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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2006, 03:27 PM
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Black, I in no way questioned your experience or abilities, I however have spent my career working on items such as 300' dragline booms. These booms are an engineered structure designed to handle loads many thousands of times what a ski lift will handle and needless to say weld strength is of utmost importance and is closely monitored, flux core is never allowed to be used here. We are really comparing apples and oranges here because in a structure such as a bridge or machinery boom the weld is usually carrying only a small part of the load, it's main purpose being to hold the load bearing structures in position and indeed it is often used where in years past rivets would have been used. This is a gross oversimplification and I am not saying that a weld in a truss structure need not be strong, far from it. I am saying that in an engineered design the bulk of the load is assigned to the structure itself with the weld playing a secondary role, this is what I meant when I said in a "controlled environment". This is not the case when someone is building something like a street rod and the weld can and most times is called upon to carry most if not all of the load and at this point the weld becomes critical. We can point to specs all day long and it means nothing to a weld that is made with little consideration given to engineering the load factors. What I am talking about is practical experience in real world situations where, in the case of repair work, no two situations are usually the same and the weld is called upon to replace the original load bearing parent metal or to support most or all of the encountered loads and stresses. In 1989 we were attempting to replace a welding procedure on loader buckets with the flux core process in order to save time. We had a rep from Eutectic and one from Caterpillar tractor company (who was STRONGLY opposed to flux core for a critical weld) trying to solve our problem, after trying many different prep and post weld methods it was finally agreed that the flux core was NOT a viable replacement for the stick and Duel-Shield processes we were already using so it was dropped. This is important to the street rodder in that it presents a real world situation where you have a comparison of different welding processes in a case where the weld is ultimately going to bear the brunt of the load. It seems to be commonly accepted by the group I have worked with that flux core, regardless of wire size, makes an inferior weld and is not acceptable in a critical load bearing situation. This group I am speaking of includes the field reps and construction engineers from some major mining equipment companies like Caterpillar Tractor. But as I said for someone who wants to find out for himself simply make up some test pieces and bend or pound them to destruction and it will become apparent rather quickly which welding methods are suitable for steering and suspension components. I have done this many times and have seen it done by others including those that were trying to prove the quality of flux core instead of disproving it and in each case the flux core failed to equal a properly done stick or MIG weld. Sorry if this don't agree with your point of view but it is based on 35 years of trying to make the most of this stuff and I am confident that in a side by side comparison of PROPERLY made flux core, stick and MIG the flux core will come out on the bottom every time, assuming of course a comparable class of wire within each type since there are different alloys within each type but this is a whole 'nother story

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Last edited by oldred; 03-25-2006 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:44 PM
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welding delima

gowith 175 amp machine, miller for sure!!!! they have great factory support, lincoln will gtve a problem on warranty and service, can also get seplacement parts at any welding house, been in the welding supply bussiness for years, so id recommend the tried and true" blue" miller!!!!
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2006, 05:31 PM
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I still believe that for a do it yerselfer,a stick weld is the way to go,sticks of different types and sizes can be bought in small packages as opposed to rolls of wire,you don't need bottles of gas,and just about anything can be welded by stick,some aluminums excepted(but thats best left to pros anyway).
I did the chop on my roof using 3/32" rod,you can weld stainless,aluminum,hard surface,AC,DC,and the welders are fairly cheap.
You can also air arc with carbon electrodes and air,and there are gouging rods that are designed to be used without air.
That's just me tho.
And nothing beats a stick welder for welding thru rust or paint if you have to.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2006, 06:48 PM
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flux

Oldred you have good points. But you can not compare flux core to stick in heavy equipment applications. That is a no brainer. All of my heavy welding has always been done with stick or dual shield.

But for auto motive work a 115V or 230V flux core welder will work. We where comparing MIG vs. Flux in auto applications. Nothing else....

