Welding swingarm?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Th3judderman, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Th3judderman

    Th3judderman New Member

    The TLR seems to have a bit of aluminium cancer on the swingarm, nothing too bad yet but i'd still like to get it sorted so it's 100%. Does anyone know if getting a swingarm ali welded is okay to do?
  2. robj

    robj If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer VIP Member

    I remember in the '90s everyone was having their swing arms braced, which meant welding. IIRC one of the main places was JMC in Kirkby. No idea if they're still going or not, but if ally swing arms were being welded then, it can still be done now.
  3. bloke

    bloke smoke crack, it makes you look cool VIP Member

    as far as i know jmc have gone under, got broken into last year and got cleared out!!
  4. RSVRsmithy

    RSVRsmithy New Member

    There isnt any problem with welding it mate, if its a structural repair that the strength will rely on then i'd just make sure its a good welder that does it. Cosmetic i.e filling a small hole/corroded bit - just get it filled then grind and sand it back flat yourself.
    Is it corroded directly in front of the wheel? mines exactly the same ...
  5. captaingoslow

    captaingoslow Rockin to myself VIP Member

    it can be welded as you have been told but your best goin to a ali welding place as its a whole different setup to normal welding even down to the set you use and the tungstion you use in the tig head
  6. CaNsA

    CaNsA New Member

    As above, If its a repair it would have to be something pretty special.
    I wouldn't trust it though, even if it was the bestest ever weld made from superman's bones.

    Thats just me though.
  7. RSVRsmithy

    RSVRsmithy New Member

    dude, a well done weld is more often than not, stronger than the original metal around it !! How do you think they build bike frames / swingarms in the first place ... by welding pressed/cast pieces together !
    Absolutely nowt wrong with a properly done weld. As Joe says though ally welding is pretty special, i do know it has to be utterly, utterly clean and everything will have to be spot on but a pro will do that in his sleep !
  8. cheekykev

    cheekykev New Member

    Unfortunately you’re a bit too far away to just drop it off but if you’re struggling to get it done, give me a shout and I’ll do it for you, I have been in this sort of game for 30+ years now so I know what I’m doing, If there’s any doubt what so ever of not being able to make a sound job of it then I’ll just advise you accordingly.
    I believe you’re in Liverpool and I’m on the back side of Manchester, near Glossop so we would have to plan it in.
    I’ll need it for at least a couple of days and you’ll have to make sure it’s all cleaned up ready to be welded, trust me dirt and Alli weld do not mix.
    2 people like this.
  9. Th3judderman

    Th3judderman New Member

    It's around the bolt hole where the brake line is fastened to the swingarm, it looks like there has been some sort of electrolytic reaction causing the aluminium to break down so it's rough and pitted. Might become a structural problem sooner or later if left to carry on degrading though.

    Since it's okay to do, think I'll just take it to bells because he's done me some fine, fine work before now on cylinder heads.

    Sorry Kev you posted at the same time as me weirdly, that'd be good if I can't get it done over these parts. I'm actually in Warrington now though so not a million miles away :)

    When you say it has to be prepped, would it need to be off the bike or just enough space to get in and work on the patch (it's a about an inch by two inches)
  10. captaingoslow

    captaingoslow Rockin to myself VIP Member

    It's better to take it off the bike as when it has to be welded the battery has to be taken off due to the earthing for the tig. Also some welders are funny and won't go in to tight spots I am not the bothered myself but I do know some who moan about it.
  11. CaNsA

    CaNsA New Member

    True but welding frame bits together (solid bits of tubular metal) is a bit different to patching up a hole in a bit of tubular metal which has already lost some of its integrity and rigidity.
    It's all about stress points and spreading the weight evenly throughout it.

    It will probably be fine, but i still wouldn't do it. I'd rather replace it and not have that little niggling thought at the back of my mind saying "What if"

    Know what i mean?
  12. Th3judderman

    Th3judderman New Member

    I know what you mean mate, but it's already had a hole chopped in it by the factory to fit the threadded hole and this is basically replacing the weld that's started to corrode
  13. captaingoslow

    captaingoslow Rockin to myself VIP Member

    Put a pic of it up Andy
  14. RSVRsmithy

    RSVRsmithy New Member

    I do mate but we're getting carried away by this 'hole' ... i don think the hole is the problem but more the finish of the surface of an area of swingarm
    Think we need a pic, just read juddermans post back and 'an inch by two inch area' is gonna be tricky to sort i feel (surface corrosion). i can only imagine it either being a plate-job (imo bad idea, id agree with you there Cansa tho if your werent bothered about looks you could quite easily cut a piece out and weld a substantial piece back over the top) or sand it back best you can and try fill it with weld then flat it back.

    Judderman, you may just have to make the best of a bad situation here ... :(
  15. bloke

    bloke smoke crack, it makes you look cool VIP Member

    If it does need welding I can get it sorted for you, shame you didn't ask about it last week before I sold my tig!!
  16. captaingoslow

    captaingoslow Rockin to myself VIP Member

    Not all tig sets weld Ali as I say it's a very hard metal to weld if your area is not clean dust free you will just be welding to perosaty basicly cut the weld up and it will look like a aero inside and it will be pointless doin it. And you also need a white tungsten to do it as we're you need a red for stainless and mild steel.
  17. cbr1_mike

    cbr1_mike New Member

    i reckon you should throw a match on it and claim on the insurance. it sounds to me as if this tiny hole could make the bike spontaneously combust at speed and cause the spigot shaft to miss-align :bleh:
  18. Dave

    Dave Moderator Staff Member

    Might be a stupid point .....but isn't it any easier just to replace the swinging arm ? At least then you have piece of mind
  19. CaNsA

    CaNsA New Member

    Not that stupid an idea.....

  20. Th3judderman

    Th3judderman New Member

    Lol didn't expect this to become such a discussion!

    Basically it'd not bad, it's just corroded and pitted at the moment. From what I can see it'll just need filling then taking back down flat since it's covered by the brake line bracket anyway. I've had this done to a head by bells so I can't see him having major problems.

    For anyone who's worrying it's still totally solid, and passed the MOT last week despite not going to a "friendly place". It's more a problem that I want to solve / cure before it's a major issue and TBH not sure if I'm gonna keep the TL or sell it on since it's gonna take a fair bit of work to get it 100%

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