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My Ratsun Datsun 521, now with L-20-B and a five speed


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I've heard several hobbyist love their Harbor Freight migs, but I've never used one. I don't know if they've used anything else to compare them to. The price is right! Having done flux core and gas.....definitely get one that will let you upgrade to gas later. It's hard to get the power down low enough with flux core wire to do thin sheet metal. For what you need to do to the floorboards, mig is definitely the choice, but it can be done with the gas...just keep the gaps really close. Another plus for gas is that the weld can be hammered afterwards....mig is typically too hard.


Check Craigslist until you can't afford to wait any longer...then buy the best one you can afford. Sears sells welders too....payment would be about $15/mo :)


Since you have 220v in the shop......I'd certainly lean toward a bigger machine....you might have better luck finding one of those anyway since the vast majority of your buying competitors are going to be looking for 110v machines. I paid about $900 for my Millermatic 185 used...well worth it!!!

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I put my 521 kingcab together with a harbor freight mig welder, I now have a millermatic passport plus that works with 110 or 220, I think it is the best thing I ever bought welder wise, but there was/is nothing wrong with my harbor freight mig, it still works to this day, but it only works with 220, and my leads are not very long, you also have to buy your parts at harbor freight, as the welding supply stores do not carry the correct parts for harbor freight welders, except for the wire, you can buy that anywhere.

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On this page:

MIG welder advise
More second cab cleaning
Boring boat talk, It was summer.


I spent some time cleaning inside the cab today.
Left side before cleaning.
Left side after cleaning.
Right side before cleaning.
And the right side after cleaning.

Thanks for the advise on welders. I am thinking about getting a new one, it will have a warranty, and also the support of a local welding shop. This is the MIG welder I am thinking about getting.

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Daniel...in the second pic, there's a rust spot just below the lower left corner of the windshield.....pay particular attention to that one!!!! You'll need to take care of that since it's where the water is coming into the cab from.....most likely. Mend was bad on both sides and I'm pretty sure my wife's rig has the same prob.

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Mike, thanks for the heads up on the spot below the windshield, lower left. I have been kinda picking at it, and seeing how bad it is.


A lot of the seam sealer is also loose in the cab.


There are also some rust spots right above the windshield, on the top of the cab.


Sealing this thing up could be a little of a project, but I still think this cab is better than the cab on Ratsun.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have cut part of the floor out of Ratsun cab, and took some pictures, but I have not moved them to photobucket, yet. Ratsun is the Datsun this thread is mainly about, and the extra cab I got I am calling Addict

It is Summer, and I am spending a lot of time on my boat, and water skiing.

I also have a Horse boarding ranch, and even though horses are in pastures, I need to spend a fair amount of time mowing weeds, so more grass, and other plants the horses eat will grow. Also fence repair.

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On this page:

MIG welder purchase
Some welding advise for me
Second cab on a pallet, moving with tractor
Cutting out driver side floor on second cab
Clean and prime inside of right inner fender on second cab
Right side door handle replacement
Gas tank inside picture, fuel pickup
Foster road Pick-n-Pull, windshield purchase
Broken windshield removal.


Here is an update. In June, I was thinking about buying a MIG welder. I bought one. A Miller AutoSet 180, and a bottle to hold the Argon/CO2 gas.
I started to use it to repair brackets to hold waterbuckets for the horses, and then on to a repair of a wheelbarrel.
I then laid a few beads into some 18 ga sheet metal.
And then I cut a piece of metal off the sheet, and welded it back together.
and this is the back side of the weld.

On Ratsun Datsun I also started to cut some of the old rusted floor out.

Now that the days are getting shorter, I have a little more time that I can work in the garage, without it being so late, but I am still using Dragon Datsun to move boat trailers around.

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The Ford in the trees is a 1966 F-250. 4 speed, 410 cu in engine, 410 rear axle.

On the freeway, I really did not need to downshift it much, even with a camper, and a four horse trailer, and four horses.


Did a little more practice welding tonight. Nothing picture worthy. It is pretty easy to burn holes in 22 GA sheet metal.

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