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  • tig welding on cars that have computers

    I have been told that TIG welding on cars that have computers can damage the computers. Why is this? With steel you would be running DC so what would cause the damage?
    This is an automotive discussion forum that has some great infromation

    www.autobodytoolmart.com/shoptalk

  • #2
    If you use high frequency start, I suppose it could damage the computer, or if welding aluminum in ac with high frequency.
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    • #3
      I would agree, if there is a problem it would probably with the high frequency although I have never heard of it causing problems? The biggest thing with welding on cars is grounding the actual area/part of the car you are welding so the current is not running all over the place (like through wiring or computers) to get to the weld. And itís not a bad idea to disconnect the battery too.

      John

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      • #4
        That's a good point about setting the ground as close to the work as possible. Also don't want to set the ground on the other side of a bearing with the current going through the bearing.
        Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
        Millermatic175
        MillermaticPassport/Q300
        HTP MIG200
        PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
        ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
        DialarcHF, Radiator-1
        Hypertherm PowerMax 380
        Purox oxy/ace
        Jackson EQC
        -F350 CrewCab 4x4
        -LoadNGo utility bed
        -Bobcat 250NT
        -PassportPlus/Q300
        -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
        -Suitcase8RC/Q400
        -Suitcase12RC/Q300
        -Smith oxy/propane
        -Jackson EQC

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        • #5
          I dont see how disconnecting a battery helps, I never do it, welded on hundreds maybe more cars, trucks, about anything else that moves, I was going to say besides airplanes but actually did a couple things to one.

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          • #6
            I think every up fit manual Iíve ever read says disconnect the batteries before welding. Some even say unplug the computer.
            I have always felt itís good practice to keep the ground close to your work.
            Caution!
            These are "my" views based only on ďmyĒ experiences in ďmyĒ little bitty world.

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            • #7
              Keeping the ground near the work is obviously the number 1 thing. I think every technical writer throws the battery issue in just for sport. We have had some lengthy discussions here and only one position I ever heard makes much sense but even that was speculation. No one ever gives reasons why in the recommendation and I know many equipment types, installers never disconnect. I have never had an issue, cant recall where anyone I personally know has either. Have heard some stories, even one where the guy insists he "blew every light bulb out of the car" ha.
              Grounding locally is the deal, new cars have so many potential ground loops due to ground wires in harnesses that never used to be there, ground to the part being worked on.

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              • #8
                I was at work one day and one of the guys had just had a battery stolen out of his car so he decides to weld a chain on the hood, down to the bumper. Car was a piece of crap as you might imagine. So we're sitting in the lunch room and BOOM the guy's battery blows! The current found it's way through the battery and apparently didn't like that 200 amp quick charge.
                So you may want to disconnect the battery just in case the current finds it's way through the battery, which is unlikely but better safe than sorry.

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                • #9
                  Did he have ground hooked up to the tailpipe?
                  Was the replacement battery new? (Why bother with a new battery in a junk car?)
                  at home:
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                  at work:
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                  Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

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                  • #10
                    He had it grounder to the bumper and when he welded chain there it was fine but when he welded a piece of chain to the hood thatís when it blew. Good thing the hood was closed! Yes it was a new battery, thatís what we all got a kick out of. Poor guy didnít have two nickels to rub together X-wife or two, couple of kids. He lived in the bar and slept in an apartment on the wrong side of town, always broke.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eyesolator View Post
                      He had it grounder to the bumper and when he welded chain there it was fine but when he welded a piece of chain to the hood thatís when it blew. Good thing the hood was closed! Yes it was a new battery, thatís what we all got a kick out of.

                      Well i highly tend to think that the battery did not get the welding current but more of along the line of a spark finding the hydrogen in the battery and that is what blew up, i have seen two batteries blow up from sparks in my short life time.

                      One blew up when the guy took off the charging cables from the battery and a small spark from the post to the clamp caused the venting battery to go BOOM, poor guy had ACID burns up his arm and face.

                      Railmen.
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                      had and sold........
                      2003 XMT 304CC/CV
                      1947 Lincoln SA200G short hood
                      1963 Lincoln SA200G
                      1975 Lincoln SA200G(best machine ever had )
                      1970's Lincoln SAE400G
                      2 Maxstar's 200DX's
                      1 Maxstar 200SD
                      CST 280
                      2 CST 250
                      MM130


                      Railmen

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                      • #12
                        Surge Protector !!

                        Hi, I never disconect the battery, I have a Surge Protector for the battery.
                        I just hook it up to the batteries posts before I weld on any vehicle, of course I also attach the work lead directly to the part I'm welding !!

                        ............. Norm
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                        Sunrise Outside My Shop In Delhi, Ontario

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                        • #13
                          The hydrogen thing is interesting. I spoke to one of our auto tech teachers this morning to try and get some info. on the battery thing. He said the battery blowing up was probably due to hydrogen as apposed to a massive charge caused by a welder somehow making itís way through the battery. He also said the he would always disconnect the ground on a battery because all of the critical sensors and computers are grounded directly to the battery and by disconnecting the ground to the battery you have effectively isolated them. Sounds good to me?
                          He also mentioned the ďMaintenance Free/sealedĒ batteries have a check valve on them to prevent flow or fire back into the battery. Because of this they are supposedly less likely to explode. He went on to say about the ground being on the area of welding ect., and made the comment that probably not many muffler shops are disconnecting batteries to weld muffler systems together and it works out just fine. Me Iíll error on the side of caution and disconnect the ground on a battery.

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                          • #14
                            The battery doesn't "tie" anything together, they are already hooked together before this point.

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                            • #15
                              Here is another way to think about this, there is a hundred thousand + trucks being used as work platforms every day, every kind of welding being performed on the beds of them every hour of the day. None of them are unhooking anything. You are about 200 times at risk blowing something up hook/unhooking batteries which is a COMMON cause of explosion as you would be leaving well enough alone.
                              Last edited by Sberry; 10-08-2009, 10:47 AM.

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