Welding Aluminium ?

Jan_P

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There is man Welding a huge gap -- Interesting in itself .
But how are your experience with Aluminium Welding
I remember it being very difficult and Not many in Sweden was able to Do it .As I understand it One firm in Stockholm Aero Svets (Aero Welding ) if i recall Right
Is it used with success on aeroplanes and with success on Motorcycles
Or is it just a waste of time trying -- Unless it is an Obsolete part and no choice is possible + Need to be a welding expert
I know that the welding machines are better today I believe it was Acetylene torch back then
Can it work ?
 
I got a buddy.. retired welder.... certified ... still gets tested... still works part time..... has equipment in his garage and has helped myself and many others over the years. Knows metal ... He can weld paper.... for aluminum he uses an old hot plate ( or the kitchen oven if wife it out ) and warms the project.... " better penetration " he says. I've seen him weld-repair some nasty cracks... 😎
 

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Acetylene torch will not work well if at all on aluminum. I think I saw some flux coated aluminum brazing rods one time?
Most aluminum welding on any motorcycle part will be done with GTAW (TIG) process. Welding any cast aluminum part which has been in contact with oil of any type will be very difficult due to impregnated oil in porous casting. Best left to professional if you don't have the gear or experience. Aluminum melts very quickly so is easy to accidentally destroy during the welding process.
 
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With the proper equipment and experience aluminum is easy and fun to weld... this is generally enjoyed only by experts in a nice clean shop... they are very skilled... is not a job for amateur unless on scrap metal..because it will be scrap if you don't know what you are doing. Heating, vacuum oven, inert gas... super clean... Not within my skill but only a little.. best of luck
 
So to sum it up so far it is an expert job
That requires a shop
$ Ergo 150 -- 200 an hour
Will it last any time then .?
I Have been involved Welding on Excavators .. So So results
It can be done in the field .And depending on welder skills .. And if one reinforce the place with more steel
But many times it is a quick fix on metal that has a finite life span.
 
Acetylene torch will not work well if at all on aluminum. I think I saw some flux coated aluminum brazing rods one time?
Most aluminum welding on any motorcycle part will be done with GTAW (TIG) process. Welding any cast aluminum part which has been in contact with oil of any type will be very difficult due to impregnated oil in porous casting. Best left to professional if you don't have the gear or experience. Aluminum melts very quickly so is easy to accidentally destroy during the welding process.
Watched a guy weld up a crack in the transmission section of my 1988 Sportster, third gear exploded and put crack in the back side of the case. He did this on the inside of the case while bike sat in the bed of my truck. He would weld a little then clean things up where it was porous and weld a little more. Probably spent half an hour total on cracks that totaled less than an inch. This was when bike had all of 36,000 mile on it and second time had a problem with third gear. Just sold it a couple months back with about 120,000 miles and has not leaked yet. Not sure if I was charged too much think he got me for $25-30 dollars!

Just happen to have a picture of that repair!
weld.jpg
 
Get a copy of the book "Performance Welding" by Richard Finch. It is not expensive and you'll find it an invaluable asset to your home library.
All your questions will be answered.
 
I would leave it to an expert. Had a buddy of mine working as a welder in Copenhagen airport - luckily he could weld for me, the few times it was required - as mentioned by others aluminum melts easily and varies depending on type metal it’s blended with to give it strength and durability for various uses.
 
The aluminium welding rods you see advertised on ebay are actually brazing rods, you don't melt the base metal using these, just braze the bits together, similar to silver soldering. When I worked in a fabricating/welding shop in the 60s, oxy acetylene was used and that's what they taught at TAFE, I use a mig for welding aluminium, not as good as Tig, but simple, quick and gives good results.
 
I do have a Welding machine for TIG but not the setup --gas and so
I was thinking to do it at some point in time Stainless and Aluminium
The little welding in recent years I have done has been with a small stick transformer .It is easy to move around even tough not very powerful
I have Welded stick and Acetylene And Brazed

I have a cracked XS 650 motor ..The chain broke and smashed into the casing --There is a hole through and a small leakage
Behind the outgoing axle Seal .I have tried with epoxy but it wont hold
Vintage Harley Owners would perhaps accept it. It is possible to ride but one needs oil .And pay attention

I Made a mistake not loosening the outgoing axle nut. Before taking the motor out putting into storage so the sprocket is still there
But in some way I will get it loose.

It is a big difference if one could do it .Weld from the outside not splitting the engine I bought Replacement cases a $ 100
and have those Ready for painting and so.
But it is work to do.

Can be a plan remove Sprocket find someone that know TIG on Aluminum Listen what he says -Haul the engine there in some way.
There is the risk destroying the seal groove .Not so much the strength I believe.
I do know one at the Vintage motorcycle Club he has connections And perhaps the Yamaha dealer .. He is a Nice Guy and Competent
Sponsor some racers
 
Welding aluminum is not too hard but you do need a TIG machine with AC capabilities. I weld high end anodized aluminum boat towers everyday at work. I have repaired quite a few cracked engine cases, rims and a really high dollar Edelbrock intake manifold. Great success with all of them. It's frustrating to learn but once you get the hang of it you can do just about anything aluminum. Cleanliness is absolutely key.
 
Well, you don't need a Tig, AC Tigs are quite expensive, that's where Mig comes in. Just a fraction of the cost of an AC Tig machine, but ok for most jobs. Boat builders use Mig, as it's quicker.
 
Well, you don't need a Tig, AC Tigs are quite expensive, that's where Mig comes in. Just a fraction of the cost of an AC Tig machine, but ok for most jobs. Boat builders use Mig, as it's quicker.
This true but if you need to be careful and not have slag get into somewhere that it shouldn't then Tig is the way to go. Also nowadays you can get a TIG machine for the same price as a mig set up. Even better are the multi process machines that do Stick, Tig and Mig all in one machine.

I bought my entire Tig set up brand new for under a grand. It performs just as good as the $9k machine we use at work 🤷


And yes boat builders do often use mig. In my opinion it doesn't look nearly as nice and most of the time the welds are cold with poor penetration. I've had to repair quite a few very very very expensive boats because the crap welds cracked out. I prefer Tig for all things aluminum. You can control it far more than you can with the Mig
 
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I have the machine AC TIG .and Stick Combo just never used it for TIG yet.
Bought it from China when the freight and custom charges was low I believe they have doubled in price since then
It is a small hole leaking oil It is more a question of stop the leaking than any strength affecting damage
Wont need any long spark time More like a spot will be enough I believe
I am thinking grinding a small grove notch
What is the secret getting it clean , And should one preheat
 
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