I've got a '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I've got two problems with it I need to address. One is that the steering knuckles have notches worn or correded into them on the sliders where the brake pads ride, the other is that the bolt-hole where the track bar is secured to the frame has gone oval.
My plan was to get a couple of new steering knuckles and a couple of hardened washers and put the steering knuckles on and have the washers welded to the frame where the bolt goes through.
I'm not interested in "how do you know it needs these repairs" advice-- I've had it apart and I've seen the notches and the oval hole.
Now, to the question.
A couple of steering knuckles go for about 230 bucks and shipping, and for that I can get one of Harbor Freight's little #91110 80 amp 110v inverter stick welders and an auto mask and gloves and a box of E6013 rods. So my inclination is to get the welder, do a few practice welds on some scrap, and then have at it. I figure that the worst outcome won't leave me any worse off than I am now--if the weld comes out of the notches the brakes still work as well as they're working now, and if the washers let go the wobble isn't any worse than it is now, and I'd end up with welder that should suffice for the hobby projects I envision and possibly the occasional muffler.
Am I being insanely stupid by going this route?
Note that I am well aware that there are much better welders available, but right now I'm near broke and buying a pro grade Lincoln or Miller is out of the question, as is stringing a 220v line to a detached garage for one of the Lincoln tombstones. I'm also aware that learning welding in the school of hard knocks by welding stuff on which my life depends would be stupid, but in this case the risk is small since the consequences of weld failure would be to return me to a status quo that is working.