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Aluminum Welding

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by fishinfool6369, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. I have a battery box located in the floor of my 2004 Lund Explorer. The aluminum box has a large crack and some loose rivets that I am looking to get welded. Anyone know of a welder that tig welds on aluminum? Around the Youngstown would be preferred but can tow the boat to get it done.

    Thanks
     
  2. The only place I would recommend is in Oakwood village, it's called Wonderweld. They've been there for years.
     

  3. can you take the box out? might be a challange welding down in a hole.
     
    crappiedude likes this.
  4. No, I would have to take out part of the floor to remove the box. Rather not do that if possible
     
  5. If it's in a hole you might be better mig welding it. it may be the only way to get to it.
     
  6. I believe there is a place a little west of Canfield that advertises alum. welding. Went past it on the way to Berlin. rt224.
    EB
     
  7. Mig welding is the way to go for that repair. Faster, less heat and easier than using a tig welder.
     
    dirtandleaves and fastwater like this.
  8. fastwater

    fastwater "My grace is sufficient for you"

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    Agree!
    But my question is what caused the battery box to crack in the first place?
    Was it that it's mounted rigid and the hull is flexing causing the crack?
    If so, it's only going to crack again unless remounted in a way as to absorb the flexing. Maybe the box needs removed, repaired and remounted with rubber underneath it.
     
    crappiedude likes this.
  9. I'd guess without seeing the failure. Improper factory installation. The box might not have been fastened down well enough. Or not mounted in the correct location to grab at least 2 stringers for support. Causing your condition. Mounted crooked will causing uneven loading.
    Quite a few reasons as it is not a common complaint on Lunds.
    Was the battery secured in the box or was there movement/sliding allowed.
    I do not believe rubber would help much after welding. If the box is secured properly and battery secured. There should not be a problem.
     
  10. fastwater

    fastwater "My grace is sufficient for you"

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    Unless the box was mounted rigid and there was hull flexing going on right where the box is mounted as stated...or if the box is bolted down and the hold down bolts came loose allowing the the box to flex...then yes, that could have caused the crack.
    And if box is mounted rigid and was not loose, that hull flexing could even be caused by something as simple as the trailer bunks not supporting the boat properly while going down the road...cracked trailer weld...a cracked stringer...to many other causes in between. Hopefully it's something much more minor.

    There are certainly other reasons as you stated the box could have cracked.

    It's apparent something is not right or it wouldn't have cracked in the first place and IMO, would be worth pulling the box and inspecting to try and find out the original cause. May save some more serious future issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  11. Make sure the batteries are pulled down tight by a strap or straps. If your battery is up front it will just pound away and nothing will take the pounding of a 60 lb. battery for long.
     
    fastwater likes this.
  12. Thanks for all the responses. I think I have a couple leads on some welders. I think I took a few too many big waves on lake erie. As you can see in the pictures, the rivets that hold the corners of the box together came apart and the damage spread causing the crack.
     

    Attached Files:

    fastwater likes this.
  13. fastwater

    fastwater "My grace is sufficient for you"

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    Thus the very reason if it were mine, just for piece of mind, I'd pull the box( or find a way) to further inspect stringers/supports etc. Other rivets, stringers and supports took those same waves the battery box took. While its very possible the only reason the battery box cracked is from just the box rivets loosening, if other unknown supports, stringers, rivets are loose/cracked and they aren't fixed, the new repairs to the battery box will most likely be short lived and what may be additional small repairs now could easily turn into major ones later.
    Most likely nothing wrong. But if I didn't inspect...it would always be in the back of my mind.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  14. Decoy hound

    Decoy hound Supporting Member

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    You would be way better off having a new box made that’s all welded, rivets suck!
     
    fastwater likes this.
  15. That's allot more than a crack. That's going to take some work. It needs to be plated/replaced and as said before there is most likely more broken somewhere. looks like it may come out if you remove the rest of the screws around the top.
     
    kycreek and fastwater like this.
  16. Better remove that for repairs or replacement.
     
    fastwater likes this.
  17. if you have a section of floor right in the middle of the boat , or close to that area ,I,d pull it up and inspect the welds , thats some nasty movment happening.
     
    fastwater likes this.
  18. spin the wheel

    spin the wheel Member

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    I am a welder and I would not weld on anything that I could not verify what might be located on the back side of the metal being worked on, let alone located in the bilge of a boat with fuel tank, lines, wires, foam , Possible FUEL VAPORS, If something flared up behind it then what?
     
  19. I was thinking the same thing. No welder in his right mind is going to weld that thing sitting in there.

    It looks to me like that box is riveted together and with little work you could take it out. There doesn't have to anything wrong with the surrounding structure for that box to fail. All that's needed is just the shear weight of a battery not being fastened securely to take it apart.
    Just looking at the pics you can see that's fairly lightweight alum, can't be more than .060-.070.
    If it were me I'd go in and take that box apart and get someone (sheet metal shop) to make whatever sections are bad and replace those sections. At a minimum I would replace that one bad section that is cracked in half. Any new sections I would try to get made from a heavier gauge material.
    A good 1 piece welded box would be great but if you can't get one I would use a good heavy rivet.
    I had some damage in my battery compartment in my boat and I'm sure it is just from the weight of the batteries.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
    zaraspook likes this.
  20. I also do not believe that vertical crack is from weakened structure underneath. Remove the complete box. Repair, then install better than Lund did. And make sure your batteries are secured like mentioned above.