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Should I disconnect electronics during welding?

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  • Should I disconnect electronics during welding?

    Good morning all,

    I have a Miller 211 w/autoset. 110/220 unit. I am welding a friends little boys dirtbike steering stem. The piece/bushing I made to fix it is about a 1/4" thick mating up to a flat 3/16" piece. I am getting better penetration with the unti on 220. Anyway, Do I need to disconnect the electronics on the bike? The gnd, the coil, the stator, and anything else tied to the frame? The bike does NOT have a battery.

    Not sure if I need to spend the time to do this or will I be ok just welding away? The stem is part of the complete front end of the bike and cannot be taken off.

    Thanks

    Sid

  • #2
    I've never disconnected any electronics on any car or truck or bike I've welded on, haven't had an issue yet. We work on them all the time. So i'm sure the bike is fine.

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    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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      I told you to disconnect the battery before welding!
      Just kidding it was a fuel leak.

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      • #4
        It's always smart to place your ground as close to the weld area as possible too help reduce the change of arcing through a bearing of something like that. I try to have the ground clamped where the current doesn't have to pass through something unintended.

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        • #5
          The ground has to be attached to the same part you are welding on. If welding on your frame then hook your ground to the frame. If welding on exhaust then hook ground to exhaust and so forth.
          If you hook your ground to the frame and weld something that is rubber mounted instead the current will flow through whatever connects them together electrically, be it cables, chains or wires.
          Seen a guy stick welding some parts on the tailgate of an old Bronco. He had the ground hooked to his trailer hitch. It fried a couple of gauges and under dashboard wiring before he caught on.

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          • #6
            Thanks guys. Have a great weekend.

            Sid

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            • #7
              I was welding on a tilt bed trailer a few years ago, doing multiple small repairs. Started at the tongue, which is where I had my ground clamp. By the time I moved around to the side and was half way down, I started having some trouble holding the arc steady. Now this trailer is hinged on metal pins. Even so, I jammed that rod into that puddle (it was starting to make me mad you see), and the electrical current decided that the trailer wiring ground was a better path to the back half of this tilt bed trailer than the metal hinge pins. Heard a ZZZZZZIIIIPPPP, POP!....and turned every inch of that ground wire into charcoal. Fortunately I had a roll of trailer wire on hand to repair my customer's trailer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                I was welding on a tilt bed trailer a few years ago, doing multiple small repairs. Started at the tongue, which is where I had my ground clamp. By the time I moved around to the side and was half way down, I started having some trouble holding the arc steady. Now this trailer is hinged on metal pins. Even so, I jammed that rod into that puddle (it was starting to make me mad you see), and the electrical current decided that the trailer wiring ground was a better path to the back half of this tilt bed trailer than the metal hinge pins. Heard a ZZZZZZIIIIPPPP, POP!....and turned every inch of that ground wire into charcoal. Fortunately I had a roll of trailer wire on hand to repair my customer's trailer.
                I have a story or two like that but I still haven't outlived everyone involved

                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

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                • #9
                  I will not speak on behalf of disconnecting grounds or wires from sensitive electronics in passenger cars when welding on the vehicle............

                  But in Drag Racing of which I am very familiar with......we disconnect any and all leads and/ or remove the components like the Ignition systems, timing controls, data recorders, battery leads or any other Item that can be construed as sensitive electronics......Keeping in mind these systems are all hard wired with quick disconnects for timely removal anyway..........and yes the ground clamp from the welder is as close as possible to the weld zone...........call me superstitious or just plane "been there done that" sensitive when an electronic glitch shows up just after zapping something on the chassis.

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                  • #10
                    Keeping your ground clamp close to your weld area helped ensure your weld current doesn't flow through any bearings. This will greatly shorten bearing life.
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                    • #11
                      I have welded on dam near anything that moves, literally thousands of cars and trucks, tractors, sometimes several a week and used trucks for welding beds, I never unhook but am mindful of direct connections.

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                      • #12
                        I do a fair bit of heavy equipment welding. When it comes to large trucks with computer systems, I always shut off the master switch which disconnects the batteries. It the unit doesn’t have a master switch and it does have a computer system or heavy electronics, I disconnect the batteries manually.
                        Last thing I want to do is scramble the brains on a Peterbilt or Kenworth that doesn’t belong to me.
                        Lincoln Idealarc 250
                        Miller Bobcat 250
                        Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder
                        Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                        Torchmate CNC table

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                        • #13
                          I fried a Milwaukee jobsite radio/charger by DC Tig welding at around 190 amps no more than 4 feet from the radio. When a spark is created, it transmits voltage no matter what makes the spark, it still transmits a signal. In my case it was enough to cause me to throw a perfectly good $120.00 piece of equipment into the trash. My advice is to play it safe and disconnect if there is any question weather or not you should.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Grizzly1944 View Post
                            I fried a Milwaukee jobsite radio/charger by DC Tig welding at around 190 amps no more than 4 feet from the radio. When a spark is created, it transmits voltage no matter what makes the spark, it still transmits a signal. In my case it was enough to cause me to throw a perfectly good $120.00 piece of equipment into the trash. My advice is to play it safe and disconnect if there is any question weather or not you should.
                            What could you have "disconnected" to prevent that? What exactly "fried?"

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                            • #15
                              Note to self, turn of any radios (receivers) within 4 foot of a tig.

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