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TR2/3/3A 1958 TR3A front body attachment help needed


We purchased our project car part way through a previous restoration. The PO had removed the front body attachments to repair the sheet metal, but didn't reattach the plates that attach to the frame. I have found a photo of re-attached plates from a different project, and am wondering if anyone can tell me how these are, or can be attached. (The silver plates in the photo). I'm not a welder, but could be persuaded to learn if that is the only way. If so, what type of welder would I need? Any help is welcome. Thanks

By ezgolfer1, shot with CYBERSHOT at 2008-12-14[/img]

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
I welded my new ones with a MIG welder. I too had never done any welding before, but I was determined to learn, so I bought a MIG welder and did the job. In fact I had a lot of jobs to do when I did the restoration of my 1958 TR3A from 1987 to 1990. See what I had to cut away and fit new sheetmetal parts.


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Jedi Hopeful
Hi Bob D. These panels are spot welded on. If your body is not on the frame, this task is hard to do. If your body is on the frame it is a simple task to clamp your plated to the inner panels and mount your body pads under the plate and run your bolts through the frame and pads. Then spot weld in place. Good Luck, Bill C. Mesa, Az

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
Bill - I agree with you if one has a spot welder and providing the base metal is sound. I restored a late TR3A (not my black one) where some PO had done just what you suggest. The problem was that he left two layers of old rusty flaking sheetmetal as the "meat" in the sandwich. I had to take off the support, scrape out all the old rot which by now had gotten into both outer faces and so there was really nothing left to spot weld to. It all crumbled away - right through. I had to cut it all back, MIG weld (butt weld) in new flat sheet metal where this piece has to be spotwelded to, and then I "plug welded" the new piece to the new inner flat piece. It went very well and no one can tell that it wasn't spot welded. I did it this way because I don't have a spot welder.


Country flag
Bob_D said:
I'm not a welder, but could be persuaded to learn if that is the only way. If so, what type of welder would I need? Any help is welcome. Thanks

Well, a good MIG welder will come in more handy then you ever imagined and is fairly easy to learn to use properly. Changes are good that if you search your local Craigslist there will be people willing to teach you on an hourly basis.

If you do take the leap, try to budget to buy a decent machine w/ gas. $500 will do the trick.

I'd never welded, or restored a car before quite recently, and I use my MIG all the time now.


Thanks for all the great advice.

I have very limited space in the garage, a limited budget, and only 115V power, so what would the downside be of a low-end MIG welder? From the quick research I've just done, I understand that the duty cycle is short, and that I am limited to material thickness of around 1/8", but that seems as if it might work form my needs -- no? The Lincoln K2185 is $300 at Sears. Could I make something like that work? Thanks.


Jedi Knight
With a gas less welder you are pretty much limited in what wire sizes are available.
Eg. bigger wire means more heat, more heat and thin material equals burn through or complete burn up and destruction on thin material.
The gas bottle and smaller diameter wire is good advice in this scenario. Even if you don`t get the gas bottle until later do yourself a favor purchase a welding machine that is gas capable {has the gas solenoid and regulator}. It may cost a few more dollars but is well worth the investment.
This machine will run the flux cored wire with no gas as well as solid wire with gas if and when you can add the accessory. If you look around the Hobart 115 v m.i.g. can be had for less than $500.00 and it is gas capable.
If you want to know more about this subject or welding in general my email address can be found in my profile. I will be glad to try and answer any questions you or anyone else may have on these subjects.
I could post answers here in the forum but sometimes the answers to in depth questions get quite lengthy.
oh and B.T.W. here is a welding forum some of you may be interested in. It has some good info {and some not so good} {amateurs that think they know everything there is to know about welding anything there is to weld} I am known there as RetWelder. Not asking you to join mind ya but there may be some good info for some of you interested in welding. here is the Link


Jedi Hopeful
Whether you spend $300 or $500, it will be far cheaper than the body shop charging you by the hour to do the work. I opted for the nicer model that will support a gas bottle. I bought Hobart 140 from Northern Tool for around $450 a while ago, which included a free cart and have liked it very much.

With gasless MIG welders, the concern shouldn't be how thick you can weld, but how thin you can weld, if the purchase is primarily for auto body/frame repair. Too much amperage, even when set on the lowest setting, will commonly burn through the metal.
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