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Know of any Good quality , hopefully US manufacture Silicon Aluminum filler rod?

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  • Know of any Good quality , hopefully US manufacture Silicon Aluminum filler rod?

    I'm embarking on a project to build up a cylinder head where the corner of the exhaust ear / flange crumbled the threads. I think filling it with a TIG / Silicon Aluminum rod would work to build it back up. I know exactly *not very much* about TIG, MIG, Oxy/Acetylene but I have access to a TIG and figured the worst I could do was make it not work. It already does that.

    Anyway, if one of you experienced folk could recommend a brand of Silicon Aluminum or Silicon Bronze brazing filler rod, I'm thinking 3/32 maybe, hopefully manufactured here in the U.S. of A. , that would be awesome and most appreciated. Everything I see says Hecho in China.
    Last edited by Beagle; August 27, 2020, 05:11 PM.
    Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

  • #2
    I always laugh at the Hecho in China line, means Mexico is buying there too. Sad state we are in. We tariff tires and find out Goodyear is the #1 importer of tires. Try to tariff steel and US Steel is the number one importer. I dont know I could trust where anything is made anymore.
    As far as this though, preheating aluminum castings is a big key to making welds work, regardless of the rod. I always like to learn, and they say 5356 is the strongest alloy to use for welding aluminum, but can be porous when welding castings. 4043 has more silicon so a little better. I did get some falcon stuff off ebay, they say it was 4047, melts faster and flows like crazy, so using that after its solid again would probably be the most aluminum.and less porosity to fill it with before you drill and retap. We use Harris, but my first statement about not knowing where it comes from holds true. I do see more Made in USA from McMaster Carr stuff and they sell the Harris. But with preheating and unless you really want to learn to do this, maybe its one to take to a welder that has done it before and have someone to blame.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the input! I really want to try it. I've been reading, but no real experience. I figure this is as good a victim starter project as any I can think of. I think this stuff is pretty ductile but I've also broken cast iron in my lifetime just playing too rough with it. I have a spare 3 burner bbq grill that is big enough and should be able to get it around 500, maybe 600 F and control it's cool down a little more gradually than tossing it in a pile of sand. The grill has a fireplace grate in it to keep the head from landing on the burners - it is kind of heavy. Short of whacking the heat to it with a weed burner, I'm hoping that is enough. It's not a hyper-critical part, good enough will be exactly that.

      If it works okay, I have some old heads that, to be right, need their exhaust bolt holes filled and re-drilled. I was pretty heavy handed removing the old stuck bolts, the new ones would be a little too sloppy of a fit even for me.
      Last edited by Beagle; August 28, 2020, 07:17 AM.
      Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy
        welding on cast aluminum is not for the faint of heart. good luck.
        It's brazing cast iron, building up a surface... a/c tig. Dirty cast iron will be bad enough.
        Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beagle View Post
          Thanks for the input! I really want to try it. I've been reading, but no real experience. I figure this is as good a victim starter project as any I can think of. I think this stuff is pretty ductile but I've also broken cast iron in my lifetime just playing too rough with it. I have a spare 3 burner bbq grill that is big enough and should be able to get it around 500, maybe 600 F and control it's cool down a little more gradually than tossing it in a pile of sand. The grill has a fireplace grate in it to keep the head from landing on the burners - it is kind of heavy. Short of whacking the heat to it with a weed burner, I'm hoping that is enough. It's not a hyper-critical part, good enough will be exactly that.

          If it works okay, I have some old heads that, to be right, need their exhaust bolt holes filled and re-drilled. I was pretty heavy handed removing the old stuck bolts, the new ones would be a little too sloppy of a fit even for me.
          I cannot tig at all. I leave that all to my son. All I can do is tack without filler lol. We got this pot metal carburetor spacer that was pretty ugly, somehow the center cutout extended past the actual manifold. But it was so light and thin a mapp gas torch was all it took to get it steamy. Ended up welding nicely. I tried using some R-Z lok inserts where a 3/8-16 insert is screwed into a 9/16-12 thread that have sealer all around them if it does not work out. for you.
          Last edited by anotheridiot; August 28, 2020, 07:51 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Beagle View Post

            It's brazing cast iron, building up a surface... a/c tig. Dirty cast iron will be bad enough.
            Use silicon bronze, it will wet out and grip the old iron the best,
            Definately not silicon aluminum in iron, that is for sure.
            I use WeldMold, made here in Michigan for all my TIG rod needs.

            On the other heads with loose thread holes, don't waste time and effort filling and redrilling....properly installed helicoil is stronger than the parent material, fix them that way..
            Save the welding and brazing for actual broken stuff with no other way to fix it., since cast iron is always a risk for shrink cracking as it cools.

            Many of your better aftermarket aluminum heads have helicoils in the exhaust flange bolt holes and the rocker stud bolts holes right from the manufacturer, for better strength and wear resistance from the start
            Last edited by Ericnova72; August 28, 2020, 07:26 PM.
            DanStokes likes this.

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            • #7
              Air Liquide/Airgas have it, doesn't state where it's manufactured, there's a box in the top row "Find a Branch" to locate local dealers......

              Aluminum Bronze
              https://www.airgas.com/Welding-Produ...on%3AERCuAl-A2


              Silicon Bronze
              https://www.airgas.com/Welding-Produ...ion%3AERCuSi-A

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              • #8
                I run a Blown Alcohol small block Ford and have torched my Brodix heads a few times. I have had huge success with Hobart 4943 alloy rod and it is made in the USA. I recommend using a 25% helium 75% argon and no preheat is required.

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