Like was said,bevel the joint,and travel uphill.....downhill never penetrates much at all,your puddle will stay in front of your wire and cause it not to burn into the steel,more or less just laying on top.
Start your puddle,then travel uphill watching the puddle fill to the desired fill and then just keep traveling ast that one consistent speed untill filled
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When welding uphill I set my machine for roughly 1/2 the material thickness. Then trace the front of the puddle and pause on the "sides." Despite the lower settings it still burns in nicely. I'm sure there are people out there that can make a "pretty" uphill weld, but yes, it is difficult. You can also use solid wire for this application with that machine. I don't know if you're just using flux core for the extra penetration.
It bowed in because you piled on a bunch of weld in that inside corner. As the hot weld cooled.. it shrank... pulling in on the inside of the plate causing it to bow.
Depending on what tools you have at your disposal, you might be able to get some of that bow out with a BFH.. a winch cable (pulling from the front), a bottle jack (pushing it out), an Oxy/AC torch (heat and bend).. or a combination of some of those. .. or, cut it off and start over.
If you're having issues like this, it might be better to push "pause" on the actual bumper fab, and play around with the welder and some scraps to get the technique down. It's alot easier to toss the scrap and try again, than it is to fix something that's already welded to a nice Jeep.
'80 CJ5 w/AMC360, T176, D44 w/Detroit 4.56, RE 4" YJ lift and 35s..
Slowing down with a consistent pattern should help too imo. I like to do cursive Cs and come back about halfway through the previous one as I go. Makes for a much cleaner weld and gets good penetration.
I have it on voltage E and 5.5 ish wire speed fluxcore .035 Lincoln 180 does that sound too high for 1/4"?
I'm bolting the d ring mounts thru the main mounts so there's a lot of strength combined between the bolt and weld incase the weld would fail.
I'm pretty confident in the rest because its mostly cosmetics I'm not going to be pushing stuff with it. When I get a winch in 4 years after I come out of the army I'm going to just make sure the plate it sits on is well secured to the main mounts.
I have my stock tow hooks sandwiching the frame rail with the plates
1997 Limited 5.2L 3 link front. np231 swap