How To Mig Weld Body Panels? [A Step-by-step Guide]

How To Mig Weld Body Panels

Whenever you’re repairing your car, welding is a big factor that you need to think about. Wrong welding may require another repair of your entire repair work. It’s best to know the exact welding process before you work with your body panels. 

Body panels work best with MIG welding. But doing mig welded can be hazardous if you make one single mistake. So, you need to take precautions, proper steps, and necessary safety measures while you’re on it. In my years of experience, I have seen welding go wrong because of various reasons, such as wrong heat, weak roots, blowholes, pulsing problems, etc. 

From my years of experience, I’ve compiled a complete guide on how to MIG weld body panels. As you know, MIG welding doesn’t require much skill and can be done by a newbie, so it’s estimated they aren’t so hard to understand. Just follow my exact steps and take the necessary cautions that I am going to tell you so that you can weld like a pro! 

6 Steps To Mig Weld Body Panels: Weld Like A Pro

When you’re MIG welding body panels, you need to be careful of several things, such as heat, timing, blowholes, etc. Mig weld is one of the best weldings when it comes to welding body panels. Therefore, doing proper MIG welding can give you the best outcome for sure. 

Below I am discussing how to MIG weld body panels step by step: 

Step 1- Before Welding:

You have to do the following things before starting the welding process:

  • Well! Just before you jump directly to welding, there are certain things you need to do and check also. First, find out the metal type of your body panel. You can simply find this in the manual. This will help you to understand which electrode will go best with your metal.
  • Select a compatible welding wire that goes well with your metal base. 
  • Now, you need to choose a suitable wire size. The common sizes are 0.023″, 0.030″, 0.035″.
  • As you’re going to work with the body panels, they surely are dirty, oily, and dusty. Hence, the foremost thing to do is to clean them. After cleaning, make sure to dry them completely before welding.
  • If you’re a beginner and haven’t welded before, it’s best to practice on a tiny metal first. It will help you to overcome your mistakes before you start welding on your body panels. 

Step 2- Creating Weld Pool:

When you start welding, a lot of heat is created resulting in the body metals melting and creating a weld pool. This pool is kind of a tiny circle. While creating a weld pool, it’s your prime concern that you don’t blow a hole. For this, you need to be extra careful about the heat section.

After creating one pool, you need to jump for another. But this jumping should be similar for all. If you jump too far, it will result in heat reduction & flat welds.

How far you should go depends on the diameter of the previous pool. It’s best to jump half the diameter of the previous pool.

Step 3- Root Penetration:

Root penetration is a vital thing in MIG welding. Do it carefully otherwise, you will end up with crack welds. Root your welds correctly or else your welds would be weak. Root penetration problems happen when you have problems in weld joint, shield gas, and welding technique. 

To get perfect penetration, make sure your joints are fully clean and clear. If it contains dust, oil, or any kind of dirt, you will have problems with root penetration. Shielding gas plays a great role in cleanliness, weld bead profile, etc. As you’re doing mig weld, you should choose a gas percentage of 75 argon gas and 25 of carbon dioxide. 

Step 4- Work With The Heat:

Heat is the main thing of welding. Therefore, this step is vital while doing any kind of welding. Heat is the only thing that makes the welding happen. Hence, give proper heat when you’re welding. This heat is the reason why your metals are melting. But giving high heat doesn’t mean you need to give it constantly. There is a certain time limit of heating, depending on your body pane metal and heat compression. 

Step 5- Pulse Action:

Now you’re giving heat and you don’t know how long you should heat and not heat. This will simply result in blowholes and all your hard work will be in vain. 

Before working with the heat, you need to decide how wide and large you want your weld pool. Decide your desired size and then take a demo metal and weld on it. Count how long you need to heat before you get your desired results. This time is your hot compression period. Then again count how much time your previous pool needs to get an orangish color. This time is the time of your cold compression.

Now you have got your hot compress and cold compress time, it’s time to get to the real work. When you start creating a weld pool, count your timing, then stop. Don’t start the next pool right after. Count your cold compress. You will see the previous pool has got a yellowish color and less heat. Now jump half the diameter and start with another pool. This consistent pulse action is required to get the best results.

Step 6- Give Proper Time Gap:

Mig welding needs proper timings. Be it hot or cold time lapse. The time gap between pools is also important. Don’t give heat back to back. When you make one pool, don’t go for another just right after. Count your cold timing and jump to the next. This action will pretty much lessen the chances of blowholes.

5 Tips To Mig Weld Body Panels: It Will Make The Process Easier

Here are my personal 5 tips that you can follow to MIG weld body panels:

Tip 1: Choose a suitable size for you. 

