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Had Bad Rattle, Discover Rad Mount Brack Rusted Off...So, umm

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Old 05-10-2013, 12:16 PM
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Default Had Bad Rattle, Discover Rad Mount Brack Rusted Off...So, umm

So, we got this little cross-member that supports the bottom of our radiators... I heard a bad rattle the last couple days that led to me discovering that the dang thing rusted itself off completely! Groovy nuts I say.

I'm thinking that with a little minor fab work I could just make myself something out of metal to support the radiator.

My worry is, how safe is it to drive without having this bottom support?

Have any of you guys ran into this problem?

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Old 05-10-2013, 12:56 PM
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Well, this is just dandy. Found the part to replace this and it's only $36 not bad, buuuut...I guess the only way to remove and install the new one is to take this thing off




And I have no clue how to get it off...without removing the entire front bumper and fenders..... Any ideas?
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:07 PM
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Gotta remove the bumper.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:19 PM
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Gotta remove the bumper.
very easy. just use PB Blaster
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:30 PM
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Ok, I get that part, but even after I do that, and undo the bolts holding it the frame, how to I slide it out and insert a new one? Been trying to find a youtube video, but so far no luck
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:32 PM
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sawzall?
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by italiandominator View Post
Ok, I get that part, but even after I do that, and undo the bolts holding it the frame, how to I slide it out and insert a new one? Been trying to find a youtube video, but so far no luck
I don't think youtube is allowed to show videos like that, need to search a different kind of website..
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Last edited by jkeaton; 05-10-2013 at 01:58 PM..
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:17 PM
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I'm starting to think this may be a good time to bust out my new MIG welder and see how well it works. For the time being tho, just so nothing gets worse, I think I'm just gonna get a piece of scrap metal rod lying around and just bolt it into the existing hanger until I can get to the Depot and get some angle iron or something...

I mean really, as long as it is supporting the radiator and I cut holes in whatever I make that match the one that rusted out, I should be good, right?
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:12 PM
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I had my front bumper and some rust in the wheel well fixed a few months ago and they found my radiator support was almost rusted through. Had them replace it at the same time as the other work so I can't help much with getting it off and on but you're not the only one who's had that rust.

Now I've got an exhaust leak and I'm sure it's either the pipe or muffler that's rusted a hole...
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:35 PM
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I had to have a Custom one Fabricated to get it to fit, The OEM wouldnt (still have it, painted in bed-liner) I had the Bumper off and Both fenders, Fenders are not needed to be removed tho

Here my replacement abit down the page, then there is more on the next pages to.
http://dodgeforum.com/forum/3rd-gen-...-dakota-3.html

Few Pics
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for the pics Reject, helps paint a bigger picture of whats underneath.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:12 PM
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So, I'm busting out my lil MIG welder for the first time (Harbor Freight Special). Thing works ok I must say, but just like I had seen in a video, the flux core that it comes with is crap, the stuff splatters everywhere, and getting a decent bead is damn near impossible. But, it seems to be working.

Cleaned up the piece of the lower tie bar that rusted off best I could, taking a bunch of metal with it, and I managed to tack the lil bastard to some scrap metal I had lying around. I know it's only temporary, but felt like painting it, I'll most likely tack it back on to where it came from, and then run a nut and bolt through it, just to make sure it don't fall apart on me.



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Old 05-10-2013, 10:50 PM
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Well, I think I'm gonna order a new tie bar, but for the time being I think this will work.









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Old 05-11-2013, 12:36 PM
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I bought mine from rock auto, Seemed a bit more flimsy then the OEM one. Didnt use it anyways, since I couldnt get the Supports apart at all (Parts that slide into the support) They are spot welded to the Cab, and mine wouldnt move.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:13 PM
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Any strip of steel will work in that area, a piece of .065 rectangular or square tube is fairly cheap and easy to work with - I would pick a 1" x 2" rectangular, and you can either weld it onto the radiator vertical supports or bolt it on as you have it there. If you choose to weld it on, remember to disconnect your battery so you don't fry any computer components or sensors.

For thin stock welding with a MIG, use .025 wire, either flux core or solid with shielding gas. So you don't end up burning holes or melting the material so that it "drips", try matching the metal thickness (one piece thin and one thick is a lot harder to get a good clean weld on). Also, set the wire speed and heat so that you can get a good penetration tack and then don't try to weld a whole bead, just weld it "spot-by-spot". This takes a bit longer but you can get a clean & strong weld this way & it's also easier to weld steel of different thicknesses. Put the thinner steel on top of the thicker & start the weld on the thicker piece. Another tip, clamp the pieces well - leaving them loose will give you a really rough weld with thinner steel.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:56 PM
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Any strip of steel will work in that area, a piece of .065 rectangular or square tube is fairly cheap and easy to work with - I would pick a 1" x 2" rectangular,remember to disconnect your battery so you don't fry any computer components or sensors.

For thin stock welding with a MIG, use .025 wire, or solid with shielding gas. , set the wire speed and heat so that you can get a good penetration tack and then don't try to weld a whole bead, just weld it "spot-by-spot". This takes a bit longer but you can get a clean & strong weld this way & it's also easier to weld steel of different thicknesses. , clamp the pieces well -


Thanks for the tips. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a novice when it comes to welding. I was lucky enough to befriend some American contractors that ran the machine shop on base when I was deployed last year. The supervisor was very thankful for the care I gave to one of his guys that came into our ER and invited me to the shop and learn the basics of metal working. They had some really nice equipment, high end Miller welders etc., showed me the basics of MIG, TIG, Stick, and Plasma cutting. I'm not in the position to drop close to $1,000 on some good equipment, but when I was able to pick up a gas-less MIG from Harbor Freight for $80, I figured it was at least something to get me started.

