> Is it very difficult to do something like weld on subframe connectors
> by yourself?
As others have said, yes, you can do it yourself. I did a pair on my '91
GT in exactly that way.
> Can I just go to Home Depot and get some acetalyne torches
> and stuff?
You could, but I certainly wouldn't suggest you do it that way. For one
thing, you can get better quality materials and prices at a proper welding
store. For another, oxyacetylene is a no-no on the majority of automobile
frames and bodies you'll encounter these days. Older vehicles (early 70's
and below if I recall correctly) can use flame welding processes, but the
HSLA steel used these days doesn't handle that method well at all. Your
best bet is MIG, even with the older vehicles. TIG would be good too, but
manufacturers (well, Ford at least) specifies MIG for welding repairs on
their vehicles and it's also about 1/4 of the price to get started with MIG
as compared to TIG.
> Any web links that show how to do welding safely?
There's lots of welding related sites out there, and truth be told you can
get quite far by just reading web sites, books, and practicing a lot with
scrap metal and simple projects. Videos are actually more helpful since
you can see what it is you need to do as opposed to trying to visualize it.
> (The closest good shop is too far away from me and I can't take a whole
> day off work just to have them work on my car. I also read that bolt-on
> connectors are not as good.)
Sounds like you'll just have to wait, then. I didn't tackle the subframe
connector project on my Mustang until I had money and time to buy
a decent MIG unit and to practice building some other stuff first. Even
then it's still a bit difficult... welding while on your back is tough,
which you'll have to do unless you have a car pit in your garage or have
something other than a set of four ramps to hold the vehicle up by the
tires. On top of that, welding a mounting plate for a subframe connector
(which usually runs somewhere between 1/8 and 3/16 inch thick) to the
subframe of the car (which is less then half to a third of those measurements,
respectively) is really quite tricky. Add to that the fact that Ford
subframes have a zinc coating on top of them in addition to all the paint
and primer, and well, you've got a pretty messy situation that makes for
a lot of sparks, holes popping in the metal, and nasty fumes. It's not fun.
As it was posted previously, unless you're planning on doing a lot of
welding, don't bother buying the equipment and trying to do it yourself.
Between the cost of equipment, proper electrical supply, safety gear,
consumables, and time spent to learn it it simply isn't worth it if all
you want is one set of subframe connectors.