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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK - so when I joined this board a year ago I was a buy it and bolt it on guy. At least the labor was happening in my garage, except the welding. After lurking for most of the year, I got sick of paying $65 an hour for welding and fabrication, so a couple weeks ago I got a MIG welder. I've tought my self to lay down a halfway decent looking weld, at least on the stuff that's sitting on the garage floor.
Here's my problem: twice now I've welded on some stuff underneath the Jeep and it looks like sh!t. I can't really see the bead as I'm laying it down, and it doesn't look like it's sticking anyway. It globs up on one part or the other, I'm having a hell of a time welding upside down. I grind off the crap and try to weld over it and it globs up even more. Thank God for black paint, and I hope it holds. The one I did today was a 2 X 2 cross bar above the rear axle between the frame rails for the upper shock mounts.
I grind all the grease, paint and rust off before I start. Should I be washing it down with brake cleaner first? What am I doing wrong? HELP!
 

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Need some more specifics....

what amperage welder do you have? is it a little 120vac jobbie? or are you welding with a 220 welder with more than 165 amps?

are you running a gas set-up? what wire?

if you are, are you running a two-gas or mix-gas set-up?

if you are not running a gas set-up, what kind of flux-core are you using?

whichever way, did you double check to see if your welder polarity is correct?

basically, sounds like not enough heat, and/or too fast of a wire speed, plus a dirty or painted substrate. Check your ground clamp connection.

what welder do you have?
 

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if your grinding the old paint and oil away its probably clean enough.

what tpye of welder?

maybe it isnt enough amperage to puddle both pieces, more heat less wirespeed, try that
 
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This is kind of funny because I'm being bitten by the welding/wanting to learn bug myself, and at this moment I'm on Lincoln Electrics site. Here's a link to some articles and tips that might help.
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/products/tech/article.asp

I want to buy one and build a rear bumper, tire carrier over winter. Gotta learn it first though <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Is the problem your having the weld being hot and trying to fall or is it piling up?? Welding upside down is rough, and I have been doing it for 15 yrs! I still have problems at times. Try to turn up the wire speed by 5 if its falling away. ( trick Ive heard but never used ) If its piling up give it some more heat.

The absolute best thing to do is to practice like mad till you get it. Hope it holds is a scary proposition! <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a Chicago Electric 220V/140A welder. The gas I'm using is a 75%Argon/25%CO2 mix. Wire is .023 copper covered ER70S-6. (BTW, what do the numbers mean?). Polarity is correct. I'm welding 1/8" thick tubing to the frame. Burned it thru the 1/8" the first time so I turned down the heat to the #3 setting. Yes it seems to be piling up and falling off. I can grind it down and re-weld later right? Fortunately if it does crack it's only the shock mounts so it won't be catastrophic. But my next project is welding a traction bar to the axle tube, so I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
 

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this was a tip i was given by my grandfather.

weld in a position that you are comfortable in.

this really plays true with inexperienced welders. im no pro but i can do a decent job. i know myself and if i get all wrapped up under my rig tring to run a bead upside down with my elbow dragging across the driveshaft or shocks angle mine look like shit too. try to flex the rig out to make more room on one side then just do it one side at a time or totally reposition yourself for each weld you need to make. good luck some just arent easy to get at.
 

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overhead welding is the most difficult position. you might consider practicing some less difficult positions to get a better feel for welding - run beads in different positions on scrap, then do some butt joints in different positions, then some T joints, and so on. there are a lot of things to take into consideration when welding anything, like amperage, wire speed, wire type, ground position, arc blow, and the list goes on. it sounds like you just don't have enough time under the hood for the overhead position. consider a class at a community college also. hth
 

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withamc--I used a 90 amp MIG for almost 10 years and had great success with drawing my welds in a lazy Z pattern. I am also self taught. When it hisses back at you then you know it has good penitration. I have good success welding upside down by using the minimum exceptable wire speed and a big Z pattern. Clean metal becomes extra important upside down. I also use the minimun power needed to work the metal. Working under a Jeep welding upside down is an awkward uncomfortable task. I recall more than once a molten glob dripping off my upside down weld to land on my leg/ankle to yield a screaming 4 letter type burn. I use a gas flow rate of 14 most of the time. Keep the tip close to the work and use a steady motion. At lower welding powers, you will see much better with a #9 without hurting your eyes.

[ 09-16-2001: Message edited by: ZUK ]
 

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Thier is a lot to know about welding.... Especially "Out of position" welds.
When the metal is in liquid form gravity tends to pull it to the ground,that is why it seems to be globbing up when your welding upside down.....(it's like trying to fill a cup that is upside down).Thier are a million things you could be doing wrong.
check this site out and click on the tech portion,it has a lot of good advice.
Hope this helps... http://www.lincolnelectric.com/default.asp
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I've got a lot more to learn. Wire feed speed, heat settings, bead pattern...
 

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I think the best thing to do is to take a class at the local vo-tech or trade school. I will be signing up for one this winter. I have been welding on my own for about a year now, but I am starting to move into fabricating more critical components. I figure I sould get some professional instruction.
 

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Welding overhead is the worst. I try to avoid it at all costs. Most professional welders will not even attempt it because no matter what, you're not going to get as sound of a weld that way. Try to orient what you are welding so that it is not above your head. If it's not something that you can do that with, make sure you're not holding the tip straight toward where you're welding so that the slag falls off into the tip. Go at an angle to where you can see the weld and it doesn't drip on your gun. (Or you.) That's about all I can add to this topic.

J. J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If I had a bigger garage I could try turning the Jeep upside down...
 

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I am by no means an expert, but some tips to try. I've noticed that you need to bump the wire speed up a little when welding overhead, and use a z pattern or little c's. Another option is to use flux core, the puddle will solidify faster and get better penetration. Also try using a #8 or #9 lense a #10 is to dark for mig, I was playing with a Miller machine at a local demo day and the helmet was a #8 it made a world of difference, I could actually see the puddle and tip <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by withamc:
<STRONG>If I had a bigger garage I could try turning the Jeep upside down...</STRONG>
Funny you should mention, I was actually thinking of rolling mine in the driveway gently with another truck with a winch to do my 1/4 elip that I am about to do. No joke! <IMG SRC="smilies/smokin.gif" border="0">

J. J.

[ 09-17-2001: Message edited by: patooyee ]
 

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The best thing to do, "if possible", is to get someone there that knows what they are doing and watch and learn. You can try to figure it out yourself or try to get advice like so, but nothing beats having someone there that "knows" what they are doing. It will keep you from developing bad habits and learn the right way or take some classes if you have some extra time and $$$.

You can make a sound weld in the overhead position also.
 

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Also - if you are welding with the bottle, and it's not flux core, you can start and stop without really cleaning the bead everytime. Concentrate on puddle management, and if it gets too hot, well, stop. You can always pick it up later. And, if you are heating the metal around the bead to hotter than cherry red, you are almost always in the burning-through phase.

Also, good quality welding will sound like canadian bacon frying in a hot skillet - I can almost hear it when I start to ball up a bead. Now if I could only hear slag holes... :p

One more thing - I don't know if MIG supports 'whipping' or other consumable travel techniques on overhead...since you do not have to keep the arc going, I suppose you don't have to.

Bob, stuck on my stick machine
 
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