Mig is probably going to be the easiest and cheapest, including the least time consuming. Two different types of machine are just a basic wire fed machine using a sheilded wire (technically not MIG). the wire is coated with a sheilding material so no shielding gas is needed. The other type is a wire feed machine that uses an inert gas for sheilding the weld area. You buy the gas in a container ($18-40, depending on the size conatiner and your regional prices).
For these types of machines the gas comes out of a nozzle in the handle of the welder to shield the weld area and ensure a good clean weld. All it takes is a 5MPH breeze to blow away the gas that is supposed to shield your weld, so if you're planning on working outside, and you don't have good isolation from wind, you might consider the former type of machine.
If you do get started welding on your own, please take a class and do as much studying outside of class as possible, the community college classes give you a good chance to practice but they AREN'T real professional training.
you'll want to practice as much as possible before working on the car, take a scrap of 20ga sheetmetal and practice butt welds first. you should be able to hold one end of the metal in a vice, so that the weld runs horizontal and above the vice, next use a hammer to hit the top edge of the metal above the weld. if the metal folds and two pieces remain connected, you've made a strong enough weld. If it breaks at, or around the weld, then you still need more practice.
Welding is FUN and you can do it, but if you're going to learn, and invest all that time working on a car that you want to be proud of, then it makes sense to invest in a good machine, a good teacher, and lots of practice. Auto darkening helmets are a godsend, make sure the shade is dark enough.
Good luck & Have fun welding!
Last edited by sono veL.O.ce; 08-26-2004 at 09:02 PM.