welding or brazing on car body?
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  1. #1

    welding or brazing on car body?

    went to a auto body shop for a job on my truck.

    basically i would like to place some angle steel, eigth inch, on top of the sides of my truck bed, 2002 tacoma. the guy at the shop told me he would weld it on.
    I thought that brazing would work better because of lower heat on the steel body. if welding would be ok to use, then what process? any sugestions or comments?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    wylie, tx
    If it was my truck I'd prefer attachment via fasteners.

    They can be welded on. But you're dealing with good steel believe it or not. The welding heat will contribute to problems down the road. The biggest threat for a weld comes from vibration under these circumstances. And since the steel has a higher carbon content it really will be susceptible to cracking at the edges of the weld over time.

    It can be done with brazing or welding. But it is tricky to get it done right. And it's a permanent situation. So unless you find someone with the exact needs you have for the truck you've really hurt the resale value of the truck.

    You can buy commercially made aluminum edges for the bed that enhance the appearance and will return the investment upon resale if or no other reason that the edges won't be damaged.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I agree with Harv. Besides resale value, having a solid piece of steel welded to sheetmetal is most likely going to lead to cracking at some point. Is this just for protection for the bed lips? Or is there something specific that you are doing this for?

  4. #4
    thanks for the advice. i have a camper shell as well as heavy duty roof racks that are clamped onto the truck. i would like to make these easy to put on and off as well as more sturdy by drilling holes and using bolts on the bed rails. the bed rails of coarse are sheet metal that has a bent under lip that would bend if i used bolts. the other alternative would be to use a bonding agent. it will all be covered over by a spray on bed liner when its done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    upstate ny

    Advise from a bodyshop owner

    Welding 1/8" angle will be fine, and not cause any weld cracking. You want the shop to mig weld the steel on. Brazing will cause the metal around the brass to crack. The majority of autobody panels today a blend of alloys called hss, high strength steel. It is actually illegal to oxy-acetlene (fusion-with steel rod) weld on a newer automobile. The one problem you will have if you decide to have this angle welded on is corrosion between the angle and the bed lip. even if it is rhino lined over the top of the angle. MY SUGGESTION is to, cut your angle to length, to fit the top of the bed. Cut some pieces of 1/8 plate,Clamp the angle in position,and clamp the plate under the lip. and drill holes through the angle and the top of the bed lip,and through the plate underneath. Use an oversized bit.(a couple sizes larger than the bolt your planning on using to hold this angle down.) Then have your bodyshop, spray epoxy primer on the angle,the plate and the holes you drilled, Then proceed with the bedliner. Have them bedline the angle and plate also, front and back. The reason for the over sized holes was so you could still slide the bolts through with the bedliner in the holes. You may have to use a round file on the holes if the bed liner is alittle to thick in them. Now with the bedliner on both pieces you wont have the corrosion problems between them because it will act as a cushion. The 1/8" plate acts as a large washer underneath, and keeps the bed rail from tearing. and if you sell the vehicle you can simply just unbolt the angle. If the bolt heads sticking up on the top, is going to be an issue, you can have the shop weld studs in that angle, where (you or they??) drill the holes through. With the studs, the top of the angle will be flat with no bolt heads sticking up. I did something similar like this for a customer a few years back. Too bad you didnt live in upstate ny, Id hook you up, with this set-up!!
    Keep on smashen those cars- show me the money.

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