Newb welding question (1 Viewer)

hotdiggitydamn

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Hey guys and gals! I’m an amateur who likes to weld but I’ve never actually welded on a car. I have a 100 series I want to chop part of the front frame rails off of and beef up for mounting a bumper to. I’ll likely use my TIG welder with Hi Freq start. My understanding is to disconnect the battery (negative only?) and ensure ground path is close to the electrode and not through anything sensitive. Sound about right?

I’ve read to disconnect the battery but no details provided. It would seem to me more sensible to disconnect the positive if you only disconnect one as it’s a negative grounded system. Maybe you disconnect and insulate both? I have no idea. Searches here only indicate to disconnect battery. Any help greatly appreciated!
 
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Ok. I've never welded either. Only an expert at soldering.

I'm concerned here with what you plan to do. I get that you want to fab up a big bumper; great beginner project there.

As far as chopping frame and welding it on; that seems like a bit of a bodge.

You shouldn't need to do too much to the frame, some frames can't be welded on at all. I accidented a 2005 F-150 once, the insurance adjuster said the frame was "hydroformed" when made, and couldn't be weld repaired safely. A replacement frame was $12K from Ford after it passed through the dealer. Truck was written off.

Generally, any new welding you do on a new frame will make it weaker than it was before, and will introduce a new area for corrosion to start too.

Unless this is a rotted frame headed for scrap, you should avoid cutting and welding it, and instead cut and weld your new bumper to match the vehicle.

That way, the bumper can go on another matching truck when this one is gone.

With the 70 series mine trucks I have, they bolted completely massive mining bumpers to the front, without any need to strengthen the area with welding. You could push a moose with that bumper. It saw heavy mine use, 9500hrs without any frame damage.
 

hotdiggitydamn

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Thank you for the reply! Honestly I’m only used to welding on tractors that break. After looking at those there doesn’t look to be anywhere on the frame near as beefy as I’m used to. It’s just a matter of perception.

The situation I have is after a bit of light off-roading with the stock bumper the welded on nut plate that caps the forward end of the frame is damaged. I can just chop this off as the new bumper won’t utilize this but I would rather weld back in a plate to cap that back off. This would also let me mount the bumper and winch another 1/2 inch further back. It’s really only replacing what is already welded there. I certainly won’t be welding the bumper on. Just making use of all factory nuts including those where rated recovery points mount.

My main concern is really the HF start but the more I read the less concerned I am. Again Thank you for the reply! Very good info.
 
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I've TIG'd on my frame with HF start (the rear, though, so farther from any fancy electronics). I didn't disconnect the battery as I've never seen any rational that I trusted for doing this. I did not have any problems. Just make sure your ground is in a sensible location.

I've never seen anything that led me to believe welding on LC frames is an issue - plenty of people weld their sliders on with no problems.
 

hotdiggitydamn

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I've TIG'd on my frame with HF start (the rear, though, so farther from any fancy electronics). I didn't disconnect the battery as I've never seen any rational that I trusted for doing this. I did not have any problems. Just make sure your ground is in a sensible location.

I've never seen anything that led me to believe welding on LC frames is an issue - plenty of people weld their sliders on with no problems.
Thank you Sir! I appreciate it.
 

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