Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 33 Old Oct 16th, 2011, 10:06 am Thread Starter
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Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

The job took about 11 hours from start to finish with the help from Lee Wilson & the owner of the LT. The LT fell over in a parking lot while on the side stand with the J-Peg in the extended position. About five hours of the repair was spent taking extra caution to protect the electrical components.
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post #2 of 33 Old Oct 16th, 2011, 10:59 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Well as evident in image number 6, you guys did the prep work and the end result, in my mind, looks outstanding and I'm sure by the clean look, will hold with no problem.

Good Job all.

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post #3 of 33 Old Oct 16th, 2011, 7:14 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Looks very good to me. The worst that could happen is that it broke off again,...& I don't think that would happen unless the bike got dropped ...again... & if it did , it would probably take a lot less time to weld it back on. Now that you have the technique down.

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post #4 of 33 Old Oct 16th, 2011, 7:50 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Looking good!

Thanks for sharing.

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post #5 of 33 Old Oct 17th, 2011, 7:29 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Good photos Dave. I see we can't get away from Duct Tape even on motorcycles

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post #6 of 33 Old Feb 7th, 2017, 6:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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The job took about 11 hours from start to finish with the help from Lee Wilson & the owner of the LT. The LT fell over in a parking lot while on the side stand with the J-Peg in the extended position. About five hours of the repair was spent taking extra caution to protect the electrical components.
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post #7 of 33 Old Feb 8th, 2017, 7:01 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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For BMW forever on his thread on his ABS Question

Dave,

Thanks so much for the photos.

What was the cost to do this ?

11 hours?? Waw.
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post #8 of 33 Old Feb 9th, 2017, 12:30 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

I don't remember how much it cost. I ground a V where it was welded & made several thin welding passes letting it cool down between passes. It was only welded on the outside.

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post #9 of 33 Old Feb 9th, 2017, 7:17 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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I don't remember how much it cost. I ground a V where it was welded & made several thin welding passes letting it cool down between passes. It was only welded on the outside.
So did you do the welding yourself ?
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post #10 of 33 Old Feb 9th, 2017, 7:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

I did all the prep work & hired a welder from where I worked. He Tig welds all day long.
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post #11 of 33 Old Feb 9th, 2017, 11:27 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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I did all the prep work & hired a welder from where I worked. He Tig welds all day long.
Is welding just the outside strong enough to handle the crash bar and the force it endures ?
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post #12 of 33 Old Feb 9th, 2017, 11:33 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Is welding just the outside strong enough to handle the crash bar and the force it endures ?
Not a welding expert but when he said he ground a V into the crack, he allowed much deeper penetration of the weld much further back into the crack by filling the gap rather than simply placing a bead over the top. I bet that fix was pretty strong in the end and it looked fantastic. That guy was an artist. JMO but if you can find someone who can do the same, I think it would be close to as strong as the original cast piece.

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post #13 of 33 Old Feb 10th, 2017, 7:57 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

The repair looks very good. If I remember correctly, didn't insurance companies total LT's when this part broke? If so, there are probably lots of bikes out there that could "easily" be brought back to life.
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post #14 of 33 Old Feb 10th, 2017, 9:39 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Not a welding expert but when he said he ground a V into the crack, he allowed much deeper penetration of the weld much further back into the crack by filling the gap rather than simply placing a bead over the top. I bet that fix was pretty strong in the end and it looked fantastic. That guy was an artist. JMO but if you can find someone who can do the same, I think it would be close to as strong as the original cast piece.
Can you please explain what "ground a V into the crack" actually means? What is a V ?

Thank you.
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post #15 of 33 Old Feb 11th, 2017, 12:09 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Can you please explain what "ground a V into the crack" actually means? What is a V ?

Thank you.
For thick pieces that have broken, if you look at the letter V, grind away some of the metal from the front side to form a V between the two pieces. When you start to weld, you are able to join the two pieces deep in the V and that is closer to the back side. Doing this in layers, fills the V from the back to the front starting at the . and working your way out. That method makes a weld that encompasses more of the broken face rather than just welding across the front side. Yes, there will be some penetration of the weld from the top but most of the cracked face will still be broken behind the weld. It is much stronger to do it like the guy Dave hired.


