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Cleaning an ally oil pan for repair

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  • #31
    captkipp,

    LMAO,

    Up here in cold VA, I can't get the cleaners to switch over to aluminum coat hangers.

    Kinda have the same feelings though regarding this oil pan. Chasing cracks is not my cup of tea. Were it mine, it would have been in the dumpster a long time ago and a newly fabbed one would be on the engine.

    Where are you located in the Keys? Spent a fair amount of time in the Keys when I was in grad school at UM. Good friend of mine used to run the Key Largo Dive Center. Edison Irving (runs Strataglas) who's dad owns Pipewelders is also a close friend. Ed (who used to run the Cape May, NJ facility for Pipewelders) used to do most of my tower builds when I was a Bertram dealer for VA & MD (late 80's/early 90's).

    How's business down in the Keys? Sales in the mid atlantic suck, but repair/maintenance work is keeping our yards pretty busy.
    Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
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    Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
    Hobart HH187
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    Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
    Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
    PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
    Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
    Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
    More grinders than hands

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    • #32
      captkipp has some of it right.

      Clean any oil and grease off with acetone, since its probably an aluminum oil pan which is usually 3/16 thick there isnt much need to vee grove.

      After you clean the pan assuming its off the car or truck, go over the area with a few less amps than what you would normaly weld it at.

      And with the tig torch only go over the area and dont try to weld it. The tig torch will pull the impurities to the top, Then go over that area and crack with the carbide cutter until its shiny clean, Then repeat the process with the tig torch and carbide.

      After 2-3 times of doing this the aluminum is usually fairly clean, when you no longer see the black soot coming out of the aluminum it is now ready to be welded.

      Every time you go into the crack to clean it you will end up vee grooving it so dont pre vegroove as the captain said.

      Note, If the oil pan is still mounted and you spray actone in there dont be surprised when you have a little explosion when you hit it with the tig torch.

      Note, There was also a bulletin about how bad break cleaner is when welding over an area that may still be wet.
      I use acetone and I make sure that its 100% evaporated before I weld in the area.
      Good luck with your repair.

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      • #33
        Hi guys!,, I'm back with a fresh approach to this oil pan issue. I didn't want to start a new thread since this existing one demonstrates my level of ignorance.

        I've been working on fabbing a new pan. I have a 12"x24" sheet of 1/2" 6061 for a future flange and some .100 sheet bent into the appropriate shape. Presumed to be 6061-T6. I machined a lip all the way around the weld area for the sheet and drilled for guide holes to cut out the center after welding thinking to discourage warpage.

        On further reflection, being a moron after all, I'm wondering if the massive heat sink of the 1/2" sheet is going to make welding the relatively thin sheet difficult? I could cut out the center section ahead of time and still have a lot of material around the outside for clamping and perhaps resisting the warp? What would a fabricator want to see?

        And another thought, would placing the big alloy sheet on hot plates to prewarm it make any difference at all? How hot would it have to be to make welding easier?

        After my visit to a fabricator this morning where I was essentially told "you're beneath us" I'm thinking I'll have to attempt this myself.

        As always, your advise is both welcomed and heeded...Steve
        Miller Diversion 165
        1966 Bridgeport Mill
        Leblond 15x 35 Regal Servoshift lathe
        Solberga SE 1425 Drill Press
        Bigass Bandsaw
        Hydraulic press
        small surface grinder
        Belt sander
        Tons of grinders and hand tools
        Knife edge Balancing rollers
        Heat and AC in the garage

        Jags and racing Triumphs

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        • #34
          I don't know how this would work for a racing engine, but my cousin dropped an air cooled engine with an aluminum pan, and knocked a hole in the pan. At the time I worked for a tank truck company, and one of the welders simply added a new bottom over the old one and welded it on.

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          • #35
            Oil pan fix.

            I do it all the time to fuel tanks. Place patches over the holes after cleaning off the corrosion of course and weld 'em on. You MUST be sure the tank is clean of all vapors prior to this process. But I think the OP is building one from scratch.
            You can pre-heat the thicker material to a nominal 300 degrees. Using a temp stick or thermal gun will help you determin the temp of the material. Directing the arc to the thicker base metal and "walking" the weld up onto the thinner plate.
            You'll have to figure out a way to test the seam after welding to ensure it is leak proof. Perhaps water left in it and then set the whole thing on a piece of tattle-tale paper or card board. That way you can quickly assertain if any leaks are present.
            If you are using a DYNASTY machine you can dial up the frequency to something above 200 cps and focus the arc more. That will help with the heat directionallity.

            Oh and look carefully for cracks and stress fractures in 6061 material after bending. This alloy is really prone to cracking when bent.!!
            Last edited by captkipp; 12-01-2012, 04:16 PM.
            Mustangs Forever!

            Miller equipment.

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            • #36
              What I found to work great minus the wife is a little upset with it. I took out outdoor turkey fryer clean the pot up good. I would boil the pre clean oil pan in the pot with reagular dish detergent. I would repeat this process 2-3 times or when I don't see anymore oil residue in the water. Do a last boil in just plain water to help rinse out the soap. After this then I would debur where I want to weld. This method had worked out for me pretty good.

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              • #37
                An update on this old thread...

                To practice TIG before attempting to weld the new pan I elected to assault the old pan again and weld in patch panels after cutting out the cracked areas. This is working and my skills (??) are improving. I'm cautiously optomistic here and only have a few small cracks remaining.

                Is there a leak test solution or trick available to mark a leak point? I remember a two part crack spray kit we used to use but that may be a bit much for this stage of repair.
                Miller Diversion 165
                1966 Bridgeport Mill
                Leblond 15x 35 Regal Servoshift lathe
                Solberga SE 1425 Drill Press
                Bigass Bandsaw
                Hydraulic press
                small surface grinder
                Belt sander
                Tons of grinders and hand tools
                Knife edge Balancing rollers
                Heat and AC in the garage

                Jags and racing Triumphs

                Comment


                • #38
                  Leak test indicating solution?
                  Miller Diversion 165
                  1966 Bridgeport Mill
                  Leblond 15x 35 Regal Servoshift lathe
                  Solberga SE 1425 Drill Press
                  Bigass Bandsaw
                  Hydraulic press
                  small surface grinder
                  Belt sander
                  Tons of grinders and hand tools
                  Knife edge Balancing rollers
                  Heat and AC in the garage

                  Jags and racing Triumphs

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    This is what I'm getting now after lots of practice, no threat to the professionals but they don't seem to exist in Vegas so I'm forced to learn...

                    Miller Diversion 165
                    1966 Bridgeport Mill
                    Leblond 15x 35 Regal Servoshift lathe
                    Solberga SE 1425 Drill Press
                    Bigass Bandsaw
                    Hydraulic press
                    small surface grinder
                    Belt sander
                    Tons of grinders and hand tools
                    Knife edge Balancing rollers
                    Heat and AC in the garage

                    Jags and racing Triumphs

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      GT 6, Keep practicing and you will eventually get it, The welds on the pan look okay, You just need to connect the dots.

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