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Is welding aluminum block possible ?

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Is welding aluminum block possible ?

Ls2 block, piece of outer starter bolt hole broke off due to overtorquing I assume. Can the piece be aluminum welded back on ?
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:30 PM   #2
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I think I've heard of people repairing aluminum blocks. It takes a lot of heat to do aluminum... there's a lot of possiblity for warpage.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:45 PM   #3
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might want to consider making some kind of brace, using the other starter bolts to hold the brace. might be an easier and safer method than welding the block

just my 2cents
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetallicaMatt
might want to consider making some kind of brace, using the other starter bolts to hold the brace. might be an easier and safer method than welding the block

just my 2cents
Theres only 1 other starter bolt hole so i'm not sure what to do. Maybe I could figure out something else .... idk
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:45 AM   #5
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I have seen welding repairs made to aluminum heads for cars, outboard motors, small aircraft (aluminum) engine blocks and aluminum diesel engines. I have never seen it attempted without all parts stripped, and the piece to be repaired cleaned repeatable until its spotless. Usually it is wrapped in thermal blankets with just the area to be welded open to the air, and then it is flooded with excess argon gas and TIG welded.

Oh yeah the welder always tries to get the area to be welded as level as possible, stopping to move the object as needed. I have never seen anyone try an overhead repair. But I have seen some vertical repairs done to stripped bolt holes in the hull where the final drive (connects the transmission to the tracks) bolts to on the aluminum armor on the amphibious tractors that the USMC has, it was a bitch.

I really think it would be best to pull the engine and strip it down it you try to get it welded. If you do that heck rebuild the engine with another block But what the heck do I know? It may be possible for it to be welded in place.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamond Jim
I have seen welding repairs made to aluminum heads for cars, outboard motors, small aircraft (aluminum) engine blocks and aluminum diesel engines. I have never seen it attempted without all parts stripped, and the piece to be repaired cleaned repeatable until its spotless. Usually it is wrapped in thermal blankets with just the area to be welded open to the air, and then it is flooded with excess argon gas and TIG welded.

Oh yeah the welder always tries to get the area to be welded as level as possible, stopping to move the object as needed. I have never seen anyone try an overhead repair. But I have seen some vertical repairs done to stripped bolt holes in the hull where the final drive (connects the transmission to the tracks) bolts to on the aluminum armor on the amphibious tractors that the USMC has, it was a bitch.

I really think it would be best to pull the engine and strip it down it you try to get it welded. If you do that heck rebuild the engine with another block But what the heck do I know? It may be possible for it to be welded in place.
Getting a new block would absolutely suck... it is a brand new block lol no miles
This just pisses me off to no end ....
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:35 PM   #7
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You want to preheat the area to a nominal temperature(not hot enough to warp), and bevel out the piece to go back on. Be sure and get full penetration of the weld and it will be fine. If the weld is just on the surface it will break again. Do not use a spool gun, use a tig. Make sure that you have an actual skilled weldor do the work, and not some hack. This is coming from a guy that has fixed alot of random aluminum, cast and billet.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #8
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In theory, you could fix it in the car. Is it a brand new block that's never been used? What happens with aluminum is......it's actually porus, and over time absorbs oil from the internal parts. You can sprey it with brake parts cleaner, and it looks nice, and clean. But.... put some heat to it, and the oil is drawn out of the pores to the heat source, contaminating the weld, and driving the welder CRAZY!!! If the block's never been used, I'd say it could probably be repaired with a minimum of hassle. If it's been used, then your chances might be 50/50 on doing it IN the car. Sorry
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:40 PM   #9
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A lot of people weld aluminum blocks... Very safe, I've even seen a piston go through the side of a block and they welded it back up (of course the guy was running sleeves). Go for it, but I'd probably have someone who has experience welding on blocks do it.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkdivr
In theory, you could fix it in the car. Is it a brand new block that's never been used? What happens with aluminum is......it's actually porus, and over time absorbs oil from the internal parts. You can sprey it with brake parts cleaner, and it looks nice, and clean. But.... put some heat to it, and the oil is drawn out of the pores to the heat source, contaminating the weld, and driving the welder CRAZY!!! If the block's never been used, I'd say it could probably be repaired with a minimum of hassle. If it's been used, then your chances might be 50/50 on doing it IN the car. Sorry
The block is unused, and has maybe 10 min of runtime . Still havent even tuned it yet. I am still finishing the bodywork as I was painting the ram air hood I got and touching up the fenders and nose. Hopefully it will work out alright. Someone is coming tommorow to fill in the area that broke off and I'll have to re-drill the hole and tap out the threads for the bolt.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:57 AM   #11
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Let us know how it works out! Good luck
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkdivr
In theory, you could fix it in the car. Is it a brand new block that's never been used? What happens with aluminum is......it's actually porus, and over time absorbs oil from the internal parts. You can sprey it with brake parts cleaner, and it looks nice, and clean. But.... put some heat to it, and the oil is drawn out of the pores to the heat source, contaminating the weld, and driving the welder CRAZY!!! If the block's never been used, I'd say it could probably be repaired with a minimum of hassle. If it's been used, then your chances might be 50/50 on doing it IN the car. Sorry
Thats dead on.....Seen an example of both. A used trans case thats a pain in the *** to weld, if you could at all, where the oils been, but the same case you'll be able to repair an ear, where there hasnt been any.
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:35 PM   #13
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TIG on aluminum FTW. I have a little cousin that is a welder by trade. He is still going to school, but his instructor says he is miles ahead of most experienced people. He says he can cut an aluminum can in half and tig it back together. Your block is easily fixable and can be made to be stronger than it was before it broke. Find a reputable welder and talk to them.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:58 PM   #14
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couldnt you just helicoil it?
it would be easier (at least i think so!)
or drill out the threads and tap for a bigger bolt and just drill the starter and shims out bigger then use a bigger bolt

sometimes easier is better
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:59 AM   #15
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if you can get to pa my welding instructor welds aluminum like theres no tomorrow, if i ever needed anything important welded he would be the guy to goto, i thought i knew welding till i saw this guy go at it
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggk
couldnt you just helicoil it?
it would be easier (at least i think so!)
or drill out the threads and tap for a bigger bolt and just drill the starter and shims out bigger then use a bigger bolt

sometimes easier is better
I wish that was an option but as I said part of the threads broke off. The tab coming off of the side of the motor that the outside starter bolt goes into has about 60% of the threads left towards the inside the piece off of the outside i still have and am in the process of getting welded back on. So basically the threads split almost right down the middle. The bolt will still go into the remaining threads but I wouldnt feel safe snugging down the bolt as I wouldnt want to damage threads more. I wanna make sure it's not gonna be an issue later
Thanks
Ron
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrbowtie26
The block is unused, and has maybe 10 min of runtime . Still havent even tuned it yet.
So it is used then?
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:25 PM   #18
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You can weld any part of an alum block. Any part u can get a torch to I meant. I've seen some junk *** crap that came back like new. Fuel motors and Pro-Mod stuff can get really blown up good. It must be done by an expert with experience. Alum is much harder to weld than steel, especially at a load point like that. If done correct, it will be stronger than new, because it will be less porous. Good luck, be careful with big talkers, get someone good.
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:00 PM   #19
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i just had someone weld aluminum transfer case and it came out great
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:20 PM   #20
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Just a FYI in order to weld alum the correct way you need a low freq tig welder. You can not just weld it with any tig welder. Yes you can 100% fix your problem but you have the have the right stuff
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