Welding cast aluminum
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  1. #1
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    Welding cast aluminum

    Guys, I've got some cast aluminum that needs welding. Not sure which filler rod to use. I don't know the aluminum type either, but it is off an old Emglo compressor, and is a threaded fitting for an air gauge. Thanks, Nick.

  2. #2
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    I just finished welding a casting and used 4043, but then again, that's all I had available, so i don't know if this is the right rod to use. Actually, I just opened up my Tig Welding Handbook and 4043 seems to be used for most aluminum types, at least as an alternate filler. Remember to keep the area as clean as possible, then clean again after welding or stoping and before continuing.

  3. #3
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    Well, I had a lot more luck with the 5356 rod than the 4043. Just welded on a huge lump of the stuff, and drilled and tapped it. Seems to work. Definitely not going to win any good looks contest, but it works. The cast was quite dirty, and since I had trouble cleaning it, the first round of beads was tough.

  4. #4
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    Snap any pics?

  5. #5
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    No no no. Very nasty looking. One of those, "well, that will work, but it looks like crap.

  6. #6
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    Chicken. Post pics anyways, we can use them as a "how not" example.

  7. #7
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    I have got to get some pictures of my stuff up. I have lots of "how NOT to's" that might make for some good laughs. We should start a new thread called "welds gone wild", welds that appear to have been made by a drunken spring breaker.

    After I screw something up, it usually ends up in a pile of scrap that I always have inteded to re-use. The pile is growing. Nick, if your weld works, it's better than every one of the welds in my pile........that didn't.
    Smithboy...
    if it ain't broke, you ain't tryin'.

  8. #8
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    5356 should be used for all aluminum castings...and anything thats going to be sent out for anodizing...the anodize will not stick to 4043....


    i've fixed many many destroyed alumimum cylinder heads for race cars
    5356 all the way

    some castings must be pre heated with a torch before welding or cracks will result...using straight acceteline "blacken" the part and then heat 'till the black soot dissappears..and start welding!

    (when i fix heads i usually place the head in a BIG box of vermiculite and let it cool s..l..o..w..l..e..y...keeps the cracking down


    ...zap!

  9. #9
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    My book says for low alloy aluminums, such as cast aluminum, use 1100 for maximum strength and EC, or 1260 for maximum ductility.

  10. #10
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    I use A356 TIG rod when I weld cast aluminum, I clean the part best I can , give it some pre heat with the oxy/ace and weld it up, if it dont look good I grind it off and repaet the process

    here is a link to the rod
    http://www.airgas.com/browse/product...&WT.svl=100134

  11. #11
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    Interesting thread. What are the most common casting materials in automotive use? What advantage do you see when using the 5356 over the 4043 and likewise A356 versus the others? Less tendancy to crack?

    Eric

  12. #12
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    All castings are of very low alloy content, almost pure aluminum.

  13. #13
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    4043 has too much silicone in it

    great for billet

    not for castings

    ...zap!

  14. #14
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    What if you are welding sheet (3003 or 6061) to a cast (unknown alloy) automotive intake manifold? Would 5356 be the filler of choice?

  15. #15
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    i built a 2X4V intake for a 427 ford
    but we started with all billet mat..6061T-651

    i used 4043 exclusivally

    i'll scan the pics and post soon!

    ...zap!

  16. #16
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    but i have done as you are suggesting..
    welding cast to billet and 4043 is a good choice

    ...zap!

  17. #17
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    I almost always use 4043 for welding aluminum. As a matter of fact, I just got some carts I need to repair and I'm gonna use 4043. I fixed a leak on a GM intae manifold with 4043, also a high dollar cast valve cover for a 302 ford with the same 4043.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by orphan68
    I almost always use 4043 for welding aluminum. As a matter of fact, I just got some carts I need to repair and I'm gonna use 4043. I fixed a leak on a GM intae manifold with 4043, also a high dollar cast valve cover for a 302 ford with the same 4043.

    sometimes you need to do it twice...in the same spot..
    when you do your first pass over cast there is a whole bunch of yuck that rises to the top in the puddle...looks kinda ***** when done

    a die grinder with a good agressive bit and some canning wax (comes in a box at your local hardware store) are your allies in this "perdicament"

    let the first pass cool and then grind off the top of the weld with the die grinder and use the wax (on the bit) for lube and dont be shy with it
    (aluminum...it'll bind up the bit in no time)
    clean with acetone and do it over again

    if needed do it again

    the contamination rises to the top and the more you eliminate the better off

    ...zap!

  19. #19
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    Zapster,

    Thanks for the advice, I'll give the 4043 a shot on a the piece of material that I will be cutting away before I weld on the final piece.

    Eric

  20. #20
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    Re: Welding cast aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    5356 should be used for all aluminum castings...and anything thats going to be sent out for anodizing...the anodize will not stick to 4043....


    i've fixed many many destroyed alumimum cylinder heads for race cars
    5356 all the way

    some castings must be pre heated with a torch before welding or cracks will result...using straight acceteline "blacken" the part and then heat 'till the black soot dissappears..and start welding!

    (when i fix heads i usually place the head in a BIG box of vermiculite and let it cool s..l..o..w..l..e..y...keeps the cracking down


    ...zap!
    Zap,

    should 5356 be used even for the combustion chamber that will see elevated temperatures? Cyl head is a casting, not billet.

  21. #21
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    Re: Welding cast aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Zap,

    should 5356 be used even for the combustion chamber that will see elevated temperatures? Cyl head is a casting, not billet.


    Works on pistons too.
    Done it many times and things are still alive..
    Some disagree but that's OK.
    I go with what works.



    Just like this 6 year old thread...

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    I have figured out that keeping everyone happy is nearly impossible but pissing people off is easy and fun.

  22. #22
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    Re: Welding cast aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    Works on pistons too.
    Done it many times and things are still alive..
    Some disagree but that's OK.
    I go with what works.



    Just like this 6 year old thread...

    ...zap!
    yea I was searching and searching and searching this subject all day today. I just don't want to make any mistakes on these heads as they are obsolete and irreplaceable. Granted, I'm going to do lots of practice beforehand on a junk head. Have you ever actually tried 4043 to weld up combustion chambers though? Or did you simply always use 5356 because that's what you were taught?

    Also, would you care to comment on this quote from weldingtipsandtricks.com :


    "For Castings like cylinder heads, a high silicon rod like 4047 is often chosen because of its lower melting temperature and fluidity along with less of a tendency to get porosity. In fact 4047 is often referred to as a brazing rod.

    The 12% silicon content lowers the melting temperature and slows the shrinkage rate enough to help hot cracking and lessen the tendency for porosity. Repair shops that weld aluminum boat propellers often use the 4047 filler rod to avoid porosity on final finish."
    Last edited by Oscar; 11-10-2012 at 02:59 AM.

  23. #23
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    Re: Welding cast aluminum

    i use 4043 for everything, cast, 6061, 5053, never had any issues. ive welded in combo chambers before too and no issues.

    mike

  24. #24
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    Re: Welding cast aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by killingmachine View Post
    i use 4043 for everything, cast, 6061, 5053, never had any issues. ive welded in combo chambers before too and no issues.

    mike

    I agree with Zap. 5356 is a better choice in some cases hands down. Like stripped threads and worn valve seat lands.
    "Nothing welded, nothing gained."
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  25. #25
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    Re: Welding cast aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    I agree with Zap. 5356 is a better choice in some cases hands down. Like stripped threads and worn valve seat lands.
    Why is that?

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