frame welding

BurntOrange

Hook 'em Horns!
City
Oklahoma City
State
OK
#1
I need to weld some frame patches to repair rust and also add MORE frame plates front & rear. My dinky mig welder is rated at 3/16" max which is the thickness of the MORE plates and also the frame rail walls I believe. I am worried I may not get enough penetration. Should I go for it with my welder or just tack them in place and find someone else to use a good 200 amp mig unit to finish the job?
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#2
If you aren't comfortable with the penetration of your welder, then I'd do as you mentioned and tack it in place and get an actual welder to finish it....I do that sometimes....The guy I go to will do stuff like that for a 12 pack of beer....If grind everything good and clean it all up though, you can get good penetration with a small MIG. It just depends how critical an area your working on...
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#3
On something like your frame, I wouldn't mess around. Take it and get it done where you know that you'll have it right. Peace of mind is worth a lot. (especially a 12 pack, but deliver payment AFTER the welding is done :D)
 

BurntOrange

Hook 'em Horns!
City
Oklahoma City
State
OK
#4
Good input everyone, but I'm very disappointed nobody shot back with the obvious recommendation I was secretly looking for... buy a bigger welder!!

I'll probably just tack myself and then have a local shop finish it out.
 
City
Aurora
State
IL
#5
Get a bigger welder!! There I said it. ;)

I put the MORE plates on the front of mine and stitch welded them every few inches. Penetration and prep are key. I worked alternating sides to prevent too much heat in the rails trying to prevent twist. I actually got some frame twist, my bumper sits about an 1/8" higher on one side. Try to secure the frame in some sort of jig before welding. No small job.

Mike
 
City
Houston
State
TX
#6
Get a stick machine and use that. You can get a 230 amp AC/DC machine for about $350. With that you can weld thick material and its easy to just change electrodes to suit the material if you're welding on odd stuff. Keep the MIG for the small stuff. And when you run out of mig tips, gas, wire or welder breaks, you've got a backup. But if you've never sticked before I wouldn't reccomend learning on your frame.
 

ibscrmbln

Ken Waters
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Topeka
State
KS
#7
There is another issue no one has mentioned. Welding frame plates requires welding the bottom edge with the stick or wire up. This takes a more accomplished welder. I had an experienced welder do my frame plates. I did all the fitting, cleaning, and prepping. I bolted them rather than tacking them into place.

Later, Ken
 
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