I will take a old school stick welder over a mig or flux if I could only choose one process. But I also can weld stick just as good as MIG. For a lot of people stick welding is out of the question because they do not know how to weld properly with a stick...

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Old 03-25-2006, 08:38 PM
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I usually recommend MIG for auto work since it is the closest to a "one size fits all" for most folks because of the ability to easily weld body panels. But as Jim pointed out it's hard to beat stick for most welding except for thin sheet. I always try to discourage someone from attempting to do body work with stick because of the extreme difficulty in doing so but again Jim proves that with enough skill even that can be done! It still gives me the jitters to think about someone welding on steering or suspension components with less than the best and my first choice would be stick or maybe Tig (for appearance) depending on the part being welded.

Last edited by oldred; 03-25-2006 at 08:49 PM.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2006, 09:19 PM
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Your weld is only as strong as the skill of the person that welds it, and the size of the welding machin. It has little to do with gas, flux core, or stick. With proper prep any weld can be as strong as the next useing comparable equipment.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2006, 10:14 PM
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Fella's
I use a hobart 135, with flux core.
I welded on the sub frame, the spring perches and all the sheetmetal.
So far so good, no signs of failure yet.
So for the hobbist I think the smaller portable welders do a fine job.
Just practice many times first,read the directions for the correct settings and wire size for the thickness you are welding.
also look for a welder that also can be set-up for gas. The hobart 135 is that way and cost me about 325.00. But because I only use it occasionally I chose to use flux core instead of paying rent on or buying the tank of gas.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2006, 08:39 AM
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Ok, Not trying to beat a dead horse here or offend anyone and if flux core has worked for you (so far) fine but it IS a compromise and it is not as strong as a properly done stick or MIG weld and IMO should never be used on steering or suspension parts. As I have pointed out already this opinion is based on many years of experience using this wire (including the .030-.035 sizes) and includes extensive testing. After market steering parts and suspension parts that are welded are almost exclusively welded using the MIG process with some of the more expensive ones using TIG. NOT ONE of them, that I know of, uses flux core and I am willing to bet that none does. If you check with the manufacturer of parts that call for welding during installation I seriously doubt if any would recommend flux core to do this. Probably few if any use stick but mostly because of the time factor, stick will work fine if properly done. Steering and suspension components are too critical to take a chance with so to anyone thinking of using flux core on these parts if you don't want to take my word for it I strongly recommend calling the manufacturer before doing so and I am willing to bet you will be told not to do it, and for a damn good reason!
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2006, 09:31 AM
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A couple of suggestions.
1. If your welding skill level or equipment isn't up to a certain critical task.
Do all the alignment and trial fitting and tac weld the items together and either have a skilled welder go to your shop to weld it or take the item to a skilled welder with proper equipment. Most of the time the real time consumer of a welding project is the alignment of the pieces, the actual welding only takes a short period of time. I built my first T-Bucket just that way. Cut, fit and tac with my 50.00 monkey wards welder and then haul the part down the street to my friends shop and have him finish welding it.

2. Don't over estimate yor skill level. No one who hasn't welded before is going to be able to walk up to a welder and automatically start laying a perfect bead.

3. spend some time practicing, you wife won't care if the welds on that plant stand you just made her with your brand new wire feed are perfect but it will give you the welding practice and make her happy.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:37 AM
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Chopt, Excellent advice
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:52 PM
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boonstein

That question started a debate. So here is my 2 cents. I weld for a living, the restro work is a side line. The equipment I use in my fab shop are
lincoln DC-400 power units with LN-7 feeders,I use .045 flux core wire with 75/25 sheilding gas because alot of the equipment is old and dirty( stuff you can't wash off). So to answer your question the lincoln 135 and 175 are both good machines. If you have 220 voltage you will be happier with the 175 machine. Stay away from the Gasless machines. I have used them all.
As for welding in the four link, not trying to insult you but you need to know what you are doing. If you do have the experance the 175 with .030 solid wire and a 75/25 gas will do a good job for you.

