After a nice long weekend at Fenwick Island, DE, I had a little time to start on the head work for the Ricer’s bent valve issue. The first item I wanted to get done was to remove all of the intake and exhaust studs from an old LS head I had sitting around. To remove the studs, I just double nutted the stud, put some heat to stud and a little PB Blaster, and they spun out with little issue.
Once that was done, I took a look at the head I got from eBay and noticed that it had an exhaust stud broken off. Not too happy, but it gave me a chance to try a procedure that I read about but never tried. I cleaned the broken stud the best I could with Acetone and found a nut that had an inside diameter roughly the size of the stud. I broke out the welder, and with the nut out of the way, I built up a little tack weld on the stud. I placed the nut over the tack weld; then, I used the welder to weld the tack to the nut and made sure it was a good weld. With my fingers crossed, I used a wrench and turned the nut welded to the stud, and with success, the broken stud spun out with no effort. I always read that the heat from welding also helps to loosen up the broken stud, and with this experience, I cannot disagree.
1. One of my co-workers had a broken telescope mount that he needed welded, so he brought it in to see if I could help out. The piece is cast aluminum, and I have never welded cast aluminum before, so I told him I would give it a shot. I spent a little time watching YouTube videos on welding cast aluminum, and I basically learned that it can be a pain to weld, but cleanliness is key.
Once I got the broken half circle mount secured onto the welding table, I got a new grinding wheel and cleaned the area around the split and grooved out the crack slightly. I then used a new stainless wire brush and acetone to complete the cleaning of the broken piece. I also used a new scratch pad to clean the filler rod.
It took a couple tries to get the heat set correctly on the welder, but I did finally get a good setting to get the cleaning and melting at a happy place. What worked for me is that I did two passes over the crack area. The first pass laid down new filler material on each side of the crack; then, the second pass I could fill in the crack. I did small sections at a time, but I’m happy with the penetration; however, I wouldn’t win a prettiest weld competition.
He will try it out this weekend, but it will work just fine.