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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the best type welder to use for frame patches? I've got two autorust caps, and two plates I need to weld up. Auto rust says you can use mig, tig, or stick. Just wondering if one is easier / stronger than another

For the record. I'm "decent" with mig, okay with stick, and good with tig.
 

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Whichever one you are best at is the one I would use.

as Unlim states, it's all about the penetration :p
 

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Any of those would be fine but you need to make sure they have enough power to overcome the frame's massive ability to absorb/sink heat. For a MIG, that's nothing less than a 180 amp capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any of those would be fine but you need to make sure they have enough power to overcome the frame's massive ability to absorb/sink heat. For a MIG, that's nothing less than a 180 amp capacity.
thanks jerry! And yes I know about needing clean metal lol. I'm gonna cut out the rust and grind it prior to welding. My stick welder, while only a 110amp will actually get the frame red hot. My mig is only a 140amp. Maybe I'll borrow a welder or just run stick welds
 

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I used to always think Stick was the only way to go for welding frames, then I found out most of my buddies use Migs and swear by it. I myself have reinforced majority of my frame with Mig. As long as you know how to weld and can get good penetrations then go for it. Mig is convenient too, Stick welders aren't to be knocked either, they are great!
 

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Just remember to NOT use brake clean for cleaning the metal. It will create a toxic fume which can do major damage to you.
 

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If you have the ability to Tig weld...that would be the best route. Use ER70S2 G or 6-weld wire. My second choice would be 3/32 dia stick using 7018 in DC mode.

Running a mig with the typical E70S-2 wire and 25/75 gas (Argon/C02) in the short circuiting transfer mode (sounds like eggs frying) will not give you the penetration/strength you desire despite having nice looking welds. I would guess this has been done many times with success but after looking at the results of probably a 100 bend tests, I would recommend otherwise on a frame. At least a section that is stressed.

Weld uphill in all cases. An undesirable appearing weld (within reason, assuming weld parameters are correct) performed uphill will always provide a stronger weld than one performed in the downhill progression.

In any case watch your max interpass temperature. Try to keep it below 600f. Ie, weld a pass and let it cool. Don't keep welding over glowing red hot and grind/chip out after every pass if you are using something that slags (stick welding/flux core).

Prepare all welding areas to bright metal. Bevel at least one side and maintain some root gap or butt it up tight with no gap and prepare yourself to back grind the opposite side to sound metal.
 

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Anytning u can lay a good bead with practice a lot. (I tig, i mig, i stick). 140 amps should be plenty unless ur travel speed is too fast or slow . And dont forget a little preheat with a propane torch will clean the already flapp disked metal and dry it as well as help with cold starts and penetration. Migs big problem is cold starts
 

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Anytning u can lay a good bead with practice a lot. (I tig, i mig, i stick). 140 amps should be plenty
Where a MIG is concerned, I disagree where welding on a big piece of steel like the frame is concerned. That's why so many welders recommend nothing less than a 220v 175-180 amp MIG welder for welding big pieces of steel like that. My previous Hobart 140 wasn't enough for large pieces of steel, that's why I sold it and replaced it with a 180 amp Miller.
 

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Where a MIG is concerned, I disagree where welding on a big piece of steel like the frame is concerned. That's why so many welders recommend nothing less than a 220v 175-180 amp MIG welder for welding big pieces of steel like that. My previous Hobart 140 wasn't enough for large pieces of steel, that's why I sold it and replaced it with a 180 amp Miller.
Well I don't disagree that a 180 machine will do better… it will be way further away from the duty cycle... I have a Miller 211 myself and a Maxstar 150stl and a engine driven stick i use at work . I would say for the frame I probably have my Miller turned about three quarters of the way up which is about 140 A...I'm saying 140 A is plenty for some 1/8 inch steel, provided the prep and maybe a little pre-heat, along with good technique is way more than adequate. Heat input in welding and penetration has a lot more involved than just amperage.. Everyone keeps talking, I just want to help.

It also has a lot to do with travel speed… 140 A for 10 seconds is about the same or close to 200 A for six or seven seconds… And the difference is going to be how far you travel in that six or seven seconds versus the 10 seconds the smaller machine will do. Example at 200 A you my travel 8 inches in 10 seconds and at 140 A you may travel half the distance, and I'm not denying that the heat input into the surrounding material will be greater (from increased time) resulting in greater metal fatigue from heat to the surrounding metal. This is the reason stainless steel is usually welded at a high amperage, simply put the surrounding material has less time to get hot before your weld pool forms Personally as a welder, I've went from a newbie to pretty proficient in just about anything in a little over a year. I do a lot of stainless work for my work on the side.. I'm not counting any welding I did in high school or college, or with that piece of crap harbor freight welder I had.

Jerry you're a wealth of knowledge and I've learned a lot from you… like a ridiculous amount about jeeps.. But I haven't really learned anything about welding from you. A lot about jeeps but most of my welding I've learned from my buddy who's a pipefitter and through practice.

Honestly if you can get access to a stick machine that can hit between 90 and 120 A you can use the right size electrode and it will be way more than strong enough. But probably the best thing you can do is spend Time and practice with different kinds a wire and different settings on similar metals until you feel you can get a good result. If it's a good machine with someone who knows what they're doing… No problem… If it looks like boogers and bubblegum work on your technique until it doesn't.
 

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I have done many frame repairs with a lincoln sp 140
 

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So something like this would work?

FREE SHIPPING — Klutch ST200i Inverter-Powered Stick Welder — 230 Volts, 200 Amp | Arc Welders| Northern Tool + Equipment

I have always been interested in welding but never have bought a welder and learned. I figure I should get something with enough power to weld on a frame if the time comes.
On paper that machine would work. The 15% duty cycle is at 200 amps. Ie, the dial pegged. 200 amps will burn some heavy stick rod. 1/8" 7018 probably welds at 125 amps (ish) and is too big for what you are wanting to do. You can run 3/32" stick at probably 90-100 amps. At lower amperage the duty cycle is increased. For frame work, probably the longest duration of actual welding is probably about 20 seconds. You will be fine with that.

Like all things, you get what you pay for. It might work it might not. I would look for a similar sized machine made my either Lincoln or Miller (Miller being my preference). The good entry level stuff is significantly costlier than that. My little 175 cost me just under a grand with the cart. Used stuff is out there just watch out for that 3 phase stuff that will not work in your garage.

You want 230 volt 175-200 amp max capacity, AC/DC capability (running AC is for welding rod like 6011/6010) you want the DC to be able to run low hydrogen electrodes. AC/DC also gives you the capability to run scratch start TIG. You simply switch the polarity and hook up a bottle of Argon. You also need a 50 amp power source.

Tig welding does take some practice but its not too hard of a thing to get the hang of. Always mock up a practice piece before welding out the critical component.

Did this stuff for the last 25 years. 10 years behind the hood and the last as certified welding inspector watching people weld. Have a Miller 175 mig at home right next to a full blown old school AC/DC copper winded Miller HF 250. Runs Tig thru a liquid cooled lead with a high frequency starter. At least 25 years old and still runs like a watch.
 

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Structural, pipe or tube welding?
Hobby sanitary, structural and art projects.... Happy, yes. Theres many ways to crack an egg and its not just by buying a new machine... I'm not here to Internet battle... here to help


*edit where in jersey? Im over in bethlehem pa area if u need any help
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My shop said I can borrow a lincoln stick or tig. They don't have an migs to lend out. Sooo on that note. 6010 root pass with a 7018 cap. Let's see how this turns out.
 
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