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  • Questions about stainless Tig welding

    Im about to weld some stainless tubing for race car headers. I use a Syncrowave 350 machine at my day job and just bought a little Maxstar 150 for the night/weekend job. What method should I use to make completely sure I wont have any problems with rigidity and leaks?

    thanks!
    Keith

  • #2
    I would tig them for sure.

    Headers are a bit out of my line but I have done a couple of sets. I would reccomend purge welding them or they will crack if they are made from 304 stainless. I had heard complaints for years that a ss exhaust system is no good because it cracks at the welds, I made several of those for my vehicles and never had a problem one, but they were all purge welded.

    As far as strength, mine went into a collector at the end and were plenty strong mechanically.

    The material I used was .0625 wall 304 stainless tubing.

    I am no expert thats for sure, but just a few things to think about.........
    mike sr

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by popspipes View Post
      I would tig them for sure.

      Headers are a bit out of my line but I have done a couple of sets. I would reccomend purge welding them or they will crack if they are made from 304 stainless. I had heard complaints for years that a ss exhaust system is no good because it cracks at the welds, I made several of those for my vehicles and never had a problem one, but they were all purge welded.

      As far as strength, mine went into a collector at the end and were plenty strong mechanically.

      The material I used was .0625 wall 304 stainless tubing.

      I am no expert thats for sure, but just a few things to think about.........
      Sorry if I sound ignorant, but what is the process for purge welding? Also what is your thoughts on Solar Flux?

      Comment


      • #4
        Uh, Maybe........

        Originally posted by 10secL View Post
        Sorry if I sound ignorant, but what is the process for purge welding? Also what is your thoughts on Solar Flux?
        Don't quit your day job.

        Back purging is the process of using "backing gas" (argon) in the tubes while you are welding. This is done by "capping" them off with a fitting of sorts, for the gas to flow into them. Reduces contamination and "sugaring" by keeping, what we call "air" (what we breath) away from the welds.

        Don't they run a water spray through them on speed boats, or is that for the chrome ones only? (to prevent discoloring).

        Dave
        "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by davedarragh View Post

          Don't they run a water spray through them on speed boats, or is that for the chrome ones only? (to prevent discoloring).

          Dave
          I believe the water is to cool the exhaust as it runs through the boat. This has been common practice, and can be seen in antique boats.

          Purging should give you a much better quality weld. You need to keep the air away from the other side to keep the weld prettty.
          Diversion 165
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          • #6
            I would suggest back purging whenever possible and it doesn't take a sophisticated set-up to do so either. I've been in shops where they have simply used a couple of pieces of cardboard cut to fit in the tube with a hole in the center of one to fit a hose for the argon. This set-up worked just fine. I have also used Solar Flux before with solid results, but there is a bit of flux clean-up when done. The bottom line is that it did prevent the oxidizing ("sugaring") on the backside of the joint. It's just a little messy to work with.

            Attached are a couple of pics of the step header I built for my car. I run the Chevy Vortec 4200 (inline-6) engine in my G/ED dragster. (These pics are just after the body was painted sans any decals). There are definitely no “off the shelf” aftermarket headers for this motor and you can see we went with a “6 into 2 into 1” design. I did consult with Burns Stainless a bit on the design before fabrication as there is a science behind determining the correct tube length in step headers. I also chose to use one of their collectors.

            Hope this helps.
            Attached Files
            John Swartz
            Miller Electric Mfg., Co.

            John.Swartz@MillerWelds.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Miller Swartz View Post
              I would suggest back purging whenever possible and it doesn't take a sophisticated set-up to do so either. I've been in shops where they have simply used a couple of pieces of cardboard cut to fit in the tube with a hole in the center of one to fit a hose for the argon. This set-up worked just fine. I have also used Solar Flux before with solid results, but there is a bit of flux clean-up when done. The bottom line is that it did prevent the oxidizing ("sugaring") on the backside of the joint. It's just a little messy to work with.

              Attached are a couple of pics of the step header I built for my car. I run the Chevy Vortec 4200 (inline-6) engine in my G/ED dragster. (These pics are just after the body was painted sans any decals). There are definitely no “off the shelf” aftermarket headers for this motor and you can see we went with a “6 into 2 into 1” design. I did consult with Burns Stainless a bit on the design before fabrication as there is a science behind determining the correct tube length in step headers. I also chose to use one of their collectors.

