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Old 03-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
P B G OP
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Aluminum Repair Rod Reviews?

So here goes, I'm sure you've all seen the infomercials where someone uses a propane torch and some special rod and basically solders aluminum together, miracle aluminum repair where its stronger than aluminum.

Have any of you tried any of the products, and if so would you recommend them?

I've seen quite a few which mostly seem to be the same stuff, Alumi-weld, Alumarod, Durafix, Muggy weld alloy 1 + 5, Alumi-pro, kirkweld, HTS-2000, and I'm sure the list goes on, ranging from 15-60 bucks a pound.

Do any of these work, and would you use them on non-critical applications such as, fixing boat leaks in a cheap old aluminum boat, adding simple brackets to aluminum bike frames, repairing dinged portions of outboard lower units. These sorts of odd jobs that are difficult to accomplish with welders due to the configuration and disassembly required.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Click here and see if it helps.

Youtube is great. People post how to do anything, welding, carbon fiber fabrication...
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:59 PM   #3
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Been watching some of those already, guess its hard to know who just doesn't know how to use it, and who is selling it.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P B G
Been watching some of those already, guess its hard to know who just doesn't know how to use it, and who is selling it.
Harbor freight sells Alumaweld in the welding section. Something like 10 rods for 10 bucks.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SimpleSimon
Harbor freight sells Alumaweld in the welding section. Something like 10 rods for 10 bucks.
8 for 14 onlin

I do plan on picking those up to test tomorrow. Part of the reason to want to know if some are better/worse.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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They are Zinc based rods that melt at 700* instead of 1200 for Al. I got some from True Value, marketed as Oxy-Acetylene Aluminum Welding rods. I'd hoped they'd be better than the Alumiweld and Duraweld stuff everyone hates. They're not.
They don't stick to anything. They melt, ball up into spheres, and roll off whatever you were trying to repair. And if you actually TRY to use then with an oxy-acetylene torch, they'll not only still not work, but you'll also probably ruin whatever you were repairing even more.

I saw some Aluminum Solder at ACE hardware a while ago which looks a lot more promising. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a very small spool of fluxed wire with a melting point of around 1100 degrees. Expensive, but worth if it works.

I've also tried brazing with an oxy-propane torch with TIG rods. Didn't work very well either, but without using any flux I didn't expect it to.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
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i've been curious about that stuff myself, but thinking about how much heat you have to get into aluminum to be able to tig weld it, i doubt that a solder would actually adhere 2 parts together.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:02 AM   #8
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i used alumalloy rod yesterday to fix a crack in a swingarm (not a load bearing part of swingarm..) - worked fine - we'll see if it holds up in a bout a week,. you need mapp gas or hotter (propane won't work on anything thicker than pop can.) area must be clean. you need lotsa heat. it's just like soldering..only much much hotter.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:32 AM   #9
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Heat shouldn't be an issue, I have propane, mapp, and oxy-acetelene torches.

What part of a swing arm is non-load bearing?
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:02 AM   #10
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I used a kit to make some brackets and stuff.
They held together for as long as I had the bike after ( bout a year or so )
What I did like it for was for making thread in alloy .To over drill the hole fill in with weld and tap into it. Made a stronger thread.
But I didn't use it for load bearing.

BPG I think it would be grand for any of that stuff
I cant lay my hands on the instructions but it did make special mention of castings ( think it was about heating the metal )


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Old 03-18-2010, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P B G
Do any of these work, and would you use them on non-critical applications such as, fixing boat leaks in a cheap old aluminum boat
FWIW, I would avoid using Alumaweld (zinc) in an aluminum boat or an aluminum lower unit that spends any significant time in the water because you'll get a galvanic corrosion situation where the zinc will eventually disappear ... just like a zinc anode.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:31 AM   #12
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Good point, although the boat in question gets dragged up on shore and is really a POS that accumulates quite a bit of water. SO I'd think anything would be better than nothing in this situation.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:22 AM   #13
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Except when heat is an issue, I can't see any application where this would be better than JB Weld.
And High Temp epoxy almost reaches the same temperature as these zinc rods.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:47 AM   #14
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Don't waste

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippii
They are Zinc based rods that melt at 700* instead of 1200 for Al. I got some from True Value, marketed as Oxy-Acetylene Aluminum Welding rods. I'd hoped they'd be better than the Alumiweld and Duraweld stuff everyone hates. They're not.
They don't stick to anything. They melt, ball up into spheres, and roll off whatever you were trying to repair. And if you actually TRY to use then with an oxy-acetylene torch, they'll not only still not work, but you'll also probably ruin whatever you were repairing even more.

I saw some Aluminum Solder at ACE hardware a while ago which looks a lot more promising. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a very small spool of fluxed wire with a melting point of around 1100 degrees. Expensive, but worth if it works.

I've also tried brazing with an oxy-propane torch with TIG rods. Didn't work very well either, but without using any flux I didn't expect it to.

your time people. Surely, everyone knows a weldor....
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:40 AM   #15
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I used some that I picked up at a hot rod swap meet back around 2002. I shaped a license plate/turn signal bracket for my old Ducati M900 to clean up the tail where a PO had done the usual frame chop. The bracket was street sign stock (salvaged legally from the trash where I worked at the time) and I used the rod to seal up and smooth the open seams after bending into shape. Worked very well and was still crack free when I sold the bike some 6 or 7 years later.

Propane worked fine for the 1/8" sign stock. When I watched the live demonstration and in the instructions it says no OA - too hot and the parent metal aluminum will immediately react with the filler if it reaches the melt point. Which aluminum does without much warning, even when wearing high zoot cobalt goggles to see the puddle better through the OA flame.

If the filler is puddling and balling up, the parent metal is not clean enough. Clean it bright first with sand paper or a clean stainless brush that hasn't been used on anything else and acetone for complete degreasing. Clean it right before working it to avoid oxides forming (which starts as soon as you're finished cleaning). While heating and trying to get the filler rod to melt and stick, you can use a clean, new stainless brush to scrub the area as you are heating it to keep it frmo oxidizing. That was the trick the vendor was using during his demos. Worked for me too.

After I filled the seams and sanded the outsides to a smooth radius the seams were invisible.
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