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Yes the welding will melt the paint but you also need to weld to bare metal. So you have a strong weld
 

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Welding through paint is a bad idea. You're better off cleaning down to bare metal and the spraying the bare metal with a good quality weld thru primer such a 3M products. This will allow for a strong weld and still provide some corrosion protection versus just welding bare metal.
 

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I did mine on my D44. Drain diff, brush and clean up axle, put the truss together and check for proper fit on axle. Tack in on, then weld opposite ends and alternate to make sure axle housing doesn't warp. Wrap in welding blanket and allow to cool SLOWLY!!
I did gussets and Ball Joints at the same time. Make sure you KNOW what you're doing or you WILL screw it up.
 

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But the Ark didn't sink.
Seems like that may have been his point... not all "professionals" know what they're doing welding on an axle, but some amateurs do great welding jobs. At least that's how I read it...

JM.02
 
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