I've been working on a set of aluminum cylinder heads, had them ported and reworked, ready to reassemble and last minute decided "I'll just cut a little more out around the valve guides...." Arg, I knew better. I broke through the water jacket right next to one of the exhaust valve guides as soon as I started cutting that one (looks like mostly a case of core shift, maybe a little corrosion in the passages).
I had to weld the decks on these heads also, and used a TIG, but it would be very difficult if not impossible to TIG in this spot. If I stick the torch head in through the chamber side, it practically blocks all the access from that side, I can't even see what I'm doing, and I can't feed the wire from the exhaust port side because the guide is blocking it.
Since I have a spool gun for my Miller 211, I'm tempted to try to use it to repair it and build up that spot a little bit. Is there any chance of it working? Any suggestions what to try?
I can clean the front face (right now it's just the rough cut finish that you get with a carbide burr, maybe a little contamination from the cutting lube which should clean off fairly easily), but I can't touch the back side at all- the hole is about 1/8" around and I can't see it through any of the coolant holes in the head.
I think that the 211 might have enough power to do it (if I was just welding on the deck I'd be worried about it, but this is a pretty thin spot, obviously if I broke through), I'm actually wondering if the thinness might be a problem for the MIG.
My plan was:
- clean with brake clean
- clean with acetone
- clean with oxalic acid or stainless brush to remove any oxidation
- Preaheat (not sure what temp or if I should at all, since the only good place I have to preheat is in the kitchen or on the deck and I have to carry the head about 100' to the garage to weld it I figure if I'll probablby get everything setup, preheat to maybe 50* higher than I'm shooting for and go). I've been researching tonight and it seems that most cylinder head repairs say 200*-400*F helps, so barring any better suggestions I'll probably preheat to somewhere between 300-400* and hope to be >250 while welding.
- not sure if I want to cover it up with a blanket or something after welding
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07-27-2014, 09:09 PM #1
MIG Welding an Aluminum Cylinder Head???
Last edited by Silverback; 07-27-2014 at 09:24 PM.Mark
(aka: Silverback, WS6 TA, JYDog, 83 Crossfire TA, mpikas, mmp...)
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