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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,721

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    Snowbird, That's what I was going to mention, If all your disconnecting is the battery your kidding yourself thinking that all you need to do.

    There are several different grounds that should be included to isolate the electrical system.

    I have been welding on trucks, heavy equipment, conveyors, buildings and everything else under the sun for the last 26 years.

    I never disconnect the batteries, I just keep the ground hooked up next to me.

    Even on buildings, If you don't keep your ground with you, You can catch a ground on a water pipe or building column and heat the ground up inside the wall that will then burn anything that is combustible.

    You always need to keep your ground with you in these types of situations.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,279

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    A year or two ago, I welded on an early '90s Pete, fried the Electronic Engine Controls. Between towing, and diagnosing and fixing, ended up costing $3000+ to the customer. My insurance company covered it, as they should, after several hundred thousand dollars in premium over the years (with the same company), a $3000 claim is peanuts. And no, they didn't increase the rate this year when I renewed.

    The only way to completely be safe is to follow the Ford service bulletin. Essentially, disconnect all wires going to the EEC, and the dashboard, and remove the EEC from the vehicle. Unless you work for $5.00 per hour, this is not practical.

    I weld off the rear deck of my truck everyday, it is definitely an electronic engine, I don't do this. I don't even disconnect my ground cable.

    In the situation above, I did disconnect the ground, just so the customer realized I was taking what he thought were the proper precautions.

    Just yesterday, I did some major arc gouging and welding on 3 hay squeezes, all with late model electronic engines, no problem, disconnected nothing.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,583

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    If I am working on a job that requires a qualified tech I simply include that in my bid. If the only way to work on a late model Ford chassis (or whatever) is to follow these rules then that is the way to do it.
    Simply not worth the risk if the mfg is gonna put in writing.
    I used to work for a vehicle modifier back in '07 and there was constant risk when welding. I don't doubt with the volume Ford deals with they see large numbers of problems related to these sort of issues.
    I have little remorse sending these jobs down the road.
    That being said I personally have been quite fortunate by being extremely careful where and how I connect my ground....generally I use a vise grip with teeth on the jaw tips and dig it in hard. I even go so far as to wiggle it side to side and then take them off and check to see I dug up fresh metal. Then I ground to that. Stray voltage on startup can get crazy.

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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,395

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    Thousands of trucks are used every day as welding platforms. I have welded on hundreds and more like thousands and never unhook.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,583

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    There is some difference in welding ON (like a welding table) the truck vs welding TO the truck

    www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
    MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
    Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

    Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
    Miller 30-A Spoolgun
    Miller WC-115-A
    Miller Spectrum 300
    Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
    Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    st-eustache qc.canada
    Posts
    223

    Red face still not sure...

    The question remains, what are the chances of frying electronics ?

    Welding on a welding bed attached (bolted or welded) with lights etc... grounded to the rest of the truck, to me is really close as welding to the truck... but it's just me .

    I tend to believe as portablewelder said, keep your ground with you and as fusionking said have a positevly good ground.

    We see every day a so many welding fails and improperly done welding, it's hard from that to conclude that every good or bad welders will properly use their ground clamp all the time. So manufacturers cut it short and made welding on vehicles a big no no . Easy way out... for them.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,853

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    This issue has been beaten to death over the years. I don't think there will ever be a definitive answer.

    We can only go by experience. Mine is, I never disconnect anything & make sure I have a very good ground connection as close as possible to the weld area. I have never had an issue using this method. The only issues that have come up is when the customer has disconnected the ground only from the battery. Three batteries have fried this way. It hasn't happened every time but it is the only time I have had an issue. I always tell the customer ahead of time that if they disconnect something I am not responsible.

    You can use one of these. Also comes in 24 volt. I've never seen one or know anyone that uses it.

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