Aaron
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:22 PM
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Boon, I agree that the gas-sheilded flux core wires(duel-sheild) will make a weld that will hold it's own against about any commonly used method out there however as I am sure you are well aware of already there are a number of wire types in this class to choose from, some suitable for auto suspension parts and some not. I also have to agree that suspension parts and especially steering parts are best left to the pros and if someone is kind of in the dark about which wire to use this is definitely not the place to learn what works best. Gasless wires have their place and can be quite useful but they are no substitute for MIG, TIG or stick for a critical weld.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 02:57 PM
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I love the debate I know we used flux core on structural Steel and 7018. I can't remember what flux wire we use only remember it was for Structural steel that had to be inspected.
We had a portable welder guy with a boom truck we use from time to time and I think he was running a LN7 Also in my younger day I working for Challenge Cook Bros. building heavy equipment Cement mixer dump trucks and the big bottom dump trailer. and we use 3 welding operation mig with a mild steel wire to weld the mixer barrel but summered Arc to weld all the seams. Chassis and frame compo nits we used 7018 3/16 rod.

I find that every field of construction use a little different welding depending on the engineering. Me being a millwright and some friend of mine being Iron worker it was closes. Same applies when we went to the oil refinery and all you could smell was gas and they were out there welding. need less to say I did not work much there to weird for me.
I also found depending on what kind of material you were use determined the welding process.


Craig
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 03:17 PM
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I have a Lincoln Sp175T as well as a Lincoln Pro Tig 185-had a problem early on with the 175T (Computer Board failed-they hadn't seen that before-gee, really? ), and the Lincoln Warranty Station was very prompt and treated me very well even though I didn't buy it from them. I had lost my receipt and they checked the date code on the machine (warranty good for three years) and honored it-excellent service!

I have had NO problem since and would highly recommend the 175 (by the way the SP175T and the Pro Mig 175 (at Lowe's or Home Depot are the same unit just rebadged). Just make sure you have a Lincoln Warranty Station nearby in case of problems or for future consumables, although Lowe's and Home Depot carry them (at least in my part fo the World).

The Miller vs. Lincoln debate will never end (Ford vs. Chevy). I think they are both great machines, just look for the best Price/Support-by the way, I agree on the Gasless issue-my welds are so much nicer with gas-

I would hesitate to buy the Lincoln SP175 Plus-you don't need the adjustablility, save the money for that 6-71 Blower!, IMHO. I have a top notch Fabricator who works for me, and he told me along time ago he doesn't need Heat Ranges, he can weld just about anything by just adjusting JUST the Wire Speed-I'm not that good, but I find he is right MOST of the time,

Last edited by 35WINDOW; 04-26-2006 at 03:24 PM.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 06:04 PM
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Chevy, Structural steel welds using flux core is common on things like bridges and buildings but that does not mean it is chosen because it is stronger than stick or MIG just that is is more practical, it is a LOT faster than stick and MIG just would for the most part be unusable outside in the wind. These welds must meet certain standards but in most structural steel welds the design dictates that the structure itself will carry the bulk of the load thus the weld is of a non-critical nature and as I pointed out earlier it is often used where in years past rivets would have been used. The fact that flux core wires are used in building structures has little to do with steering and suspension parts since the demands on the welds here are of a very different nature and the weld is subject to loads and shocks that would be carried in the structure itself on something like a building. As I said before flux core (gasless) has it's place but steering and suspension is not that place.


35, I am a big fan of Lincoln since I made my living with them for many years and they never let me down even when I abused them so they remain my favorite. When someone asks about a shop welder I will recommend Lincoln but I always point out that Miller has become more popular than either Lincoln or Hobart and for a darn good reason! Lincoln, Miller and Hobart are all good outfits and choice should depend on features, service availability and price, not because someone else says one is better than the other-the Chevy/Ford debate

Last edited by oldred; 04-26-2006 at 06:24 PM.
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