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welding to a pickup frame

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Kenny G

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#1
I am not a welder but have a Lincoln tombstone stick welder. I have a project facing me to mount a HF pickup crane to my F150. I want/need to mount it to the frame as cose to the tail gate as possible but all the stuff i.e. spare tire under carriage rack and towing brackets make it kind of awkward so I'm planing on coming in from the top and cutting a hole in the bed, this is not a problem as the box is pretty well mangled and a hole is not much of a concern. I plan on making a flat bed out of it in the future (next spring). So my question is do you need to disconnect the battery - pole before welding because of all the computerized stuff? When I was a youngster I remember people said that welding on a frame could actually cause your transmission gears to weld together. I am thinking this may be related to where you place the ground.
 

Eddyde

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#2
I welded bumper brackets to the frame of a Chevy Blazer I used to own, I did disconnect the battery as someone suggested, don't know if it mattered though. I would do it just to be safe, can't hurt. As per best practice, always place the ground as close to the weld site as reasonably possible and grind the frame to bare metal where the ground clamp will make contact. Also watch that gas tank!
I also had heard a similar story about the engine welding itself together, I knew enough physics at the time to realize that warning to be rubbish.
 

Billh50

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#3
Friends and I have welded up the frame on my wife's 1999 Silverado 3 or 4 times to fix cracks. Never disconnected the battery when doing it.
 

Fitter Bill

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#4
Put your ground clamp close to the weld.
 

richl

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#5
Pay attention to fuel lines. That can be a problem.
 

royesses

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#6
Ground clamp as close to the weld as possible as said by Fitter Bill. Some manufactures say to disconnect the battery. Others say leave it connected to help absorb any high voltage spikes. I've seen crankshafts and fuel injection pumps ruined because of improper grounding. Check with the truck manufacturer if you have doubts. I always use 7018 rod for welding on frames and axle tubes. Haven't done any in quite a few years though. Clean the ground area down to bare metal and also the weld area.

Roy
 

Ironken

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#7
Friends and I have welded up the frame on my wife's 1999 Silverado 3 or 4 times to fix cracks. Never disconnected the battery when doing it.
I always disconnect the battery....probably not necessary. I think hi frequency is the real killer of the electronics. In the past, I did alot of buildup and hard facing on Vermeer rock saws and trenchers that were heavy on the electronics. Those machines had an isolation switch that you threw before welding to protect said electronics.
 

Billh50

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#8
All I know is I have never disconnected the battery and had no trouble. It might be because I always set the ground clamp as close as I can to the weld area.
 

dlane

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#9
Auto computers are expensive, if the truck has one I would disconnect
 

Ulma Doctor

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#10
you want to put the ground as close to the weld area as possible-
make sure there are no bearings between the weld site and the ground.
for example - Do Not Ground to the differential if you are going to weld on the frame- the ground will pass through the bearings in the differential and potentially cause problems if you are welding for long periods
 

Kenny G

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#11
I thank everyone for their input. I have finished the project had to go in from the top cutting a hole in the bed over the frame. I did disconnect the battery and kept my ground as close as possible as far as I can tell I don't have any problems and my welds seem to be holding up. I am currently looking at 8-10 inches of snow (NW Montana) not much incentive to get out and take pic's not as much fun at 71 as it was even 10 years ago.
 

Kenny G

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#13
Don't weld it; bolt it.

unfortunately bolting to the area where it needed to go was not an option as the under bed spare tire rack and the trailer hitch mount were interfering besides it is done now and everything seems to be working well.
 
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