauge mild steel so avoiding this electro-chemical reaction.

Thing is 15 years ago I was so pleased with all the work I did on my heater channels in my old bug only to be rusted in 4 years due to thin shit metal.

I love 16 gauge, if I could Id make a whole car with it, no need to spend money on lowering it then :)

response is much appreciated

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Can you weld stainless steel to mild steel?

How about getting the bottom plate galvanised? Then waxoiling the inside of the channel regularly so that moisture collecting in the bottom can't get to the metal
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im not a great fan of galvanized stuff, the process tends to warp thin metal.

If I make it out of 16 gauge it will equate to 1.5mm thick panel
the repro closing plate is 0.9mm

I have some quality 16 Gauge sheet steel, so thick that if painted it will outlast me.

I think im going to go for it.

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you can weld m/s to s/s and you van weld galve to either, you have top bare metal the galve tho, making it just as good as milde steel (m/s)


rust first starts where the two sections of metal are welded togeather, donst matter how you weld it either, spot welding or plug wleding, the corrosion starts where two bare meataled surfaces are welded, even weld thu primer gets burnt off, the best bet is to seal evey joint as good as possible, beacuse the second mositure from condensation gets in between the two seams, attacks the bare metal section where the two seams are welded, and before you know it its rotting out again.... dont you love our climate,

with heater channels being just that channels its bascially imposible to 100% cover the insides with paint/seam sealant etc, where the seams meet, you can por15 the inside to death but its where the pannels meet/welded where it'll rot first.......
unless you can dip prime it, ie drop the whole shell in a big vat of paint!!!!

(not 100% sure of this like but didnt VW do this in the 60's???)

one thought i have was about the posiblitys of galving a whole shell/floor pan, but im not too sure on the process, ie, if it involeves any heat then the bigger pannels like the roof would just warp??? any galvernisers on here got a big enough tank?

i know ifor willams trailers are all galved etc, and some of them tralers are huge....

cheers
alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
chap I know inquired about having a land rover bulkhead galved, the galv chap said that he would do it but after dipping the panel might be warped like a banana.

I know what you mean about the seam when you weld on the channel.

The process im thinking is this.

1. Take off the rep heater channel cover plate

2. Make a 16 Gauge closing plate from mild steel

3. Spot weld panel onto channel

4. Duck tape up all of the heater channel holes

5. pour a tin of por 15 into the channel also pour into inner pipe, then turn heater channel up down round and round for ages to get into everywhere.

6, drain off surplus por 15

7, weld heated channel in once bolted to floorpan

8, spray areas where welding has occured with more por 15 using some kind of pipe through a bolt hole
 

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sounds like a plan.... its not gonna be a nice smell wlding it to the shell like, but it would be like that if you painted it anyway! good luck!

thats possibly the only way to do it really, good thinking! also the welded areas, (as long as you put the end plates on first) would all be on the top section is away from any seams and possible water, but give it a good POR15 with a tube etc.. should do the trick then, fill em with waxoil..... perfect should last years!!!

anyone know mush about the possibltlys of dip priming and if VW did it in the 60's??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
alex just dug this out and put it up for your viewing pleasure.


Dont try on anything other than broadband
be patient

this is only 18 mins of video of the god damn wolfsburg factory in 1967!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and yes it answers your question about beetle dipping

Enjoy
 

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ive thought about galvanizing the chassis and experimented and had no problems with warping. the panels though would definatly warp. i dont know wht you could do with the heater channels though. u could galv them seperatly and weld them in but will rust at the welds.the other options is to become an amazing panel beater and make a conplete shell out of stainless.
dave
 

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Have had stainless heater channels on my beetle for the last 12 years. As long as the mild steel at the joint is properly protected (waxoyl on the inside, etch primer / decent paint on the outside) you will have no rust problems at the joint.

You still need oxygen to make rust. Keep the oxygen out and you'll be fine.

Now that we've got POR 15 available it should be better still !

Go stainless ! Go stainless !

Dave.
 
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