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Thread: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

  1. #1
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    Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    My next project is adding some steel diamond plate sections to fill this large gap in the rock sliders on my wife's FJ Cruiser. The kids jump in and out of this thing, and I'm scared a leg is going to get caught in this large gap. I bought some 1/8" floor plate from metalsdepot.com and cut some sections to fit with my grinder. The fit up ain't perfect, but it should work.

    I'm fairly sure the tube on these sliders is 0.120 thickness, and the plate I'm using is 1/8". Should I be OK using the 1/8" settings for my welder? Should I dial it back just a little so I don't burn holes in the tubing?

    I plan to put down like 1" to 1.5" beads in 4 places. 1 in the back near the body, 1 on each side, and 2 across the front. Will this be enough? Anything specifically I should look out for while doing this? I plan to unhook the battery of the car, and grind all the paint off the part and the sliders, then repaint with black spray paint once welded.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Timely post. The rubber treads on my Chevy have disintegrated and I need to do something similar. I’ll be following this thread as you work it out.
    Dillon/Henrob/Cobra 2000, Victor 100FC, Meco-N-Midget, Hobart HH187, Miller Thunderbolt 225AC, Razorweld Vipercut 30A Plasma, and lots of grinders

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Well, I got it done. The first few welds were a little wonky, but I got it in there. Painted them, and I forgot to take pictures of the welds before paint, but what do you think?

    A question I had while doing this....if you've started a weld, and it isn't going right do you just keep going and then redo the first part or just stop and grind off what you did and start over? I had a couple welds that started bad then I adjusted my gun angle and they got a lot better and I just finished from there. Then I just went over the bad part again, but that made the weld a little thicker than what I wanted, but it looked better aesthetically.

    I had trouble getting my ground setup for this as well. What I ended up doing was taking a small piece of angle and setting it on the middle of the plate, then attaching my clamp to the angle. It worked well all but a couple of times where I lost a good connection.
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    On something like this I would probably just weld over like you did.

    Depends if I want to grind out the 'bad" bead.


    For difficult ground/work clamp connections- I'll use a C-clamp on the tubing and then attach the ground/work clamp to the C-clamp.
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    If you don't like the weld quality, grind it out. Do it over, and if you still don't like it, grind it out again.

    Do enough grind outs, and you'll get sick of it, and concentrate on the puddle to make a nice looking weld. Nothing makes a guy a better welder, like having to grind out "bad" welds.

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    For big tube like that I always keep a couple pieces of 1 inch by 1/8th or 3/16th about 4-6 inches long that I tack weld onto the underside of the diamond plate first then put your ground on that and weld away... when done just snap it off and grind if you wish

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    I'll have to remember that one for sure

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    what is the science behind disconnecting the car battery. my guess is that the machine will back feel through the cars wiring and fry the computer??? just a guess i know nothing about electricity.

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Quote Originally Posted by h couillion View Post
    what is the science behind disconnecting the car battery. my guess is that the machine will back feel through the cars wiring and fry the computer??? just a guess i know nothing about electricity.
    It's more about disconnecting/turning off the computer these days... if you have seen the 'my tig is opening my garage door' thread it's similar sometimes.... welders can introduce electrical interference into sensitive electronics and this can really scramble the newer stuff

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Jody over at WeldingTipsandTricks (I THINK that's right) suggested using some bare twisted cable to use under the ground clamp jaws to increase contact area. I've found that very useful. it works for all shapes of material and doesn't require additional welding/grinding like tabs do. I keep 2 of them on my cart ("one is none and two is one" kinda thing).
    BTW, getting some diamond plate for my rock sliders. Thanks for posting your solution!
    Dillon/Henrob/Cobra 2000, Victor 100FC, Meco-N-Midget, Hobart HH187, Miller Thunderbolt 225AC, Razorweld Vipercut 30A Plasma, and lots of grinders

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    I'll have to remember that tip for sure.

    Hope it works out for you as well. They have held up great so far. I had to hit a couple of small spots with paint again on the underside, but they worked as designed.

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    My trick for an effortless grounding tab on things like that is a piece of angle or flat bar, use the ground clamp as a clamp to hold it against the unseen part of a tube/wall/whatever, and tack it onto the metal starting the arc on the grounded tab of angle or flat bar. Usually no need to even grind off paint as the weld will burn enough away for a few solid tacks for grounding purposes. then cut off and grind after use.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 11-13-2020 at 05:11 PM.

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    My next project is adding some steel diamond plate sections to fill this large gap in the rock sliders on my wife's FJ Cruiser. The kids jump in and out of this thing, and I'm scared a leg is going to get caught in this large gap. I bought some 1/8" floor plate from metalsdepot.com and cut some sections to fit with my grinder. The fit up ain't perfect, but it should work.

    I'm fairly sure the tube on these sliders is 0.120 thickness, and the plate I'm using is 1/8". Should I be OK using the 1/8" settings for my welder? Should I dial it back just a little so I don't burn holes in the tubing?

    I plan to put down like 1" to 1.5" beads in 4 places. 1 in the back near the body, 1 on each side, and 2 across the front. Will this be enough? Anything specifically I should look out for while doing this? I plan to unhook the battery of the car, and grind all the paint off the part and the sliders, then repaint with black spray paint once welded.
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    One of my dogs an elderly Doberman about 10 years ago slipped getting in my truck. Before I could grab him his leg went in between the nerf bar and the truck and broke his femur. Those things have made me nervous every since.
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  19. #14
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    That's heart wrenching Capt. B. I'm going to be nervous about those type of spaces from no on too lol.

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  21. #15
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    we did that 40 years ago to keep from blowing the diodes in the alternator generators were not affected

  22. #16
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    I guess I don't understand the grounding dilemma....??? Just grind off a clean area (tube) close to where you were welding at and clamp to it, then.....WaaLaa...
    Welds last longer than Love...

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Quote Originally Posted by sapperb View Post
    I guess I don't understand the grounding dilemma....??? Just grind off a clean area (tube) close to where you were welding at and clamp to it, then.....WaaLaa...
    My grounding clamp was too small and I didn't have anything large enough to fit around the tube on hand that I could then attach my ground to. I should have just tacked a little tab on the bottom I guess....I'm figuring this out slowly

  24. #18
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    My grounding clamp was too small and I didn't have anything large enough to fit around the tube on hand that I could then attach my ground to. I should have just tacked a little tab on the bottom I guess....I'm figuring this out slowly
    Ok, wow that is weird, most grounding clamps will even open up big enough for 2" tube. You rock sliders are what, 1.5". What type of welder are you using?
    Welds last longer than Love...

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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Quote Originally Posted by sapperb View Post
    Ok, wow that is weird, most grounding clamps will even open up big enough for 2" tube. You rock sliders are what, 1.5". What type of welder are you using?

    haha, take a wild guess....

  26. #20
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    Re: Adding some diamond plate to my FJ's rock sliders

    Quote Originally Posted by sapperb View Post
    Ok, wow that is weird, most grounding clamps will even open up big enough for 2" tube. You rock sliders are what, 1.5". What type of welder are you using?
    My M211 stock ground clamps will *barely* fit 1-7/8ths tubing... and that's when you cram it on slightly bending the clamp

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