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welding on newer cars

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JAZAK5
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 276 coxsackie,ny
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2009-02-07          160170


any precautions/procedures/grounding frame// in regards to welding (mig)or (arc)on a 2003ford f350
besides disconnecting battery any possible problems in wiping out the vehicals ecm

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welding on newer cars

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-02-07          160172


I'm not a welder, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've seen plenty of circuit damage caused by high voltage arriving through grounds. ....

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welding on newer cars

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-02-08          160174


Ummm...."besides the ECM...".

What else does that leave? Stay away from flammable items?

An electrical engineer friend at Ford did a study on just this sort of thing. His recommendation was simply "don't weld on it". He found that ANY type of electro welding sets up a ground-fault wave (like KW stated) that he said looked like a rolling, turbulent, swirling el;ectronic signal that encompassed the vehicle from front to back and back again. This errant wave found its way into every circuit; some it affected, some it didn't--but it was still there none the less. And he said it didn't matter if he battery was totally disconnected or not. He did say that if you HAVE to weld--place the ground conection as close to the work as possible to lessen the wave intensity.

You didn't say where you were welding; generally speaking you really shouldn't weld to a critcal component such as a frame rail as it could make the steel brittle and fail. Some OTR trucks with alloy frames have decals on the frames stating "DO NOT WELD". Generally, if you have to attach something to a frame, try to use an existing hole or use U-bolts. But even that can wreak havoc as that particular attaching point may not be intended to have anything on it--and could lead to cracking--or even conversely PREVENT design-intent which could be collpase in the event of an accident aka "crumple zone".

Example: About 10 years ago Dodge Rams with the Cummins engines were not suppose to have snow plows on them because the frame rail by the steering box was not designed to support anything. Snow plow dealers ignored the information mounted p-lows there anyway and subsequently cracked the frame rail under normal use.
After that was discovered, plow mfg's would not install a plow on a Cummins Ram. When I bought my plow I had to sign the reciept that I was installing on my own "Customer Installing Self) and they wanted NO reference to my truck whatsoever. ....

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welding on newer cars

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JAZAK5
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 276 coxsackie,ny
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2009-02-08          160180


my question was really in reference to mig;/ arc welding on exhaust pipe;/sheet metal and bumper mounts;//; I mean that body shops do it with spot welds and I was inquiring if there was a procedure for this ....

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welding on newer cars

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2009-02-08          160181


JAZAK5,

I wouldn't worry too much about it, so long as you keep the ground clamp as close as possible to the area you're welding. It might help if you take a die grinder to the grounding area before attaching the ground clamp, just to be sure you have a good, clean connection.

Last Fall I welded up a hood hinge for a friend. He had hit a deer and ripped the hinge support right off the firewall. I welded it up for him, but was concerned about the electronics, just as you are. Turned out just fine. The air bags didn't even deploy. hehehe.

Joel ....

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welding on newer cars

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-02-08          160182


I have a one-track mind--and it gets derailed at times; I should have said that welding is done all the time on exhausts (at shops) without even care about disconnecting things.

....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-02-08          160185


One son inlaw runs an exhaust and radatior shop. I know he welds duals on new pickups, he doesn't seem to have any problems with the electronics. I don't know if he unhooks or disables them before or not. Frank. ....

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