Minty Smash: VK56 S13 Build Update #4

Greg has been updating the progress of the VK56 S13 build on a few local and national forums, but it is high time to get the blog updated with the build as well! Things are really taking shape and many of the hurdles are getting ironed out. The goal from day one has been to produce a COMPLETE swap kit that will make the swap a bolt-on, drop-in affair…and I’m excited to say we are nearing that goal!

Well, after cutting the oil pan and bit prior too, Steven and I had begun talks of getting a pretty crucial bit of welding equipment. A big thanks goes to Miller for making a cost effective TIG welder with a baller warranty. I will say it doesn’t have any crazy extra controls, but it is inverter technology and allows it to run low amps (under 30) which is the same as most laundry dryers. Plus it can be unplugged and put in the back of the truck without the assistance of a crane! Great for a track-side setup later on or helping out a buddy at their house.

On a personal level, this was a intimidating decision. I myself had never touched a TIG welder until this arrived. I had to learn a new way to weld. I will not accept good welds, I pride myself on my welding. So I knew I was in for a few nights of working out the movements and timing. Little did I know it would be about 3 weeks. I think I will finally know I can TIG when I am not ashamed to hashtag my welds on Instagram with #weldporn. All in due time, I am only a couple months in now and continually improving.

Miller Welds:

I love opening new stuff:

Hello there:

The front panel. Simple is great for the beginner:

My first welds with the machine. I thought they looked like ****. Oh, wait, you need to run gas?! My first few welds were hindered because I hadn’t set up gas flow on a machine in so long I forgot about the gas drop when you start welding. haha FAIL:

My first try at aluminum and subsequent tries:

Getting there. I got the gas running right, my cleaning action is much improved, heat is more consistent:

This is a little later. I got the above positive, and I am starting to work on spacing of the rings: