need welding help, search did not help me

Discussion in '<a href=' started by lawnagent, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. lawnagent

    lawnagent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    Hello, everyone. This is my first time on this forum as I am usually on commercial lawn care. I am attempting a repair and am in need of advice. My little nephews 4 wheeler has a crack on one side of the motor housing or casing. Im not sure what the metal type is called but its pretty much used standard on any motor blocks I think. Its not a huge crack, probably closer to a hairline crack, but a tad bigger. Needless to say it will not hold oil right now. I have it off the floor and the oil drained so that the crack can be cleaned of oil before attempting a repair. How do I go about this. I do not weld, but have 2 friends that are fairly decent at it. But they say that I have to have a special type of welding machine to do it. Other mechanics have suggested sanding the area to rough it up and use some 2 ton epoxy. Still other mechanics have said the dreaded JB WELD stuff. HELP:( I really appreciate any advice you all can give me. Thanks.
  2. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Probably aluminum, if not its cast. Epoxy most likely wont hold long on an atv, too much stress. Take it to a good welding shop, better yet, order a new one from your dealer. It ain't worth the aggravation.
  3. lawnagent

    lawnagent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    Well that poses a problem. The ATV is an IPC. They went out of business last year. :D So there are no Deakler parts available. That forces me to try and repair this one.:(
  4. mbopp

    mbopp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Sounds like a candidate for TIG welding. In a nutshell, TIG uses an arc flooded by an inert gas without a wire feed. Metal is added as in gas welding or the base metals can be fused without a filler rod. Yes, a special setup. If you find a welding repair shop they should have a TIG machine.
  5. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Messages: 457

    I might add that Aluminum or magnesium does not weld good at all if it has had oil on it . The material is porous , if you take it to a shop , the part will have to be off the machine , and clean , and I mean super duty **** and span clean , I ve been through this many times , I would look under every nook for a new part .
  6. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    Just a side note - last year at a local flea market I saw a guy welding aluminum with a propane torch and a set of these rods that he was selling. I stood and watched for a good 10 minutes -all the while thinking of a time like this - when welding an engine block might be critical. I didn't have the $25 on me to buy the stuff at the time and I never caught up with the guy again (maybe this year!?!). wish I had bought it though. BTW this guy and his stuff looked totally legit - no snake oil BS. Anyone know about this technique - seems it may be just what's needed here?
  7. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    I don't have experience with aluminum welding myself (I work for a company that does structural steel & miscellaneous metals for the most part, all steel) but I do know it isn't the easiest stuff to work with.

    I won't discount the propane torch/rods that Jason Pallas mentions, but I'd be hesitant of trying it out on an engine block especially if you've never done aluminum work before. TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas, also called "heliarc") is the preferred method of aluminum welding for repairs of that nature, and requires the specialized equipment your friend mentioned. The process is similar to gas welding but a tungsten electrode is used to produce the arc and filler rod is fed into the molten pool. The "inert gas" is used to shield the weld puddle from the atmosphere during welding.

    As far as the oil goes, I just had a small crack on my bike's primary case TIG welded and I cleaned it as well as I could beforehand, the fellow who did the work explained that the bit of oil still left would burn off when he preheated the metal. Same should apply to your engine block.

    BTW, I had originally tried the epoxy approach on my primary case but it didn't hold up, and it doesn't get as hot or see the pressure your engine would so I wouldn't advise the epoxy repair.
    The more you can disassemble the engine the better for both welding and subsequent clean-up.
  8. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I have had lots if bikes over the years and it never fails sooner or later the chain flies off and takes a chunk out of something. My son has started another generation of this recently. He had the chain come off the 4 wheeler and broke a small hole in the case about 1/2 the size of a dime. Of course it would be extremely expensive and time consuming to split the engine to repair it. We used a two part epoxy to seal the hole, it has been working fairly well but it is real low pressure too so that helps. I think it was JB weld that we used for it again it has to be as clean as possible. We used a propane tourch to burn the oil off the case to make sure it sticks. I had a 3 wheeler that had epxoxy on it for 3 years before all the rest of the machine fell apart and we sold it.
  9. micromike

    micromike LawnSite Member
    from SW/PA
    Messages: 38

    Is there a chance you don't have the correct wire for the steel you are welding? Just a thought.

    A friend borrowed my Century Mig to weld a spiral staircase he was installing on a job. It wouldn't work for him at all. No penatration, ugly welds etc. I thought the welder may have been damaged in transport or something but when I got it home it worked fine. It does an exceptional job with flux core wire. I think maybe he didn't have a good ground. At least this has been the problem for me when I had similar problems. I always grind a spot and have the ground as close to the weld as possible. Make sure your ground cable and clamp is not corroded/dirty/oily. When I switched to a magnetic ground clamp with stronger spring on the clamp, this also seemed to help avoid some of the problems you are talking about. Don't mean to insult your intelligence if you already know all this but my biggest problems usually seem to be related to a bad ground.
  10. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    Hey Lawnagent, give me a call, or write me direct.

    Kids bike for your kid, NOT FOR YOU TO SELL AFTER IT IS FIXED, I will work with you to get it done.

    I also work quite a bit with bikes so am very familiar with them.

    It will need to be TIG welded, which I am set up to do, and familiar with MC engine case welding.

    Absoulutely spotless and that still may not be clean enough! We can look at it together and decide what is the best route to go.

    I am in Clarksville, TN on I-24 right on the KY / TN line.

    The propane torch stuff is available from some of the AC repair houses such as CC Dixon. I am sure I saw it at Johnstone supply. It works ok, then again so does a Dillon or Henrob torch when you watch them Demo it.

    It is kind of like the guy with the Shopsmith at the mall. It all looks so darn easy when he is doing it, he does all these wonderfull things and changes that machine around effortlessly. Then you get home and wonder how the heck he did all that.

    Call or e-mail if you would like. I am seldom on this forum

    Alan Bechard

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