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Not sure my ASCII picture does it justice but you might be able to get the idea. I am attaching a picture of how this is done for welding two pipes together. The principal is the same. You fill the V as you weld and you get more of the surface involved in the actual weld.
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post #16 of 33 Old Feb 11th, 2017, 10:52 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Bike prep? Unplug all computers and battery? Wrap sensitive electronics in aluminum foil hats?

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post #17 of 33 Old Feb 11th, 2017, 12:21 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Bike prep? Unplug all computers and battery? Wrap sensitive electronics in aluminum foil hats?
Unhooking the positive battery terminal should be sufficient.

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post #18 of 33 Old Feb 11th, 2017, 10:53 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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For thick pieces that have broken, if you look at the letter V, grind away some of the metal from the front side to form a V between the two pieces. When you start to weld, you are able to join the two pieces deep in the V and that is closer to the back side. Doing this in layers, fills the V from the back to the front starting at the . and working your way out. That method makes a weld that encompasses more of the broken face rather than just welding across the front side. Yes, there will be some penetration of the weld from the top but most of the cracked face will still be broken behind the weld. It is much stronger to do it like the guy Dave hired.


|||||||||\./|||||||||||

- ___________
||||||||||[]||||||||||||

Not sure my ASCII picture does it justice but you might be able to get the idea. I am attaching a picture of how this is done for welding two pipes together. The principal is the same. You fill the V as you weld and you get more of the surface involved in the actual weld.
Thank you for the explanation.

How do you keep/hold the small broken piece in place (lined up) while you weld it to the rest of the frame that it broke out of ?
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post #19 of 33 Old Feb 12th, 2017, 12:59 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Thank you for the explanation.

How do you keep/hold the small broken piece in place (lined up) while you weld it to the rest of the frame that it broke out of ?
For that you have to get creative. Not sure just how I would do it in this case but I have several types of clamps that might allow me to hold one side and start welding on the other until I had something actually welded to hold it in place for additional welding passes to fill in. It has a threaded hole in it already so making something to bolt to it to hold it in place might work.

In looking at the too bright to see welding in progress pic 5, it looks like they may have used the tipover frame to hold it in place as the welding started. Not sure if it remained during the entire process. Never used a TIG before. I can also see in pic 4 where the metal was ground on the broken tab for the V that Dave mentioned.

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post #20 of 33 Old Feb 12th, 2017, 8:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

The tip over bar was used to align the tab to the frame. The bar was left on while it was welded. The LT has been rode about 50,000 miles since then.
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post #21 of 33 Old Feb 12th, 2017, 8:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Unhooking the positive battery terminal should be sufficient.
Should wasn't good enough for me especially since it wasn't my bike. It also helps to put the welder ground clamp as close to the welding location as possible.
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post #22 of 33 Old Feb 12th, 2017, 3:10 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Should wasn't good enough for me especially since it wasn't my bike. It also helps to put the welder ground clamp as close to the welding location as possible.
As an EE it would be plenty good for me. If you unhook the positive terminal, the major components will be connected to ground, but their positive leads will be open. Current doesn't flow through air until you get to very high voltages. If you had very high frequency AC you might get some capacitive paths, but welding is nearly always low voltage and DC or low frequency AC. So, no worries, mate!

Yes, always good to place ground clamp near point of welding. No sense introducing excess resistance into the current path.

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post #23 of 33 Old Feb 13th, 2017, 8:57 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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The tip over bar was used to align the tab to the frame. The bar was left on while it was welded. The LT has been rode about 50,000 miles since then.
Thank you all for the information.

I was speaking to another LT owner about this. He says that the welding will not be strong enough, that in case of a tip over or the bike having strong impact on the welded side, that small piece will break again.

Is this true ?

Also how difficult is it to remove and replace that aluminum large piece (where that small broken piece welds into), and just replace it with an intact (UN-broken) used piece?

And how expensive would that replacement piece be? I can't look it up because I don't know what it is called.

How much work would it be to get it off the bike & replace it ?

