free hit
counters
offside rear upright had been welded and not replaced - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mattthesparks lotus esprit

offside rear upright had been welded and not replaced

Recommended Posts

I took my stevens lotus turbo to the garage the other day and had it put up on the ramps, he said the offside rear upright had been welded and not replaced but it passed the mot last year with no advisory so why this so bad it now needs to be replaced ;) ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

They probably couldn't refinish it enough to keep the deadly rust at bay!!

Shouldn't have done it in the first place really but now it needs replacing do both sides or it will screw the handling totally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no reason why both would have to be replaced!

Unless both are cracked.

It is possible to weld cast aluminum, it is done all the time to repair engine blocks on drag race cars.

Maybe you don't want to trust your life to a suspension piece that has been welded though... Especially if you aren't sure how well it was welded, or with the correct procedure and filler rod.

from http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:lRlDd...=clnk&gl=us

It can be TIG welded.

The best generally available aluminum TIG rod for castings in 4047.

It is not always easy to find.

All parts have to be cleaned as good as possible.

The trick is to tack weld the pieces together so the whole piece is

reassembled.

Take a die grinder with a narrow carbide burr and grind out the crack,

leaving bridges where your tacks are.

Preheat the whole piece in your kitchen oven to about 500 degF.

Lay in short stitch welds about 1 inch long, moving around the whole

piece to break up the heat.

Try to keep the piece from cooling down too much by keeping it wrapped

in a wool blanket, only exposing the area you are welding.

Once you have all the ground areas welded up, grind out the tacks and

finish the welds.

Put the piece back in the oven and return it to 500 degF.

Then turn off the oven and let it cool inside slowly.

BTW this is the same procedure for welding cast iron and cast bronze.

FYI more info here regarding suitability of welding cast aluminum (such as in the rear hub carriers of the Esprit)

http://www.welding-advisers.com/PRACTICAL_...LetterNo42.html

and correct filler material here

http://www.welding-advisers.com/PRACTICAL_...LetterNo39.html

Edited by Vulcan Grey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seen it done and tracked as well. No problems if done expertly.

If you're unsure have it x-rayed to be sure there are no cracks or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone is still interested now replacing the rear upright and when I got it off the car was I glad that I hadn't used it much. Although the weld looked ok another massive crack had opened up right along the underside where the shock absorber bolts. It was momements away from death!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Busted 2 of these now and replaced them rather than welded them.

I was more concerned with the heat being put into the cast and possibly distorting the ali as opposed to how good the weld would be, plus I didn't feel like taking a risk with my neck for the sake of a few hundred quid for the exact above reason and esp since I dont exactly baby the car.

Happy you have the correct part on the car and not potential disaster anymore !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not whether its been welded that's the issue, more do you want to trust the skills of the unknown person who did it? If it were me, then replace it immediately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the looks of it the weld had slightly distorted the angle of the bottom unit where the bolt goes through. The alloy is fairly thin and this must have exerted pressure and opened up another crack. It seems barmy to me not to replace but I think it might have been welded in situ to save time. The weld itself must have cost a bit of dosh so it is a no brainer not to have bought another unit and do a proper job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly - Ali welding isn't cheap and needs an AC welder and a good hand. The heat through it is tremendous (ali being an excellent conductor of heat) and welders I've talked to usually charge more for ali welding. When I looked at getting the 3" crack in my inlet manifold done the guy wanted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur with the above it is absolutely finding the expertise, welding aluminium castings is a high skill not often seen, I would only go by reputable recommendation. It's not a name you pick out of the yellow pages.

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


×