I have never seen a welder fry an alternator. Seems to me I have seen ground wire get hot,,,, best I can recall when someone ground to body, work on frame etc but its been so long I cant remember details.
As Bob said,, at least a thoousand and this is a real number and maybe even light at that, even only once a week over 30 yrs would be over that, on occasions did one every day, sometimes worked off of truck bed several times a day.
I am sure it has happened somewhere at some time, at least something but never seen it personally, don't know any reliable first hand events either as I can recall and actually see more possibility of problems disconnecting etc and certainly giving more of a feeling of security than any real benifit.
I have heard stories,,, one remarkable one comes to mind on a forum, maybe here guy says he blew up his battery, cooked the alt and blew out all the light bulbs on his pickup truck and was here to let eveyone know,,, be sure to unhook battery, I said,,, send pics,,, I wanna see this, ha
These trucks are used as work platforms by welders by the thousands every day. If it was a problem we would hear about it.
Results 11 to 20 of 29
12-26-2012, 10:03 PM #11Senior Member
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- 16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
12-26-2012, 10:21 PM #12
battery shut off on ford power stroke
^^^ yep. I never disconnect my battery and never had a problem. I do have a bad instrument cluster, I should blame it on the welder. lol
12-27-2012, 06:14 AM #13
How does disconnecting the batteries isolate the rest of the electrical system? Especially on newer vehicles there must be a dozen ground wires all over the truck so everything is interconnected. Disconnecting the batteries only isolates the batteries. The only time I had a problem was when the customer insisted on unhooking only the negative from the battery & the battery was dead when I finished. I never unhook unless the customer requests it & then I unhook both terminals.
You can always buy one of these. Not sure if they work. Always make sure you are grounded well & as close as possible to the weld.
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12-27-2012, 06:52 AM #14Senior Member
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[QUOTE=Sberry;298494]I have worked off a dozen trucks, welded on another 1000 at least, never unhooked. Never found anyone that could actually explain how it helped prevent anything.[/QUOTE.
I have seen computers fried from welding. Every time it was bad ground straps or lack of them. Current will find a ground path. If the grounds of the equipment or truck are good very unlikely of damage occuring. Also for everyone who fries alternators check the grounds. A bad ground is like pouring a bucket of water through a straw.
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12-27-2012, 08:56 AM #15
Potential Welding Current Paths through a Vehicle
Tryagn5 hit the nail on the head...
and to offer some additional beat the horse to death perspective why, here is my 2 cents worth from the following point of view:
1) have done major welding work on a vehicle filled with computers, air bags, to make modifications for off roading
2) BUT I did buy the additional factory service and collision damage body repair manuals from the manufacturer as to how to do it without causing damage..
3) retired electrical engineer whose main career was knee deep in development work for a major computer company...
4) researched and published a few articles about the OBDII systems used on todays vehicles today..
still won't get you a cup of coffee, but here goes....
The thing to think about are the differences in the electrical path the welding current may take, depending on whether we are talking about welding ON a vehicle versus using a welder mounted on a truck for off truck welding...
When welding ON a vehicle the welding current is obviously being pulled through the vehicle between the point being welded on and where the welding ground clamp is attached.... Not so obvious is what happens for example if the ground clamp placed on the frame and welding on the body or vice/versa (e.g. as part of a body repair).. In this case welding current is being pulled across the electrical connection points between the body and the frame. Definitely need to stay away from this...
For a lot of people the complete path of the battery ground terminal...to body... to engine....to frame electrical connection.. is out of sight, out of mind.. Bad assumption when applying welding currents on a vehicle.
Reason: Think about it...for vibration and noise damping purposes, on most vehicles the frame to body mechanical connections end up being electrically isolated since rubber donuts are typically used at all points where the body is bolted to the frame... This could also include a pickup truck bed to frame.. The engine motor mounts and suspension/drivetrain similarly use rubber mounts that not only provide noise/vibration isolation, but also electrically isolate the drive train from frame.... The electrical bonding of body, engine/drivetrain and frame is done by ground straps, which in many vehicles tend to be light gauge, certainly not intended to carry welding current.
The computer systems do have to make connections across these boundaries; and connect to some sensors that may be isolated (protected from stray currents) and other sensors that use body ground as the return path, and put sensor (and computer) at more risk from stray currents.
The major point where body, drivetrain and frame are bonded together is the battery negative cable goes from the battery negative terminal to body ground, to frame ground, and then to the engine block, not necessarily in this order, or even done by the same cable.
