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  • TIG Torch Size Problem

    I had a job come in yesterday and I'm not sure if I can do it just yet... Here's what I have:

    -TA185 with CK17 torch
    - cylinder head which was hogged out a wee bit too much by the customer who brought the head in. The damage is about 3/4" inside the exhaust port (from the exhaust manifold flange mounting area) and about 1/4"x1/4" in size. The port is approximately 1" wide (from damaged surface to other parallel surface of the port).

    Now the plan is to back this area up via the coolant passage to allow for the same port shape but without the hole. Now I know my torch won't even come close to fitting inside...but what other torch alternative do most people use for a job like this? I'm assuming it would be watercooled (due to the small head size)? If that is the case I won't hesitate building a water cooled setup if need be, but I don't want to disregard any air cooled equivalents just yet.

    Also the TA185 has 185 amps of output but since the damaged area is so thin and the backing plate to be used will be around 1/8" thick I don't think there should be much problems with penetration? Essentially I am using this job as a reason to obtain a small head torch or dive into the world of water cooling. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Here is a picture of the damaged port.
    Last edited by Conrad_Turbo; 12-30-2008, 10:06 AM.
    Conrad Andres
    Thermal Arc 185TSW
    Lincoln SP135T

  • #2
    OK , From what you have described and what I see in the picture The wall thickness your working with is very thin (like less that.020) since they ground it too much...If I follow you correctly you want to fill the hole? If this is your intention then be prepared to have a Bigger hole because the coolant in the water jacket where the hole is will contaminate your weld and you will have a terrible mess....
    The way I would approach this deal would be place the head in an oven and
    heat it up and completely remove all the coolant before you start....
    or maybe OA rosebud pre-heat the area....Just get that coolant dried up..
    I think you could weld that tiny area with your air cooled torch if you have it pre-heated and stay busy before the torch heats up.....I would use an 1/8" tungsten and a cup small enough to get in that port...Turn the argon up
    to maybe 25 CFH and use 4043 filler......Just remember the wall thickness...
    If your a good tig welder you won't have a problem...this isn't an EASY job
    for a beginner...


    Oh an if you think your torch is too big an you want a water cooled model go with a wp-20 Weld Craft or comparable....
    Last edited by B_C; 12-30-2008, 10:31 AM.
    Some people require more attention than others.....Like a LOST DOG and strangers holding out biscuits....

    Dynasty 350
    Hobart Beta Mig 200
    Twenty seven Hammers
    Three Crow Bars
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    A Big Rock

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    • #3
      ok this might sound a bit ghetto but in all honesty considering its an intake port and your torch wont fit in there the cheapest and easiest way might just be to fill it out with jb weld,if it was on the exhaust side i would probably be a little concerned about egts cracking it if it was a forced induction motor



      ok im ready to be flamed for saying jb weld
      miller syncrowave 200

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      • #4
        Originally posted by holidayjay View Post
        ok this might sound a bit ghetto but in all honesty considering its an intake port and your torch wont fit in there the cheapest and easiest way might just be to fill it out with jb weld,if it was on the exhaust side i would probably be a little concerned about egts cracking it if it was a forced induction motor

        ok im ready to be flamed for saying jb weld
        Ya it's an exhaust port...gotta be welded up like you suggest. It's on a FI Sprint engine, so not crazy amounts of power, but still more heat than a NA engine.

        B_C, definately appreciate the info. Your assumptions are correct, it's hair thin around the hole so the idea to have an aluminum backing plate behind the hole will help distribute the heat and make it easier to weld. Then the coolant port can be cleaned up afterwards (to reduce any major restriction in the coolant port) from the aluminum backing plate. If the plate wasn't used then the wall in that area will still be extremely thin and I'd worry about localized boiling of the coolant in that area.

        The head can definately be cleaned up, I can get access to the backside of the area needing repair via die grinder or dremel as extra insurance after rose bud heating the area. So contamination shouldn't be a huge concern as opposed to getting a torch inside the port.

        Out of curiosity sake what would you charge for a repair like this?
        Conrad Andres
        Thermal Arc 185TSW
        Lincoln SP135T

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        • #5
          easy charge

          one half the cost of a new head :-)

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          • #6
            Conrad, you might be able to get into the port with a 24 series front loading torch. It is the one on the right in the hopefully attached photo. This one has a standard small gas lens on it in the photo but I believe shorter cups are available. This one is rated at about 90 (maybe 125) amps and is air cooled. Would probably hold up for the thin area you are bulding up. This one is a CNI and I think cost was about $90.00 US for a 25' lead. The torch just to the left is a 20 series
            Last edited by Aeroweld; 12-30-2008, 10:17 PM.

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            • #7
              Pencil Torch?

              How about using a pencil torch, Conrad? They're made in air-cooled and water-cooled models. A pencil torch will fit into small holes and areas with limited access. I've used a 200 amp. water-cooled one for welding in areas with little room even for the small head and cap of the No. 20 torch that I normally use. The major shortcoming of the pencil torch is that the arc points in the same direction as the long axis of the torch. In welding through a hole you wouldn't be able to change the angle at which the arc is directed at the weldment - as you could by angling the head of a conventional torch. Therefore you'd have less control over where the heat of the arc is applied.
              LarryL

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              • #8
                Thanks for the input guys I really appreciate it! I am using this problem as a reason for purchasing/building a water cooled setup in the future. The customer needs this repair done ASAP so I most likely won't be able to do it in time with my existing equipment (or have a smaller air cooled torch in time). Hopefully this post will help others who have or will come across this situation. Thanks for the input guys!
                Conrad Andres
                Thermal Arc 185TSW
                Lincoln SP135T

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                • #9
                  Conrad, could you get by with some of the longer ceramics like I've posted below? Admittedly the ones I have are for gas lenses but I know you can also get them to suit the standard collets as well. (at least here in Australia you can)
                  Regards Andrew from Oz.



                  We are Tig welders, gravity doesn't worry us

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