I'm NOT Going to Do This

I was wondering... with aluminum tire rims are they at all practical to weld? I understand the liability involved and would NEVER take on a something like that. I was just curious if it was possible or practical to do, say come the end of civilization and you have no choice but to weld an aluminum wheel to move your stuff or have it stolen by Road Warrior types?

The ones I have looked at look like they were cast and then polished, but what do I know. Well, there are also the custom ones for motorcycles that are machined out of a solid billet of metal too, but those are not the ones I am talking about.

Reply to
Bob La Londe
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There is special rod for wheels. Im not sure of the alloy, but it is corrosion resistant

Reply to
Stupendous Man

Long ago in another life, I owned a Bultaco that was raced by the #2 rider in So. Cal. in the early seventies. Steve Fuller, IIRC. It had a magnesium rear rim that had a huge repair on it. It tracked true, and the weld never broke as long as I owned the machine. That is, IIRC, a magnesium/aluminum alloy.

The weld was acceptable on the aesthetics scale, but it had NO grind marks on it.

I think one COULD repair a aluminum rim, that it COULD hold up under normal use, but it would look repaired, and if it did fail, it would be catastrophic. I think any attempt to grind off filler metal or make it cosmetically more appealing would weaken it considerably.

Getting the proper filler wire would be critical, but no less the skill of the weldor, and the type of machine used.

Good luck.


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I've seen it done numerous times with TIG. No big deal.

-- As Iron Sharpens Iron, So One Man Sharpens Another. Proverbs 27:17

Reply to
Rick Barter (rvb)

Many of the vintage Lotus magnesium racing wheels we have are welded. They get pranged and there are no new wheels available. Trying to find round ones is a pain.

Reply to
Stupendous Man

Does this require major preheating? I would expect that it would take an unholy amount of current to bring a cast wheel up to weldng temperature and it would have serious cracking problems.

Curious, BobH

Reply to

Depends on the wheel, and how much of any Mag is in it.

Most garden variety allow wheels on cars and trucks today, are cast out of

319, a general purpose casting alloy and are not post heat treated. Some may vary, but unless you get unlucky, heli-arcing them is real straight forward.

Years ago, when spun aluminum wheels became popular in circle track racing, I repaired tons of them with 4043. Never a problem, and often ground the exterior welds flush, not to mention inside the bead area.

Preheat the cast ones for best results, just like any other thick piece of aluminum.

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