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Tig welding cast aluminum motorcycle engine heads

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  • Tig welding cast aluminum motorcycle engine heads

    Looking for help in sizing a tig machine to repair surface defects on motorcycle engine heads , before milling, and broken tabs on casings. Thinking a 200 A machine I don’t want to preheat unless necessary. Is this adequate or would 250a be a better choice?

  • #2
    Bigger always gives you more flexibility in your work. If you’re looking at welding heavy aluminum, an inverter machine will also be helpful. The ability to adjust your frequency down on heavy parts is your friend. Being able to adjust the frequency up to narrow the bead is also quite helpful. That being said, heavy cast aluminum has been welded just fine on old 60hz transformer machines for a million years now.

    But my vote is bigger.

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    • #3
      From what I've heard, 200A would probably be a little undersized, but I haven't tried it myself. Aluminum is really good at sucking the heat out of your weld.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tinker tom View Post
        Looking for help in sizing a tig machine to repair surface defects on motorcycle engine heads , before milling, and broken tabs on casings. Thinking a 200 A machine I don’t want to preheat unless necessary. Is this adequate or would 250a be a better choice?
        A 200 amp machine will be marginal, at best.
        And I've done a bunch of this.

        Griff

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        • #5
          why no pre heat Tom

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          • #6
            Generally speaking , if preheating , what would be the difference in amperage needed . Example If 250 A would do the job unheated What might it take if preheated To 250 degrees f . Thanks

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            • #7
              You’re gonna have to pour the heat to it right off because you’re starting cold and it all depends on how big of whatever it is your welding on. Preheat just gives you an advantage, a head start, warms things up and things expand where they want to. When you’re welding cast aluminum, you want all the advantage you can get. Even if you have a 400amp machine, preheat is a good idea on a lot of aluminum parts.

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              • #8
                A 250 amp machine, minimum. My Sync 250 goes up to 300 amps. It doesn’t have enough guts on really heavy weldments sometimes.

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                • #9
                  What Ryan said above...........depends on what part of the casting your welding on........and how thick and extensive it is........Big castings , Big heat sink, Big amperage.........Pre-heat is your friend so that you can get started quickly mixing metal..........and if the weld zone is large , you may have to move around the casting so it doesn't get overheated in thinner areas or even stop and pause.......on the flip side I've had to run a small propane torch on the opposite side just to marginally keep the heat from escaping....while making sure i'm not taking away the shielding gas............Helium gas can also be used to raise the temperature...

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