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Keep on Truckin'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I would really appreciate some more experienced thought on this topic.
I plan to cut out the rust on my Frame and just weld in some new metal, beef up the weak spots, weld in new floor pans in the body, making the frame air suspension ready, and what not on my daily driver.

I don't have much time to get a Really top notch welder, so I'm going with Harbor Freight on this one. I think I'd go with one of these

270 Amp Arc Welder

240 Volt Inverter Arc / TIG Welder

I'm a complete beginner but I guess a little research and some trial and error could get me on my way.
I'd prefer something gas-less, but I guess if its going to make a reliable weld then i'm sure its worth it.
Thanks Everyone.
 

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Faith - Respect - Trust
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3,528 Posts
Seeing your a beginner...check out some MIG welders...with ARC it would be OK for a frame but body panels...a little hot, a TIG also takes a lot of practice and some experience, with a MIG it's easier to learn.

Check them out and make sure what ever you purchase can handle both the gauge of metal on the fram and the gauge of metal on the floor.

Ray
 

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Keep on Truckin'
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Seeing your a beginner...check out some MIG welders...with ARC it would be OK for a frame but body panels...a little hot, a TIG also takes a lot of practice and some experience, with a MIG it's easier to learn.

Check them out and make sure what ever you purchase can handle both the gauge of metal on the fram and the gauge of metal on the floor.

Ray
Thanks for the info ray, but will a Mig welder be reliable on the frame compared to a tig, I understand there's learning, but I can't get multiple welders so I have to find just one that gets the job done, and Isn't the amperage adjustable? or what is the factor that makes it too hot?
 

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Faith - Respect - Trust
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You can adjust the amperage on a welder, MIG, TIG or ARC. What I'm suggesting is that a MIG is easier to learn with than the other two. When I say an ARC welder will be hot, I mean that you need a certain amount of amperage to get the metal hot enough to melt the rod...that temperature is to hot for sheet metal on a floor...it will melt the metal or warp it due to the heat required. A TIG requires practice...you need to be able to work the rod and the foot feed at the same time....practice. A MIG uses a thin wire with shielding gas so you have less heat required to melt everything together. There is a concern that a lower end MIG welder may be a little light to weld frames...that's why I suggested to make sure that the welder can handle the gauge of metal that you are trying to weld.

If I'm correct a standard frame is not thicker than 10 gauge...so when you go welder shopping, make sure that what ever welder you pick up can handle that gauge of material.

Hope this helps

Ray
 

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Keep on Truckin'
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Look here. Eastwood sells good stuff. Get a mig. An arc welder will be a pain to work on a frame with. A mig can get in to tighter spots. With an arc you need more room for the length of the rod.
And easier to weld with a mig too.
Eastwood -MIG Welder | MIG Welders | MIG Welding Cart | MIG Welding Machine & Accessories
Yeah, eastwood is great for alot of things, but the prices are a little too much for me, theres one at harbor freight for 200 with 180 amps.
In the beginning, I thought about getting a MIG, but I felt afraid that the welds were to weak, but you guys suggest it, well as long as it gets the job done...
 

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1948 KB-1 International Pickup
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191 Posts
I am one that wants to do it all on my projects and usually don't rely on anyone else to help. I buy the tools it takes and learn what I need to know to get the job done. My projects are never perfect, but the quality is high, more times than not.
When it comes to the frame, and you not knowing how to weld to begin with, I think it would be a smart move for you to hire a pro to weld it. Go ahead and get the welder you need to do the body work and you will be able to teach yourself enough to get by. The body work is not critical to you and your family's safety and the frame is.
You can even do the metal fabrication work for the frame yourself. That way you can save time and money. A good welder will be able to do the work fast and correctly and you may not be able to even tell if your work is good enough. and all the welds have penetrated properly.
My son and I had a professional welder come to the house last week, and give us lessons on the migs that we both have. We learned a lot and are fair at it now but I would not trust my welding on a critical part like the frame.
Just a suggestion....and I would probable be the first to cringe at someone suggesting it to me since I am a 100% hands on person and have been all my life but I know when to pass when it comes to safety.
A few years ago, I had a large steel boat that had some rust damage to the hull. I did the fab work and tacked the plates in place. A mobile welder came out and in an hour did the work and it never leaked.
Either way, good luck and have fun with your project and learning new skills.
At 68, I am having a ball!
 

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Automotive Extraordinaire
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1,278 Posts
If I may make a suggestion, and I mean no disrespect by this, If you are new to welding, get someone with experience to weld your frame. You can learn to weld on some scrap pieces and then practice on your floor pans where safety and the visual aspect aren't as much of a concern. You life and the lives of everyone on the highway depends on your frame. If you get too much heat you will make the frame brittle and easy to break, if you don't use enough heat you will not have a strong repair that may lead to a failure as well. I am not trying to be disrespectful, or condescending, I just want you to understand that a frame is not the place to learn how to weld. Welding correctly and safely takes a lot of practice and a long time to understand how metal will react and how to control heat. Good luck with it whatever you decide and keep us informed.

Kelly
 

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Faith - Respect - Trust
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Excellent suggestion...bring in a pro...learn from him, get the job done right the first time and again, ask questions...this could be money well spent fro a safety point of view and a learning point of view...check out prices and go from there....you can always weld the next one. These guys often have good used equipment for sale as well.

