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Cleaning an ally oil pan for repair

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  • Cleaning an ally oil pan for repair


    One of the main reasons I bought my Diversion was to repair a drysump oil pan damaged in a recent blow-up. As I expected the cracks are seeping synthetic oil everytime heat is applied. I heated the ally last night with a soot guide coat so as to hammer it relatively flat again and hoped it would burn off some contamination.

    Also been spraying electrical contact cleaner into the cracks. Still I'm getting instant black grainy welds. Oh- I did discover why big pieces need preheat;-))

    Any tricks for cleaning cracks available?

  • #2
    Crack cleaner?

    Almost makes me giggle. Is it aluminum or steel alloy?


    • #3
      Sorry, it's aluminum.

      And between your giggle and equipment list I must wager you've been here before


      • #4
        Well, it's getting better. Seems patience is my friend. I'm doing a small area and then grinding clean and moving on.

        I'd probably be smarter to cut out the bad 6"x4" area and weld in a new section but I've not practiced butt welds yet
        Last edited by GT6Steve; 11-29-2009, 01:35 PM.


        • #5
          Crack repair.

          Aluminum? No problem. Find an aluminum carbide burr. It's a generally a round ended cone shaped bit for use in a die grinder. You can use a burr designed for steel but the teeth on it are much finer and it will clog. I think American Carbide sells them and a sharpening company in the northeast I've used in the past named Burns Tools sells the as well.
          Grind out the crack completely creating a gap where the crack is if an 1/8 of an inch. What your looking for is total pen here. and with aluminum you na easily brindge the gap even a 1/4 inch or more! If you try to weld back over the crack without grinding it out it will crack again, GAURANTEED! Grind it out the clean it up with acetone or one of the commercially available acids made for aluminum and weld it up. Is it cast aluminum? Cast presents a whole new set of issues as it it somewhat porous in the crack. Again grind it out first. But you'll probably need another 25 amps of heat depending in the thickness of this pan's base metal.

          Yep, Been there. Do a bunch of aluminum outboard lower unit skegs, motors, etc.

          Easy enough but watch the HAZ area of the weld. In cast it will tend to pit depending on the casting and you may have to reweld at that area, Also remember to weld with plenty of filler metal usually 4043. I always weld up thick for this crack repair business and then grind off the excess.

          There are special grinding disks made for aluminum. If you use one designed for steel it can leave contamination behind and it will be difficult to weld,

          Clean it the clean it again. Aluminum likes to be clean when you weld it.

          Good luck and ask any questions you have.
          Last edited by captkipp; 11-29-2009, 12:39 PM. Reason: spelling


          • #6
            silly question

            Steve. you are using a/c for this right?


            • #7
              Yes Capt. , it's AC on a Diversion.

              Thanx for the tip about grinding thoroughly and a Vee., I've not done that. And I was wondering about appropriate sanding discs, I have burrs but they are probably contaminated from porting cast iron heads.

              This is a sheetmetal pan, not cast.

              Guess I'll drive back to Airgas next Saturday.

              Is this a case where I should back up the weld with copper or is that a whole 'nother Donahue show...

              Thanx for the help....
              Last edited by GT6Steve; 11-29-2009, 01:25 PM.


              • #8
                Hope this doesn't sound too stupid but, How about the acid condenser cleaner that AC guys use? Is that suitable for cleaning these areas or will it leave some residue?

                Really all, Thanx for your patience.

                I've been around good welders for thirty years and can O/A weld OK. Just now getting into electric welding for myself.

                I've always said "I'm an electrician, I can't weld unless there's a screwdriver involved".


                • #9
                  Blow up...

                  Everytime we lose and engine, there is no amount of repair for the pan...Only thing bettar is the nitrious explosion in the sheet metal one Im making out steel! That way when she blows, I just get a little more plentum space.


                  • #10
                    My goodness YES,

                    This pan has been the biggest trial of my racing career. I was about to make it a wall decoration when I got the wild hair to learn to TIG. Now it's the reason D' etre or somethin' French like that

                    I have a stock mild steel pan laying at my feet that I thought would be a good starting point but there ya go, another project.

                    I don't want to turn this into a motorsport thread becuz I'm really asking beginners questions. More appropriate here I think???


                    • #11
                      The condenser cleaner worked!

                      I'm getting cleaner welds and grooving them with the burr is paying off as well. A lot of them are still ugly round beads like a poor boob job but the others are looking homogenous and smooth. Just need a lot more practice.

                      Thanx Capt!


                      • #12
                        When we do repairs on our stockcar (modified) ,we have to boil out the oil pans.Then clean the cracks with acetone.
                        we had a steff's oil pan give us fits until we did the above.



                        • #13
                          Just what I've read -

                          Guys that weld repair Harley engine and tranny cases say to wash the case,

                          stick it in an oven low heat, bake it till oil comes to surface, wash repeat.

                          Keep doing till no more oil.


                          • #14
                            Important to know

                            Read the link below. It appears to be true so I would rather everybody is safe and not sorry by using the wrong cleaners etc...


                            Hope that helps,


                            • #15
                              I don't use chemical cleaners for such things. Normally with some patience I'm able to get all of the oil out of a casting prior to welding with my trusty O/A torch and grinders (mostly the die grinder).


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