Safely welding on a truck
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    Default Safely welding on a truck

    I've searched many places and get many answers.
    Truck is a 2009 Ford F-250 so a fair amount of electrics.
    Some say just disconnect the battery, all the way to after battery is out, connect the two battery cables together and turn on the headlight switch to absorb any stray EMPs.
    All say keep the ground cable as close to the work as possible.
    Any other thoughts?

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    Disconnect the battery and ground close to the work area...then again that's true for welding on anything. Farther you are from the electronics the better I've heard, never proven though.

    Let loose with the juice, it's only a ferd.

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    I have welded on many vehicles and other equipment with sophisticated electronics over the last ten years. Always disconnect batteries and keep ground as close to work as possible, never had a problem yet.

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    There is a special gizmo you can clamp on the battery that is supposed to make it safe to weld with the battery connected. I always just disconnect the negative cable.

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    EMP? First shield the trucks pace maker in a faraday cage; then run stinger straight from the alternator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    EMP? First shield the trucks pace maker in a faraday cage; then run stinger straight from the alternator.
    Turning on the headlight switch made me raise an eyebrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maynah View Post
    I've searched many places and get many answers.
    Truck is a 2009 Ford F-250 so a fair amount of electrics.
    Some say just disconnect the battery, all the way to after battery is out, connect the two battery cables together and turn on the headlight switch to absorb any stray EMPs.
    All say keep the ground cable as close to the work as possible.
    Any other thoughts?
    You need to be careful with just disconnecting the battery on some of the new vehicles. Some of the fancy electronics such as the radios, if they have an anti-theft feature activated will be rendered useless unless the feature is turned off before disconnecting power. This is usually mentioned in the owners manual.

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    I weld on an 06 all the time. welder is on the bed and use the bed as a table been doing it since 07 no problems. keep the ground close or attached to the work being welded. I have heard of problems on the internet but never had any or known anyone who had any. now if you hook the ground to the rear bumper and try to weld something on the hood well experience is a good fast teacher I would think the only way for it to get into the electrical system is bad grounding on the lead next to an electrical ground point dont know on that though or maybe an arc strike on the wiring

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    The Ford upfitter's manual (for ambulance builders, etc.) says to disconnect the battery, unplug the ECM (engine control module) and the antilock brake control module. Then ground close to weld.

    I followed these rules when having frame extensions welded to a 2000 E350 Super Duty chassis, and was able to drive home afterward. Possibly overkill, of course, but those instructions likely came from some experience...

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    Quote Originally Posted by idacal View Post
    I have heard of problems on the internet but never had any or known anyone who had any. now if you hook the ground to the rear bumper and try to weld something on the hood well experience is a good fast teacher I would think the only way for it to get into the electrical system is bad grounding on the lead next to an electrical ground point dont know on that though or maybe an arc strike on the wiring
    Isn't the negative ground on the battery the best place to put the ground lead from the welder? Or is that just if the case for the ECM is not easily accesable.

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    My guy put it 6" away from where he was welding.
    (Restating the possibly-obvious: there's no relationship between battery ground and the welder's electrical supply system ground, if the vehicle is sitting on rubber tires. I believe the caution is related to EMF-type pulses that are not locally/immediately snubbed by the attached welding ground. But -- and a mighty big one at that -- I'm not a welder.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
    My guy put it 6" away from where he was welding.
    (Restating the possibly-obvious: there's no relationship between battery ground and the welder's electrical supply system ground, if the vehicle is sitting on rubber tires. I believe the caution is related to EMF-type pulses that are not locally/immediately snubbed by the attached welding ground. But -- and a mighty big one at that -- I'm not a welder.)
    The problem occurs if the welding ground is not electrically connected to the piece being welded. This causes the welding current to seek other paths to complete the circuit. Being that most automotive applications use a grounded chassis, the vehicle wiring then can become the welding current path to the ground.

    Attaching the ground close to and part of the part being welded mostly eliminates all of the risk.

    Tig welding with hi-freq start or continuous probably has the most risk since the high frequency can easily couple high voltage to the chassis wiring via capacitance. Again if you have good electrical continuity from ground, to the part, and to the electrode, you will likely not have any problems.

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