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Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

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Old 10-06-2014, 07:15:22 AM
shakeyjake36 shakeyjake36 is offline
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Default Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

After some reading on some other sites, it is clear that the jury is split about disconnecting the batter when welding on a truck. That is not the question here! There are many theory's why one should or should not disconnect a battery , but not one word about using AC or DC.

The project at hand is a 2000 ford 550, that needs a hitch welded to the frame.I know most pro welders use DC stick, but what about the AC guys , have they had any trouble?

P.S.Do to the nature of the work this truck will be doing I think this truck sould go to a professional welder . That said I would like some others opinion on the subject.

Thanks for reading, looking foreword to your posts.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:50:06 AM
Tony Rye Tony Rye is offline
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Default Re: Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

depends on what kind of a welding mach you have and welding rods either will do it
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:39:20 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

If you can go to someone that installs hitches routinely you might be better off. From what little I understand, modern truck frames are made of some pretty specialized steel and welding on them might be a problem.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:37:18 AM
I like oldstuff I like oldstuff is offline
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Default Re: Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

+1 on what beezerbill said. Some parts nowadays use a boron steel for strength and lighter weight so they are thinner. This does not weld well as stresses and future cracking can occur.

But as yours is a heavier 550 I'd say it's ok to weld on it. Maybe it's just me but I'd pull the + cable off the battery. AS to AC or DC I'd imagine it makes no difference. But if the frame alloy is specialized You would have to dig up info on what is best. If it was me I'd likely just go at it with my AC mig welder.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:45:36 PM
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MoRo MoRo is offline
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Default Re: Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

The reason for disconnecting the batteries is to prevent an errant voltage stray from doing strange things to alternator diodes or computer stuff. You might end up with a 550 that thinks it's a DVR player when you get done.
Not a big deal, but you'll lose your radio settings, possibly. Still better than spending $1000, or more, to replace a module under the hood.
Since frame flex isn't nearly as critical, on the rear of the truck, welding isn't all bad. However, knowing the material and method would be a plus. However, I'm going to add a +1 on bolt on hitches. You can remove it, should the truck be repurposed, or sold.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:43:27 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Welding on a truck frame? AC/DC?

Besides the above, if you have a hitch or trailer company do the install, should there be a problem (It falls off), they are responsible (unless you overload). I had a reputable company install a hitch many years ago, on the back of my then new Dodge ram pickup. The installer forgot to install 2 bolts, which caused the others to snap when towing a trailer. Not only did they repair the frame of the truck, they replaceg the hitch with an upgrade, repaired the trailer and painted it, and gave me a new lift (the old was worn pretty bad) free oof charge. great service, if you ask me!

If you do go for a weld on unit, ask what kind of guarenty they give on the welds, and will the vehicle warrent their machine if the frame is welded. making the frame too stiff, when you weld certain places, will affect impact crumple zones, frame integrity, air bag sensor activation, and may also void warrenty's (if any). A bolt on should have no impact, as it will flex to a degree during normal operation.
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