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Old 12-19-2006, 09:06 PM
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frame welding

This is what I'm planning to do: 1956 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery that the body will be off the frame. I'm going to to move the rear spring hangers from outside the frame to inside the frame to run a bigger tire. The rear hangers are cast iron/steel and the frame itself is steel. Can I use my Sears Craftsman arc welder to do this and if so what kind of rod do I use? I have some welding skills. Any problem with the different metals involved;steel frame, cast iron/steel hangers, and welding rod? Thanks. BUTCH.

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Old 12-19-2006, 09:26 PM
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Welding cast Iron to steel

Hi My name is Craig. I just joined this sight the other day so I am new. I worked for a specialized welding company for a few years. There are welding rods that can weld cast iron to steel and also rods that can successfully weld different types of steel together. You should test to see if you are really welding cast iron. I cannot imagine that a manufacturer would go to the expense of welding a cast iron part to a steel one just because of the expense of the rods.Also, there are other issues. Try welding a small tab of steel to your "cast iron " part with a good 7018 rod. Then hit it with a hammer on the welded side . If it pulls out a big chunk out of the block then it is probably cast. If it does not break right away then it is probably steel of some sort. You should be able to weld this in with a regular steel rod if that is the case. Make sure your weld is as thick from the foot of the weld to the top as the thinest piece of metal that you are welding.Also make sure that you use the right size electrode (rod). Your Sears buzz box can most likely use a 5/32 " electrode in Mild steel. It may not run a rod that big if the rod you get has nickel in it.If you are welding out of position then 1/8 " would be the biggest rod you can use. I would suggest if you can get the piece flat in position that you would get a better result. Good luck! Craig
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:14 PM
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a retired welder told me to use a 3/16 7018 rod on dc, said to use the lowest current possible without the rod sticking. i havent done this yet but this is what he said. and also go about 3 to 4 inch bead of weld and start a new one and then buff it and fill in the other places i hope this makes sense. i was gonna weld truck spindles to trailer axles but i havent got to it yet so tell me how it goes
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:25 PM
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Bracketry on most cars is cast or forged steel, never cast iron. Cast iron is engine blocks, heads, intakes, exhaust manifolds.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:29 AM
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Thanks Guys.

Thanks to Craig Steese,Runn141,and Pasadenahotrod. Do I still need to use 7018 rod if the rear shackle mounts are STEEL? I did'nt get a usable response on another site I frequent anywhere near the response I got here. The rear shackle mounts are cast and are rivited to the frame, but I,ve seen other cars in magazines where they were welded when moved. I was advised to bolt them on but there's not much access to do that. Thanks again. BUTCH.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasadenahotrod
Bracketry on most cars is cast or forged steel, never cast iron. Cast iron is engine blocks, heads, intakes, exhaust manifolds.
Well Old guy welder here, I hate to weld old cast steel if that what it is, Welding brackets back on one you never know what there condition is with out have them magnfuxed. I would bolt them back on as they were intended or fab up new brackets to weld on.

Yes you can weld them but you have to know what you doing 7018 is a structural steel rod. We where have this discussion on cast Iron to. In a different post. See you getting in to a part if it fails your going to have a bad day. Metallurgy in to what the part is made of would determine if you could weld it back on.

Craig
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:26 AM
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Most likely they are a steel casting and not cast iron and if so the 7018 rod would be just fine however this is a good example of a situation that should be left to a pro. Welding these things to a frame requires some consideration to stresses that are going to be placed on the frame and even a good weld, never mind a questionable one, in the wrong place can cause serious frame problems so think this through carefully before welding. If they are cast iron it is not a good idea to even attempt to weld them on even with Nickle rod but I doubt they are cast iron, the grinder test will quickly tell. The best way for someone not familiar with this would be to grind on a piece of steel and note the appearance and color of the sparks then grind on the hanger, the sparks should look the same if it is steel but if they are short and straw colored with a lot "bursts" coming from the sparks then you are dealing with cast iron. My description of the test may be a bit vague but welders have been using this for many years to identify cast iron quickly and simply. If this part is cast iron then it undoubtedly would be of the Malleable type because of strength requirements and thus should not be welded because the heat from the welding process will destroy the strength of the part even if the weld is sound, if it is cast iron don't weld it.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:14 AM
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Weren't those hangers originally held on by rivets? I'm pretty sure the rear ones were. And I believe those might be cast.
Whenever I move that type of bracket around, I just drill out the old rivets, drill holes in the new location on the frame and bolt the bracket on using grade 5 or better bolts.

