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what are your opinions on welding to the frame?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by SCOOBYDANNN, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. SCOOBYDANNN

    SCOOBYDANNN 1/2 ton status

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    Just curious. after seeing the beautiful prerunner thread.

    I personally have no problem if done right. i have a couple anal friends that think if you weld to the frame a catastrophic event will happen.:confused:
     
  2. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I welded my ford front rear spring hangars to the frame, don't see why it would cause a problem. Fixing cracked frames at the steering box requires welding the frame too. Your friends are anal.
     
  3. dark eternal

    dark eternal Registered Member

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    Im no metalurgist but I do know welding to a heat treated metal such as the frame of vehicles WILL cause a weak spot, but if you do it right, and not excessivly it can be done just fine. Key is to not make welds perpandicular across the frame, it will create a weak spot that can fracture easier than the rest of the frame. Ideally you would stress releive everything but thats not exactly an option for most people...

    With all of that said there is plenty of welding on my frame.
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    It's just mild steel...

    I think this mis-information is because big truck frames have all those warning stickers about not welding to or drilling in certain parts of the frame. Those bad boys are heat treated...so I guess people that have seen that assume all frames are heat treated.

    Rene
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I've cut, spliced, shortened, and lengthened truck frames on numerous vehicles. I was owner/operator in a body shop/rebuilder for several years and ran the frame machine. How do you think things like roll-backs and such are created? Or wrecks repaired? Welding will not hurt the frame and there are a variety of techniques that will produce joints as strong as the factory unmolested frame. And there are others that will result in cracks or unstable repairs.

    Edit: Just realized, you said welding *to* the frame. Obviously, that can be done without problems too. However, as I've mentioned in several long drawn out threads, there are potential problems if you make portions of the frame too rigid.
     
  6. dark eternal

    dark eternal Registered Member

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    i dont know about the older frames but mine is not just mild steel....
     
  7. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Just got a case of pic whore VD, so heres a photo of some welding I did to the frame recently. I am definitely an amateur welder, all self taught, but I catch on to fundamentals quickly, these welds turned out rather nice if I do say so myself.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2005
  8. AkMudr

    AkMudr 1/2 ton status

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    Now thats a bliggity bling weld my man! Nice work, especially vertical!


     
  9. 4trolls

    4trolls 1/2 ton status

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    I own a fabrication shop. welding to the frame is fine . this all got started in the 1920s when welding prossess was not that good, and car frames where spring steel. DO NOT EAT POP ROCKS AND COKE!
     
  10. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Thanks man! I'm definitely getting the hang of this welding business. I have to say I got a bit lucky with this one, and the one on the opposite side, too. Too many times I still find myself wandering off the "line" I'm supposed to be following. But it just becomes a matter of grinding it down and starting over. Wish I could hang out with a master welder like KidJethro for a monthlong apprenticeship. Thanks for the props!
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Not sure what year truck you have, but the 73-91 stuff is definitely mild steel.

    Rene
     
  12. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    He's got one of those BLING BLING 2001 trucks. :smirk:
     
  13. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    It depends on who your asking....

    If it wasn't for welders,a few of my trucks wouldn't HAVE a frame!!--I have had several trucks that had cracks at the steering box(even a 2wd!)and shock mounts pulled right thru the frame,and more than a few that had rot or other large cracks that had to be welded up--one truck I bought was very rotted on the frame rails from the cab back,and I bought another 1/2 frame from the boneyard and made it whole again by welding it back together and fishplating the seams...

    I never had any issues with the welds,nor did the frames ever crack again,despite my many episodes of overloading and plowing--and I'm not a certified welder by any means(I used an arc welder that looks at least as old as I am!)..I've seen those "DO NOT WELD OR CUT" stickers on big rigs too--as tRusty said,they are different steel,and they carry thousands of pounds of freight on public highways--I feel the stickers are there to cover the manufacturers butt if anything the owner does affects structural integrity more than it will "ruin" the frame--nearly every roll back ramp truck and dumpster hauling 10 wheeler I have looked at had frame "surgury".and you dont see too many folded in half or anything...and many factory welds are holding brackets on and such--if they can weld it,why cant we??

    If done properly,welds should be as strong or stronger than the peice your welding--even my crude bird poop welds never gave any greif,but my truck isnt an 18 wheeler either-if your worried just get an experienced welder with a MIG welder to do it for you..

    Some states are now not allowing frames to be repaired or welded--I think NH is one--but if you are good with a grinder,you can make the welds difficult or impossible to see,and most places dont even look when inspecting,at least not very close..I havent seen many frames break,except for when salt eats thru them and they are paper thin..I'd rather have a welded frame than a rusted one......:crazy:
     
  14. dark eternal

    dark eternal Registered Member

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    And thats the problem on some things, its harder and makes it more brittle than the rest of the frame. When the frame flexes, the brittle part in theory will give way faster.

    Now I have never had this happen, its all based off of what I have read in welding books and what people (some including certified weldors who have been welding on vehicles for along time)


    Yes I gots me a blingy 2001 with the hydroformed frame. :D
     
  15. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    I don;t think thaton our year trucks 73-91 we need to worry about welding on the frame. I've done it and so has MANY on this board. Take the time to do it correctley and neatly and you'll be fine with the results and durability.

    Dark Eternal,
    Heres something to think about. If Jason has welded to his frame(which is the same as yours) and wheels his truck A LOT harder than you do with no problems, Do you think you have anything to worry about?:crazy:
     
  16. dark eternal

    dark eternal Registered Member

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    Nope because he has welded it correctly. He knows what he is doing. Im not saying its something you cant do, there is plenty of welding on mine. Im saying its NOT good to just wrecklessly run a bead straight across your frame or something. Its not the same as weldig mild steel (well - the newer frames at least)
     
  17. SCOOBYDANNN

    SCOOBYDANNN 1/2 ton status

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    That was pretty much what I was thinking. Now can anyone help me convince an anal machinist that I was right and he was wrong.:D well not necesarily i am right and he is wrong, but that its ok to do this.
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Point him to Kansas Jack or one of the other frame machine makers. They list procedures for piecing and welding frames. Point him to Jerdan or any of the other rollback makers who cut and lengthen chassis cab 1 tons and MDs to make roll backs. Or dump/utility bed shops. Or show him the factory welds...
     

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