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Newb welding upgrades, which are smart/safe

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Newb welding upgrades, which are smart/safe

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Old 09-15-2018, 09:47 PM
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Default Newb welding upgrades, which are smart/safe?

I'll soon be purchasing a welder specifically for jeep upgrades. Being new to welding I was looking to see what you all thought would or wouldn't be worth trying to weld as a newb.
All ok, not ok....?
. Stiffeners
.d30 truss/ gussets perhaps
. Rear bumper
.2x6 sliders (not a small undertaking nor anytime soon)
. 8.25 truss, seems smart as its got an ARB + 4.56 in it.


I've got some lca brackets to go on. But I'm letting someone with more experience tackle these as they NEED to be welded well.

thank you

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Old 09-16-2018, 05:26 AM
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this is not something I plan to undertake without practicing on scrap metal, but until I feel well and confident with my abilities, I don't want to hurt my vehicle, hasnt anyone any buy in of experience on these mods????
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:20 AM
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you've got the right idea. practice on scrap metal. start off with trying to write your name on a piece of of scrap. once you're getting good at that, using the same thickness of metal, practice butt welds, joint welds, etc.
watch utube vids so you can learn different techniques.

try to purchase a name brand welder that has gas hookup. you will get better results with gas than with fluxcore. and if you want to weld bumpers etc, get a 220v machine, at least 180 amp so you get the proper penetration.
once you find the welder you can afford, try to go just a little bit better, you will be happier.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:30 AM
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I wouldn't attempt anything like stiffeners until you are confident in welding in all positions. Vertical down, vertical up, and overhead are completely different animals. I would say after some good practice, bumpers are probably a good first project, and there's a couple of good DIY kits available, which will cut down on fab time and cost if you don't have the tools for fabrication. Sliders will depend on what you wanna do there, the 2x6 rocker mod will require more skill than welding a set of bolt ons. Trusses, if you remove the axles, are a fairly straight forward project, and are easily accessible once out.

One other thing I'd like to mention is what kind of welder are you looking at? To do the types of projects you want to do, you will need a 240v machine. I highly suggest you also get the best welder you can afford. Avoid Harbor Freight. Also, get the proper safety gear, and I will also tell you if you plan on welding a lot, get a high end hood, you can get a lower end model to start, but trust me, a good hood is totally worth the price. Nice to be able to see what you're doing, lol
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:44 PM
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ide planned on the Hobart 190, its got a little more juice than the lincoln 180. I just installed 220V in the garage and I picked up a tank of c25 shielding gas to.

Ronin, how much do you think a good hood would cost? Ive been reading mixed reviews say newbs will end up melting theirs ...... I saw an eastwood hood for 112$ with very positive reviews. I know theres much higher end than that, but It seemed like and ok place to start?

https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-xl-view-auto-darkening-welding-helmet-xl9300.html?SRCCODE=PLA00010&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5uL G3b7A3QIVDy9pCh0jDQRfEAYYASABEgI7OfD_BwE
I might hold out for something ANSI rated

how about gloves, or is that fairly subjetive? Ide planned on a fire resistant thermal and ive got an old carhartt jacket that i dont mind if it gets singed up, thought im sure a welding jacket IS 100% smarter, is it huge to have right away?

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Old 09-16-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4jeepmanthing View Post
ide planned on the Hobart 190, its got a little more juice than the lincoln 180. I just installed 220V in the garage and I picked up a tank of c25 shielding gas to.

Ronin, how much do you think a good hood would cost? Ive been reading mixed reviews say newbs will end up melting theirs ...... I saw an eastwood hood for 112$ with very positive reviews. I know theres much higher end than that, but It seemed like and ok place to start?

https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-xl...SABEgI7OfD_BwE
I might hold out for something ANSI rated

how about gloves, or is that fairly subjetive? Ide planned on a fire resistant thermal and ive got an old carhartt jacket that i dont mind if it gets singed up, thought im sure a welding jacket IS 100% smarter, is it huge to have right away?
That doesn't seem like a bad first hood, and Eastwood has a good reputation for the most part...you can also go down to your local welding supply store, and check out what they have, explain your situation, and they'll point you in the right direction. I normally just use leather gloves, and have a leather jacket as well as a lighter weight might jacket, your Carhartt jacket should be ok to start, but it will get singed for sure, lol...
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:44 PM
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Meh I plan on it, as long as it doesn't go up in flames haha, poor thing has seeeen some garage floor time.

