Welded Crank Journal, Yes or No
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Welded Crank Journal, Yes or No

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    Distinguished Member David 519's Avatar
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    Default Welded Crank Journal, Yes or No

    Some of you likely already know from the V-Drive thread, we had a small weld repair on our crank peal off after the first full pass. Stuck in the bearing, and tore up a bunch of stuff. It's partly my fault since I looked at the repair after it was done and didn't like it. The shop guys said it was fine and I let myself get talked into using it.
    The only other crank repair I've had was on a street car that had spun a rod bearing. The repair looked perfect and you couldn't even tell it had been repaired. Lasted for years, but in a HP street application, not a race engine.
    So, what's the current thinking on weld repairing a crankshaft in a modest racing application (approximately 950 HP). Is it done regularly and if it's done properly, will it last. Finally, any recommendations of competent shops to do it. I'll likely not use in in our race motor, but getting a pretty decent collection of parts for a lake motor.
    As always, I appreciate any input.
    David

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    Member Speed565's Avatar
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    I ran a weld repaired crank in an endurance motor with no problems.
    The only reason it was repaired, it was a 1 off billet for a V12 and the manufacturer did not want to make another crank.
    For the price of a Scat/Eagle crank for use in a lake boat, I would say a damaged crank that requires welding would make a good anchor or mail box post.....

    Steve

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    Cantard 71hallett's Avatar
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    I would never use a welded crank in any race setup. To many expensive parts put at risk. I know its expensive to buy a new one but what does it cost when it takes out other parts with it? my .02
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    It would be a balmy 85* in Steel's shop if he would move a little faster

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    mo balls than $cents$ IMPATIENT 1's Avatar
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    the steel cranks i've seen snap did it near a weld repair. kinda makes sense that if heat treating the crank makes it harder, than welding in 1 spot will make that 1 spot harder and more prone to crack on either side of that. seen it happen on a bbc crank(scat) and a eagle sbc crank in a dirt track alky motor.

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    steelcomp was here
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    David, when I read your post in VDrives, I really had to hold back on what I wanted to say, but now that you've opened the door, from the description of the weld, IMHO, that machinist should have never let that crank out of the shop, let alone advised you to weld it. You were right in the beginning and should have just turned it and been done with it. I've seen cranks live after being welded, but it's a process that has to be done cafrefully and correctly. When done, it should be almost impossible to see where the weld was. For the longest time the only way to get a stroker was to have the journal welded. One of the machine shops I use has a special machine that welds cranks for repair, but it's a very controlled process. If there was ANY porosity or any visible flaw in teh weld, it should have never gone out the door, but it sounds like you knew that, and just got BS'd. That's too bad.
    Wreath Automotive in Long Beach comes to mind. I rmember as a kid seeing a display of the welding and grinding process for a stroker in their display case. I know they have a long race history, IF they're still around. Also the shop up here in Santa barbara (the one with the machine) Toby's Automotive.
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    Senior Member Pattymelt18's Avatar
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    Go see castillos cranks in La Mirada his name is joe trust me everyone in the business sends there cranks there for repairs or custom grinds and they will give you the honest answer number is 714 523 0321 but call early cause they close at like 1230.

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    Village Idiot fc-Pilot's Avatar
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    I think the key is "Competent Shop". We have had cranks welded, and just like was said, you would never have know. The guy that has done our work is outside of Phoenix. He used to work at Crower doing all their repairs. He now lives out here and works part time doing this stuff (as he is looking to retire soon). He has been doing this all his life and is dang good at it. You really need to decide if it is worth spending a decent amount on fixing a crank that can easily be replaced with a new one for not too much more.

    Paul

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    Default Joe ? Reath/Wreath

    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    David, when I read your post in VDrives, I really had to hold back on what I wanted to say, but now that you've opened the door, from the description of the weld, IMHO, that machinist should have never let that crank out of the shop, let alone advised you to weld it. You were right in the beginning and should have just turned it and been done with it. I've seen cranks live after being welded, but it's a process that has to be done cafrefully and correctly. When done, it should be almost impossible to see where the weld was. For the longest time the only way to get a stroker was to have the journal welded. One of the machine shops I use has a special machine that welds cranks for repair, but it's a very controlled process. If there was ANY porosity or any visible flaw in teh weld, it should have never gone out the door, but it sounds like you knew that, and just got BS'd. That's too bad.
    Wreath Automotive in Long Beach comes to mind. I rmember as a kid seeing a display of the welding and grinding process for a stroker in their display case. I know they have a long race history, IF they're still around. Also the shop up here in Santa barbara (the one with the machine) Toby's Automotive.
    They're closed Scott. I stopped by on my way to Long Beach in 07 and the shop is gone. The number still rings through to the house, but he is retired and just plays a bit with his toys...........Ray
    LOUD BOATS SAVE LIVES

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    As I mentioned in PM,, the best place to go that I am aware of is Marine Crankshaft in Santa Ana. I seem to recall his name is also David.

