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Old 05-23-2016, 03:26 PM   #1
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Welding On Bus Frame...OK or Verboten?

I plan on installing outriggers for levelers. I have heard that welding is a no-no on truck frames because it will ruin the temper. On the the other hand I have seen welding done.

So, whats the scoop, can I weld to the frame, or do I have to bolt things on ?
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:00 PM   #2
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Are you worried about voiding the warranty? Lol

Idk but even my 80k # rated tractor trailer has everything bolted up to the frame so there must be something to it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyBrown View Post
I plan on installing outriggers for levelers. I have heard that welding is a no-no on truck frames because it will ruin the temper. On the the other hand I have seen welding done.

So, whats the scoop, can I weld to the frame, or do I have to bolt things on ?
I wouldn't weld to the frame.
But I'm not surprised folks do.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:07 PM   #4
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Best bet is to check with the manufacturer. It all comes down to the steel. I have always been told by old school builders that the pre-war frames are particularly sensitive to reheating and welding should be avoided or very carefully controlled. They were designed to flex a lot. Post war frames use different metallurgy for a more rigid engineering approach but you still need to know what you have and what will affect it.

Likewise...drilling for bolts is supposed to only be done on the upper and lower sections and never on the vertical portion of the rail. GM has sent warning notices out on this but lots of people do it anyway.

Lots of stories out there. Like I said...best bet is to check with the chassis builder.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:11 PM   #5
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Yep, It's a warranty concern

I noticed that EVERYTHING attached to the frame is bolted on this bus. It could be that it's way easier to assemble consistently in the line (no welds to inspect). I would much rather arc some beams to the frame than trying to line up holes (not to mention drilling said holes) while laying under 100LB plus chunk of steel. But, I don't want to warp, or weaken, the frame either.

Unless someone can point out "why not to weld", I'm leaning (hard) to welding.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:14 PM   #6
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We are attaching to the frame using welding. I don't anticipate any issues, but I have found out the hard way a couple times that doing things out of the norm sometimes causes headaches.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #7
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"Likewise...drilling for bolts is supposed to only be done on the upper and lower sections and never on the vertical portion of the rail. GM has sent warning notices out on this but lots of people do it anyway."

Interesting. There are a bazillion bolts on the vertical...practically all of them.

Any idea who made the frame on a '96 TC2000RE?
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:54 PM   #8
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GM was only concerned with any additional holes. Their engineers had worked out how many and where to avoid weakening.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:12 PM   #9
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To pick up where Tango left off, when I was building my bus I added outriggers to support the bus body on the Chevy W3500 chassis I used. In my case, the chassis is mild steel so it is pretty forgiving. I should point out that the top and bottom portions of a channel frame are called flanges while the vertical "side" is called the web.

I went to the following website for specific info on frame modifications for my particular vehicle, but I think the info presented there would be a good starting point for anyone contemplating frame modifications. In particular, pages 15-17 should be of interest.

https://www.gmupfitter.com/files/med...abForwardW.pdf.

Hope this helps. Jack
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:37 PM   #10
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I would highly suggest bolting things on, unless you are a certified welder and know metallurgy and you really know exactly what you are doing. Consider this - the landing gear for most heavy road trailers is usually bolted on and for good reason. These systems can support many thousands of pounds and even the impact of a heavily loaded trailer being dropped on them. They are typically bolted on with 8 or 10 bolts per leg. Welding will alter the temper of the steel; drilling holes less so. The frame's main strength is in the flanges, a few carefully placed holes in the web shouldn't cause an issue. Consider that the factory put plenty of them there for attaching things. Also, welding them on will make future replacement that much more difficult. Suppose you bend one? Cut/grind/weld (and further alter the temper)? Or, undo a few bolts, bolt on the new, and go about your way?
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