Harbor Freight Stud Welder - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 1:00 AM Thread Starter
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Steve
 
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Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Found some unfortunate body damage on my car this weekend. I suspected that there was a repair done at some point, but had no idea to what extent. The Quarter itself had some bump and bruises where one of the previous owners was parking or driving by braille. There was an area on the rear of the quarter that I was able to get to with a regular hammer and dolly, but above the rear wheel, there is a spot that I just couldn't access the back side of no matter what I tried.

Now I'm not a body guy, nor have I ever tried anything like this before. I'm trying to get the body as close to straight as possible to reduce as much body filler as I possibly can. This car won't ever be a show queen, but I want it to be as nice as possible. I picked up a Harbor Freight Stud Gun after doing a little research and most folks online seemed to have pretty good luck if it wasn't DOA. I did find quite a few complaints about the slide hammer, but figured I'd give it a go...



This is the area right above the rear tire. The dents are pretty small, and probably only 3/16" or so, but figured it'd be a good place to start.



Studs Welded on, This is about 0.5 seconds on the trigger, with the 2MM studs



Used the slide hammer just a little bit at a time, and was able to bring this area just about flush, Just a skim coat should do just fine to level it out.



Trimmed off the studs and ground them smooth. Just a skim coat should do just fine to level it out.



I got excited and moved on to one of the bigger issues, so I didn't take any pictures of the after of the area above the wheel. This area was quite a bit worse. It looks like the car hit something then drug it down the quarter right behind the door. There is about 1/8-1/4" dent here that's about 6 inches long.



Placed the studs as close together as I could which is about an inch apart. I tried to put them all in the root of the dent (Before)



Many of the reviews of this stud welded had complaints about the slide hammer not holding onto the studs. I did not have that problem. Both the welder and the hammer worked fantastic. I worked each pin/stud a little at a time. Always keeping advice I heard many years ago, that the metal will move with the lightest taps of a hammer. This is probably 5-6 passes.







That took me about 30 minutes from start to finish... Now I need to work on the dent right below it.



Then I'm going to tackle this...




All in all, I'm pretty impressed with this thing. It works fantastic. Even comes with 200 studs (Already have more on the way, Thanks Amazon...) Totally worth the $97.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 1:33 AM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Nice work. Thanks for taking the time to review the stud gun and share the work you did.

Steve R
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 1:44 AM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Good job! Glad to know which cheap tools work well. I have 2 slide hammer tool sets, but have never needed a stud gun.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 4:00 AM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Thanks for the review. Also, thanks for taking the pics and documenting how you went about the repairs. Very helpful.

Here's the link, I believe:
https://www.harborfreight.com/stud-w...kit-61433.html
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 4:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmchevelle View Post
Thanks for the review. Also, thanks for taking the pics and documenting how you went about the repairs. Very helpful.

Here's the link, I believe:
https://www.harborfreight.com/stud-w...kit-61433.html

That's the one. Just as a note, you can't use the 20-25% off coupon for this, because it's considered a welder... Even at full price, it's still worth it.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 5:30 PM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Thanks, this is very timely, because I need to do same. I almost pulled the trigger on one this past Saturday.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 18, 6:33 PM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Great post! I have some stuff one of those could do. It may move onto the list.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 18, 1:23 AM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

I've got the "Uni-Spotter" stud gun and agree they are great. If you hit the trigger a little bit lighter, you can still the stud to stick well enough to do all the pulling you want, but you can twist the stud off so no cut and grind. If you have to put on a lot of studs it's a big time saver. You take a pair of side cutters and clamp onto the very base of the stud below the little bulb on the tip. Then twisting in the stud it pops right off and there's very little defect in the metal to clean up.

It takes a few tries to get the right trigger pull to not put the stud on too solid, but it's pretty easy.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 18, 1:07 PM Thread Starter
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Steve
 
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
I've got the "Uni-Spotter" stud gun and agree they are great. If you hit the trigger a little bit lighter, you can still the stud to stick well enough to do all the pulling you want, but you can twist the stud off so no cut and grind. If you have to put on a lot of studs it's a big time saver. You take a pair of side cutters and clamp onto the very base of the stud below the little bulb on the tip. Then twisting in the stud it pops right off and there's very little defect in the metal to clean up.

It takes a few tries to get the right trigger pull to not put the stud on too solid, but it's pretty easy.

Thanks John, I'm still getting used to this, I had a few of the studs pop off when using the slide hammer, so I burned them on a little extra after that.... I'll have to give that a go, that sounds quite a bit less labor intensive.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 18, 5:00 PM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

Thanks for taking the time for the review.

I saw one on Craigslist brand new, never opened for $75. I offered him $65 and he bit. I figured for that price I couldn't loose much. I wonder if it will take out a roof dent? I got a bunch of dents to try it out on the 66 Chevelle.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 18, 6:00 PM
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Re: Harbor Freight Stud Welder

I have used the HF stud welder now off and on for a few years, still going strong. The slide hammer isn't the best, but I found if you rotate the wheel as tight as you can it makes a difference. For the $$, it is well worth it in my opinion.

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