Fiat Vimo

From wreck to showpiece

Transforming an old car with TIG welding

Tero Komulainen and Joonas Innanen have been building and repairing cars since their teen years in Mikkeli, Finland. They became acquainted in the local car audio circles some ten years ago. Over the years, however, the actual construction of cars has taken the lead. Together they started to repair and pimp out an old-timer car to a spectacular heavily modded showcase for car audio.

For their project, they chose a 1972 model Fiat 600, which Komulainen’s dad brought to the family's summer cottage in the 1980's for the kids to play with. Since then, the wreck had been standing for years at the mercy of the skies. The first version of Fiat Vimo – named after Komulainen’s father – saw daylight in 2013 and the current incarnation was introduced in March 2018 at a European car audio event in Salzburg, Austria.

The project has deliberately utilized industrial-style workflows. All the required welding has been done with Kemppi equipment – the last stages with MasterTig MLS 2300ACDC.

Hobby and DIY

Mikkeli, Finland

Hobby project with a professional touch: Tero Komulainen and Joonas Innanen rebuilt an abandoned Fiat 600 old-timer car to an astonishing showcase for high-end car audio gear. Both have demanding specialist jobs in the metal industry, and want to implement industrial production practices also in their hobby. Kemppi's MasterTig MLS 2300ACDC helped in achieving the perfect weld.

Main challenge

Doing an old-timer car’s bodywork is a challenging task for the welder, especially if the original design is modified at the same time. The work requires constant measuring and adjusting, and the welder must be able to control the distortion caused by the heat from the welding arc.

The badly rusted Fiat Vimo required a lot of welding, including a complete renewal of the floor plates. Also, many fasteners and flanges for electronics needed to be added to the car body. "We wanted to design all the work so that the laser-precut plates fit together exactly. Putting a lot of effort on design and planning makes welding the plates easier, and we can reach the best possible weld quality," says Tero Komulainen.

"However, welds made with traditional MIG equipment always need a lot of finishing, which takes time, so we usually have to hide the welds. That has been limiting our options – and thus our imagination, too."

With a precisely controlled arc and suitable amount of filler material, the weld will be considerably smoother. This goes hand in hand with our goal to make the weld so neat that it no longer needs finishing and there would be no need to hide it.

Joonas Innanen, engineer and car audio enthusiast

Kemppi's solution

Kemppi's MasterTig MLS 2300ACDC welding equipment came into the picture in the final stages of the Fiat Vimo project. Both Komulainen and Innanen say that bringing in the TIG technology has raised – and will further raise – their hobby to a new level and has eliminated the last limitations on work quality.

"The MasterTig produces finer welds than traditional MIG/MAG machines. Controlling the arc and pulse are much more precise, and temperature control is easier. With TIG, we can attach the precision-cut workpieces without filler material”, says Joonas Innanen, who won the bronze medal in Construction Metal Work at the international WorldSkills competition in 2013.

"With a precisely controlled arc and suitable amount of filler material, the weld will be considerably smoother than with, for example, MAG welding. It goes hand in hand with our goal to make the weld so neat that it no longer needs finishing and there would be no need to hide it. The welding of the aluminum parts of the engine and transmission also goes fine with the MasterTig."

"In the future, we are planning to use the welds as highlighted details," Komulainen adds. "The TIG technology gives us the best opportunity to engage ourselves in new and even more challenging projects.”

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MasterTig MLS 2300ACDC

MasterTig 2300ACDC is a 230 A version with 1-phase 230 V power supply. This welder of...

MasterTig 2300ACDC is a 230 A version with 1-phase 230 V power supply. This welder offers TIG welding professionals the necessary control to meet their exact needs.

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