to weld or not to weld?

Discussion in 'Full Custom Suspension / Cages / Fab' started by tom joyce, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. tom joyce

    tom joyce Newbie

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    I have a 96 k2500, and the bed supports (just behind the cab) are practically rusted away.
    I made some supports and am wondering if it is best to weld them to the frame OR to nut-and-bolt them up?
     
  2. DRAGGIN95

    DRAGGIN95 Warranty Killer! Staff Member

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    What kind of shape is the frame itself in?
     
  3. tom joyce

    tom joyce Newbie

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    The frame rear shock mounts, gas tank cross member, spare tire mount are all rusted out and need to be replaced - but the c-channel of the frame is good.
    It's not perfect, but not too bad. This is going to turn into a project truck, just wondering if bolting through the frame is better than welding for the bed mount.
     
  4. DRAGGIN95

    DRAGGIN95 Warranty Killer! Staff Member

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    Well I prefer them welded on if the frame is good enough to weld to, if not bolt them on.
     
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  5. Biggershaft96

    Biggershaft96 Resident 4l60e killer

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    Doesn't welding on frames create weak spots where the welds are?
     
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  6. shovelbill

    shovelbill Supporting Member

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    i can depend on how hot it's burned in....and if one were to quick cool it when done with water, like quenching, can make it brittle. heat can change the characteristics of metal if not controlled....such as the need to re-anneal etc, depending on the metal and temperature. proper amperage and wire/rod should cause no issue if the frame has some integrity....in my nobody opinion.

    i'd weld it if there suitable metal under the surface rust.....could even put a flitch plate on the inside for extra support if there's doubt.....plug welds too
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
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  7. Dave Aley

    Dave Aley Newbie

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    Welding is easier if you know what you're doing. You want enough heat for good penetration, but no more than that so that you keep the heat affected zone small. The frame (and probably the brackets you've fabbed) are thin enough that you shouldn't have to worry about preheat. Make sure the area is nice and clean before you weld - if you get lazy about removing paint or rust, you'll end up with a brittle weld. The frame is a low-carbon steel, so finding the right wire or rod is pretty easy.

    If you decide to bolt them on, you should read the upfitter's guide for information on where you should and shouldn't put holes in the frame. In a nutshell, don't drill into the flanges, no holes larger than 3/4" (you're not likely to do this anyway), no hole edges should be closer than 1.5" to a flange, and no holes should be closer than 2 hole diameters together. Also, take the time to look up the right torque specs for the size of bolts you're using - undertightening your bolts makes the whole structure more likely to fail, and things never seem to break at a convenient time.
     
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  8. dvst8err

    dvst8err Newbie

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    Grind the rust and clean the metal, should give you an idea how strong your base is, I would mig it with gas, no slag and better penetration. What did you make your supports from?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  9. 90halfton

    90halfton I'm Awesome

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    I'm a decent welder, but if I had to do it I'd find an exceptional welder that really knows and understands his metals and welding. Not wanting to sound like a dick, but if you have to ask how to do it, than you're not qualified to do it, properly anyways
     
  10. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder I'm Awesome

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    It took me a while to figure out what was going on with my 97. The rear shock mount was loose. The truck would pop in the rear, and I could not find the issue. 2 of the 3 rivets that hold the shock mount to the frame had broke, sheared but the rivet heads were still there. It took a long time to get loose enough for me to see what was going on. I welded the mount back to the frame. I have been a welder for 35 years. Here is the thing. You want the metal to be as clean as you can get it. The metal needs to be ground to a shining bare metal base, on both parts, if possible. This gives a weld with less contaminates, the more pure of a weld, the stronger it will be. The next thing is, the heating, and slow cooling process needs to be followed. Also you must use the correct weld process, with the correct welding rods, or welding wire. This should be done by up hill weld, where vertical weld is needed. Most welds or base metal that cracks, is due to an impure weld, a weld that has cooled off to fast, or a combination of the two. Through my years of welding, I have done many frames, and I never had one crack on me yet. I haven't had a weld crack on my in a very long time . Many, many years. If you weld the frame, after its clean, and you let it cool off on its own, and run the weld a little hot, oh and as long as the weld is done by someone who can make a good up hill pass, then it cools off normally, then you should be good to go. When I did my shock mount, I just turned up the amps, and made my weld, with out doing much cleaning. I used a hand wire brush, but like I said, I have been a welder for 35 years, and have been a certified welder sense, 1990.
     

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