Tip 2: Don’t make any mistakes while pulse counting. This is the most vital part to determine whether your welding is going according to your expectation or not. 

Tip 3: If you’re working with thick metal, your hot timing should be more than cold. But cold timing shouldn’t be too less. It’s also important to let your panel be cool. Cold timing plays a great role in reducing blowing hole chances.

Tip 4: If you’re working with thin steel, you need to do the exact opposite of a thick one. Cold timing should be more, while hot compression should be less. But as always, the hot timing shouldn’t be too less. Heat is the only thing that is melting your panels. So give proper heat but in less time.

Tip 5: Don’t weld back to back. Create one weld pool and then rest for a bit. When it cools down & turns out some kind of orange, go for the other. Back to back welding will create massive heat and eventually will burn out your metal.

Can You Weld Body Panels With A Mig Welder?

Mig welders are specially designed for welding body panels. They are used to repair cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. Its efficiency in welding both thin and thick body panels makes it stand out. Moreover, Mig welders specifically work best with body panels. They are very easy for beginners as well. They don’t require hard and core skills. If you’re planning to MIG weld your car’s body panels, I recommend it is your best choice. 

Which Welder Should You Use For Body Panels?

There are mainly three types of welders. Each one of them has its quality for different purposes. There, it all narrows down to your purpose which kind of welder you should use Mig, Tig, or metal arc. 

  • Mig: Presently MIG welders are widely known for welding body panels. They can weld both steel and aluminum which has a great advantage. It’s easy to use and needs less volt. Thick or thin, it works well with both types. Also, its ability to give proper fusion to base metal is another cherry on the top.
  • Tig: Though it works better with thin metals, I have seen many working with thick metals also. They aren’t actually designed for body panels. But, if you’re in need of a quick and temporary weld, using it won’t be a lost cause.
  • Metal Arc: This version of welder has been old, but its ability to weld proper and fine pools have made it unique. Its other quality is working without noise. When you use a metal arc, you will hardly hear any noise while welding. It goes well with body panels though as an older version it works a little bit slower. 

Out of these three widely used welders, MiGs stand out the most while you’re working with body panels. Their easy use, efficiency, and dual typo make them unique.

How Many Amps Does It Take To Mig Weld A Body Panel?

Usually, it takes 20 amps to MIG weld a body panel. Sometimes, it can take 30 amps. However, how many amps will you need that depends on your MIG welder volt and metal type?

For example- A 115-volt MIG welder can produce 140 amps while welding 1/4″ thick steel each time. With a 220-volt MIG welder, it can give 200 amps. It welds nearly 1/2″ steel. 

How Do You Mig Weld A Thin Sheet Of Steel?

Working with a thin steel bear has chances of burning out the most. Also, it has more risk of blowing out holes. Some precautionary steps can widely help you with this. 

To MIG weld a thin sheet of steel:

  • Never use excess heat. It only increases the chances of burning out. Work with lower input. So try to keep a minimum temperature while you weld your thin sheet of steel.
  • When you’re putting your torch in place, obviously consider the melting point of your metal. You need to put the torch at the right time. Otherwise, it will be an addition to burning out your steel.
  • Use gas that has higher concentrated argon gas. Argon gasses produce less heat. So, it helps to reduce the chances of blowholes.
  • Be careful while pulsing. Your hot compression time needs to be less than cold timing. If you do vice versa mistakenly, your hard work will simply go into vain. 

Is Tig Or Mig Better For Welding Body Panels?

Tig or mig is quite an arguable matter. But which one works best with the body panels depends on various factors. Migs are preferable to tigs when it comes to body panels. 

Mig welders can work vertically, upside-down, and almost in every position. It’s very easy to use as any newbie can work with this. You don’t need expertise skills. Also, mig users are provided with a chart that instructs everything. 

On the other hand, tig welders are used to cutting thinner metals. They are a little bit complicated to use and require strong skills. But tig’s capability to create quality welds on thin metals makes it worth every penny. 

Narrowing down to welding body panels, Migs are the best choice for their high welding speed, low skill factor, and dual capability.

Final Words:

Mig welding is one of the easiest processes out there. It requires less time while resulting in fine weld pools. If you’ve more queries on this topic, comments are always open for you. Leave us a comment and tell us about your experience. Also, roam around our site to clarify more queries.

You may also want to read:

Can You Weld Stainless Steel To Mild Steel

How To Purge Stainless Steel For Welding

How To Put Leather On Welding Hood

Kaosar Ahmed

This is Kaosar Ahmed. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Welding Leader is a blog where I share welding tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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