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Old 01-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #1
bmwhacker OP
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Any welding experts about?

Looked for a long time to find a "Breil" oil cooler for my R100S engine on my sidecar tug.
Finally found a supposed NOS one through the IBMWR site. Paid a premium for it.
Received the new gaskets required and installed it today.




Here is what I found:

Oil was dripping before I even had the crankcase filled.










Looks like each and every tube end was faulty when welded. apparantly the welds were over ground after completion. I noticed the exposed "rings" on the faces before installation but didn't give it a lot of concern...duh....Not all leaking yet, but when heated up she'll be running oil everywhere.

So can something like this be Tig Welded?
I If welded from the outside, it will look a little messy, but I don't care about that. I'm just afraid it will deform the alloy and distort it. Just want it to provide what cooling it can and hold oil. There isn't enough clearance on the insides to weld everything from there.
The welding options are slim around here, but I'll take it to a couple shops to see if it is even possible to repair.

The seller has offered to refund my money and take it back, which will likely happen, but I'd like to use it. Wonder if it is even worth trying to repair?
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bmwhacker screwed with this post 01-17-2013 at 06:01 PM
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Yes, it can be welded. Yes, it will probably distort a bit, but it can easily be fixed on a flat stone with some sand paper.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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I also concur it can be welded. Low heat and slow cool will help prevent warpage, but you'll probably still have some regardless. Make sure the oil or any other contaminants completely removed before welding..
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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Very easy weld job with a tig... as long as the aluminum is of decent quality. It would take at least twice as long to clean as it would to weld.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KustomizingKid View Post
Very easy weld job with a tig... as long as the aluminum is of decent quality. It would take at least twice as long to clean as it would to weld.
I figured that will be an issue. Ar porous as the alloy is, it will have absorbed a bit of oil by now. I would have removed it tonight but ran out of daylight.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
pommie john
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When I had my Norton crankcases welded ( which had had oil in them constantly for 30 years) the welder took them to a chroming plant and put them in a trichloroethylene bath for TWO WEEKS to thoroughly degrease them.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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I would want a milling machine around to straighten it up if it warps. Sure, it's an easy weld but you never know if the weld will hold oil until you try it. Perfect beads will sometime leak like a mofo depending. Good luck! It is going to take at least a little!
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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Looks like it might be a home made job using a normal sump extension?
Whatever it is, it's ugly work.
It could be fixed but all that oil in the cracks will need to be flushed out, otherwise it will be impossible to weld.

Tig would be the best option, if the correct filler rod is known......I don't know.

Using tig to form a weld pool and just run around each pipe without using a filler rod is another option. weld strength would be the issue with that method.
Those pipes look to have shrunk a little in length? which could be the reason for cracking.

So it appears that unless the sump is filled to the top of the extension, oil cooling will will not occur?
Way better than that set up would be a large radiator, with or without a thermostat, imo.

I'd go the refund.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ME 109 View Post
Looks like it might be a home made job using a normal sump extension?
Whatever it is, it's ugly work.
It could be fixed but all that oil in the cracks will need to be flushed out, otherwise it will be impossible to weld.

Tig would be the best option, if the correct filler rod is known......I don't know.

Using tig to form a weld pool and just run around each pipe without using a filler rod is another option. weld strength would be the issue with that method.
Those pipes look to have shrunk a little in length? which could be the reason for cracking.

So it appears that unless the sump is filled to the top of the extension, oil cooling will will not occur?
Way better than that set up would be a large radiator, with or without a thermostat, imo.

I'd go the refund.
I forgot that you are welding two completely different types of metal at the same time. Is that even possible?
That I have never even tried.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ME 109 View Post
Looks like it might be a home made job using a normal sump extension?
Whatever it is, it's ugly work.
It could be fixed but all that oil in the cracks will need to be flushed out, otherwise it will be impossible to weld.

Tig would be the best option, if the correct filler rod is known......I don't know.

Using tig to form a weld pool and just run around each pipe without using a filler rod is another option. weld strength would be the issue with that method.
Those pipes look to have shrunk a little in length? which could be the reason for cracking.

So it appears that unless the sump is filled to the top of the extension, oil cooling will will not occur?
Way better than that set up would be a large radiator, with or without a thermostat, imo.

I'd go the refund.
Ya, I'm afraid that the repair will cost more than the thing is worth. The cooler was made by "Breil", probably back in the 70's. It was represented as NOS. The guy I got it from bought it eons ago for his sidehack but his sidehack project never got off the ground.
I have a sidecar rig with a lower sub frame which is very close to the oil filter housing, making oil filter changes a bit tricky. Not enough room down there for the conventional coolers plumbing.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
I forgot that you are welding two completely different types of metal at the same time. Is that even possible?
That I have never even tried.
I think the tubes are aluminum also, the assembly is as light as a feather, but I'll need to check that upon removal.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
I forgot that you are welding two completely different types of metal at the same time. Is that even possible?
That I have never even tried.
The pipes would need to be the same/very similar material as the sump extension.
I've not experimented welding dissimilar metals but I can't see it working. The materials would need to be from the same family as far as I know.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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Oil really plays havoc with TIG. I do not think that would be very effective anyway, very little air thru the tubes.

If you did weld, you need a welders table to clamp it flat, for minimum warp.

To be honest though, it is more of a paper weight.

Rod
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #14
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they will have to be aluminum, it's definitely not possible to weld two different materials. Any type of aluminum is fine. Try it. If it fails then you can likely have new tubes put in and welded in. I think it's worth it / definitely salvageable...

Also, if you want the ugly / cheap / quick route JB weld actually does a hell of a job with oil leaks. I've had it on several cars and bikes last for years. After its cured you can sand it down and it would look OK especially with some paint. Definitely not the hardcore permanent solution but it would probably work OK for at least a year or two... This will also work if it is in fact two different materials. But I agree, looks like aluminum...
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:04 PM   #15
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First off, I don't know where all this talk of welding dissimilar metals came from. That casting is aluminum and judging by the thickness of those tubes, I'm pretty damn sure they're aluminum too. They DO NOT need to be the same exact alloy to be welded. Welding two different alloys of aluminum together in this application is an absolute non-issue. Furthermore, whoever said two dissimilar metals can't be welded can come by my house to see copper welded very nicely to stainless. No it's not easy, and no I can't do it personally, but it can be done.
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