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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to do a bunch of welding on my subframe and adding the brembo style rear brake hanger with the tab on the inside of the swingarm. Will I need to have these parts heat treated for strength once I have welded them together? The aluminum is all 6061.
 

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you won't need the parts heat treaded. 6061 ally is machine grade. so it is the same stuff they use to make all your billet ally things. i would be a tad cautious about welding things onto your swing arm tho. i'd imagine they would be built to a fairly tight spec. heating it will cause a stress point. i'd at the very least keep a VERY close eye on it after the opperation. also make sure your not welding to anything that is cast. casting isn't that great to weld to and generally doesn't work unless done by someone who really knows their stuff. and i think even in the case of ally, for strength is better done with an arc welder. good luck with it all. :) :)
 

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Yep, no worries with the subframe. I wouldn't be neverous about the swinger either, only because the heat is only going to be in a small area and isn't likely to cause any heat related warpage or anything of that sort. Have fun:thumbup
 

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I brought mine to a reputable shop to get van's caliper slider welded up...its the nicest looking weld on the entire bike! :dowhat
 
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Thanks Guys, I have the same rear brake by Van so i just thought i would see what everyone thought!! My Fabricator makes Foes Racing downhill bikes for a living so i would assume he's thinking of the stuff he does and i'm sure a newly welded downhill bike needs some sort of heat treating to keep up with 10" inches of travel!!

 

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sweet bikes :hail
 

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Should be all good, that grade of Ally is pretty easy to work, for distortion onthe swingarm try and keep it all bolted together to stop it moving around.
 

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6061 cooling as billet or extrusion naturally is slow enough to achieve a T-6 temper. So generally it's not additionally heat treated, and it's pretty safe to weld to. The subframe, both extruded and cast pieces (yes, the ends are cast), are probably welded, could be TIG (which is probably best but harder to automate) or the newer MIG for aluminum (which shoots aluminum wire and works quite well via robots) and cool naturally, without being annealed, stress-relieved, or tempered at all. If they were, it would be for the bending of the extrusion rather than for the welding. They probably just weld and leave it, and you probably can too. I had a shop weld Vandriver's tail-raisers onto the cast part of the subframe ends with TIG , and it seems to have worked just fine, though I should shut up 'cause it's too early to tell (hasn't been used yet LOL). But 6061 welds great, and you can weld it and leave it.
 

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yeah, i plan to get my cracked headstock tig'd up by a local guy who makes thermocouplings

i had my old CBR repaired the same way with no heat-treating and it was fine


ooooh, man those FOES bikes are still the bomb
can he knock one up cheap for me?!?? :laugh
 
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fimp-bikes said:
ooooh, man those FOES bikes are still the bomb can he knock one up cheap for me?!?? :laugh
Thats funny i said the same thing to him and he laughed in my face, and said the 2:1 DHS which is mainly what he welds
(does other models as well) retails for $3399 for just the frame and swing arm:coocoo . Some of these downhill bikes cost
as much as my TLS did new:laugh It's a shame they paint them because in raw form they look sic. The welds are so perfect .
I cant wait to show you guys the welds he is laying on my bike right now!!! I excited for the bead how pathetic:)
 

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Great welding is artwork, imo. I visited a company in CT that mfr's medical tools with surgical stainless earlier this year (I forget what exact grade of SS)... the welds were :drool perfect.
 

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With yeller_twin on one post.
Hard to imagine CO2 in the gas for TIG aluminium, makes a right mess. Straight Argon for domestic TIG welding makes a good job.
 

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Jota81 said:
With yeller_twin on one post.
Hard to imagine CO2 in the gas for TIG aluminium, makes a right mess. Straight Argon for domestic TIG welding makes a good job.
Agree. CO2 is for shooting wire w/ MIG on steel.
 

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Dang, guess I'm a farmer or garage hack :laugh Hey Yeller -Is that a farm house in one of those pics I see?? :laugh

OK guys, since there are a bunch of pros reading this, lets say I'm building an aluminum frame for a bike (for a TL engine). What is a good durable grade of aluminum that will mostly flex without cracking and resist bending?

So MIG is shit for aluminim? (obviously I fit in the garage hack category) Can I make it hold and look pretty with MIG if I try hard? I been told I lay a strong bead for someone who is lost. Should I use TIG and Argon... I have used it once in pipfitting with brass but I have no access to a setup anymore.
 

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Fixin' a mistake.......

Welding cast aluminum is just the same as welding drawn aluminum. Straight argon will work just fine. Helium is used for higher current carrying abilities, but you need more of it due to it's lightness. TIG welding is definately the best fusing method. MIG is just ugly on alumiun and Stick welding aluminum is reserved for farmers and garage hacks.

Nothing I have welded on was treated after I welded on it. Right or wrong, it's mine and I do with it what I want. There are many ways to heat treat Aluminum and its hard to say which way Suzuki went without a cross section and a metallurgist. The mechanical properties of any heat treated material will change when subjected to the temps you see during welding. Any time I tried a tensile test on a welded 6061AL specimin, it failed in and around the weld. Not due to porisity or weld defects, just altered base material and mechanical properties changing. I say do what you want, you'll know soon enough if you chose right or wrong.

