welding guys, i need some help on this project | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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welding guys, i need some help on this project


Explorer Addict
March 23, 2011
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City, State
Bay Area CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
03 sport trac XLT
hey fellas, work has been sending me all over the place, but once i get back one of my first welding projects will be to repair this hitch mounted swing out bike rack. this bad boy cost about 450 bucks new. some lady came into the shop i work at on the side and said she just bought it but backed into a brick wall and bent it. so we gave her a new one and this one was just going to get scrapped. i told them instead of scrapping it, just let me have it. so they gave it to me. even with the bend, it still fits my hitch and clears my bumper and truck just fine with it loaded with bikes. i would like to cut the bent piece and replace it with a new one.

my question is what would be the best way to go about fixing this!? cut the bent part with a plasma cutter and then try to bend the bent piece back? should i replace it with a new piece of tubing? any help would be awesome as i am going to start learning how to weld as soon as i get back to cali. thanks guys.

here are some pics of the bent piece of tubing:




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cut the entire piece of bent square tubing out and replace it. Grinding wheel, plasma cutter, etc whatever you wanna use..

grind the welds off with an angle grinder, and put in a new piece, that the best way,

if you just bent it back, it would never be as strong again,,

Cut the welds on the piece you want to replace with an angle grinder and it'll come off. Grind off any leftover welds on the parts it was welded to so you have a nice squared up joint, then weld in the replacement piece.

If you can, practice a bit before you do it for real. Take some metal of similar thickness and make the same joint.

Otherwise you could always just say "F*** it, we'll do it live!" and dive right into welding the actual project. You could always cut out any welds that go bad, but it's kind of a PITA to do it that way.

Either way, you're learning :thumbsup:

I'd start practicing how to weld using scrap steel first.. Don't wanna start welding on something that'll hold weight like a bike rack and realize your welds are crap.

Just throwing it out there that you might not have to cut it off and reweld it. You could heat it and bend it back into place. It won't be perfect but it will be easier. If you decide to weld cut it with a grinder and MIG weld it

thanks fellas. if i were to bend it, i was planning on heating it up first, but i think im leaning toward welding a brand new piece. im excited to get an actual welding project going. i should have my welder, mask and other accesories when i get back from oregon and i plan on getting some scrap metal to practice on first. i still need to get an angle grinder so im going to do some homework on that while im here in the hotel room this week. thansk again fellas. btw, how much should i spend for the same piece of square tubing? its less than a foot in length. also, i noticed there are some gussets on the original piece. anybody have any tips on replicating that? you can see what im talking about in the first picture. thanks again.

Browse some of the local steel shops - you can probably find a "drop" square tubing that fits the bill for next to nothing. But before you do that, to prevent this from happening again and if the design allows it (which it looks like it does), measure the tube's wall thickness and go with something a bit thicker. You can also weld in "caps" on both ends to reduce the chances of deforming the "square" profile.

LONO, PM me your email address. Do I have something for you...

Heat it, bend it with one BFH and then weld some 3/16 or 1/14 on either side and re-drill.
Like IZ said, way too thin. Might as well use Reynolds wrap.
Unless your good at vertical up or down welding, I'd take the whole thing off and lay all your welds flat and let mother nature (Gravity) help in the process. You really need to practice or your going to wind up with something not as strong as it was even if you do go to heavier plate.