Also I am looking for an LT owner who lives in Tracy who does this kind of welding, does anyone know who he is please?

Thank you.
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post #24 of 33 Old Feb 13th, 2017, 9:14 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Thank you all for the information.

I was speaking to another LT owner about this. He says that the welding will not be strong enough, that in case of a tip over or the bike having strong impact on the welded side, that small piece will break again.

Is this true ?

Also how difficult is it to remove and replace that aluminum large piece (where that small broken piece welds into), and just replace it with an intact (UN-broken) used piece?

And how expensive would that replacement piece be? I can't look it up because I don't know what it is called.

How much work would it be to get it off the bike & replace it ?

Also I am looking for an LT owner who lives in Tracy who does this kind of welding, does anyone know who he is please?

Thank you.
Is this "other LT owner" a welder, metallurgist, structural engineer or mechanical engineer? If not, I would take his opinion with a big grain of salt. I good weld is often as strong as the original part and, in some cases, even stronger. Certainly the part can break again. After all, it broke to begin with. A used unbroken part can also break again.

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post #25 of 33 Old Feb 13th, 2017, 9:50 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Originally Posted by BMW_forever View Post
Thank you all for the information.

I was speaking to another LT owner about this. He says that the welding will not be strong enough, that in case of a tip over or the bike having strong impact on the welded side, that small piece will break again.

Is this true ?

Also how difficult is it to remove and replace that aluminum large piece (where that small broken piece welds into), and just replace it with an intact (UN-broken) used piece?

And how expensive would that replacement piece be? I can't look it up because I don't know what it is called.

How much work would it be to get it off the bike & replace it ?

Also I am looking for an LT owner who lives in Tracy who does this kind of welding, does anyone know who he is please?

Thank you.
The broken piece is the frame. Not surprising that insurance companies totaled bikes that had this tab break off in a tip over. As Voyager said, a good weld is often stronger than the original piece. Take a look at this friction weld at about 7:52 to the end of this video. Tell me this isn't as strong as the original piece!!! Done right it will be plenty strong.


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post #26 of 33 Old Feb 13th, 2017, 11:01 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Two comments, comes to mind the value of the tip over bar in general. I have an avid GS friend who says not to use them for fear of frame and engine damage that can not be repaired. He sells GS bikes and other BMW's for a living too. But in this specific case, I would use a longer bolt, fashion a finger of steel from a 1" x 1/8" flat bar that has a hole for the bolt and fits very well up and overlaps the aluminum frame by an inch. Made so it is more than very snug pushing on the frame when the bolt is tight. On the other hand I personally would not use this particular safety bar. Each to his own for sure.

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post #27 of 33 Old Feb 13th, 2017, 11:26 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Two comments, comes to mind the value of the tip over bar in general. I have an avid GS friend who says not to use them for fear of frame and engine damage that can not be repaired. He sells GS bikes and other BMW's for a living too. But in this specific case, I would use a longer bolt, fashion a finger of steel from a 1" x 1/8" flat bar that has a hole for the bolt and fits very well up and overlaps the aluminum frame by an inch. Made so it is more than very snug pushing on the frame when the bolt is tight. On the other hand I personally would not use this particular safety bar. Each to his own for sure.

Beech, I am not sure if you ever had an LT but I think I recall you saying at one point that you have not. Please forgive me if I am remembering incorrectly but the LT comes with this bumper setup as factory so no choice in using it or not. It is a good suggestion to try and add some extra support to the frame for that tab after a repair such as this. Just not sure the Tupperware would easily allow for something additional in that spot. You might if you were a skilled welder be able to extend left and right and possibly back on either side to give some more strength.

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post #28 of 33 Old Feb 13th, 2017, 11:51 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

You are correct, never owned one. I was mistaken thinking this was aftermarket, even worst that it is stock. Some sort of strengthening would be appropriate. In the 1150 era GS bikes Touratech came up with a fork bumper to keep from breaking stuff off up front in a crash. Same sort of plan. Instead of welding the broken tab back on how about a 2" base triangle of 5/16" aluminum plate? Just trying to come up with a better than original plan.