FYI, mines held up fine for the past two seasons. My frame, tank, subframe and swingarm have been welded on and no side affects so far. She sure lookes purty this way though.

Whoring alert.....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6.../swingarm4.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6.../swingarm3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...0/DCP01072.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...hesini80/5.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...hesini80/6.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ni80/Frame.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ing 06/2.jpg
 

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chucks_net said:
Dang, guess I'm a farmer or garage hack :laugh Hey Yeller -Is that a farm house in one of those pics I see?? :laugh

OK guys, since there are a bunch of pros reading this, lets say I'm building an aluminum frame for a bike (for a TL engine). What is a good durable grade of aluminum that will mostly flex without cracking and resist bending?

So MIG is shit for aluminim? (obviously I fit in the garage hack category) Can I make it hold and look pretty with MIG if I try hard? I been told I lay a strong bead for someone who is lost. Should I use TIG and Argon... I have used it once in pipfitting with brass but I have no access to a setup anymore.
6061 is a good AL choice for most applications. It's readily weldable and easy to machine.

MIG welding AL can be done, but the appearance of the weld is always less than desireable. You have to move fast and you have no control once you start, unless you have a remote amp control. The problem with AL is its thermal conductivity. As you weld, the entire peice heats up. As the work heats, it takes less current to achieve the penetration you need. THis is where TIG is the best choice, especially when approaching the end of your weldment. You can back off the current and decrease the amount of heat put into the work. MIG, you just pick a voltage and go to town, no control and no way to turn down the heat as you move.

Can you stick it together? Yes. If I were building an aluminum frame, I would go with TIG. Just so I can control my welds and they look partially intelligent when I am done. I hate the way an aluminum MIG weld looks. The puddle cools so fast it leaves these nasty ripples, well look at your TL frame and you will see what I mean. Plus, the MIG operation always leaves spatter around the weld that has to be taken off. It's just nature of the beast.

If you want some good reading on the subject, check out Millers TIG book. http://www.millerwelds.com/education/tools/basket.php?action=A&id=170555&qty=1
ASM also offers many books on welding that will take you far beyond what you need to know just to lay down a bead. But I think the best way to troubleshoot a problem is to know as much about the subject as possible.

Yes, I'm a farm boy and yes I have seen SMAW (stick welding) rods for aluminum. Never tried one and I cannot imagine the results being very desireable. The shielding affect of flux is not the same as a good gas shield.
 

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When you TIG you have to add filler metal with another rod, often a tricky figure-8 stitch motion with the gun in one hand, and a dip-dip with the rod in the other.

When you MIG, the added filler metal acts as its own electrode. No fancy motion, just pull the trigger and move at a very steady rate. In reality, the arc often strikes and breaks repeatedly and very fast, looking continuous, and you can tell a lot just by the sound, whether it's crackling or just a continuous burn. So even without remote current control, you get some current control via the wire feedrate. What's nice about MIG is that it's pretty consistently repeatable; once it's set up right you can just go and go. The downside is that you can't alter things mid-weld easily. There's less technique needed, but less technique allowed?

And if you want to weld your frame with MIG or TIG, you'd better have a welder the size of a small car to do continuous welding on thick aluminum. OK I exaggerate, but the guy next door has an enormous TIG in his garage for working with stainless, a true artisan, but he can't weld thick aluminum with it because his house supply from the power line on the pole won't supply enough current at that higher voltage, just not enough amps in the residential supply line. Aluminum not only sinks heat, it conducts electricty really well. But yes, ultimately a hell of a lot of the power ends up as heat spread all throughout the part.

BTW sometimes you see TIG adapaters for stick welders. Gas solenoid valve, high-freq converter, etc... I saw one in Trading Times built specifically for my big old Miller stick welder, but it was sold before I called.
 

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cyclecamper said:
I can't get any of your pic links to work.

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My posting skills are up to date. An admin made a mistake, I copied it from a PM and replied again. Looks like the forum shortened the address and that's why they don't work.

MIG does not always work on the short arc technique. Turn up the voltage and you will achieve globular transfer, then spray transfer. Each sucessufully adding more heat and deeper pentration to the weldment. You cannot always just go strike and arc and go with MIG. As your work heats, it takes less and less energy to achieve the molten state. So as you move along, you must either back off your current or stop and let the work cool. That's the down side to MIG. With TIG, you can run a weld indefinately as the control is right at your foot. Torch control is not too complicated once you get the hang of it. Just like any welding technique, there is a learning curve. Practice makes perfect.

Don't let the size of a welder fool you. An old transformer machine will weigh 300-400 lbs, but an inverter machine under 100 lbs will blow it away in outright capacity and adjustability. Technology is a glorious thing.

1/4" aluminum and above is a task better suited for MIG welding. A water cooled torch and one hell of a power supply is needed to heat thick AL. You can always cheat and preheat your work, but that makes welding even more sucky since you can't rest your hands on 300F work.
 
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