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Repairing Seat Back Sheet Metal


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I pulled apart my driver side seat a few weekends ago and discovered the sheet metal that makes up the seat back was cracked in several places. Judging by the wear on the seat cover a previous owner had the seat reclined and it was hitting the edge of the package tray rail. The metal is 22ga or 24ga, very thin stuff! I tried welding it back together after watching several videos on Youtube but even with my Hobart 150 on its lowest setting, using CO2/Argon mix, and a copper heat sink behind it I am still blowing holes through it. Has anyone else run in to this when recovering their seats? If so what did you do to fix it? At this point if I can't weld it back together I am considering epoxying a piece of sheet metal over the cracked and damaged area. Once it has the foam and cover on it you will never detect it, I just want to make sure I am doing right by the way I want to repair it. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated it.

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What about brazing it? Or even brazing a patch over the crack...

I don't know if the metal would stand up to brazing on to it. Let me see what kind of wire I have and go from there. Maybe a case where my wire is too thick and just need to scale down to a thinner wire.

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So I picked up a 2lb spool of Hobart .023 wire at Northern Tool yesterday along with some tips and a new ground clamp since a previous owner had attached what looked like a cheap jumper cable clamp. Today I set about trying to make it work. With my welder as low as it would go and a wire speed of around 5.5 I was able to get about 70% of the cracks welded. I did a "staple" kind of weld across the crack since trying to even tack weld at the crack would burn a hole through. I am assuming this happened due to 40 years of metal fatigue. All in all it still looks like crap but it is stronger and no one will see it. I also picked up some 26ga sheet metal at Lowes thinking I might just tack it over the cracks as it would provide a thin plate and some reinforcement.

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