    His shop is set up primarily to repair crankshafts, you can probably find his phone number and get him to describe what sets him apart from other shops. I have only had him weld a Merc outboard crank for me, to save having to spend $2000 on a new one, but have heard of others,, and the finished product had no porosity, beautiful job. While I was there, I was able to see the welding machine in operation, heating and cooling was controlled.

    * update: I went ahead and did a quick search, he is now in Santa Ana http://www.marinecrankshaftinc.com/quarter.htm
    Last edited by obnoxious001; 09-25-2008 at 01:28 AM.

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    These guys do alot of work for professional teams:

    http://www.milehighcranks.com/
    Chris Straub
    Straub Technologies

    3HP is an A$$ Whooping!!! JW

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    A legend to the DNR vdrive502's Avatar
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    I think of my boat as a airplane I don't want to cut corners to have the engine fail becuase bad results is what happens in the end.

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    Distinguished Member David 519's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    David, when I read your post in VDrives, I really had to hold back on what I wanted to say, but now that you've opened the door, from the description of the weld, IMHO, that machinist should have never let that crank out of the shop, let alone advised you to weld it. You were right in the beginning and should have just turned it and been done with it. I've seen cranks live after being welded, but it's a process that has to be done cafrefully and correctly. When done, it should be almost impossible to see where the weld was. For the longest time the only way to get a stroker was to have the journal welded. One of the machine shops I use has a special machine that welds cranks for repair, but it's a very controlled process. If there was ANY porosity or any visible flaw in teh weld, it should have never gone out the door, but it sounds like you knew that, and just got BS'd. That's too bad.
    Wreath Automotive in Long Beach comes to mind. I rmember as a kid seeing a display of the welding and grinding process for a stroker in their display case. I know they have a long race history, IF they're still around. Also the shop up here in Santa barbara (the one with the machine) Toby's Automotive.
    Scott, you don't have to ever hold back on replying to one of my posts. I appreciate your input and never take it personally. If I post something, it's because I want the different inputs from everyone here.
    In my day job, we deal with journal repairs fairly regularly. Typically lower RPM stuff (3600), but larger journals (18"-30" diameters) with very high surface speeds. Way higher than a typical 8000 RPM race motor. Although the metalurgical aspects are a bit out of my field, I'm also aware of what goes into the process. The technology isn't (or shouldn't be) out of reach of a good race shop... I guess that's why I got talked into it.
    Again, I should have followed my gut.
    Sounds like the consensus is in line with my thinking... No more welded cranks in my race motors
    Thanks all...

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David 519 View Post
    Again, I should have followed my gut.
    Sounds like the consensus is in line with my thinking... No more welded cranks in my race motors
    Thanks all...
    The problem wasn't A welded crank, it was that welded crank, and more precisely, that weld. Like Steel said, there was a time when that's all we had when it came to strokers. With the hi-tech welding equipment out there today, it can and is done every day. If I had a 4.5" center counter weighted Sonny Bryant with a ding, I would weld it in second. But I would be very carefull of who I handed it to. Probably Castillo or Valasco. The problem was, "not following your GUT," when you knew it wasn't right. EVERY SINGLE TIME I have gone against my gut on motor deal it has bittin me in the ass. Then you learn.



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    Last edited by gn7; 09-25-2008 at 04:49 PM.

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    Senior Member wagspe208's Avatar
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    I would put a PROPERLY welded and repiared crank in my piece in a minute. Notice the caps. PROPERLY. Just because a guy has a welder and a grinder does not mean he can do the job properly.
    That goes for most high perf. machining practices, though. Most shops cannot properly do half the stuff they are trying to do. Since most of you guys do not have dial bore gauges, micrometers, etc...you don't know until it is to late. You should be able to trust your machinist. You never should, though.
    I always welcome anyone and encourage everyone to double check my work. If a guy wants to put his own stuff together, have a good time. If your machinist says you do not need to check his work..wonder why.
    I will even machine to the do it yourselfers specs. I put the specs requested on the receipt, mark as per customer request, and have a good time.
    OK, back on track. Many a shop can properly repair a journal. I stick with the crank specialists if the a journal repair is needed. (been a long time, though)
    Wags

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