the D30 truss is high on my first of projects list. After practicing much. I have 33s and 4.56, so I think it's a smart upgrade especially when I up the tires.
How far can one likely weld before it's adding too much hear to the axle? I really wouldn't want to warp something, I assume tac it on and weld a contact point every few hrs to keep it cool?
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:59 PM
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I agree on the frame stiffeners. Further complications are welding thick metal to thin. That will take some practice concentrating your heat on the thick metal and a small amount on the thin. As far as hoods go, you should get an auto darkening hood with as large an auto darkening area as possible. This will help you a lot when you start stitch welding vertical and overhead
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4jeepmanthing View Post
Meh I plan on it, as long as it doesn't go up in flames haha, poor thing has seeeen some garage floor time.

the D30 truss is high on my first of projects list. After practicing much. I have 33s and 4.56, so I think it's a smart upgrade especially when I up the tires.
How far can one likely weld before it's adding too much hear to the axle? I really wouldn't want to warp something, I assume tac it on and weld a contact point every few hrs to keep it cool?
You'll be doing small stitch welds several inches apart. I wouldn't worry too much. If you're that concerned, drain the fluid and pull the axle shafts.
Originally Posted by 4.3L XJ View Post
I agree on the frame stiffeners. Further complications are welding thick metal to thin. That will take some practice concentrating your heat on the thick metal and a small amount on the thin. As far as hoods go, you should get an auto darkening hood with as large an auto darkening area as possible. This will help you a lot when you start stitch welding vertical and overhead
With hoods, it's not just the viewing area, it's the quality of the optics, too. I use an ESAB Sentinel hood, and the clarity after striking an arc is amazing.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:00 AM
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[QUOTE=roninofako;3515647]You'll be doing small stitch welds several inches apart. I wouldn't worry too much. If you're that concerned, drain the fluid and pull the axle shafts.

not worried, just dont want to do somethings dumb that botchs the job.

Much of these projects are all over the forums, but much is left out for technique and advice because IMO many doing these jobs know their way around a welder pretty well. I highly appreciate all the help and advice!

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Old 09-17-2018, 12:50 AM
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[QUOTE=4x4jeepmanthing;3515654]
Originally Posted by roninofako View Post
You'll be doing small stitch welds several inches apart. I wouldn't worry too much. If you're that concerned, drain the fluid and pull the axle shafts.

not worried, just dont want to do somethings dumb that botchs the job.

Much of these projects are all over the forums, but much is left out for technique and advice because IMO many doing these jobs know their way around a welder pretty well. I highly appreciate all the help and advice!
I weld/fab for a living, so ask away, haha...I don't know it all, but happy to help where I can.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:53 AM
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what kinda time frame would you weld a truss on in? - just keep moving back and forth to either end keeping heat down until its done, or would you do a little at a time and allow it to cool before continuing? is the truss easily doable without attempting to add pre load?

for the differential section, would a map gas torch heat the pumpkin enough to weld to it?


frame stiffeners are a really big item on that list as I want to promote the life of this vehicle indefinitely. How would you recommend practicing for welding these on?


2x6 sliders from cutting the rocker are what I mean specifically, just a cool idea that I may try down the road as Ide have the welder and could use it for such. The only hang up ive read on those are as you all mentioned, welding thick metal to the thin sheet of the jeep. beyond that, trimming away a cavity is no biggie to me. I Really need to get the welder and find some scrap somewhere to start practicing/ learning the machine. Its a good skill to learn and perhaps if I take a good liking to it, I may pursue further education in the trade.


as for safety, I have a pretty open amount of garage space to limit spatter burning anything, but is there anything you recommend I consider when positioning a working area to practice, I kinda thought central would be good space away/ close enough to ventilation if needed.
As mentioned above, I havent bought a welder as of yet, though I did set up 220, purchase shielding gas, and Im strongly leaning toward the hobart 190. I suppose I just need to get a hood and start diving in to practicing haha.

