Re: Making Aluminum Valve Covers

I need to make a set of aluminum valve covers. I was going to use .25"
> 2024-T3 for the base and .063" 2024-0 for the sides and top. I'm a beginner
> so I don't know if it makes a difference that the base is heat treated and
> the sheet is not. What wire and gas should I use? I think I need ER5356 and
> he-75, but I want to make sure. This is actually my first welding project. I
> have a small 110v mig machine.
> Thanks
> Dante
Ordinarily these are stamped out of steel, or cast in like 356 aluminum or
thereabouts. Never seen one welded, but shrinkage could be a problem when
you try to get it seated on the engine block.
If you had a casting, you could easily machine it nice and flat to get a
good mating surface. Might look real nice in bronze all polished up.
If you cast it - you can make any design you want, art deco, hot chick,
logo, lettering, whatever.
You could probably come up with a VERY slick looking valve cover by welding
pieces together to appear like a heat exchanger, but I'd keep the base a
little thicker so that you can polish it flat in case you get any warpage.
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Welding 0.25" aluminum with a small 115v MIG may turn out to be an unrewarding experience.
You'll probably need to pre-heat the work and even then you may well find that it's hard to get good fusion and penetration without enough amps.
Use pure argon or (since you're low on amps) an argon-helium mix.
2000 series alloys are not meant to be welded using MIG or TIG and I can't see why you'd need to use such a strong aluminum. Something in the 5000 series would be far better, being a little more corrosion resistant and far more weldable.
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Bruce Simpson
why not common easy-flow 4043 AL ?? then anodize it .... preferable TIG with tri-mix or straight argon.
get your flange laser or water cut out of 1/4", weld up, then take them to a machine shop and have them sanded flat (flanges that is)....
keep us posted, i need to build some AL things for my 76" TA...
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If I were trying this, I would have the base and sides close to the same thickness. Maybe make it all out of 1/8 inch thick material. If nothing else get some scrap and see what problems you have with different thicknesses of material.
Bruce Simpson wrote in message >
Reply to
Dan Caster
Thanks for the info. I only chose 2024 because it was the cheapest on the list from the metal place. Which is the easiest aluminum to weld? I don't need much strength for the stuff I'm making. Do I really need more amps to weld the .08" to the .25"? It's not like I'm welding two pieces of .25" together. I really don't want to make the sides any thicker than that. They need to be as light as possible. I don't care about how they look. Well as long as people don't point and laugh at least.
Thanks Dante
Reply to
Dante Catoni
I suggested that you use material that is close to the same thickness for the flange and sides because it is easier to weld. With thick material and thin material it is harder to get the thick stuff hot enough and not blow a hole in the thin stuff. 1/8 inch thick flange will be a lot stiffer when you get the sides attached.
Reply to
Dan Caster
Check this out for ideas:
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They sure look pretty...probably 3/8" rail and .090" or so plate. that's what I would use, or .125" if an oil pan.
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