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The Cost of Welding

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
When I bought my 4GTL it came with two ragged holes just behind the front wheels each side at the jacking points. I wasn’t too concerned about these as I don’t use the official jacking points, preferring for quick wheel changes to use under the front wishbones and the pointed nipples under the rear trailing arms. So I plated over these holes with rectangles of sheet steel glued on with epoxy, finished off with under seal. This got me through the first two MOTs without any advisories but today the examiner saw through my little deception and failed the car.

Now the garage has quoted me £324 to weld up these corners of the chassis which struck me as a bit expensive although I don’t have any experience to base that on. So my question is - does this seem expensive? And is this a job for a garage with a lift rather than a mobile welder and a pair of car ramps?
 

jcarruthers2

Enthusiast
Messages
325
Hi

It does seem expensive if it is just x2 small plates (the rot does creep though and can be worse than it looks when you start prodding). My local garage charges £60 to weld a small straightforward plate. Therefore, approx £120 for the job. A mobile welder could equally carry out the job using a jack and stands.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Staff member
Messages
4,295
Location
Bedford UK
I tend to charge 350 per day for welding plus materials and travel and I don't do cars. Doesn't seem an unreasonable price to me. Probably a day bodging those in as the adjoining panels will likely have some rust too. Proper job would cost even more.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
Thanks for these replies. I’m going to get a quote elsewhere locally.
 

edwin

Enthusiast
Messages
590
Location
Lichfield
I have just had Reinelles front footwell panel cut out and the underside cleaned off exposing assorted holes in the chassis.
I had the full width footwell floor pan welded in, the various holes plated.I provided the panel. I then had the whole lot primed, painted and then undersealed. I also had a nasty dent in the right hand A pillar welded, and the two a panels between front door and bonnet cleaned up and welded and primed. That lot was £500. All done nicely. Cant even see where the huge A pillar dent was.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
An update - never assume! While I thought that my hole ‘repairs’ had been found out, in fact they hadn’t. I thought I should get some pics of the holes to take to other repair shops for a quote but when I got under the car I found two new holes which obviously had been opened up by the MOT tester. One is in the floor pan and looks a straightforward repair but the other is close to the near side inner chassis rail and has evidently been previously plated over and under sealed. It looks as though it might be awkward. So the quote I got doesn’t seem all that bad now! I expect to end up with a bigger bill as I’m going to get the other two holes fixed properly too. I do have replacements for the two front floor panels, bought off eBay in the early days of R4 ownership.

I used to think that one day I‘d tackle a body-off renovation of the chassis but advancing years (70) will rule that out. So my R4’s future will be in the hands of the welder next week.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
Today my R4 has returned to my garage without any welding done. The MOT garage reckoned that they would need to remove inner and outer front wings to get access - the holes are in front of the footwells - and were a little reluctant to go down that road. So after an initial panic (thinking worst cases……) I decided that I’m back in R4 project mode and will take the wings off and see what lies beneath………….

Anyone been down this route before?
 

edwin

Enthusiast
Messages
590
Location
Lichfield
My holes were in the footel and in the crease where the footwell floor meets the sloping bit. I bought a front across the car footwell panel, including slope bit,from Franzose. I took it to a local body work fellow, whose hobby is restoring Mk 1 land rovers, ie he restore cars as well.. He cut the floor out and a big chunk of the slope part, cleaned out the void, and welded in the new floor pan. In doing this, he found lots of other small holes in the bottom of the cassis, and plated those very neatly, wax oiled into the chassis, and footwell voids, and then used an underseal to paint the underside. He also pulled out a very nasty dent in the rt hand A post. Cant see it at all now. That lot cost £500. Plus the Panel. I am dextrous, but I did not want to learn welding on my car, and probably do a beginners job, which i know would disappoint me in the end. With all the other time and effort I am putting into this I want to get what I do right.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Staff member
Messages
4,295
Location
Bedford UK
Do post some photos of the rusty bits - otherwise we are guessing. My guess is the rust is in the triangular reinforcement at the front of the chassis - https://www.renault4.co.uk/renault-4-chassis-welding.htm#corner

If you are on a budget it is possible to bend the apex panel (the triangular panel behind the front wing) outwards for access, then after welding push it back in. It will leave a crease in the apex panel but it's not all that noticeable especially if you have the GTL plastic trim..
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
1405CF0C-0B0B-4F82-8E2A-F07F75A5DCB3.jpeg2675F02F-6BD0-4FAC-AC8A-C3A215A2AC50.jpeg39FD9DF4-8E7C-4F19-9B25-70B6C82BB024.jpegA4EA67BD-470C-434E-BA68-E3C8383FF916.jpeg
This last pic gives me most concern given its proximity to the chassis rail.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
I’m struggling to see what advantage I’ll gain by removing the wings - all the holes are underneath - so I think that I’ll work there to remove the rusted metal first and then clean and assess what remains.
 

malcolm

& Clementine the Cat
Staff member
Messages
4,295
Location
Bedford UK
I'm guessing they've spotted some rust in that front corner of the chassis hidden behind the apex panel. The jacking point strap does seem to be at a jaunty angle. None of the rust in the photos seems unusual or much of a worry.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
Thanks for that, Malcolm, I’ll have a more in depth look.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
Spot on, Malcolm! I can see some holes when shining a torch up behind those triangular panels. Thanks again.
 

Sage103

Gordon
Messages
130
Location
Torphichen, Scotland
Do post some photos of the rusty bits - otherwise we are guessing. My guess is the rust is in the triangular reinforcement at the front of the chassis - https://www.renault4.co.uk/renault-4-chassis-welding.htm#corner

If you are on a budget it is possible to bend the apex panel (the triangular panel behind the front wing) outwards for access, then after welding push it back in. It will leave a crease in the apex panel but it's not all that noticeable especially if you have the GTL plastic trim..
8793B22E-8216-4F53-A80B-61C038D475B5.jpeg
Taking your suggestion on board, Malcolm, would the fold be where the chalk line is in the pic? I’m not sure that that will provide the required access. By the way it’s only the offside that is holed. The nearside is ok - the whole in the floor underneath gives a clear view of the inside of the box. Might it be better to open up the join between the apex panel and the firewall and bend it back on the line of the door opening?
 
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