I have an aluminum wheel that cracked at the outer lip, probably a half inch into the wheel from the lip. Would it be possible to have a standard tig weld done to fix this, or would it have to be re-heat treated to keep the integrity of the wheel?
i have seen people just preheat and weld and they hold up just fine, but then again many people have come to me to weld stuff like this and i dont touch it, cause of liability issues....but it can be done.
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I've welded three cracked/broken aluminum wheels. Depending on where the cracked area is, it may or may not need pre heated (depends on the thickness). I don't really buy into all that liability crap, I won't take the job if I am not 110% confident in my ability, and that the customer will not have any future headaches with the results. Long story short, Yes it can be done, I would take it to a reputable welder (not a rim repair shop) the price will be a lot more at the rim repair shop because it is a specialty shop and they gotta make they're money somehow.
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Custom fabrication and machine work. Oregon Based.
yeah, i had an fn01-r with a good 2 inch crack in it, took it to my friend who TIGs for a living and i got it back with what looked like all the paint ground off of a perfect wheel. not distortion, not bent, nothing. threw some paint on it and i can't tell which wheel was fixed, this was about 3 years ago now.
wll wheels balance out well too, so i can't tell there either
I had this problem with an Enkei RP01 rim. I removed maybe an 1/8" of material around the crack, drilled a hole at the end of the crack so it would not continue to crack, used a small propane torch to warm the aluminum up, hit it with the tig, used some filler to replace the material I grinded away, grinded the weld flat, threw on some silver paint, and havent had a problem with it since 2 years ago.
I would agree that it can be done, just make sure you preheat it well, and let it cool slowly, and vee out the crack for maximum penetration. Drilling the ends of the crack is a good idea as well or it will probably just continue to crack after its welded.
I've welded probably 100+ wheels. The only ones that re-cracked (maybe a handfull) usually were well abused and re-bent (or cheap *** walmart chrome wheels). Aftermarket/US made wheels seem like they are more likely to be cracked without being bent due to I guess being more brittle. There isn't much liability concern, if it cracks again, weld it again. The wheel isn't going to explode and cause a wreck. As long as the customer understands there is a chance it may crack again.
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