Anyone that follows our posts here will notice that I am a fan of lowered vehicles. Could it be my fear of heights? Honestly, I'm not sure, but everyone can agree a car or truck that's "in the weeds" sure looks heavenly!
As I get older I want my custom vehicles to ride better, even when they are extremely low. It's not fun riding on the rubber bump stops and dreading every imperfection in the road! With vintage watercooled VW's this is a big problem enthusiasts face. I recently found a set of early-spec"rebuildable" strut mounts and I decided to gut and raise them to gain some shock travel and improve ride quality.
Since I needed an oddball sized piece of tubing to build the extension, I had a piece of 11 gauge steel rolled to match the diameter of the strut mount shell. I then used the vice and a pair of Eastwood Locking Pliers to clamp the rolled metal together. I then chamfered the edges and used the Eastwood TIG 200 on 220v to weld the two ends together. The result was a nearly flush joint that just needed a small amount of finish grinding.
With my "tubing" now formed I chamfered the edges of every piece to help me make a flush weld joint. I started by clamping the bottom halves in the vice and tack welding them together. This allowed me to flip the mount over and weld it in a more comfortable position. I set the TIG 200 to a max amperage of 140 amps and used 1/16 Steel TIG Filler Rod to join it all together and fill the chamfer I made. I repeated the process with the top cap and I soon had a mount that looked OE, but is 1.5 inches taller.
I am still working on making my weld puddles all look uniform, but I have come a long way since I first began learning to TIG weld on the TIG 200 about a year ago! With a little patience and a lot of practice, it really opens up what you can fabricate!