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Old 06-01-2006, 08:06 AM
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mitch mitch is offline
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2002 Zeroflex tower cracked ;(

boat was going in the water this weekend and the last thing I needed to do was put my tower back on. That's when I noticed a nasty crack on the drivers side base piece. I've heard of others having success w/ welding theirs, so I'm on the hunt for a good welder. Anyone else having problems w/ their 02 Zeroflex. This is the x-star tower of that year. Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:30 AM
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OUCH!!! How did that happen? Was there water in it over the winter?
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:35 AM
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Make sure you know the material specs for the tower and then consult the appropiate welder (as such) and make sure he / she knows the material compatibility with the tower and the filler metal and proper prep (not to insult anyone's intelligence, but make sure you find a welder in complete understanding of the applicable metallurgy). That and proper preparation is the success of a proper repair. That crack should be repairable from first glance. Don't just cover the crack with filler metal but prep the joint (should require minimal prep from looking at the pic), place a proper stress relief end point on each end of the crack (I'd drill a small hole on each end of the crack), then lay in the filler as needed. MIG, TIG, or GTAW.

I would even consider additional overlay beyond the crack, just for good measures.

Please do not take this as the proper procedure but use as a thought starter guideline. Your skilled welder should know exactly how to do this properly.
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:48 AM
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JB weld and duct tape!!!...

sorry i was being a hick.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2006, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporty
Make sure you know the material specs for the tower and then consult the appropiate welder (as such) and make sure he / she knows the material compatibility with the tower and the filler metal and proper prep (not to insult anyone's intelligence, but make sure you find a welder in complete understanding of the applicable metallurgy). That and proper preparation is the success of a proper repair. That crack should be repairable from first glance. Don't just cover the crack with filler metal but prep the joint (should require minimal prep from looking at the pic), place a proper stress relief end point on each end of the crack (I'd drill a small hole on each end of the crack), then lay in the filler as needed. MIG, TIG, or GTAW.

I would even consider additional overlay beyond the crack, just for good measures.

Please do not take this as the proper procedure but use as a thought starter guideline. Your skilled welder should know exactly how to do this properly.
Excellent advice. I absolutely agree that this kind of repair needs to be done by someone who understands aluminum alloys and has a big TIG/GTAW welder. I'd definitely want the guy to patch it after reapproximating the crack and welding it.

The other thing I'd do is email New Dimension and send pictures before getting it fixed. IMHO, only the most severe abuse should allow a crack of that nature on a 4 year old tower. I think it's a mfgr defect and they should replace it.
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmac
Excellent advice. I absolutely agree that this kind of repair needs to be done by someone who understands aluminum alloys and has a big TIG/GTAW welder. I'd definitely want the guy to patch it after reapproximating the crack and welding it.

The other thing I'd do is email New Dimension and send pictures before getting it fixed. IMHO, only the most severe abuse should allow a crack of that nature on a 4 year old tower. I think it's a mfgr defect and they should replace it.
Very good advice! I can tell you as a welder by trade & a Certified Weld Inspector from the American Weld Society that a repair like that will have to be done by a MIG machine or Oxy-Fuel Welding. GTAW (TIG) will not work because of the thickness of the aluminum. You will risk opening up the repair to much causing it to be much worse. It looks like a fairly simple repair. As Sporty stated, you will want to to add extra filler metal beyond the repair & possibly tie into the existing weld. Make sure your welded does a Liquid Penetrant Test (PT) on the repair & I would also request to Test the rest of your welds to verify there are no other stress cracks. Good Luck!
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalanic
Very good advice! I can tell you as a welder by trade & a Certified Weld Inspector from the American Weld Society that a repair like that will have to be done by a MIG machine or Oxy-Fuel Welding. GTAW (TIG) will not work because of the thickness of the aluminum. You will risk opening up the repair to much causing it to be much worse. It looks like a fairly simple repair. As Sporty stated, you will want to to add extra filler metal beyond the repair & possibly tie into the existing weld. Make sure your welded does a Liquid Penetrant Test (PT) on the repair & I would also request to Test the rest of your welds to verify there are no other stress cracks. Good Luck!
Interesting, thanks for the info. I do a lot of TIG welding on mild steel, but I can't weld aluminum worth a sh** with it. I understand the theory, but my attempts have been pretty funny. I only know enough to be certain that that crack is going to be a tough one to fix well, and that New Dimensions should step up.
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmac
Interesting, thanks for the info. I do a lot of TIG welding on mild steel, but I can't weld aluminum worth a sh** with it. I understand the theory, but my attempts have been pretty funny. I only know enough to be certain that that crack is going to be a tough one to fix well, and that New Dimensions should step up.
Yes welding aluminum using GTAW (TIG) is like trying to control a puddle of water, not very fun. GMAW (MIG) gives you the wire control with variable speed & alot less heat. To weld aluminum successfully with GTAW you must use pure Tungsten & have the machine in AC. You should also be using a larger diameter Tungsten while in AC because of the higher heat required, around 1/16" or 1/8".
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmac
Interesting, thanks for the info. I do a lot of TIG welding on mild steel, but I can't weld aluminum worth a sh** with it. I understand the theory, but my attempts have been pretty funny. I only know enough to be certain that that crack is going to be a tough one to fix well, and that New Dimensions should step up.
My father-in-law said the same thing. He's a pretty good welder, but mixed results on alum. Sometime it's comes out perfects, other times it's a mess. If I can get the part for a reasonable $, I'm just gonna replace it. I should know today/tomorrow.
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:16 AM
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mitch mitch is offline
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Thanks for the feedback guys! The crack runs right along the heat line from the orig weld. Father-in-law, who's a mechanic and welds a lot, said manf defect all the way, too much heat. Looking ahead to a weld failing, I sent a note to my fav MC dealer (pssst in NC) asking how much to replace the driver's side base, and I will email ND, good idea. I doubt water got in there, as it was tented good for the winter. I even covered the only small hole in the base w/ a coozie, as to not rip the tarp. Every time I checked the boat, it was bone dry. That being said, I can not understand how I missed it in the fall, when I took the tower off. Hmmm, maybe
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