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Aluminum Wheel Welding

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  • #16
    Getting back to the original question:
    - I don't think that this is as big a deal as people make it out to be. Unless you're piecing together stuff that's thoroughly hammered, typically what comes in is something that was usually driveable and leaking, if it didn't let go completely, it' snot going to after you weld it. The bigger issue is to get it clean and find the whole deal that needs to be repaired.
    - I don't see why MIG with a spool gun is _that_ bad. Most multi piece wheels that are welded were welded using mig... I suppose that they are intrinsically unsafe???
    Mark
    (aka: Silverback, WS6 TA, JYDog, 83 Crossfire TA, mpikas, mmp...)
    Synchrowave 180 SD | MillerMatic 211MVP + Spoolmate | Hobart Handler 135 | Everlast Power Plasma 50
    1960 Bridgeport J-head | Grizzly 10x22 | HF bandsaw | Rigid 4.5” angle grinder (+2 cheapie HF ones)
    BFH

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    • #17
      Silver back, I don't agree with you, Back about 12 years ago, Ford Motor company had a problem with tires blowing out.

      If I remember correctly it was the Ford Expedition and I think Fire Stone tires,
      ( Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. ) and they had a issue with tires blowing out and the truck rolling over, It just so happens that my neighbors mom died in one of the roll overs.

      Since it doesn't sound like your a very experienced welder when it comes to dirty aluminum, This might not be the best topic for you to give advise about.

      Regards:

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      • #18
        Somehow I never saw the reply to this years ago, and was searching for something else and ran across this thread, but I'll take the time to reply to the comment on my previous reply:

        Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post
        Silver back, I don't agree with you, Back about 12 years ago, Ford Motor company had a problem with tires blowing out.

        If I remember correctly it was the Ford Expedition and I think Fire Stone tires,
        ( Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. ) and they had a issue with tires blowing out and the truck rolling over, It just so happens that my neighbors mom died in one of the roll overs.
        And? What's your point? You didn't make a connection to anything I said.

        Yes, Firestone tires were blowing out (on Explorers not Expeditions), and Firestone took a lot of heat for it. Ford not so much because they ended up offering to replace the tires. In the end, it was a great example of what the sensationalism of the media added to people's ignorance can do.

        The problem was that Ford specified a lighter duty tire for the vehicles to get a more car-like ride, and as designed they were OK, at the recommended inflation pressure the firestone tires had the load capacity that was needed for the vehicle. The problem is that that vehicle was right in the middle of a market segment that is chronically, almost criminally stupid WRT to maintaining their vehicles, and it was shown that what was happening was that people were driving around at critically low tire pressures, where the tires did not have the safety margin that a heavier duty tire would.

        One thing that could be considered a secondary problem was that Ford built the Explorer on the old Bronco II chassis, which was I believe the second most likely chassis to tip over at the time (I know that the S-10 blazer was the most likely), and when they did it they stuck a bigger, heavier body on that chassis, potentially making it more dangerous, again, in a market segment that typically does not pay attention to these things.

        The problem that this points out is that there is no personal responsibility in this society anymore, and there definitely is no telling someone that your daughter, wife, mother did something stupid (didn't maintain her car, didn't check tire pressure/fill tires) and is now dead because of her negligence, even if that is the truth.

        Yes, Firestone paid a big price especially in reputation for something that they had no real part of, they can't really enforce how their customers use their products, but I don't know that this directly applies to this conversation, and has less to do with my comment even though your response was directed at me.

        Since it doesn't sound like your a very experienced welder when it comes to dirty aluminum, This might not be the best topic for you to give advise about.

        Regards:
        And you assume this why? If nothing else it's a pretty rude statement without knowing more about me, and I don't see anything in my comment that could give you any indication one way or another.

        FWIW, at the time I was doing side work welding up damaged cylinder heads for a machine shop which I got because my work was much better than what they were managing internally and I did it faster, as well as some wheel modification/repair for a local wheel shop when they saw what I had done with a couple of sets of my wheels and we talked about it and my work was better quality with half the turn around than the machine shop they were using for that work at the time (2 different machine shops).

        No, I wouldn't say that I'm the most experienced, besides those 2 stints I have largely avoided this kind of work, but I'd bet that I'm more experienced than a lot of people in this conversation, having specifically welded a lot of dirty aluminum doing both of those tasks.
        Mark
        (aka: Silverback, WS6 TA, JYDog, 83 Crossfire TA, mpikas, mmp...)
        Synchrowave 180 SD | MillerMatic 211MVP + Spoolmate | Hobart Handler 135 | Everlast Power Plasma 50
        1960 Bridgeport J-head | Grizzly 10x22 | HF bandsaw | Rigid 4.5” angle grinder (+2 cheapie HF ones)
        BFH

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        • #19
          I think the connection was the danger of a tire or wheel failure, not that welding on the wheel will cause a failure in the tire. It is possible that welding a leaking wheel can make things worse. It's also possible that it can fix it permanently.

