Jeep Guy From the Great White North - BC, Canada

Good day everyone. BeauMaster here, from up in beautiful Terrace, BC, Canada. A new VIP LABAP member but a long time admirer of Tony’s videos. I just finished watching Tony respond to my Jeep questions on YouTube today (May 8th). I was blown away by Tony’s response. Thanks again Tony!

I’m retired and the wife works full time (who needs the lottery) so time is not an issue for me. I’ve worked with my hands early on with my Dad; took up electrical trade, then instrumentation then electrical engineering. Love wood work, photography, fishing, hiking, travelling and building things.

I promised Tony I’d send some photos of my current project, a 2000 Jeep TJ Sport that I bought new in 2000. It recently turned over 300k kilometers (186k miles); had a few leaks and some rust holes. This is my daily driver but sees a lot of off-road as well year round.

I installed complete new 3" lift and control arms, added new diff gears for larger tires, installed air lockers front and rear, new SYE and drive shaft, new engine oil gaskets, new hand built NC brake lines and new drive bearings on everything … all outside in my driveway! But the biggest challenge was to repair rusted out main frame sections. So, I took up MIG welding to complete.

Now I can see the finish line ahead, or so my family and neighbours are hoping. The body is off the frame and is stripped down to the tub and hood only. See photos I took this afternoon.

Anyway, I’m glad to be on-board. Will set up a “What Am I Up To” session so anyone who is interested in this project can follow along and comment or make suggestions.

Here are the images, Cheers!

A few images of body

Up close views on some surface rust issues I was asking about

When I pulled the carpet out on driver’s side … I could see the driveway underneath. Floor pan was almost 40% gone. Installed new one.

My second rust issue was in the bottom back corner of door section … on both sides. Completely rotted out. I rebuilt with 18 gauge. The black you see is my favourite rust system “Rust Bullet”.

Frame as it sits right now. Everything has been cleaned of rust and treated with three coats of Rust Bullet gloss black. This stuff is tough if applied properly, even a wire wheel on disk grinder takes effort to get back to bare metal. It’s UV resistant and be painted over as well

Repaired and beefed up frame. I made all new brackets as well using 3/16" steel

Not to become too bored, I learned how to build my own replacement patch panels from 18 gauge sheet

That’s it for now. I hear a cold Corona calling me. :beer::beer:



Can’t forget my most reliable Assistant … Beau

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Projects looking good so far. Welding is thing I really want to work on next. How much did you have to spend/invest, equipment wise, to get started welding?

Thanks for connecting.

I had several welding projects in mind when I picked out my welder which involved the Jeep sheet metal right up to frame and bracket repair/fab up to 3/16" mild steel. So I bought a new MIG 170A continuous duty unit for about $1000 CDN; it came with MIG gun and rollers for 0.035" and 0.030" wire. My plan was to sell the unit, after projects are done, and expect $500-$600 return.

If you plan to only do sheet metal and small projects that are quick tackedly together, all you need is a 125-135A MIG using 120Vac outlet. These can range from $200-$400 CDN; ensure MIG gun and gas regulator with hose is included. Also, if you use an extension cord to welder, use a good #14AWG or better yet #12AWG to supply welder ($50-$60)

You need a bottle of 75%/25% Argon/CO2 mix gas. You can usually buy, rent or lease from a welding supplier. I lease mine for $65/yr plus $30 fill

For MIG wire, on sheet metal 0.023" is good if you have the corresponding roller. You can get these in 2 and 10lb spools. Get a name brand wire from a welding supplier. I don’t have a 0.023" roller so I use 0.030" wire and it works very well on the 18 gauge I’m using as well as 1/4" and 3/16 mild steel. It’s an all-round wire. About $20-$60 CDN depending on spool size

You’ll need 5-6 contact tips for the size of wire you’re using $15

After that, you need a welding helmet with Auto darkening. These can run $200-$400; don’t go cheap on this its not worth it.

You’ll need a good corded portable grinder with a grinding disk to do initial weld grinding. Pickup some cut-off disks to cut your metal and flap disks for scale removal and final polish. You can often get these on sale in multi-packs.

Plus some heavy duty gloves. You don’t need heavy duty welding gloves, just some lighter duty knock offs with long cuffs.

You’ll need at least two 6" C-clamps, welding pliers, a couple vice grips,

Do NOT use flux core wire (no gas) on your projects if you are learning to weld. MIG welding with Ar/CO2 gas is the best way to go for learning and making nice welds quickly. The puddle is also much easier to see during welding.

You’ll need to buy steel. I buy from an industrial supplier but be aware mild steel usually is in 24’ lengths and sheet is 4’X10’ sheets. I can buy mild steel in required lengths but they charge me $5 per cut. Sheets are only sold in sheets. You might have other sources. Figure your options out beforehand to get a good picture of these costs as well

Last but not least, some must have safety gear; good safety glasses with side-shields or wrap-around style; a good fully charged minimum 20lb fire extinguisher; ear plugs or muffs for when cutting and grinding; non-flamable cover-alls with long sleeves for grinding and welding; work boots (not shoes) with pant cuffs pulled over boot

You can see that, from everything I’ve mentioned as being required for welding, the costs can run up pretty high if you buy everything new. If you already have some of these tools, or if you shop for sales, buy used or borrow you can cut down a lot. But … once you start YOU WILL NEED ALL OF THE ITEMS ABOVE before you are done so be prepared. I’ve probably spent $1500 CDN in total but plan to get minimum $500 back post-projects. One of the most satisfying aspects to my Jeep project is the welding and it is worth every penny to me.

As a final note: welding, cutting and grinding makes a LOT of noise. Think about how this will affect your neighbours and family. Be courteous!

Oh yea, no welding shop is complete without a beer fridge, some tunes and a comfortable chair to admire your work and plan for the next project.

Hope this helps. Cheers and good luck with your projects.


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