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Thread: Any Aluminum welders on line?

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default Any Aluminum welders on line?

    Started my big project on my Sport. Pulled the fuel cell toady, and need to do some welding on it. Cracked bolt tabs and a previous owner had drilled a hole, tapped the 1/8" Al and "installed" a 3/4" street 90 for a vent off the bow end of the cell. Need to weld in a thread-O-let. Anyone know the best procedure for cleaning out the fuel cell prior to welding on it? I have flushed it with water a few times, rinsed it with dish washing detergent, and rinsed again. Might flood with Argon.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
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    I don't weld use gas tanks, there way to dangerous for me. If I did I might consider filling it with water and also using Argon. I don't know how you can tell if you have enough Argon in the tank with out dropping a match into the tank. Do you?

    Be careful your life depends on it.

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I don't weld use gas tanks, there way to dangerous for me. If I did I might consider filling it with water and also using Argon. I don't know how you can tell if you have enough Argon in the tank with out dropping a match into the tank. Do you?
    Be careful your life depends on it.
    I hear ya buddy. That was plan 1; flood with water, cover all holes but one, and purge with Argon and leave it on at 5 CFH. Rinsing it again with hot water and soap. Just wondering if anyone knew an absolutely bullet-proof method for cleaning.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I've known many welders to run a hose from the exhaust of a running vehicle into a fuel tank to purge them. Let them run for an hour before welding. And while welding. I myself have never done that. And will admit would make me very nervous! However I do know it's fairly common to do so. Good luck with your project.

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    You might check the AAB Forum for some advice also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    Just wondering if anyone knew an absolutely bullet-proof method for cleaning.
    I remember being told steam cleaning works pretty good. The problem with boat gas tanks is they have compartment that can not be clean no matter how hard you try. Just to be clear I'm not telling you to use a steam cleaner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I remember being told steam cleaning works pretty good. The problem with boat gas tanks is they have compartment that can not be clean no matter how hard you try. Just to be clear I'm not telling you to use a steam cleaner.
    What steam cleaner? Free advice is just free advice. We are all ultimately responsible for our own actions.
    But thanks for the suggestions.
    Cheers
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    What steam cleaner? Free advice is just free advice. We are all ultimately responsible for our own actions.
    But thanks for the suggestions.
    Cheers
    If my advice killed you would you still think it was free?

    The reason I said “Just to be clear I'm not telling you to use a steam cleaner.” was because the suggestion using exhaust of a running vehicle. That method was use a long, long time ago when the exhaust had lots of carbon monoxide. I would not bet a person life on telling them to use that method today. Don't get me wrong I'm not criticizing anyone for trying to help. When welding a fuel tank you wont get a 2nd chance if something go wrong.

    Be safe.

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    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    The thing to remember about fuel vapor, is you must still have the right combination of fuel and air before the mixture will ignite. Too lean or rich will prevent ignition.

    When I welded on mine, I let it evaporate till all the gas was gone. Then I put the shop vac on it for about 30 minutes and made sure it had purged out all the old gas vapors. My shop vac also blows so I put turned it to the blow setting. You could use a leaf blower if you wanted. I gave it the ol torch test around the corner of the garage just incase and all was clear. Then I turned the vac back on it and started welding. I cranked up the argon just to make sure I had enough.

    That was my experience. I am not certified or anything, so for liability reasons I can't recommend you do it this way. However, I will do the next one the same way as well. You could even fill with water just to make you feel better, so If anything went wrong you would get a small poof and a good scare instead of a big boom and a trip to the hospital.
    09 River Wild, 3 stages, LS power

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    So I've flushed it now twice with 140 deg F water and citrus de-greaser, as well as the cold water flushes. Smelling really clean, no fuel odor at all. Just letting it sit now with the openings downwards. Need to pick up a thread-o-let to weld in this week. Will still fill with water, and purge with an inert gas. I have a full tank of MIG gas (Ar, CO2) that I'll use for pureeing instead of the spendier Argon.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Repairing complete. New vent threadolet TIGd in, brackets fixed, no boom. The hot water and Simple green really cleaned it out.
    getting it into my buddies shop tomorrow to take it off the trailer and prep for welding on the reverse chines. Have to move all my gear and bottles over to his place. He's got the overhead crane.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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