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          • #20
            I think the thing (that Portable was getting at) was the difference between using mig or tig, and knowing how, when you tig, you see all the junk float out as you are welding VS trapping all that crud inside the weld with a mig weld...

            www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
            Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
            MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
            Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
            Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

            Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
            Miller 30-A Spoolgun
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            Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
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            • #21
              I grew up in the Firestone 500 days with the first radials that came apart. I have been welding alum wheels with a mig for more than 38 years. It might not be the preferred way but I have perfected it and have had zero problems. That's all I am saying...Bob
              Bob Wright

              Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
              http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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              • #22
                Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                I grew up in the Firestone 500 days with the first radials that came apart. I have been welding alum wheels with a mig for more than 38 years. It might not be the preferred way but I have perfected it and have had zero problems. That's all I am saying...Bob
                I wrote a really long post about using mig for this and other cast, and how I used to do it all the time at other shops.
                I even mentioned You as an example!
                But when I clicked "post reply".....all that came up was those 2 lines (post #20)
                I'm not sure what I did wrong there
                But I was saying (to myself I guess) is you get into using a process and you have to gain the experience to perfect your craft. I began welding aluminum with mig 39 years ago on outboard motors and fishing boats. They weren't the best looking jobs but they held and people used me.
                About 21 years ago I switched slowly over to tig. It was much easier for me so I stuck with it.
                The best thing mig on cast parts has going for it, is that it is electrode positive. Tons of cleaning action going on there.

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                Miller WC-115-A
                Miller Spectrum 300
                Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                Comment


                • #23
                  I started on boat motors, props also. We had a local boat dealer who brought my dad parts to fix. He got tired of it and I took over. He started in '67 with a then new Westinghouse power source and WestingArc spool gun. Then we got a Miller 200 and Spoolmatic spool gun...Bob
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by wdmack View Post
                    Im a Newbie in both ways "site and welding" , I own a auto repair shop and have always repaired and fixed some bent wheels, lately the guy that welded them for me is just to busy so here I am. I bought a 190 Hobart with spool gun and have welded a few fine but occasionally sometimes I weld one it almost like it just runs from one side you are welding , I know the difference between forged and cast, learned that quickly when straightening them. Is preheating aluminum a necessity , also someone told me about using a piece of cooper under the weld, I don"t get this. Could you guys drop me some tips. Using straight Argon and aluminum wire. Thanks for all the info you guy's can share.
                    When I was a kid, they had this toy.
                    You filled it up with play dough, pushed the handle and out squeezed a shape.

                    Years later, I tour an Aluminum Company that manufactured extrusions.
                    There's this guy, sitting at a machine. One end a crane has set a 20 foot by 10 diameter round continuous pour noodle of Aluminum. The Aluminum is gripped and fed into a circumferential natural gas fired furnace which bring the Aluminum up to a temperature state in the plastic range of deformation. Pushed through at this temperature it's fed into one die, then another, possibly another until it's into it's final shape rolled out hot on to the conveyer to cool.

                    A while later I toured a Cast Iron foundry. They poured liquid metal into a boxed mould. A few minutes or so pass and they break the mould to reveal a red hot pattern. Then they scrape the remaining sand away, place it on another mould in a press and squish. Still surprisingly hot it's removed and set aside to cool.

                    The welding process isn't the problem.
                    The elephant in the room is concerns for mechanical and chemical properties... as I see it?

                    Personally, I'd have no problem welding one up and my selection on process GTAW or GMAW would be one of economics for the repair, knowing they both will apply sound metal if properly set and a proper filler metal is selected meeting or exceeding the existing mechanical or chemical properties.
                    That said, if I was stuck for a ride in an emergency, I'd stick weld the sob to fix it.

                    No, you shouldn't need preheat.
                    But guys will. Especially if the machine is too small for the job....or on the edge. Or to reduce current requirements possibly?

                    Weld stringers. When the material heats up enough to cause the stringers appearance to change stop. While you could cool with air, a lot will depend on the operator, his machine settings, and the process used, if or how often or for how long this may be required regardless of process too control heat input. Usually however, it's take a moment, take a breath, admire you skills and run another stringer.

                    You mention a piece of copper. I'm sure that suggestion was for supporting the molten aluminum during welding as well a chilling strip for heat control. Problem is copper will alloy with aluminum. You could find it welded in place if it's to thin to dissipate heat...?

                    Getting back to my toy story in the beginning. I remember when I first squirted Aluminum wire out of a Cobra head gun hooked to a New Miller invertor. After putting it through the paces I ran a 6" bead along the edge of 10 ga., stopped, lifted my helmet. When the sales man asked me what I thought I said, "as easy as squirting out play dough".

                    I'm not going to suggest I'm the expert on Aluminum wheel repairs. But it's my contribution to the conversation I hope it helps?



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