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  • Welding ground placement

    Hey folks. I need to weld a nut over a rounded oil drain plug. Any advice as to where to place the ground clamp? Can I put it on the oil pan or should I just put it around the outside of the nut I'm going to weld on?

    Thanks so much!
    James

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

  • #2
    Connecting to the pan should be fine.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIF...7S66kX1s8rd0qA

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Joe_B View Post
      Connecting to the pan should be fine.
      Cool. Wasn't sure if grounding to the oil pan would be a safety hazard of some kind.

      Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Be careful of the electronics in the vehicle if it is a newer ride. You should disconnect the battery and ground so you don't zap the electronics, like the computer for all operation.

        TX
        Mr fixit for the family
        Chris

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr Fixit View Post
          Be careful of the electronics in the vehicle if it is a newer ride. You should disconnect the battery and ground so you don't zap the electronics, like the computer for all operation.

          TX
          Mr fixit for the family
          Chris
          So to be clear disconnect the positive and negative terminals?

          Thanks,
          James

          Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            why not just get a new plug ? at worse take it out and weld it at the bench.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by itsjames2011 View Post
              Cool. Wasn't sure if grounding to the oil pan would be a safety hazard of some kind.

              Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
              Welding, not grounding would be the issue here. I welded an oil pan on a large truck a few years ago, ( 45 quart cap.). The pan had a hole burned through the bottom from bare wires of the block heater that had arced a hole thru the pan.
              This was a large pan with a lot of volume, the drain plug was out as a vent but it was still a dirty shorts experience when the oil fumes inside ignited and a wooosh of flame and gas blow out of the drain hole past my helmeted head!!!

              Other than my shorts and my composure there was no damage.

              By prepared for for a surprise when welding vessels that contain or have contained flammable material.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bob308 View Post
                why not just get a new plug ? at worse take it out and weld it at the bench.
                I need to weld the nut on to get the stripped plug out. Ez out, vice grips, pipe wrench, and hammer/chisel have all failed at removal.

                Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  Hold the nut with a small vise grip and put your ground clamp on the vise grip. I do this all the time when welding nuts on to stripped and broken whatevers.

                  And yes, disconnect the negative battery terminal.

                  Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    The reason that you want to do as Paul said is to keep the electricity path as short as possible. Clamping to the oil pan assumes that the plugs threads are clean and providing good metal to metal contact. That is not a given when you have a stuck oil plug.

                    I'm paranoid when it comes to things that might destroy a car. Engine fires are not fun to extinguish. Because of that, I'd drop the pan (yeah, messy) and work on it on a bench. Heating oil within a closed container is not a great idea. Neither is working upside down under a greasy engine if you are not used to that position.

                    You don't mention the welding process that you are using. Some will be more challenging than others.
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by danlb View Post
                      The reason that you want to do as Paul said is to keep the electricity path as short as possible. Clamping to the oil pan assumes that the plugs threads are clean and providing good metal to metal contact. That is not a given when you have a stuck oil plug.

                      I'm paranoid when it comes to things that might destroy a car. Engine fires are not fun to extinguish. Because of that, I'd drop the pan (yeah, messy) and work on it on a bench. Heating oil within a closed container is not a great idea. Neither is working upside down under a greasy engine if you are not used to that position.

                      You don't mention the welding process that you are using. Some will be more challenging than others.
                      Just going to use the little flux core to drop some weld in the center of the nut that's going over the plug. Vice grips sound like a good idea!

                      Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        Years ago when I was after school lube attendant, the atmosphere in an engine detonated while the
                        mechanic was trying to take a short cut, welding a grip to the rounded sump plug with oxy acet.
                        It was a Holden Grey motor.
                        Did no damage other than blow out the cork gaskets for sump, side plate and rocker cover.
                        So the sump had to come off anyway.
                        It is amazing what you remember of when something scary happened.

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                        • #13
                          Well folks, thanks for all of the advice. The ground on the vice grips was the way to go. It's not pretty but it's off and the new plug is in!!!!!! Not to bad for a guy whose never welded in his life I suppose :P

                          Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
                          Last edited by itsjames2011; 05-28-2017, 10:10 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Congrats. Ya got her done.
                            A welder's ability to heat metal very fast and the metal contracting quickly when cooling will often be a big bonus to help remove things that are stuck. Got a bearing race stuck in a bore? Lay a couple of small beads on the race and it will usually fall out on it's own.

                            It looks like you did not put much heat into the nut and drain plug yet still enough to do the job, that's good.

                            Keep in mind though that whenever there are flammable compounds in an enclosed vessel, heat and oxygen are all that's needed for an explosion.
                            Be safe, and welcome to the forum!
                            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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                            • #15
                              Nice job. And yes,
                              paul463 saved yer bacon for all the right reasons.

                              But..... Please dont go off and weld any more vessels that have explosive liquid inside. Gasoline engines can be the worst. An old gas engine passes alot of raw fuel to the oil sump. JR
                              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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