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Cleaning an ally oil pan for repair

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  • GT6Steve
    started a topic Cleaning an ally oil pan for repair

    Cleaning an ally oil pan for repair

    Greetings,

    One of the main reasons I bought my Diversion was to repair a drysump oil pan damaged in a recent blow-up. As I expected the cracks are seeping synthetic oil everytime heat is applied. I heated the ally last night with a soot guide coat so as to hammer it relatively flat again and hoped it would burn off some contamination.

    Also been spraying electrical contact cleaner into the cracks. Still I'm getting instant black grainy welds. Oh- I did discover why big pieces need preheat;-))

    Any tricks for cleaning cracks available?

  • Portable Welder
    replied
    GT 6, Keep practicing and you will eventually get it, The welds on the pan look okay, You just need to connect the dots.

    Leave a comment:


  • GT6Steve
    replied
    This is what I'm getting now after lots of practice, no threat to the professionals but they don't seem to exist in Vegas so I'm forced to learn...

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  • GT6Steve
    replied
    Leak test indicating solution?

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  • GT6Steve
    replied
    An update on this old thread...

    To practice TIG before attempting to weld the new pan I elected to assault the old pan again and weld in patch panels after cutting out the cracked areas. This is working and my skills (??) are improving. I'm cautiously optomistic here and only have a few small cracks remaining.

    Is there a leak test solution or trick available to mark a leak point? I remember a two part crack spray kit we used to use but that may be a bit much for this stage of repair.

    Leave a comment:


  • topykham
    replied
    What I found to work great minus the wife is a little upset with it. I took out outdoor turkey fryer clean the pot up good. I would boil the pre clean oil pan in the pot with reagular dish detergent. I would repeat this process 2-3 times or when I don't see anymore oil residue in the water. Do a last boil in just plain water to help rinse out the soap. After this then I would debur where I want to weld. This method had worked out for me pretty good.

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  • captkipp
    replied
    Oil pan fix.

    I do it all the time to fuel tanks. Place patches over the holes after cleaning off the corrosion of course and weld 'em on. You MUST be sure the tank is clean of all vapors prior to this process. But I think the OP is building one from scratch.
    You can pre-heat the thicker material to a nominal 300 degrees. Using a temp stick or thermal gun will help you determin the temp of the material. Directing the arc to the thicker base metal and "walking" the weld up onto the thinner plate.
    You'll have to figure out a way to test the seam after welding to ensure it is leak proof. Perhaps water left in it and then set the whole thing on a piece of tattle-tale paper or card board. That way you can quickly assertain if any leaks are present.
    If you are using a DYNASTY machine you can dial up the frequency to something above 200 cps and focus the arc more. That will help with the heat directionallity.

    Oh and look carefully for cracks and stress fractures in 6061 material after bending. This alloy is really prone to cracking when bent.!!
    Last edited by captkipp; 12-01-2012, 03:16 PM.

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  • cope
    replied
    I don't know how this would work for a racing engine, but my cousin dropped an air cooled engine with an aluminum pan, and knocked a hole in the pan. At the time I worked for a tank truck company, and one of the welders simply added a new bottom over the old one and welded it on.

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  • GT6Steve
    replied
    Hi guys!,, I'm back with a fresh approach to this oil pan issue. I didn't want to start a new thread since this existing one demonstrates my level of ignorance.

    I've been working on fabbing a new pan. I have a 12"x24" sheet of 1/2" 6061 for a future flange and some .100 sheet bent into the appropriate shape. Presumed to be 6061-T6. I machined a lip all the way around the weld area for the sheet and drilled for guide holes to cut out the center after welding thinking to discourage warpage.

    On further reflection, being a moron after all, I'm wondering if the massive heat sink of the 1/2" sheet is going to make welding the relatively thin sheet difficult? I could cut out the center section ahead of time and still have a lot of material around the outside for clamping and perhaps resisting the warp? What would a fabricator want to see?

    And another thought, would placing the big alloy sheet on hot plates to prewarm it make any difference at all? How hot would it have to be to make welding easier?

    After my visit to a fabricator this morning where I was essentially told "you're beneath us" I'm thinking I'll have to attempt this myself.

    As always, your advise is both welcomed and heeded...Steve

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  • Portable Welder
    replied
    captkipp has some of it right.

    Clean any oil and grease off with acetone, since its probably an aluminum oil pan which is usually 3/16 thick there isnt much need to vee grove.