              Hope this helps.
              I'm jealous of your dragster , tell me more about it. What class do you run , 8.90 like super comp and what kinda times is that thing capable of ? Thanks . Btw thats a sharp ride.
              Dynasty 200DX "Blue Lightning"
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Showdog75 View Post
                I'm jealous of your dragster , tell me more about it. What class do you run , 8.90 like super comp and what kinda times is that thing capable of ? Thanks . Btw thats a sharp ride.
                Thanks for the compliments. It was a lot of work and it never seems to end. I can proudly say that just about everything on this car we fabricated. The 4130 chassis, body, S.S. header, aluminum oil pan, fuel cell and sheet metal intake manifold... Having the ability to weld definitely comes in handy, because it would be difficult to afford this hobby/obsession if we had to pay someone to do all the work we've done.

                We built this car to make the step up to Comp Eliminator from Super Comp, which I ran from the mid '90's till about a couple of years ago. I ran NHRA's E.T. bracket series prior to that. The class we're running now is G/ED using that DOHC inline 6 cylinder you see in the pictures. We've struggled a bit over the past couple years while doing our engine development, but we think we might be starting to move in the right direction. There is actually a Division 5 race down in Cordova, IL this upcoming weekend which I will be attending, so we'll see what we can do. So far the best E.T. we've run is 8.53 (just below the national index), but we know there are definitely some things we can do to shave some time off.
                John Swartz
                Miller Electric Mfg., Co.

                John.Swartz@MillerWelds.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Solarflux is a last ditch attempt to prevent stainless oxidation if you are COMPLETELY unable to get a good inert gas backpurge. Other than that it should be left alone.
                  Pipefitters Local 72, Atlanta

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                    Don't quit your day job.

                    Back purging is the process of using "backing gas" (argon) in the tubes while you are welding. This is done by "capping" them off with a fitting of sorts, for the gas to flow into them. Reduces contamination and "sugaring" by keeping, what we call "air" (what we breath) away from the welds.

                    Don't they run a water spray through them on speed boats, or is that for the chrome ones only? (to prevent discoloring).

                    Dave
                    What does quitting his day job have to do with it.

                    Why can't you just give him a direct answer to the back purge question?

                    His question was not out of line for the job he is "attempting" and he already noted his lack of experience.

                    ??????????????
                    A-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I built a set of headers for a 4.3 Chevy in my Jeep and did a lot of research before hand. They are made of carbon steel, not stainless, but I had them Jet Hot coated in and out. Definitely use Agron to purge the tubes. As far as design, I was after torque, not HP and made them from 14 gauge 1 1/2" tubing. For best torque I wanted equal length primary tubes. The headers on the market advertised as "equal length" are a joke. I found some that the tubes varied in length by as much as 12" (for a small block Chevy)! One difficult part of making equal length tubes is in how to measure them, for which I feel I had an ingenious solution: I filled them with water! By measuring how many millilitres (here the metric system is much easier!) it took to fill a tube 1" it was easy to measure tube length by seeing how much water it held. With careful tube routing I was able to make my set of headers with a variance in primary tube length of only 1/2", well within my goal.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ASKANDY View Post
                        What does quitting his day job have to do with it.

                        Why can't you just give him a direct answer to the back purge question?

                        His question was not out of line for the job he is "attempting" and he already noted his lack of experience.

                        ??????????????
                        A-
                        Exactly. Im not a professional welder by any means. Im a heavy truck mechanic by trade and build fast street cars/trucks as a hobby.

                        Thanks to all that responded and stayed on topic. Im doing my homework now, practicing, etc and going to build my turbo headers very soon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Miller Swartz View Post
                          I would suggest back purging whenever possible and it doesn't take a sophisticated set-up to do so either. I've been in shops where they have simply used a couple of pieces of cardboard cut to fit in the tube with a hole in the center of one to fit a hose for the argon. This set-up worked just fine. I have also used Solar Flux before with solid results, but there is a bit of flux clean-up when done. The bottom line is that it did prevent the oxidizing ("sugaring") on the backside of the joint. It's just a little messy to work with.

                          Attached are a couple of pics of the step header I built for my car. I run the Chevy Vortec 4200 (inline-6) engine in my G/ED dragster. (These pics are just after the body was painted sans any decals). There are definitely no “off the shelf” aftermarket headers for this motor and you can see we went with a “6 into 2 into 1” design. I did consult with Burns Stainless a bit on the design before fabrication as there is a science behind determining the correct tube length in step headers. I also chose to use one of their collectors.

                          Hope this helps.
                          That header is awesome! Very nice work!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ASKANDY View Post
                            What does quitting his day job have to do with it.

                            Why can't you just give him a direct answer to the back purge question?