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post #29 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2017, 4:57 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Two comments, comes to mind the value of the tip over bar in general. I have an avid GS friend who says not to use them for fear of frame and engine damage that can not be repaired. He sells GS bikes and other BMW's for a living too. But in this specific case, I would use a longer bolt, fashion a finger of steel from a 1" x 1/8" flat bar that has a hole for the bolt and fits very well up and overlaps the aluminum frame by an inch. Made so it is more than very snug pushing on the frame when the bolt is tight. On the other hand I personally would not use this particular safety bar. Each to his own for sure.
While these crash bars came from the factory they are easy enough to remove, but in case of an accident without these crash bars or even a tip over...the tubberware would be destroyed and most likely the engine under it...all of which are much more expensive to repair or replace.

In my case the bike slid down the road maybe 50 feet with sparks coming from underneath it. I would thinking without the crash bars much more would have been destroyed, it is already bad enough with the crash bars.

Even though I would say these bars should be bolted more securely in more than just the 2 places it is bolted to.
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post #30 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2017, 5:13 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Good job, Saddleman. I'll bet you could weld a penis on a snowman.

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post #31 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2017, 5:14 pm
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

It is what it is, an older design. I have been thinking about it for a few days and many times when you strengthen something like that tab attachment point the forces just look for another place to cause havoc. A stronger tab might chunk out the frame. As you say, some way to share the forces around. I have had two sliding crashes at speeds less than 40 mph on my K bike with no bars and let me tell you, the cost is amazing, and that is just for parts. Good that you got it fixed, no way one cal let that total a good bike.

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post #32 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2017, 2:52 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

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Unhooking the positive battery terminal should be sufficient.
No, No, No!
MAYBE, if there was NO wiring within a foot or so of the welding area, and the ground clamp was between that and the weld area. Even then, the key word for me would be "Maybe" High welding currents in metal can cause induced high voltage in any nearby wiring. Even any electronics that are not plugged in but still near the metal carrying current can be damaged.

Tig welding aluminum requires AC, which is far more likely to cause damage than DC.

Saddleman did this RIGHT. I still would have worried a little since the relay enclosure is pretty close to that right side welding area. Relays would not be damaged, but there are a couple electronic circuits in that box.

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David Shealey
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EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #33 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2017, 7:28 am
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Re: Welding Broken Tip Over Bar Tab

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey View Post
No, No, No!
MAYBE, if there was NO wiring within a foot or so of the welding area, and the ground clamp was between that and the weld area. Even then, the key word for me would be "Maybe" High welding currents in metal can cause induced high voltage in any nearby wiring. Even any electronics that are not plugged in but still near the metal carrying current can be damaged.

Tig welding aluminum requires AC, which is far more likely to cause damage than DC.

Saddleman did this RIGHT. I still would have worried a little since the relay enclosure is pretty close to that right side welding area. Relays would not be damaged, but there are a couple electronic circuits in that box.
I am curious to know your expertise in this area and/or what references you have to support this. I am an EE recently retired after 32 years. I have 15 or 16 patents, all but one in the field of RFID. It doesn't hurt to remove all electronics before you weld just as it doesn't hurt to remove the gas tank, but it is wholly unnecessary based on everything I have read and done over the years.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a research paper on this topic that NASA published many years ago. It appears they contracted maintenance of this document to the NTTC which, according to their web site, lost their funding and is no more. I am always willing to learn, so if you have a reliable reference please post it. I have simply never seen a reliable study that shows an issue if there is no current path through a device. Electronic circuits are typically very short so when acting as an antenna, they resonate at only very high frequencies (mm to cm wavelengths). EMI from a welding arc is spread across a wide spectrum and typically little energy is in any given frequency, unlike antennas that are designed to emit energy in a very narrow band.

The closest I found was this note about pacemakers, which are about as sensitive as anything to EMI. And even a pacemaker wearer can arc weld. Most of the "information" on the Internet is anecdotal OWT that get passed along. If these are investigated, almost always you find that something else fried the electronics, but since the vehicle was also welded on, the welding receives the blame.

https://www.arc-zone.com/blog/carmen...h-a-pacemaker/

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