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Thread: Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

  1. #1
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    Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

    Planning to weld some cast elbows on to an aluminum inter-cooler. The barbs that exist on the ends will be trimmed off leaving a stub of the barb and cast elbows welded in their place. Wall thickness on the barbs is about 0.080 inch. Cast Ls are 1/8 inch thick walls. My experience with welding cast aluminum tells me to preheat at least the cast parts to about 400F for at least 10 minutes where everything is up to temp but I don't have a great way to preheat the intercooler because it's so big. And the barbs appear to be tubing, meaning they are not cast so in less need of a preheat. Looking for advice on the need for preheat,; is preheat necessary for both the inter-cooler and the elbow, can I get by with just the elbow? Is it a problem to weld together parts that are wildly different temperatures?

    FWIW the best thing we have on hand for preheat is one of the large propane torches for melting ice off your driveway, we can dial it back to probably 80,000-100,000 BTU/hr and direct from the ends so we don't melt the intercooler fins.

    Thoughts?




  2. #2
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    Re: Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

    What prevents you from cutting the the barbed inlet/outlet off back to the cast end housings and weld cast to cast material.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    What prevents you from cutting the the barbed inlet/outlet off back to the cast end housings and weld cast to cast material.
    The pink block of foam behind the inter cooler represents the radiator so the elbows are needed to get around that.

  4. #4
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    Re: Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

    Won't the radius of the elbow allow for it to clear the radiator if you do as Duane suggests? Looks like it might be time to build a grill or smoker to use a heater to pre-heat this before welding....
    Mike

  5. #5
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    Re: Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

    ya do realize that a fully welded connection is going to create a few problems down the road right? for starters cracking due to vibration and torque transfer from the engine twisting the lines which are mounted to the rad support, next would be access to radiator etc.. the reason for the silicone boost boots is to prevent these problems.. I've been racing cummins powered trucks for a couple decades running compound and triple Turbos and while it sucks to blow boots the most common problem we have is intercooler mounts cracking and welded end caps cracking as a result of the engine/body being mounted on different planes (the rad support has its poly mounts the engine has poly center mounts etc... the rad support is solid while the engine tries to twist...

    now if ya just gotta weld it up solid then Duan has the right idea ya might need a longer end on the cast elbow in order to maintain geometry (position of the radius) but thats easy enough to add... welding to the extruded barb will in all likelihood result in the extrusion failing under load....

  6. #6
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    Re: Welding elbows on an inter-cooler

    Just use silicone, elbows cheap and easy!

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