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  1. #1
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    Default Welding without frying

    Brand new to welding. Honestly haven't even broke it out of the box yet. One of the things I need to repair is my Polaris ATV hitch. It is just about impossible to remove the hitch frame so I need to try to weld it while it is still on the ATV. How can I do this without frying the electronics on the ATV? I want to be super careful about this so please tell me with no shortcuts on safety.
    In case it matters I have an arc welder. Thanks in advance.
    Dwight
    2011 LS R4041EZ w/FEL, 1949 Farmall Cub, Rotary Cutter, Box Blade, Harrow Disc

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bikerdib's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    I assume it is a negative ground vehicle (most everything is now days), disconnect the ground cable at the battery. That will isolate the electronics from welding. I would be concerned about heat affecting any nearby combustibles on the machine. Also, make sure there are no gas fumes built up where you are welding.

    One of my biggest concerns is that since you are new to welding, you will be doing out of position welding which in tight areas can be difficult even with experience. Got any buddies with welding experience?
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  3. #3
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    Clamp the work (ground) as close to the weld area as possible. Make sure it is on bare metal or maybe an unpainted bolt.

    If you are the worrying type, disconnect the ground on the battery while welding. Some say it is important while others don't.

    Before you weld something serious you'd be better off practicing for a week or so until the learning curve starts to flatten out. Post some photos of your welds on here and also post a photo of what you are going to be welding on the ATV. Guys here have a wealth of knowledge and are willing to share and give advice.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    use a big fan to blow the fumes away from the area,
    use tin foil to protect any flammable plastic / wires / in the area being welded
    keep an extinguisher close by ... garden hose / spray bottle with water ...

    practice on similar pieces before attempting the good piece ( to get heat settings right )

    NEVER weld galvanized metal (fumes are toxic)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    If it is a high stress area on the hitch, I would make sure you get the hang of welding before doing it, you don't want it to break AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. Also, vertical welding is MUCH harder than horizontal. As far as electronics go, you should be fine as long as the battery is disconnected. Plastic, and other "meltable" materials nearby should be covered somehow, even rags to keep sparks off. And make sure your not right by any flammable fluids from the quad

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks for quick responses. I dont have any buddies that weld believe it or not. At least that are close enough to help. I will definitely practice and put that later on my list.
    I plan on doing a table then a boom for my tractors bucket hitch recvr. I figure those should allow me time to get the feel.
    Since its a 08 Polaris ill assume negative battery should be disconnected. This may sound really stupid but how would I know if its galvanized metal?
    Dwight
    2011 LS R4041EZ w/FEL, 1949 Farmall Cub, Rotary Cutter, Box Blade, Harrow Disc

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    dwight, galvanized metal is the shiny coating on chain link fencing, galvanized pipe...you know the silver looking (when new) stuff that doesn't rust easily.

    I've welded a bunch of galvanized pipe, chain link gates etc. The fumes are toxic so be sure to have lots of good ventilation and make sure you aren't breathing the fumes. Set a fan up reasonably close by to pull the smoke/fumes away from you. Don't aim it towards you. Welding in the wind doesn't work either.

    With welding in general, always have good ventilation, never breath the fumes but especially with galvanized.
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  8. #8
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    The last two trucks I've bought, both cab & chassis. A 2004 F-550, and a 2007 Dodge 3500, had an envelope in the glove box addressed to the upfitters. Both manufactures said to disconnect both batteries before doing any welding on the truck. The Ford had a start up procedure, the Dodge did not. The Ford I built a dump bed for, I had to weld the hinge to the frame. The Dodge I made a sub frame and used holes already in the frame to bolt the sub frame, so I didn't have to weld to the truck.
    Best advice has already been given, disconnect the battery, and keep the ground clamp as close to the welding as possible.
    I've always wondered about Tig welding using high frequency on a car / truck with on board computers?


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  9. #9
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    Already good advice, disconnect BOTH battery cables to ensure no stray currents get to your computers. Wet rags and wrap around any exposed wires or other items that might get hot and melt or burn from hot slag or popping weld metal (remove anything close by to the weld to prevent this). Clean the area thoroughly of any paint, grease or dirt to make it easier for the weld metal to adhere. Clean the ground clamp area to bright metal also so it gets good contact and place it as close as possible to the weld area without it being in your way. Don't hook it anywhere where the current might travel thru a bearing and be careful with your electrode that you don't arc something else beside what you intent to.
    Welding galvanize is not a problem as long as you avoid inhaling the fumes. Someone said to put a fan nearby to SUCK the fumes away which is good as fast blowing air on a weld is NOT GOOD. Galvanized (zinc coating) does not weld that great and affects the quality of your weld making it brittle so it is best to remove the zinc first OR run a light 6010 or 6011 pass on it using a stepping motion in and out of the puddle to burn off the zinc. Burning zinc gives off an intense white smoke and leaves a white powdery residue next to the weld + does a lot of fizzing and sparking when welding.
    I would weld it using 7018 rods after the initial first pass with 60xx rods as the 7018 gives much stronger welds. Since you have a tractor, you might use it to lift the bike up so it is easier to get too and see the weld puddle.
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  10. #10
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welding without frying

    I see no harm in disconnecting the battery as others have already mentioned.

    But that said, I have never done so. I have welded on ATV's, tractors, cars, and trucks and never had any issues.

    On a side note, (not to hijack the thread), but how exactally does disconnecting the battery isolate the computer?? I see it will isolate the batter from the welding, and isolate the computer from the battery, but how does that isolate the computer from the welding??
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