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Old 09-17-2018, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 4x4jeepmanthing View Post
what kinda time frame would you weld a truss on in? - just keep moving back and forth to either end keeping heat down until its done, or would you do a little at a time and allow it to cool before continuing? is the truss easily doable without attempting to add pre load?

for the differential section, would a map gas torch heat the pumpkin enough to weld to it?


frame stiffeners are a really big item on that list as I want to promote the life of this vehicle indefinitely. How would you recommend practicing for welding these on?


2x6 sliders from cutting the rocker are what I mean specifically, just a cool idea that I may try down the road as Ide have the welder and could use it for such. The only hang up ive read on those are as you all mentioned, welding thick metal to the thin sheet of the jeep. beyond that, trimming away a cavity is no biggie to me. I Really need to get the welder and find some scrap somewhere to start practicing/ learning the machine. Its a good skill to learn and perhaps if I take a good liking to it, I may pursue further education in the trade.


as for safety, I have a pretty open amount of garage space to limit spatter burning anything, but is there anything you recommend I consider when positioning a working area to practice, I kinda thought central would be good space away/ close enough to ventilation if needed.
As mentioned above, I havent bought a welder as of yet, though I did set up 220, purchase shielding gas, and Im strongly leaning toward the hobart 190. I suppose I just need to get a hood and start diving in to practicing haha.

The truss stuff is fairly straight forward, tack in place and stitch weld. As far as preheat goes, MAPP gas should be fine, use a digital thermometer and get the area to be welded around 400-450*, weld, then gradually cool by using the torch here and there as it cools down...you want it to cool down slowly to prevent any cracking. You might read that you need to use nickel rod on the diff, not true here, the diff is cast steel, not cast iron. Do all the welding on the diff at the same time, to avoid multiple heat cycles, and the only thing I'd really be worried about would be damaging any seals that might be nearby. Not sure what you mean about pre-load, you generally don't want any kind of mechanical stresses on any parts that you weld, makes it like a spring under tension.

If you want to do the 2x6 stiffeners, it will definitely take more skill, like the uni frame stiffeners. Do these after you have more confidence in your skills. As far as practice, use something like 3/16" thick, and weld to some thin gauge plate, concentrate the bead on the thicker material, feathering in to the thinner material. It's all about practice.

Keep your work area open, do a fire watch before starting, like no greasy rags laying around, and you'll be fine. Keep a charged extinguisher on hand at all times.

Other than that, get a machine and start practicing!

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Old 09-17-2018, 09:00 AM
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i would trust rock rails before a bumper for a first job. that's if we're talking a recovery bumper. you want those welds to hold if you're yankin someone out of a hole.

maybe start off with a roof rack, tube fenders, skid plates first till you're confident enough to put someones life at risk. but practice, lots.

and if you can avoid it, stay away from TSC/big box store welders. they are inferior to welding supply store welders. even tho they have the same name.
for instance, a lincoln 180HD (Home Depot, not Heavy Duty) is crap, or lincoln mig pak 180 compared to a lincoln 180c that you would find at Linde.
i have never seen a hobart at a welding store, but i know they do have their low end vs higher end units. no experience with hobart except for what i've seen at TSC.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by caged View Post
i would trust rock rails before a bumper for a first job. that's if we're talking a recovery bumper. you want those welds to hold if you're yankin someone out of a hole.

maybe start off with a roof rack, tube fenders, skid plates first till you're confident enough to put someones life at risk. but practice, lots.

and if you can avoid it, stay away from TSC/big box store welders. they are inferior to welding supply store welders. even tho they have the same name.
for instance, a lincoln 180HD (Home Depot, not Heavy Duty) is crap, or lincoln mig pak 180 compared to a lincoln 180c that you would find at Linde.
i have never seen a hobart at a welding store, but i know they do have their low end vs higher end units. no experience with hobart except for what i've seen at TSC.
Agreed, the big box store machines usually have inferior plastic components.

I'm a Miller guy, so I don't worry, lol
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