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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default Aluminum Welding Procedure

    I've spent most of the day putting the intrcooler in & taking it out to find the best spot for it and exactly where to place the inlet tube. I cut the tube to length & got the angle right and got it fitting pretty good, (no gaps). I put a bead on the end with the bead roller so the clamp will hold the boot.

    My question is, what steps { best way to clean, prep, etc. ** would you guys go through to get it ready to weld. My aluminum welding experience is limited. I have some scrap tube I'm going to practice on before I attempt this. After my practicing, if I don't feel comfortable about this I will just tack it in place and get someone else to weld it. BUT, this project has been one first try after another so, I don't want to give up without giving it an honest try. I can get at the back side of the weld. Should I pack the back side with something as a heat sink? Good or bad idea? Should I cap the openings & flood the intercooler with argon? Also, would I be better off to cut the hole in the box slightly bigger so the inlet tube slides inside?

    The box is 1/8" and the tube is 1/16". I've asked the company what type aluminum it is, but they won't give me an answer. I have ER 4043 - 1/16'' & ER5356 - 1/8'' on the shelf. I have done a little aluminum welding, but never anything this thin.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Killingworth,Ct.
    Posts
    372

    Default Wow

    Thats one nice looking welding job!!!!!!!!!Practice,practice,Are you using a gas lens,Thats going to tough on the bottom,and skip around ,cleaner the better,you might have to make some little gussets on the bottom,at least with a gas lense you can stick your tunston out further,thats if you can reach around the bottom of the pipe,,Wish i had the majic answer,get comfortable,and Practic on your other pcs first,,Good Luck,and take your time!,Jack,PS,I woldnt cut the hole bigger,than it will burn threw alot quicker.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    Thanks for the reply Jack. I've been out practicing and I'm feeling pretty good about tackling this. The gusset idea sounds good. I might put some gussets on the sides also. This will all be behind the firewall so appearance isn't an issue. (Other than I'd like it to turn out nice). I purposely burned through one test pc. just to get an idea what the limits are.

    The tube that mounts to it is the one that goes to the pro charger., about 2' long and will have 2 surge valves in it. so a little extra support would be a good thing. They are connected with a rubber boot, and I'll have a floating support point for the tube where it turns toward the pro charger for added support also. I'm going to do some more practice pcs. until I'm comfortable and then . I'll post some pics when I'm done. Here goes' nuttin'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    I should mention I set it up so the bottom of the tube is lined up with the bend in the box. So, I should have good access to the tube all the way around. I'm still going with your gusset idea though just to make it stronger. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    I'm using steel wool to clean up the joint & then wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. Same with the filler rod. Is that the best way to clean?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pro70z28 View Post
    I'm using steel wool to clean up the joint & then wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. Same with the filler rod. Is that the best way to clean?
    AAAAACCCKKKK, keep that steel wool away! You are imbedding little bits of steel in the aluminum that at best will give you orange welds in a couple years, or could induce cracking.

    Stainless brushes or scotchbrite are safe.
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    It's a coincidence you said that. I looked all over the place for the steel wool and couldn't find it. I settled on a scotchbrite pad, and then after I had it tacked I recleaned it after each weld with a stainless brush that came in a small package of aluminum rod I bought from the hardware store. Turns out that package of rod was for Oxy. welding so I never used it.

    Well I got it welded. I really laid the filler rod to it because I was afraid I'd get the puddle too hot and have it fall through. It's not very purdy' up against those factory welds, but I don't have any pinholes and I had good penetration on both sides of the weld. I stayed just a little more on the 1/8'' side and let the 1/16'' side melt into the puddle. I'm thinking the extra filler rod might not be all bad. Might help with support. I still think I'm going to add those gussets though just for insurance.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    Here's a rough mock-up of where it goes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    40 Miles west of Chi Town
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Days gone bye, My ex welding supply shop had Stainless Steel Wool - and that worked great....but I have not seen any in a while.

    A SS Brush will do the job

    If you use scotch brite - make sure you only use that pad on your aluminum

    Alky Or Acetone

    And you can not get aluminum to clean - that goes for the filler rod too.

    My guess is the IC is 3003 - so I would use 1100 filler.

    If you want to make it pretty - brush it again & lay another bead.

    Gussets are ok - but with enough boost the box will expand no mater what - how much they can baloon is amazzin..!
    Rich Pauza

    PAUZA SFD inc
    PAUZASFD.COM & Click The link To Metal Shapers
    HOT RODS with RACE CAR DNA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    vancouver bc
    Posts
    518

    Default

    ive repaired many a broken exploded intercooler and i would use 5356 and gusset the welds there is a reason for this trust me the go boom in side the car and blow the windows out .
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