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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
mcneil
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Need some welding advice on a crossmember

Would some of the welding experts here be kind enough to give me a recommendationi on how to weld this up without warping it so bad it doesn't fit anymore?



The application is a crossmember for a TJ engine swap project intended for daily driving and light wheeling.
Plate will be bolted to frame through sleeved holes (not drilled yet), tube is currently tacked to plate. Plate-to-frame tacks will be ground off after I get it drilled, just to keep my holes lined up.
Tube is 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 1/4"
Plate is 3/16"

I have at home:
- A Miller 135 with .030" solid ER70S-6, and years of practice
- Ability to run .035 flux core, but I've never done it
- A Victor oxy-acetylene rig for preheating

At work, I have access to a Miller Synchrowave 250 DX TIG, but I just learned how to use it this year. I've done 1/4" with it (all flat or fillet), and I still undercut the edges of my beads sometimes.

So which option will get me a strong crossmember that will fit in the same spot after welding?
A. Keep it in the frame, preheat with the torch, then fill the bevel with several passes with my 110V welder
B. Take it out of the frame, and bring it into work after hours to lay a serious bead with the TIG
C. Give up and take it to a pro?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
mcneil
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More pictures
Drivetrain is a VW TDI mated to a 4L65e to a NP241OR. Long story.. build thread will follow eventually.



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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
AquaToe
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Hi! Which part is being welded?
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Unread 06-06-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
mcneil
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Sorry, let me clear that up a bit.
I'm trying to figure out the beads in red, particularly between the tube and the plate. I'm worried that laying multi-pass in the bevel at the end of the tube is going to cause the plate to warp away from the frame. Also, I'm slightly less concerned that filling in the cuts in the bend will make the whole crossmember warp away from the frame rails.

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Unread 06-06-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
TimV
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Im no expert, but I think just welding it up would be fine. I don't think you will manage to warp 1/4" tube with those small welds. I would probably do one weld at a time, with a bit of cooling time.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 04:41 PM   #6
BESRK
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Maybe fill your slits (in the tube) in place with the little 110 wire feed, and do the end flanges with the TIG. Reinstall the crossmember and then drill.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 07:43 PM   #7
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I'd tack it all real good in place where it will bolt to the frame..GOOD SIZED tacks...weld it all up in place..let cool all night or at least a few good hours...then cut the tacks to the frame loose and clean it up and continue on..

If it is warped enough to concern you in where you want it to bolt,use a torch to heat a little "V" on the side you want to bend back...don;t do it cherry red..just enough where the steel turns a different color..immediatly use a soak n wet rag to cool that spot,,it'll move back...

Do little section at a time untill you have it where you want it.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Take a grinder and round the corners on the part you are welding to the frame or you will get cracks there( ) not l l
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Unread 06-07-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
mcneil
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Thanks for the tips. Here's a better picture of the gap I need to fill between the tube & plate. The tube is beveled and the gap is about 1/4" at the top of the bevel, and in some spots around the tube there's up to 1/8" gap between the bottom of the bevel and the plate


This is the best quality stuff I can do with my skill level & machine..


..but this is what I more commonly end up with (this shot is in-process, still have two edges to weld up)
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Unread 06-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
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If those were done with the 110 MIG, you should be good to go with using that on everything..
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Unread 06-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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I agree too many people get hung up on 220V vs 110V. You should be fine. i would pull the crossmember out and redo the tack up including tape on the framerails. The idea is to build up the tape to mimic the thickness that the paint will take up on either piece as well as giving a bit of room to work with once you want to bolt it back on. If the framerails have to squeeze in 1/8" when bolted no big deal. This will also allow you to reduce the gaps in your original tack-up.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #12
mcneil
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Again, thanks for all the advice. I also reviewed the "Show your Welds" thread for more tips.

Preheated to 500F with rosebud tip, Miller 135 at max voltage, .030" wire with feed at 5, here's how it came out:
1st pass:






Got a lot of splatter, and a piece down my neck caused me to flinch bad and mess this side up:


But with 3 more passes it looks ok


Need to improve where I start & stop beads, I had to come back and hit the corners with additional passes.




This is the second pass, 1/4" plate meeting 1/4" tube, with edge beveled on the plate


The frame tacks held, no warping, looks good!
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Unread 06-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #13
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you always have to give yourself a bit of extra room for the weldment when drilling the holes.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 10:58 PM   #14
mcneil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratis View Post
you always have to give yourself a bit of extra room for the weldment when drilling the holes.
Yeah, there's two holes that are going to take a bit of cleanup. They're also too close to the square tube for a nut to clear, so I'll have to add a spacer to it.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #15
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One thing I would recommend is to not weave like a drunkman when trying to make a wider pass. Do a small weave if you have to, and follow something akin to a typical procedural multi-pass:

quickest pic I could find online, but from a legit site, weldingtipsandtricks.com

root pass, and two caps slightly overlapping each other (typically root, top pass, bottom pass, depending on your orientation).




Other than that, I doubt that crossmember is going anywhere.
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