The settings on it are very limited (as you can see from the pic), you can control the wire speed, but the only other 2 settings are Minimum and Maximum. I am planning to get a bunch of odd pieces of metal (diff thickness etc) from a junk yard and practice working with each to hone my skills before I tackle other things that would require cleaner less contaminated work (nothing structural though, I'd need a better welder for that), like exhaust, body panels, etc... but really though, I appreciate the input and if you have any future suggestions or know of some website links or youtube tutorials that are fairly easy to follow and are accurate, I'd be all for learning what I can.

Speaking of which, this welder can use 0.030" and 0.035" wire. Since it doesn't use any gas I'm going to assume I'll have to get a Flux core wire. That being said (and because the stuff that came with it is crap) what would you recommend for wire (since I'll be getting some to replace it before I use it again)???

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Old 05-11-2013, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by italiandominator View Post
Thanks for the tips. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a novice when it comes to welding. I was lucky enough to befriend some American contractors that ran the machine shop on base when I was deployed last year. The supervisor was very thankful for the care I gave to one of his guys that came into our ER and invited me to the shop and learn the basics of metal working. They had some really nice equipment, high end Miller welders etc., showed me the basics of MIG, TIG, Stick, and Plasma cutting. I'm not in the position to drop close to $1,000 on some good equipment, but when I was able to pick up a gas-less MIG from Harbor Freight for $80, I figured it was at least something to get me started.

The settings on it are very limited (as you can see from the pic), you can control the wire speed, but the only other 2 settings are Minimum and Maximum. I am planning to get a bunch of odd pieces of metal (diff thickness etc) from a junk yard and practice working with each to hone my skills before I tackle other things that would require cleaner less contaminated work (nothing structural though, I'd need a better welder for that), like exhaust, body panels, etc... but really though, I appreciate the input and if you have any future suggestions or know of some website links or youtube tutorials that are fairly easy to follow and are accurate, I'd be all for learning what I can.

Speaking of which, this welder can use 0.030" and 0.035" wire. Since it doesn't use any gas I'm going to assume I'll have to get a Flux core wire. That being said (and because the stuff that came with it is crap) what would you recommend for wire (since I'll be getting some to replace it before I use it again)???

You're right, the settings are limited, but for $80, you don't expect to get more Here are my thoughts on what you might try:
  • First, get a small spool of .030 flux core and stick with that. You don't have enough power there to really use the .035 and the steel thickness I think would be limited to about 1/8" with this machine.
  • You could try .025, but you'd need to see if the rollers could be tightened enough to pull the thinner wire through and then you'd need to get a .025 tip.
  • Load the wire, run it through, and if you have the .030 wire, set it to MAX and the wire speed to about mid range. Now, try this setting to spot a couple of 1/8" or thinner pieces together - don't try for a bead yet. When you're looking at your weld, you should be able to see the melted pool. At this point stop, let the spot cool and have a look at the quality. Next, turn the speed down a couple of numbers and redo the "making of the spot", and note the difference (could be the quality or time to get the visible pool - this pool is small, if you wait too long, you could have a hole instead of a pool). Then, try increasing the speed to about 6 or 7 and see how the weld goes. What I'm trying to show here is that you can control the heat to some extent with the amount of wire coming through. Re-do all of the above with the heat switch at MIN and see what happens - this may be adequate for stuff like body metal (18 to 24 gauge sheet).
  • At some point with the above experiment, you'll see that you've made a few good spots (this is actually tack welding, not spot welding, but using the term spot, I find it easier to visualize). Use the settings you had for these good "tacks" and now start to make a longer weld or "stitch" which could be about a 1/2" or larger, but don't try making this as a continuous bead - make it with a bunch of individual tacks. As a beginner, you'll end up with a much stronger and prettier weld than if you tried to run a bead.
  • You don't need to weld the entire joint, stitching is normally more than adequate - the penetration really counts.
  • Without gas, you need the flux, otherwise, you'll do a lot of melting and little welding. The wire has a hard time sticking until you have a big melted pool and then it's often too late and the pool becomes a hole.
  • If you find that the wire gets stuck in the tip, get a set of Oxy/Acc tip cleaners (they're little files) and run one through the .030 tip to make it a little bit larger.
  • Keep in mind that this welder has a short duty cycle, so tacking is actually good with it.
  • Since you don't use the welder much, you won't need a whole variety of wire, so I would suggest a small spool of something like Lincoln (or other brand name) wire, a couple of spare tips (again, name brand) and the O/A tip cleaner set. Get a small assortment of clamps (some C-clamps, locking plier type clamps, and some welding magnets) to hold things together.
  • If you don't have the anti-spatter spray or the "tip dip", get some of that. The flux core spatters a lot and the spatter will stick to almost anyplace you don't want it, and the tip dip keeps the tip cleaner and lubed.
That's about all I can think of at the moment to get you started, give it a try and see how it goes. The main ingredient to good welding is practice.
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