                            His question was not out of line for the job he is "attempting" and he already noted his lack of experience.

                            ??????????????
                            A-
                            My guess is, it was referrence to the OP stating that he used a Sync 350 at work. Dave did some deductive reasoning and assumed if the was using that piece of equipment then he should have some basic knowledge of welding and perhaps even welding stainless pipe.

                            To make everyone feel better I'll offer up some deductive reasoning humor.

                            Bubba and his best bud daverdarragh were sitting on Bubba's front porch slamming down some of Old Milwaulkee's finest offerings and suddenly Bubba got the idea that there had to be something more to life than sitting on a front porch all day getting blitzed.

                            So Bubba tells daverdarragh that he is going down to the local junior college tomorrow to sign up for some classes and he's going to get him an "edumacation".

                            So Bubba goes down to the juco and all the classes are full except one: Deductive Reasoning 101. Bubba makes his way over to the professor and asks what the **** Deductive Reasoning is. The professor says “Well Bubba, let me give you an example of deductive reasoning.” The professor asks “Bubba, do you have a lawn mower?” Bubba says “Yeah, I do.” Professor says “Well Bubba if you’ve got a lawn mower you’ve got a lawn and if you’ve got a lawn you probably have a house.” Bubba says “Yeah I do, I’ve got both.” Professor says “Well if you’ve got a house you probably have a wife.” Bubba says “Yup, got the finest old lady in town.” Professor says “Well if you’ve got a wife then you must be a hetero***ual.” Bubba says “Dang, you’re good.” Professor says well Bubba that’s what deductive reasoning is all about. Bubba signs up.

                            Bubba is so excited about his deductive reasoning class he runs back to the front porch to tell daverdarragh about his class. Bubba says I signed up for deductive reasoning. Daverdarragh says “What in tarnation is deductive reasoning?” Bubba says “Well let me give you an example.” Bubba asks daverdarragh, “You gotta lawnmower?” Daverdarragh says “Hell no I ain’t got no lawnmower…you see them weeds a growin out there.” The wheels start turning in Bubba’s head, you can see the smoke coming out of his ears and then Bubba blurts it out…”Well then you must be a homo***ual!”

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Very Cute

                              Originally posted by slicktoptt View Post
                              My guess is, it was referrence to the OP stating that he used a Sync 350 at work. Dave did some deductive reasoning and assumed if the was using that piece of equipment then he should have some basic knowledge of welding and perhaps even welding stainless pipe.

                              To make everyone feel better I'll offer up some deductive reasoning humor.

                              Bubba and his best bud daverdarragh were sitting on Bubba's front porch slamming down some of Old Milwaulkee's finest offerings and suddenly Bubba got the idea that there had to be something more to life than sitting on a front porch all day getting blitzed.

                              So Bubba tells daverdarragh that he is going down to the local junior college tomorrow to sign up for some classes and he's going to get him an "edumacation".

                              So Bubba goes down to the juco and all the classes are full except one: Deductive Reasoning 101. Bubba makes his way over to the professor and asks what the **** Deductive Reasoning is. The professor says “Well Bubba, let me give you an example of deductive reasoning.” The professor asks “Bubba, do you have a lawn mower?” Bubba says “Yeah, I do.” Professor says “Well Bubba if you’ve got a lawn mower you’ve got a lawn and if you’ve got a lawn you probably have a house.” Bubba says “Yeah I do, I’ve got both.” Professor says “Well if you’ve got a house you probably have a wife.” Bubba says “Yup, got the finest old lady in town.” Professor says “Well if you’ve got a wife then you must be a hetero***ual.” Bubba says “Dang, you’re good.” Professor says well Bubba that’s what deductive reasoning is all about. Bubba signs up.

                              Bubba is so excited about his deductive reasoning class he runs back to the front porch to tell daverdarragh about his class. Bubba says I signed up for deductive reasoning. Daverdarragh says “What in tarnation is deductive reasoning?” Bubba says “Well let me give you an example.” Bubba asks daverdarragh, “You gotta lawnmower?” Daverdarragh says “**** no I ain’t got no lawnmower…you see them weeds a growin out there.” The wheels start turning in Bubba’s head, you can see the smoke coming out of his ears and then Bubba blurts it out…”Well then you must be a homo***ual!”
                              1.) I don't drink alcoholic beverages

                              2.) I have desert landscaping in the front yard, but do own a lawn mower for the grass around the swimming pool in the back yard.

                              3.) I'm the proud father of 3 grown children & have 3 grand children
                              Last edited by davedarragh; 08-05-2009, 12:43 PM.
                              "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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