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Thread: Welding cases

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
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    4,313

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    Sorry Folks,...

    All the TIGmeisters thoroughly experienced with vintage castings are dead.
    Or close...

    Younger masters know better than to try.

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  2. #12

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    Well I was given hope by the last guy that worked on my engine, when he told me that his welder would chemically clean the cases and then lazer weld them, the advantage being that lazer welding only heats a tiny area and doesn't warp the cases. But to this day I have no idea what welding he did for the 5k that he charged me! Does anyone on here know about Lazer welding ?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
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    4,313

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivor View Post
    Well I was given hope by the last guy that worked on my engine, when he told me that his welder would chemically clean the cases and then lazer weld them, the advantage being that lazer welding only heats a tiny area and doesn't warp the cases. But to this day I have no idea what welding he did for the 5k that he charged me! Does anyone on here know about Lazer welding ?
    Ivor!

    We now know it is expensive, but please tell us if the welding survived duty?

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
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    4,166

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    There are many good welders out there, and Indian cases were by far a better alloy than used on post Detroit Hendersons. Unfortunately, the 4 cylinder business has been populated by many crooks, fakes, and phonies and it is such a travesty that those bastards chose motorcycles to ply their nefarious trade. I have had more than a few Hendersons, and Indian 4's but I have always done my own machine work, and have been fortunate to know talented welders. I believe there are still many young, sophisticated, and knowledgeable welders who will go to great lengths to do quality work. As Eddie Settle used to tell me; 4 cylinder motor work is not brain surgery. Use common sense, and standard machine practice. I am so sorry that you have had such a bad experience, Ivor. I had a Henderson KJ that was like that, and it was the most miserable motorcycle I have ever owned. I don't necessarily blame Schwinn for that, but after so many decades of mis-use, and fu*Ced-up repairs, I became the beneficiary of all that cumulative abuse. I think you do need to rid yourself of that demon, but you should pass on a good repair, or at best; a full disclosure to the next owner.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    8

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    My name is Terry and I am pretty new around here. I owned a welding/job shop for 35 years and we specialized in broken and rusted car frames but in 35 years I welded an awful lot of motors and transmission and cast aluminum. The number one enemy in motor cycle parts is oil and grease that has contaminated the aluminum and has soaked in the pores for years. My main reason for posting this for the gentlemen overseas who's welder is having contamination problems, and thinks it is the alloy, when it is more than likely the grease and oil. So being I am retired and I am no help to you to weld it start by taking your casings, getting them clean as possible, because most welding shops do not have the facility to clean it as it should be. Transmission shops have hot tanks that does a pretty decent job of cleaning this stuff. After getting the parts back from the local transmission shop I would take a propane torch and I would go over the spots that I was going to weld and you can watch that area turn wet as the oil would actually burn out of the pores and you would be surprised after the through cleaning how much oil comes out of the metal, even on stuff that has been glass beaded. When you start welding and establish a puddle, life Is good, add a drop of welding rod every thing gets black, it is not clean enough, you go, this is not sticking, you are not clean enough. These new welding machines are what they call a square wave machine. When you are tig welding aluminum you are using AC current, AC current goes up and down, These new square wave machines the current goes down, over and back up, like a box. This is a self cleaning mode. The more clean you put on the dial, the less penetration you have on your weld and the young guys will put more clean on the dial , that's fine if you are welding across a sheet of aluminum because that square current is pushing the dirt ahead of the weld which in a casting that is not flat or not in a hole it has no place to put the dirt but back into your weld. So once you have a dirty weld and you bridge over it everything keeps getting worse. So all you can do Is grind it out and start over. So my suggestion is to clean this and use a propane torch and get the part spotless before you take it to your welding shop. Just my two cents..... Terry

  6. #16

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    Thankyou Terry for sharing your knowledge and experience, I hope it will help anyone embarking on this sort of project . Thank-you for explaining the new welding machines, it makes sense to me now. I must admit that when the engineering shop told me that they could have the cases 'lazier welded' it left me wondering, if it was that easy, why it was not used as a wide spread and well known solution ?
    Ivor.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    285

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    You had a bad deal by the sound of that. Too bad it is fouling your Indian 4 enthusiasm. Yes, you never know what is next, like mine ran for four years then suddenly, blew a hole in no 4 piston. The others were good so I put it down to porosity and so far with the new piston no problem so far. Blowing the piston was a crazy experience on the freeway because when you had to pull a hill, the fuel charge was detoning in the crankcase and blew the oil and dipstick to kingdom come. The dipstick is still on its way to mars year six now. BTWay, if the tooth was still missing in the bevel drive that caused the case to split apart inially. the broken bevel gear was reinstalled and you had to renew it? Otherwise how would you know the missing tooth broke the cases?. Joe
    Joe AMCA# 3435

  8. #18

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    Hi Cotten, I'm sorry, but I can't tell you ! When I got the cases back from the second welder about a year ago, they had not welded two parts that had a dodgy looking welding job done years ago, the front right engine mount flange and the bridge that supports the crankshaft between the flywheel and the bevelled gear. The engineer told me that he could Lazer weld those parts and after 3 months he sent me a bill that I paid straight away, it was only months later that he told me that it wasn't necessary to weld those parts, but he has never told me what welding was done if any !! However, from what Terry tells us, Lazer welding is not suitable for this type of job anyway.
    Ivor.

  9. #19

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    Hi Joe, Yes the motor was rebuilt with a tooth missing, but I got a matched pair from Gerry. What I like about your story is that you ran the shafts out of true and it works ! Where as so many folk nowadays just 'fit new' without testing the boundaries.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    202

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    on my 1939 Four I had several spots of the cases laser-welded:

    the pictures show 3 examples:

    - a partial crack on top of the flywheel casting which had been repaired with metal glue in the past
    - torn out threads
    - worn surfaces on the engine mount platforms

    My upper case was not welded in the past and had some minor issues like the things shown. I have good experience with laser-welding mostly for smaller damages/cracks where a common weld repair would cause a lot of extra machining after the welding as the parts deform from the added heat/energy.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by gsottl; 09-19-2018 at 06:11 PM.

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