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Old 09-21-2005, 08:01   #1 (permalink)
unixzip@yahoo.com
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Welding in your own garage. Smart?

Is it very difficult to do something like weld on subframe connectors
by yourself? Can I just go to Home Depot and get some acetalyne torches
and stuff? Any web links that show how to do welding safely?
(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.)
Thanks
RW

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Old 09-21-2005, 09:01   #2 (permalink)
Ritz
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Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

unixzip@yahoo.com wrote:
> Is it very difficult to do something like weld on subframe connectors
> by yourself? Can I just go to Home Depot and get some acetalyne torches
> and stuff? Any web links that show how to do welding safely?
> (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.)
> Thanks
> RW
>



Welding is not rocket science. However, it's also not something you can
just learn on the spot after reading an Internet FAQ without a bit of
practice and there are a number of safety issues. If you've never
welded before and don't intend to do so again in the future, it's
probably not worth the hassle. Also, it's probably safer to arc weld
rather than use an acetylene torch. However, it's still quite possible
to either electrocute yourself and/or damage your car.

Bottom line? My suggestion would be to pay someone who knows what
they're doing to weld the connectors for you.

Cheers,
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:01   #3 (permalink)
Brent P
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Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

In article <1127313434.571423.46960@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, unixzip@yahoo.com wrote:
> Is it very difficult to do something like weld on subframe connectors
> by yourself? Can I just go to Home Depot and get some acetalyne torches
> and stuff? Any web links that show how to do welding safely?


Safety while welding is pretty easy. Making good welds without damaging
your car or the subframe connectors and ones that will actually hold up
is another. I bought the baby mig welder that home depot carries some
time ago and practiced welding on exhaust pipes when needed to replace a
part or just patch on the beater car. I can make solid but ugly welds at
best. I still wouldn't trust my skills welding in sub frame connectors
on my mustang.

> (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.)


That's why I still don't have sub-frame connectors.


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Old 09-21-2005, 12:01   #4 (permalink)
Me
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Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

Your best bet is to have this job done by someone who knows how to weld, has
the proper lift device. (The car needs to be sitting on it's suspension
while the connectors are installed) In other words, a pro. Bite the bullet,
have it done right. IMHO.

<unixzip@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1127313434.571423.46960@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Is it very difficult to do something like weld on subframe connectors
> by yourself? Can I just go to Home Depot and get some acetalyne torches
> and stuff? Any web links that show how to do welding safely?
> (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.)
> Thanks
> RW
>



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Old 09-21-2005, 12:01   #5 (permalink)
J. Sprauer
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Posts: n/a
Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

I had a friend do mine on his lift.. he put the 2 bolts where the seats are
attatched then welded fronts and backs... took 20 minutes He is a
recreational welder not a pro...


"Me" <wjh1@yvn.com> wrote in message news:WumdnQX8pfxSAKzeRVn-gQ@yvn.com...
> Your best bet is to have this job done by someone who knows how to weld,

has
> the proper lift device. (The car needs to be sitting on it's suspension
> while the connectors are installed) In other words, a pro. Bite the

bullet,
> have it done right. IMHO.
>
> <unixzip@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1127313434.571423.46960@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > Is it very difficult to do something like weld on subframe connectors
> > by yourself? Can I just go to Home Depot and get some acetalyne torches
> > and stuff? Any web links that show how to do welding safely?
> > (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.)
> > Thanks
> > RW
> >

>
>



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Old 09-21-2005, 13:01   #6 (permalink)
Ray or Bobbi Adams
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Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

Pay now, not a higher price later


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Old 09-21-2005, 14:01   #7 (permalink)
The Hurdy Gurdy Man
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Posts: n/a
Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

unixzip@yahoo.com wrote:

> 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.
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Old 09-21-2005, 22:02   #8 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

Not to mention the car should be perfectly level when you do it.

I've done a LOT of MIG welding, like the others say, started where it
wouldnt show... proceed to body panels after a half-spool and large tank
of gas.. and it was STILL ugly.

Better safe than sorry.

The Hurdy Gurdy Man <bryan@linux.webicommerce.com> wrote in
news:mtjYe.7662$9a2.7385@trnddc04:

> unixzip@yahoo.com wrote:
>
>> 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.
>


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Old 09-22-2005, 04:01   #9 (permalink)
RSCamaro
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Posts: n/a
Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?

On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 10:18:46 -0500, tetraethylleadREMOVETHIS@yahoo.com
(Brent P) wrote:

<snip>
>Safety while welding is pretty easy. Making good welds without damaging
>your car or the subframe connectors and ones that will actually hold up
>is another. I bought the baby mig welder that home depot carries some
>time ago and practiced welding on exhaust pipes when needed to replace a
>part or just patch on the beater car. I can make solid but ugly welds at
>best. I still wouldn't trust my skills welding in sub frame connectors
>on my mustang.


The fault is probably not in your skills but in the equiptment that
you bought. Those little mighty migs are made to make nasty looking
welds, I haven't seen to many that would make a constant clean weld.

...Ron
--
68' Camaro RS
88' Firebird Formula
00' Mustang GT Vert
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Old 09-22-2005, 05:01   #10 (permalink)
Kate
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Re: Welding in your own garage. Smart?



"J. Sprauer" <jsprauer2000@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:0phYe.809$G64.141@newssvr12.news.prodigy.com...
:I had a friend do mine on his lift.. he put the 2 bolts where the seats are
: attatched then welded fronts and backs... took 20 minutes He is a
: recreational welder not a pro...
:


I had a friend do mine too.
He had me bring it down to the shop where he works.

He put it up on a lift and welded them on.

It was a few years ago and it only cost me (I volunteered, he didn't ask)
one hour.

Oh, did I mention...
he's a professional frame and body man.

Friend or not - have a pro do it. Since you do not know what you are doing,
getting it wrong it will be more heartache
than it's worth.

Kate




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