I thought the front hangers were steel. I did a spring relocation on a 57 about 5 years ago and my memory is fading.

Think about this- if welding would have worked as well as mechanical fasterers, then they would have done it at the factory.

I would not weld it unless it had been welded from the factory.
If it was welded at the factory then it is probably steel, and not cast iron.

Later, mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 12-20-2006 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:41 AM
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Welding them at the factory would have been faster and less labor intensive thus it would have been cheaper so they were riveted instead of welded for a darn good reason. Why not just bolt them on like Mikey suggested? Just be sure and use a high strength bolt that fits the hole snugly and you will have no problem.
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:50 AM
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wELDING FRAME

Craig Steese again, You got a lot of excellent responses to your inquiry. I think that the advice about bolting them on is the best solution. At least it is less likely to damage your parts.Good luck!
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:44 PM
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I went and pulled out the pics of the 57 that I relocated the springs on and the fronts are mild steel, welded on from the factory and I could find no pics of the rears.

I guess my memory has failed me. I have a reprint of the 57 factory assembly manual and it shows all 4 brackets being welded on. I can scan the page if you'd like. Section 2, sheet 14 shows the detail view.
The manual specifies "arc welding" and nothing more.

I wonder if they changed the rear hangar construction from 56 to 57. The page shows it was revised in august '56. That may explain why yours are riveted and you see some welded on.

If yours are riveted then I'd still bolt them back on. Drill some access holes to get to the backside of your fasteners.

Do you know that they make a leaf spring relocation kit for those cars ? (TCI and Danchuk have them) I would think that relocating them all the way inside would not gain you any more than if you were just under the frame, which is where the relocation kit puts them..

later, mikey
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:09 PM
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Ugh!!!!!

Well, I finally got smart and looked in my factory assembly manual. From the factory the rear spring hangers are rivited. Doing REPAIR work they note ARC WELDING. So I guess that settles it. I did'nt want to go to the spring pocket kits offered by several vendors due to cost and even more work involved and I have extra front and rear stock hangers. I was just going to add another set on hangers to the inside frame rails and leave the originals in place. Thanks to everyone who responded. BUTCH.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:21 PM
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Ok that eliminates the cast iron question so welding is a viable option. Does your welder have DC welding capability? If it is AC only then you may want to find some AC7018 rods because that will make the welding easier than using a standard 7018 on an AC machine. If you do have DC then I would suggest a 1/8" 7018 as the best all around choice since it will be compatible with the frame steel and is an excellent all position rod.
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junior stocker
Thanks to Craig Steese,Runn141,and Pasadenahotrod. Do I still need to use 7018 rod if the rear shackle mounts are STEEL? I did'nt get a usable response on another site I frequent anywhere near the response I got here. The rear shackle mounts are cast and are rivited to the frame, but I,ve seen other cars in magazines where they were welded when moved. I was advised to bolt them on but there's not much access to do that. Thanks again. BUTCH.
if there cast steel id weld it with ac and a 6012 rod. i shortened an extended cab s10 once welding it back together with ac, 2 years later ran from the law and wrecked into rock hillside and the welds never broke. i will always swear by ac on arc welding
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:18 AM
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I hate to disagree but I would not use the low tensile 6012 rod nor is AC the best choice. A good low hydrogen medium tensile rod such as 7018 on DC reverse is a far better choice.
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