    After you clean the pan assuming its off the car or truck, go over the area with a few less amps than what you would normaly weld it at.

    And with the tig torch only go over the area and dont try to weld it. The tig torch will pull the impurities to the top, Then go over that area and crack with the carbide cutter until its shiny clean, Then repeat the process with the tig torch and carbide.

    After 2-3 times of doing this the aluminum is usually fairly clean, when you no longer see the black soot coming out of the aluminum it is now ready to be welded.

    Every time you go into the crack to clean it you will end up vee grooving it so dont pre vegroove as the captain said.

    Note, If the oil pan is still mounted and you spray actone in there dont be surprised when you have a little explosion when you hit it with the tig torch.

    Note, There was also a bulletin about how bad break cleaner is when welding over an area that may still be wet.
    I use acetone and I make sure that its 100% evaporated before I weld in the area.
    Good luck with your repair.

    Leave a comment:


  • SundownIII
    replied
    captkipp,

    LMAO,

    Up here in cold VA, I can't get the cleaners to switch over to aluminum coat hangers.

    Kinda have the same feelings though regarding this oil pan. Chasing cracks is not my cup of tea. Were it mine, it would have been in the dumpster a long time ago and a newly fabbed one would be on the engine.

    Where are you located in the Keys? Spent a fair amount of time in the Keys when I was in grad school at UM. Good friend of mine used to run the Key Largo Dive Center. Edison Irving (runs Strataglas) who's dad owns Pipewelders is also a close friend. Ed (who used to run the Cape May, NJ facility for Pipewelders) used to do most of my tower builds when I was a Bertram dealer for VA & MD (late 80's/early 90's).

    How's business down in the Keys? Sales in the mid atlantic suck, but repair/maintenance work is keeping our yards pretty busy.

    Leave a comment:


  • captkipp
    replied
    5356 v. 4043

    Sundown:

    Just difference in my experience perhaps. I know a lot of welders that never change filler metal. Always use 5356. Cast, 6061, 5052, etc. There are some different thoughts on the subject. Heck the local supply house doesn't even carry stock on 4043. Obviously they know more than I do. I'll temper my input here and say it's my experience and not the normally accepted way to do it. At this point, I'd put the darn thing in the scrap bin, build a new one, weld it up with coat hanger wire and dip it in marine tex to fill the holes.

    Leave a comment:


  • SundownIII
    replied
    Captkipp,

    Question.

    I didn't understand your comment about why 5356 filler and 6061 base metal do not get along. Has that just been your experience or is this documented in some available reference.

    The reason (amongst many) I ask is because I think if you check (pg 42, Miller Tig Handbook) the recommended filler for 6061T6 is 5356. Recommended filler for 6061T4 is 4043.

    I also have done "a little" marine fabrication over the years. Your experience and mine must vary considerably. I use a lot more 5356 filler on the 6061 I use than I do 4043. If the part, rod holders, antenna mounts, etc., will be anodized post welding, 5356 is your only option. 4043 will turn black.

    Are you, in fact, saying that Pipewelders has been "doing it wrong" for all this time?

    What would bother me more about using 5356 for this application, would be the heat the material would be subjected to in this application (oil pan). 5356 doesn't like temps over 165 deg F.

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  • GT6Steve
    replied
    Thanx guys,

    Here's a link to some pics from awhile back.

    http://www.sideways-technologies.co....?m-1259532468/

    This is a sheetmetal pan and I believe it would've been 6061 T6 as we had a lot of that back then. About 1/8" thick.

    Capt. The cracks are tiny and tight and show up after I grind the material smooth usually. I have grooved between the stop holes as you suggested and it doesn't seem to make a difference. Normalizing the alloy DOES seem to help.

    I'm going back to work tomorrow so I'm going to show it to a really superb welder we have there. If I can get him to talk he'll know exactly what I'm doing wrong.

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  • Daniel
    replied
    I see you have a 30 amp spoolgun.The way I do it Is by preheating the crack region with a o/a torch to burn all the oil in there. if the material is only .100 thick I would weld right over the crack then I'll set my spoolgun with er4043 wire at 19 volts and around 400 wire speed it will have full penetration. Try a pass on the same thickness aluminium scrap and do a 3 inch pass and you'll see on the other side it will look like you welded it up on the inside as well. You have to be quick with the pass

    You just have to make sure to burn all the oil out of the crack area before cleaning and grinding.

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