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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    836

    Default Worst Aluminum Casting EVER!!

    Well,
    I thought I had seen some garbage in the past, but a co-worker asked me to weld up a broken intake manifold for a OHV Tecumseh engine. It looked to be a low pressure die-cast part made from melted down Chinese kids toys. I swear it had more entrapped gas bubbles then actual metal.....hmmm maybe it floats? Anyway it had the typical broken off mounting ears from the engine being dropped. Put the parts in the ultrasonic for 15 min, wire brushed, the whole 9 yards. Typical Tig setting on my 300....and poof! Wow, what a mess, this isnt going to work. The metal gasses so much it just contaminates everything in a couple seconds. Ok put the Tig away, grab the torch. Flux everything up, same 3/32 4043 filler....yeah now we are getting somewhere. It was amazing to watch the base metal actually "deflate" as I welded. Not drop down...but actually shrink! Amazing how much filler was used...and not much of a bead when I was done. Long story short, the part was saved, and I have a new reguard for how bad Tecumseh castings were at the end of the companys life!

    -Aaron
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,681

    Default

    Aerometalworker,
    I'm not familiar with your clening process.

    I always clean the outside as you have done, But then I get the tig torch out and run over the weld crack to bring up the contaminants and follow it with a carbide to clean the surface.
    I keep doing so untill the black contamination no longer comes out.
    I then grab the filler rod and weld it.

    I would be worried if gas welding let me weld over it trapping the contamination inside.

    However I've never welded alum. with a gas torch so hopefully it baked it out as you welded.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    836

    Default

    PW,
    Oh trust me its not welded over! If anything the OA weld has better penetration, and the grunge floats out much easier. You can actually stir the weld pool with the filler, and if there is a big hunk, use a puddling iron to get it out of the molten pool. I weld aluminum castings all the time, from antique engines to modern prototypes, but this material is just garbage! If anything its the Tig that tends to cover up crud, ive ground into so many "pretty" looking welds on cast aluminum only to find entrapped gas, crud, and who knows what else. Plus the flux with torch welding acts as a de-gassing agent.
    Neat process, try it sometime!
    -Aaron
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

    Miller Dynasty 300DX
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
    Miller Millermatic Passport

    Miller Spot Welder
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    Smith, Meco, Oxweld , Cronatron, Harris, Victor, National, Prest-o-weld, Prest-o-lite, Marquette, Century Aircraft, Craftsman, Goss, Uniweld, Purox, Linde, Eutectic, and Dillon welding torches from 1909 to Present. (58 total)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Akron,Pa
    Posts
    152

    Default

    so dose it float?
    Dylan

    RED BIRD WELDING

    "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes"

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,681

    Default

    Aerometalworker,

    What I have found is contamination burried in pockets when alum. is mig welded.

    When I come across bad tig welded jobs I find the dirt mixed into the puddle.

    Ive never seen gas welded aluminum.

    Gas welding sure would be nice for a field application instead of hauling my dynasty out to the job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    First Aluminum I ever welded was with O/A.

    I don't remember any flux.?

    Got a name for the flux you used???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    836

    Default

    I used Esab Allstate #35 flux. The old books say its not required for castings, but it is helpful. This was just a garbage casting, with no previous welding done to it. When I machined it back flat the weld was 100% solid, and the rest of the base metal was very....swiss cheese like. I had to re-surface the other end as well due to a careless owner scraping the gasked off with what looks to have been a small hatchet. When I machined the unwelded face....it was full of entrapped gas bubbles as well! Just garbage! I normally use my Tigs though, but the field portability of a pair of tanks Im guessing would be very helpful. Give it a shot!
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

    Miller Dynasty 300DX
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    Miller Millermatic Passport

    Miller Spot Welder
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    Smith, Meco, Oxweld , Cronatron, Harris, Victor, National, Prest-o-weld, Prest-o-lite, Marquette, Century Aircraft, Craftsman, Goss, Uniweld, Purox, Linde, Eutectic, and Dillon welding torches from 1909 to Present. (58 total)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I can relate. I was a pipe welder making these Crude tankers for out west. (all alum) The company I worked for employed these cheap Made in China 4" elbow castings that would have F.O.'s in them. Little Oxidzed bubles and alot like a black rubber material?. I gota say it blew my mind when we tested these sch:40 elbows Would you believe that we had Multiple **** hair leaks comming out of the castings. WOW I could not believe it, cheap out more cut it off and get another made in China Cr@p! Waste of time I.M.O. I remeber when I had to do a minor repair on a leak through the casting was about 1/4' away from my weld on the casting so. I made my gauging run (air tool) nice and clean go to start the fix up and WOW ALL **** Breaks lose I get black crap and OMG Were did this cr@p come from? So I gauge out and clean and try again... Seems like its oil or something comming from the inside cast because my elbow joint was fine but anything off in the cast was Dirty. In the end I cut it off and brought it to the packy guy who is in charge of buying the materials and give him a piece of my mind. Sorry guys I hate doing rework because of cheap products. I refuse to buy in china!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by max_winner1 View Post
    So I gauge out and clean and try again... Seems like its oil or something comming from the inside cast because my elbow joint was fine but anything off in the cast was Dirty. In the end I cut it off and brought it to the packy guy who is in charge of buying the materials and give him a piece of my mind. Sorry guys I hate doing rework because of cheap products. I refuse to buy in china!
    What happened after you chewed out the guy in charge of buying??

    Get him fired or what??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Naw im no expert. The expert would have just thrown this part out. When we section our die castings at work they dont look like this, my guess was tecumseh was using whatever alloy was cheap, and skimping on the degassing agents or something. There wasnt even much zinc in it. Once in a while when welding on an old sand casting I have hit a pocket of sand....boy is that interesting! If you keep the puddling irons at about a "black" heat, you can carefully dig the crud out of the molten weld pool and float it off. Pre-war harley cases are prone to this. Modern castings are in general really nice, well except what we get from china.....
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

    Miller Dynasty 300DX
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
    Miller Millermatic Passport

    Miller Spot Welder
    Motor-Guard stud welder

    Smith, Meco, Oxweld , Cronatron, Harris, Victor, National, Prest-o-weld, Prest-o-lite, Marquette, Century Aircraft, Craftsman, Goss, Uniweld, Purox, Linde, Eutectic, and Dillon welding torches from 1909 to Present. (58 total)

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