To Weld or not to Weld? (my Sliders on) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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To Weld or not to Weld? (my Sliders on)

Kirby N.

Elite Explorer
February 6, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ranger
OK So I am getting close to finishing my rock sliders. I built them out of 2x4 ans 2x2 1/8 wall tubing. I built them stout and tight. Now that I am almost done I have a question- Should I weld them on or bolt them on? I am way past the point of returning my truck to stock so I don't care if they are permanent, but does welding on the frame weaken it??? Also will the mounts be stronger welded or bolted?? Keep in mind that I am an excellent welder. Also I Was wondering, does everybody drop the gas tank when they weld thier sliders on? Is that neccessary? Thanks.

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shouldnt need to drop the tank, however, you better hope it is full and that you dont burn a hole through it or that you have a leak...... and i would just make the mounts to bolt them on......

Yeah I wound'nt press your luck with welding just do it the safe way

I'm having mine welded on. It is a huge pain in the butt to have it bolted to the frame on the rear drivers side cause of the fuel lines. Alot of people weld them on. I just feel safer welded then bolted.

Originally posted by Kirby N.
I am an excellent welder

Don't pull a muscle patting yourself on the back :D

Mine are welded on and I couldn't be happier.

well, you should know what the effects are of welding, heat affected zone, embrittlement, and so forth. If you are real good, not to burn through the frame, go for it, but if they take a good impact, there is a big chance that the frame will deform under stress. I personally would rather bolt the slider to the frame, using a weaker bolt than the material, let the bolt be the fuse, if you break something, you can remove the slider with little effort, and make all the right repairs

But the point of a slider is to be part of the frame and not break. You really don't want it to pop off and slam into the body. Mine are welded on and I have bounced off them on the rocks.

man, I've already tweaked my frame bouncing off rocks, and if something is going to create a lever, the bend will be worse. I would much rather the slider come free and nail the body, this way I can still drive home and not dog leg my axles, but it's just me.

Welded not better just easier.


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Sorry I didn't mean to be a putz with my comment about how good I am. I thought I was getting good, but try welding upside down and verticle, I suck again;) . I also did half of them with a MIG and half with my stick, so the flip flop of techniques and they pretty much look like crap. I just didn't want somebody saying, "Well it depends on how good you can weld."

I guess they are getting welded on because I welded on the passenger side today. I am getting ready to do the drivers- Did you guys do anything with the lines? Did you just weld them on? I was going to drop the tank, but I ran out of time. For you guys who actually welded them on- Did you drop the tank? Did you leave the lines where they Are or did you put a wet rag around them?

Thanks for all the comments!

Personaly I just clamped them in place and welded. I put mine right over the frame gusset where the tank is not touching the frame. In the front I pulled the lines off the frame a little and went for it. Good luck.

Frame Welding

If welding must be done on a frame, make sure the following requirements are met:

l If the frame is attached to the vehicle, the battery ground cable (14301) must be disconnected before using any electrical welding equipment.

l Do not use gas welding equipment; arc welding is the only approved method.

l Use a temperature-indicating crayon to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 750ºC (1400ºF).

l Replace spot-welded components by spot welding where possible. If spot welding is not possible, use puddle welding.

According to Ford.

Yeah, meant to tell you that overhead welding is a major PITA, if you have no idea what you are doing, have done it a few times, but try to avoid at all costs

"puddle welding"........that sounds like my kind of welding there. Just keep heating it up until a puddle forms, all done!:D


Hvac man, I guess I will need to drop the Tank because mine is a 2 door and My rear mount must go where the Tank is close to the frame, Thanks for the information, it makes me much more confident that I wont kill myself in an explosion.

Yob- excellent information, Thank you!

Everybody else- I am running around with one slider!! I look all lopsided!

Thanks everyone who replied- look for my pictures soon in the projects or B/A section.

Clint- yours is a 2 door also huh? What do you mean by
I put mine right over the frame gusset where the tank is not touching the frame.
Mine rear mount is directly over the front leaf spring mount. The thing that bothered me is that I looked up through the frame at the lines right where the mount will be and it said "Caution FUEL"! Ha, Huh?

Yeah thats what I thought too. I did a little more investigating and saw that right on the other side of the frame from the spring mount there is a gusset that creates a space between the tank and the frame. This is also why I welded and didn't bolt. I know the pic I posted is kind of fuzzy but it shows where I am talking about. Look on the other passenger of the frame and you will see what I'm talking about. Good luck kirby.

Sweet, I see what you are talking about- it is like 2 layers- they're going on tonight!!!!

Cool man good luck. Let me know:)

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