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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is the 2nd time my Center Support Bearing has gone bad. The first time was about 4-6 months ago. Since then I've had a few other issues causing me to replace my entire cooling system, battery and starter. After replacing the starter I hit up auto zone and had them test it as well as my old battery and my alternator for good measure. All the results suggested each part was in good working order. Just my luck. But after replacing the starter, my car starts fine now and after driving it for only a few days I began hearing that clanking sound I am all too familiar with so I got under my car and saw that my csb had gone bad once again. The first time I had used an URO csb so I'm hoping that is the reason why it went bad so quickly after having replaced it.

So I get under my car and start the job of replacing my csb but once I got to the point where my driveshaft and csb were completely accessible, I noticed that the CSB bolts had actually been ripped out and the undercarriage is cracked where one of the bolts is supposed to go.

It seems my only option is to weld up that crack so that it can properly receive the bolt for my new csb and provide the necessary structural support to hold it in. So after youtubing welding and welders for several hours I ran over to harbor freight and picked up their cheapest stick welder and the necessary safety equipment to go along with it. After which I spoke with a customer about welding for about 20-30 minutes outside the store as he had seen the items I was buying and was an experienced welder of like 10 or 20 years (forgot which) and had even gone to welding school.

I had learned of the cautions against welding certain types of steel, mainly galvanized. So my question is this. Is the part of the undercarriage that receives the bolts for the CSB galvanized or is there anything coating it that I should be aware of before I go about welding it back together? Has anybody experienced this issue or have any comments. I'm assuming that it should be relatively safe from all the search results and info having to do with sub-frame cracks and welding it back together for structural repair.

Any other info or suggestions would be appreciated. I just want to get my baby healthy again so we can get back on the road.

tldr; csb bolts ripped out causing one to cause a crack in the metal where it's to be received. Looking for info on welding it to repair the crack.
 

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Honestly if you've never welded before I wouldn't recommend learning on the underside of your car. I would recommend finding either a shop or a friend or someone that has some experience welding.

If you still want to take a go at it I'll say this. A mig welder would probably be better suited to do this job since the steel there is probably relatively thin. Not to say you can't do it with stick, you can but it will be more challenging. You need to take it down to bare metal before welding, you don't want to be welding on top of paint, undercoating or rust. Be careful, there will be sparks falling on you. Might be a good idea to wear ear plugs, it's no fun getting sparks or slag in your ear. Hopefully you bought a helmet too since this probably isn't a point close your eyes and shoot type of fix, definitely not with a sick welder too. Disconnect your battery for good measure before doing any welding. As far as I know the area you need to repair is not galvanized. Have a fire extinguisher ready and close by just in case. If it's starts going bad like blowing holes in the steel and whatnot just stop and find someone to help. It's pretty easy to make something worse than it was if your not careful.

Good luck man
 

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I would take it to a shop to do the welding. I also bought a cheap flux core welder from HF and it was indeed cheap and crappy. Couldn't weld anything and it would spatter all over the place. Plus, there are fuel lines underneath the car. Too risky for a beginner. Never had a problem with the CSB though. I did replaced mine once with an OE one if that makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's good to know that the area is safe to weld. I picked up a grinder that I can use to take it down to bare metal. I did buy a helmet. I've got a friend that has experience welding that is going to help me out. I also picked up a giant welding blanket that i can use to cover up fuel lines and really any surrounding area that might be vulnerable to heat from sparks and slag. I intend to practice on various metal objects I have so I can get a handle on the technique required. Hopefully. Else I can at least understand a bit more about what is required and then let my friend take care of it.

My other concern is that my CSB failed so spectacularly and so quickly after I replaced it. I have read several people commenting about how terrible the URO CSB is so I'm hoping that the new one won't fail soon after installing. I've also read about the several ways in which the driveshaft or related parts can cause the CSB to fail. I'm a little worried the previous owner may have not installed the driveshaft properly causing it to be imbalanced, although I've not noticed any shaking or vibration. When replacing it the first time I inspected the guibo and it appeared as if it was brand new. I preloaded the CSB before tightening it down. Obviously if it fails again in a couple months I'll probably replace the driveshaft but i'd prefer to not have to do that. Is there any way of inspecting the parts that can cause the csb to fail in order to identify the problem while I've got access?
 
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