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welding aluminum

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  • welding aluminum

    well i didnt plan on it but id like to modify my oil pan for better clearence. i have a miller maxstar 150stl (dc). some people tell me i cant weld aluminum at all and some tell me i can weld thick aluminum only. the oil pan is about 1/8 inch thick (maybe alittle thicker). is that too thin to weld with a dc tig?

  • #2
    The real problem you'll have is getting the pan liquid tight, using dcen. If you were just doing a structural weld and apperance was not an issue dc AL works well.



    • #3
      welding an aluminum oil pan

      DC on al might work if everything is super sterile, etc. etc.
      If you have an oxy/acet torch in the shop that would give you a much nicer weld.
      What alloy is the pan made of?
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      • #4
        im nor exactly sure what alloy it is. its a cast piece from a ls1 engine. i may just tack it together and have a local shop do it but i hate paying people to do something i could do with the right tools.


        • #5
          welding on cast parts form manufactures life ford. gm, dodge is not a good idea. they have some of the worts casting tolerances for cracks and variance in thickness. i build custom auto parts every day so what i would do is get come sheet metal and fab a new one (better quality and u get what u want.)
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          • #6
            The pan material is most likely a356 cast, and as long as you clean it properly and remove the oil you should be able to modify it with oxy-fuel welding. As far as dc tig, stay away from the thin stuff.

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            • #7

              maxstars arent for aluminum, sorry,


              • #8
                i hate paying people to do something i could do with the right tools.
                as said befor, you dont have the right tool for the job, the dynasty would be the one for this job. unless you have O/A as also stated. cast aluminum is bad enough, add to that its an oil pan and it just gets worse. i would go for it with an AC TIG but not DC only.
                FWIW: i had the aluminum oil pan on my mercadies 450 welded up and the $$ was not too bad if memory serves me corectly. odds are it wont be as bad as you think, probly just a shop minimum charge.
                good luck
                thanks for the help
                hope i helped
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                • #9
                  Campus guy, I have welded on broken transfer cases, motorcycle cases, and oil pans by using Aluminum SMAW rod, DCRP, it does a good job of blowing off the AlOxide and seems to work on dirty stuff, as in something that has had oil on it, better than TIG sometimes does. Clean with a good degreasing solvent like Purple Power, it is very Alkaline, to dissolve grease, it will eat through thin aluminum in a matter of a few days [ I left some in a paint gun that was diluted 1:5 over a weekend and it ate holes in the cup]. Wash in water, Make sure you preheat to help burn off residual oil,use a stainless brush or Scotchbrite abrasive after you have cleaned with a solvent,[ make sure the brush/Scotchbrite has not been used on any thing but AL] then reclean with solvent. Use paper towels as they will not have grease or other junk on them like rags can. Each time you stop welding, you will have to knock the slag off the weld and the rod tip, the rods burn very fast and slag up on the tip when welding is stopped, so if you try to restart without cleaning the tip, you will bend the rod and break off flux and ruin the rod. After welding, clean all slag big time, with hot water and brush, as it will cause later corrosion. Cleanliness is the key here. Welding in small sections on opposite sides of the pan will help you not to overheat and collapse the metal . Good Luck, hope this helps, Paul
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