If you take a look at this cable on your vehicle, most importantly the gauge of the wire from a typical welding current viewpoint, say for example a sustained duration current of 180 amps or so.. you may find it to be a mighty small gauge cable for that level of current..
Starter currents travel through this same wire can be much higher, but it's typically only seconds in duration which doesn't overheat the wire.
On a welder mounted on a truck where normal operation has both the ground clamp and stinger cables going to some distant point to the work, the body and frame of the truck does not become part of the welding current path and thus should have no problems.
If one does a lot of welding of material laying on the bed surface (or for example in a vice on the bed at the back of the truck, an additional permanent ground connection from the welder output terminal ground connection to the work surface would be good insurance against stray currents.
And most importantly, if your vice is mounted to the truck frame/bumper, it would be good insurance to extend the additional ground cable from the welder output ground terminal to the truck frame in the vicinity of where the vice is mounted.
Otherwise if you forget to put the ground clamp on metal that the vice is attached to and instead put the ground clamp on the bed, you could end up pulling welding current through the vehicle internal ground straps between the body(bed) and the frame which are too weak to handle that level of current. By adding your own heavy gauge strapping, this possibility is eliminated.
think I'll go get a cup of coffee.. :<)
Last edited by dandeman; 12-27-2012 at 09:28 AM.Hobby Welder for about 32 years
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12-27-2012, 06:09 PM #16Junior Member
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- Dec 2012
My vise slides in my hitch and i mostly clamp the ground on the vise. if i run a heavy ground bolted to my hitch to my welder post that will eliminate other current routes. It all may sound like a waste of time but i like the added protection. I would sooner spend my money on tools and toys then expensive parts for my truck that i could have avoided toasting.
12-28-2012, 09:01 AM #17Senior Member
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- Sep 2005
- 16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
I will agree with Dan, ground on the work you are doing and run a cable to work bed, vise etc is good, reduces the forget factor. To Jr,,, reason I go on a bit here is generally about this,,,It all may sound like a waste of time but i like the added protection.
These are concepts hard for some of us to work but its about risk reward, lots of damage done to cars and people working on cars/batteries every day, explosions, bumps head on hood, cuts etc, issues witdrive abilityty, lots of stuff,,, almost none done by welding even in industry that does it day in/out, countless times a day.
Its like my house, modern truck has lots of sensitive equipmedon'tdont wantinterruptrupt the power to it unless I possibly cant help it. Thats one issue but another is the genelikelihoodhood, the poster feels like the potential for injury to his equipment is a 50/50 bet,, ha,,, its in the thousands, eclipsed by the odds you will be killed in traffic on the way to the parts store, its like airplane numbers.
A master I have works part time for me,,, really sharp guy, 30 yrsindependentendant shops, brings his own car in and we weld a broken bolt out, never mentions it once.
As was pointed out,,, this is different issue,,, you can fukk things up with a welder, burn off ground strap etc but unhooking the battery aint got anything to do with it.
Last edited by Sberry; 12-28-2012 at 09:25 AM.
12-28-2012, 01:20 PM #18
Here's what Ford said in bullitin from 2010. Ford, by far, has the most sensitive electronics when it comes to welding. Anyone want the entire bullitin...PM me your email. Its 20 pages long....
Trucks intended to function as mobile arc welding platforms will need to be designed toeliminate any electrical interaction between the truck's electrical system and any conductivesurface that comes in direct contact to the item to be welded. Electrical isolation of thewelding surface can be achieved by use of highly resistive barriers (i.e. Teflon, etc.). Thebarrier must include any fasteners that connect a conductive surface to the truck.
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12-28-2012, 01:57 PM #19
[QUOTE=NathanH;298627]Here's what Ford said in bullitin from 2010. Ford, by far, has the most sensitive electronics when it comes to welding. Anyone want the entire bullitin...PM me your email. Its 20 pages long....
So that means use nylon bolts to attach the bed to the truck so not to pass current from the welder to the chassis. I see...BobBob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
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12-28-2012, 02:20 PM #20
It can be done. We have used both fiberglass and rubber type mounting blocks to mount various equipment. Nothing for welder bodies but for buckets, cranes, overhead platforms....equipment that will be working around or in power lines. I am not sure what all Ford means. They don't get to specific other than all the stuff to disconnect when welding on the chassis. That and how if they find any evidence of welding you might as well forget warranty on any electronics.
Heck, there is even a hydraulic oil that is non-conductive that we have use in buckets with non-conductive hoses.Campbell Hausfeld 110V MIG
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