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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 03:07:53 PM   #41
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In short, I said that welding reinforcement plates is still the preferred method to epoxy and there are many reasons behind it. If this was not the case, performance shops would have started utilizing epoxy by now. But they haven't.
That some method is preferred cannot be assumed to mean that it is better than an alternative. The first question that comes to mind is, if the shop already has the welding equipment, which method is cheaper for them? Given they are familiar with welding reinforcements, another question is which is easier for them? Also, which is the public most comfortable with? Example: "Please install this SF reinforcement kit for me." "Okay, we'll glue it on for you." Haha.
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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 04:31:58 PM   #42
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That some method is preferred cannot be assumed to mean that it is better than an alternative. The first question that comes to mind is, if the shop already has the welding equipment, which method is cheaper for them? Given they are familiar with welding reinforcements, another question is which is easier for them? Also, which is the public most comfortable with? Example: "Please install this SF reinforcement kit for me." "Okay, we'll glue it on for you." Haha.
Well, the elite shops (e.g. Fall-line) have a dedicated welder and the equipment for it. But many shops outsource the work to another shop that specializes in welding. That or they have an experienced welder come in and perform the welding. So, welding may not necessarily be the most cost-effective method for many shops. But like you implied, it is still the most trusted. Something about "gluing" on subframe reinforcements that just doesn't sound right, even when - apparently - the entire industrial world is willing to put their left nut on the line for epoxy.
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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 04:54:03 PM   #43
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Good info in this thread. Maybe in years to come, we'll see cars that are "glued" together...

If I was having my subframe fixed, I would go with the welding option. Seems to me that even if you found a shop that would use epoxy, I would question how experienced they were with the process. I've seen skilled welders work, and it's truly an art form.
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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 04:58:54 PM   #44
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... I would question how experienced they were with the process....
If I trust the shop, then I trust them to read simple instructions on how to use the epoxy...3M supplies very clear instructions.
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 01:47:55 PM   #45
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...because apparently one of those methods is still more proven and more trusted. Also because one of them (welding) must still be seen as superior.
I would disagree. Welding is more popular, because more people are familar with it. That does not make it superior. And from that you definitely can't jump to the conclusion that it just because more people know it, it must be superior.

Welding has been around much longer than epoxy, no question about it. But as technology advances, newer technologies come out that eventually make the older technology obsolete, at least in some situations.

If not, we would all be riding horses and not driving cars.

I'll agree with Hal here, having witnessed first hand some of the capabilities of structural epoxy, I'd prefer that method as well. Especially when you consider the entire plate is epoxied, while with welding it is only the outer edge.
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 03:23:01 PM   #46
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Maybe in years to come, we'll see cars that are "glued" together...
Seems like everyone forgot that the Exige has a bonded (i.e. glued, not welded) aluminum chassis. They seem to be holding up ok.
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Old Wed, Aug-19-2009, 02:59:41 AM   #47
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Seems like everyone forgot that the Exige has a bonded (i.e. glued, not welded) aluminum chassis. They seem to be holding up ok.
yup, thats true... ive done some research and there are epoxied race cars out there...
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Old Wed, Aug-19-2009, 04:21:05 AM   #48
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Seems like everyone forgot that the Exige has a bonded (i.e. glued, not welded) aluminum chassis. They seem to be holding up ok.
Yes, but aluminum is also a lot harder to weld properly compared to steel which is a breeze. The C6 Corvette frame is aluminum and welded, but they also have to x-ray and inspect the welds carefully to make sure they are 100%. I haven't heard or read of any "steel" automotive chassis' being epoxied, other than composite materials that obviously need to be epoxied.
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Old Wed, Aug-19-2009, 04:47:22 AM   #49
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Yes, but aluminum is also a lot harder to weld properly compared to steel which is a breeze. The C6 Corvette frame is aluminum and welded, but they also have to x-ray and inspect the welds carefully to make sure they are 100%. I haven't heard or read of any "steel" automotive chassis' being epoxied, other than composite materials that obviously need to be epoxied.
What you say is true; however, my point was epoxy has the strength and durability to be a viable alternative to welding.
It is not theory or conjecture or a maybe, it is actually being used in a production vehicle in something as critical as the chassis.
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Old Wed, Aug-19-2009, 07:08:31 PM   #50
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I haven't heard or read of any "steel" automotive chassis' being epoxied, other than composite materials that obviously need to be epoxied.
We probably won't be seeing epoxy widely used anytime soon in production except on cars that are made in small numbers or in special applications like the E92 carbon fiber roof.

I'm not very familiar with the details of assembly line production of a car, but having to let an epoxied chassis/frame sit perfectly still for several hours for the epoxy to cure would probably slow the production rate dramatically. There could also be environmental issues disposing of the chemicals/chemical containers, the cost of epoxy being dependent on oil, etc...
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Discussing rear subframe reinforcement... in the M3 Track: Racing and DE Forum - Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)