The next phase of the build has (kind of) begun. My previous plan was to take the dump pipe/turbo/manifold  assembly off the car and to an exhaust shop for some modifications. I then thought I might as well have a go myself. I already have a nice little portable stick welder, which has the power, but not the accuracy for the job. Fortunately, it is upgrade-able to a TIG welder by adding a torch and some argon gas.

Buying these parts was a bit of an ordeal. I tracked down the parts at a local tool shop and went in with item numbers from their website. The person assisting me had no idea what was going on, and when I got home I realised he had given me an LPG regulator which didn’t fit the argon bottle or torch. Furthermore, the torch was missing the collect holder, a crucial part that screws into the torch body and then everything else into it.

Even getting the argon bottle was frustrating. A few years ago, welding with gas at home meant entering a contract and paying bottle rental on top of the gas costs. Bunnings and other places now have $99 size D bottles of gas available at their stores. The catch that isn’t priced on their website is the $200 bottle deposit. Future refills will be $99 and if I’ve ever had enough, I can return the bottle for my $200 back.

The next day I headed back down to exchange the regulator and get the missing part of the torch. When the assistant opened up another box of the same part, it was missing everything except the torch shell and hose! Apparently people help themselves to things at “the back of the store”. He made up the parts with the packet from a third box, and was very helpful and apologetic.

A quick test weld on some scrap revealed the process is so much easier, neater and more accurate than stick welding. I’m very confident of getting a good result on the exhaust. Mild steel flanges and new gaskets have been ordered to make up the new join I will be adding in to the wastegate pipe.

Other than that, a new rocker cover gasket is on the way, so I can open up the top and see what cams and gears are installed. While I’m at it, I’ll install the rocker arm stoppers.

One week until I’m on an extended Christmas break so many updates to come.