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View Full Version : Trailer Jack Post Fix Using Hobart Trek 180



Agape Guy
09-07-2014, 01:54 AM
A Pastor buddy (he’s also a DIY mechanic / tool guy) who serves at a local church that I used to attend called me today mid-Saturday afternoon to see if I could fix the church’s trailer jack post, which had broken clean off at its weld points. Yikes! Since we are talking about 1/4"-thick steel for a trailer in the middle of a parking lot, I brought my portable (battery operated) Hobart Trek 180 Welder, just in case there was no outlet in that area of the church’s lot. Of course, I went flux core wire for the dirty metal that I would be working on. The wire I used was Lincoln's Innershield .035" NR-211-MP wire and I used gun tips that are larger--.045" tips. The portable Trek 180 is a battery operated, off-the-grid welder with balls (I borrowed that line from Jody at Welding Tips & Tricks!). Anyway, I'd forgotten there is a 15amp outlet just outside the “bus barn” in the church’s parking lot near where the trailer was parked, so the welder's batteries were constantly being charged, hence in this instance, I was not "off the grid" on this day. But because I was plugged in, I had no problems with the batteries' duty cycle (time you can weld, before the batteries need recharging). So we were welding 1/4” steel patiently and without interruption. Nice! It took about an hour of grinding and general prepping of the rusted, degraded metal before we were actually ready to do any welding. I set the welder to its suggested setting for 1/4”-thick steel, then dialed in the WFS and penetration Voltage to my liking. My buddy and I welded, alternating doing the work on each side of the jack post, for about 20 total minutes of actual welding time (spread out over 45 minutes). Then we finished up with the post-welding work. We grinded down some of the welds to smooth out a few high spots, slapped on some paint primer, then painted it. Overall it took about two hours to do this job, and he was pleased--he said he had not mig welded in 4 months. What's more, for an extra measure of safety/sanity, he said he would, during the next week, drill out the plate behind where there are the two existing holes on this side of the jack that you can see, then add a couple of grade-8 screws/bolts. That will hold her!

DSW
09-07-2014, 06:21 AM
I'm glad you were able to help him out and get it fixed for him. Tell him to skip the bolts. That trailer jack rotates if it's similar to the ones I've seen. Bolts in those holes may block the unit from rotating. True you can leave it permanently vertical, but most small vehicles lack the rear ground clearance, especially if going over humps going in and out of parking lots, to not tear the jack off. With it welded solid, chances are you'll fubar the jack at that point. My bet is the damage originally came from someone moving the trailer and dragging or hitting something with the jack.


No offense, but you or your buddy, need to learn to mig weld vertical. ( seems I vaguely remember working with you on this a while back.) Also 20 minutes of welding seems excessive. I'd have said 5 tops, if that. Probably more like 1-2 minutes per side. A decent amount of prep time I can see.

Gamble
09-07-2014, 08:50 AM
It's hard to a read your posts, use the enter button more often.
Also I don't think you should be welding trailers with your limited experience.
Just my .02

Canadian Welding
09-07-2014, 10:23 AM
Here is my load of constructive criticism:
That should have taken less then 15 mins start to finish...
Welds appear less then safe on anything to do with a trailer.
How did it snap in the first place? Snag on something, or because of weight?
You said that you use larger tips... I find with fluxcore, that's a big no no.
I still don't under stand how that took about 2 hours.

MinnesotaDave
09-07-2014, 10:31 AM
Pretty nice of you to want to help out.

You need a lot more practice however - that does not qualify as welded.

Practice your vertical until it's correct - then go grind that off and fix it again.

Gamble
09-07-2014, 10:49 AM
and by doing vertical welds make sure you do vertical UP not down.

BD1
09-07-2014, 01:47 PM
Harbor freight sells a wheel jack for $20.00 and it bolts on. Might look nicer.

Agape Guy
09-08-2014, 02:52 PM
Pretty nice of you to want to help out.

You need a lot more practice however - that does not qualify as welded.

Practice your vertical until it's correct - then go grind that off and fix it again. Yes! Thanks for the constructive feedback, Dave! I'll practice vertical welding more on thicker steels. I'm actually looking forward to, after I practice a lot more, grinding out the previous work, re-doing the weld..... and posting the pictures too. - Cheers!

tackit
09-09-2014, 10:48 AM
Yes! Thanks for the constructive feedback, Dave! I'll practice vertical welding more on thicker steels. I'm actually looking forward to, after I practice a lot more, grinding out the previous work, re-doing the weld..... and posting the pictures too. - Cheers!

Agape, next time you start welding up try building a small ledge at the beginning of the weld, let it cool for a second then tie into the ledge and start up, see if that will help you. Maybe next time run a down hand pass first to soften the ledge made by both pieces of steel, it may help you control the puddle better as you won't have to carry as much puddle on the way up.... it will allow you to Z your way up more consistently.

Agape Guy
09-09-2014, 03:52 PM
Agape, next time you start welding up try building a small ledge at the beginning of the weld, let it cool for a second then tie into the ledge and start up, see if that will help you. Maybe next time run a down hand pass first to soften the ledge made by both pieces of steel, it may help you control the puddle better as you won't have to carry as much puddle on the way up.... it will allow you to Z your way up more consistently.Thanks, I'll actually practice all of the tips I'm getting on vertical welding, yours too! I'm getting some 1/4", 5/16" scrap steel this weekend so I can start right away---I figure sooner, rather than later is best for me while we have about 7 more weeks of sunny weather on weekends here in Northern California, before it becomes chance weekend sunny weather. BTW, I'll post photos of my vertical welding practice trials on the scrap metal, so I can get some more constructive tips/feedback from some of the members on this site, like you!