Ray
 

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Or depending on your level of commitment and deciding any learning is a long term pay back,all Miller dealers have a school for welding.Sure over time you might get close to what they regularly crank out of those former class room classes,but there isn't anything that really replaces it.To boot,the machines used in them classes at the end are almost brand new and normally sold off at a heavy discount.Yep-the same one you learned on.............................
 

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As cc suggests, welding on a frame is no place to learn how to weld. You are putting yourself and others at risk. I've seen some pretty some pretty scary stuff. Some even didn't look too bad but broke easily with a little bit of force.

As with most things it takes time to learn the skill. Yeah, anybody can "pull the trigger" and make a weld. Most guys in the welding industry call these "farmer welds". Doing it well takes time and practice. No disrespect. Please find someone to help you if you are doing structural welds.
 

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Keep on Truckin'
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry everyone, I must seem like a ticking time bomb to all of yall, but I didn't plan on begining the frame work as soon as i get the welder. I should have clairified, but I plan on doing this a few months from now when winter comes around and the car's stuck in the garage.I just thought that I'd buy the welder ,mess around with it on various other projects and get to know it until the time comes . I do understand how essential the frame is to safety, But for now I'm in search of a welder that is capable to make reliable chassis welds, one I can really depend on for that use. I may not now how to do so right off the bat, but like I said I have months to practice, much to research and learn. And thank you everyone for your concern, any ideas where a 17 yearold could get some much needed welding experince or knowledge is very well appreciated.
 

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Keep on Truckin'
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If I may make a suggestion, and I mean no disrespect by this, If you are new to welding, get someone with experience to weld your frame. You can learn to weld on some scrap pieces and then practice on your floor pans where safety and the visual aspect aren't as much of a concern. You life and the lives of everyone on the highway depends on your frame. If you get too much heat you will make the frame brittle and easy to break, if you don't use enough heat you will not have a strong repair that may lead to a failure as well. I am not trying to be disrespectful, or condescending, I just want you to understand that a frame is not the place to learn how to weld. Welding correctly and safely takes a lot of practice and a long time to understand how metal will react and how to control heat. Good luck with it whatever you decide and keep us informed.

Kelly
Thankyou Kelly, I'd liek to get expert help on this but, I'm just not sure where to go to, just forum, threads and youtube videos seem to be in reach for me. and practice is what I plan to do, I'd like to get to the frame during winter, if I'm ready. Any advice and suggestions on welding is appreciated. I haven't put much thought into the amount of heat to use, I thought I'd just look around on the forumns about the type rod i should use, the amperage setting, I do have alot of learning to do.
And also could you tell me more about the things that can go wrong with a weld, like too much heat weakens the steel, to less, to weak of a weld, and any thoughts you can share on how to avoid that, will be appreciated.
 

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If your area has public technical schools - like high school trade school, many of them offer 'adult education night school classes' in things like woodworking and welding. Some years ago I took a welding class at the local technical school - like 8 weekly classes 3 hours each for like $60. My class was set up for MIG, TIG, or specific to aluminum, whichever you wanted - I took the MIG.
 

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Faith - Respect - Trust
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Great advice Bob, as a matter of fact this whole thread has been filled with excellent advice with a consistent theme to help the OP head into the right direction...a real credit to this forum.

It's also good to see that Krico has a good attitude, knows his limitations and is not afraid to ask for advice. Buying a piece of equipment as critical as a welder when your not familiar with welding can be a daunting task. If Krico could get that bit of education from the sources such as suppliers, trade schools or a mentor, that would be ideal before making a purchase. I remember when I first started painting cars, I used the shop paint gun to learn the basics before I went out and bought my own, but when I did, I knew what I wanted.

Ray
 

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Keep on Truckin'
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If your area has public technical schools - like high school trade school, many of them offer 'adult education night school classes' in things like woodworking and welding. Some years ago I took a welding class at the local technical school - like 8 weekly classes 3 hours each for like $60. My class was set up for MIG, TIG, or specific to aluminum, whichever you wanted - I took the MIG.
Great info "sedanbob" I'll ask my high school counselor about the class, I've actually seen a welder in the garage in class, but i don't think i've seen any classes that teaches you to weld. Thankyou
 

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welding site

I am signed up to the site" Welding tips and tricks ,com" Jody used to be a welding instructor and puts out a video each week, free, and lots of old ones you can down load and watch. He tests a lot of different welding machines, He does sell T shirts to fund his work and a finger protector for tig welding. but there is a lot of good info and He WILL answer your e mail questions....

http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/
 

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jody from welding tip and tricks is really good to learn from his videos are informative and and you can see his technique in very good detail
 

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the 'Duracell Project'
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i know that fluxcore welders are not popular on this site, but...
you can buy a lincoln fluxcore welder for $269 at home depot that will weld anything on a car
it is a name brand machine and a tried and true method of welding

Lincoln Electric Weld Pack HD Feed Welder-K2188-1 at The Home Depot

i used a lincoln weldpack 100 to build my truk.
all the frame work and about half the sheetmetal work



 
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