Frame welding

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Panshovevo
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Frame welding

#1

Post by Panshovevo » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:25 pm

I'm getting up close and personal with my '50 frame for the first time. I knew the frame had been welded in the area of the rear motor mount, as the area was bubble-gummed to the nth degree. The bike vibrated furiously when I first bought it, but when I removed and welded the top motor mount, it settled down considerably. Now, with the motor and tranny out of the way, and the oil/dirt buildup removed, I find a number of cracks outside the welded area of the rear mount , both in the mount forging, and the tube.
I have TIG, arc, and oxy/acetylene available. I'm thinking preheat the area to a dull red with a rosebud, TIG the cracks, and stress relieve by reheating the area with the torch, and slowly cooling.

Anyone have any better ideas?

Does anyone know the details of the heat-treat procedure the factory used on these frames? I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to stress relieve and re-treat the entire frame.



Robert Luland
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Re: Frame welding

#2

Post by Robert Luland » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:03 pm

Don't even think of that unless you got that frame bolted in a jig. Rear mount? I would at least bolt in a tranny plate before welding on it. Bob L

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Re: Frame welding

#3

Post by Panshovevo » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:23 am

Would it be worth the effort to build a heavy plate to support the rear engine mount from the front mount? I know the rear mount is already twisted somewhat.

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Re: Frame welding

#4

Post by mbskeam » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:55 am

as was stated this needs a jig/table to bolt it down and cut the whole bad tube out...
this will allow you to get the old tube out of the forging and replace with a new section of tube..... it really is not that hard
if you weld it like this it WILL bust again

try this site it has a bunch of pics....

http://oldbikesinsd.blogspot.com/search ... results=50" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Cotten
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Re: Frame welding

#5

Post by Cotten » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:56 am

Based entirely upon experience,
I would have any replacement section slug'ed in and TIG'd up cold, and then straighten as necessary afterwards.

No matter how much effort you go through to "jig" or whatever,
you will still have to straighten and align afterwards, anyway.

That is actually pretty easy.

....Cotten

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Re: Frame welding

#6

Post by Panshovevo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:23 am

Does anyone know what steel alloy was used in the frame tubes and forgings in the '50 era frames? I looked in Palmers book; as usual, I couldn't find what I was looking for...

Cotten, I have a great deal of respect for your reputation and experience, but what I've learned about steel tube structure in the aircraft field makes me uncomfortable with cold bending on any highly stressed component. I have read that the factory trued the frames that way after heat treat, but they were working with new metal, not pieces that have had 60 years to age and work harden.

Regards,
John

Cotten
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Re: Frame welding

#7

Post by Cotten » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:00 am

John!

When the frames were made, they were straightened and stress-relieved after the fact.

This gives them memory.

If they get bent, it happens when they are cold.

If you bend them back cold, they want to go back to where they were stress-relieved.

If you heat them, they lose their memory, and go squirrely.

Once again, I base this entirely upon experience, and little else.

Honestly, if you keep this in mind,
frame straightening can be quite fun and rewarding.

I had the pleasure of seeing a Henderson in the pavilion at D-port this weekend that the owner and I pushed to straight on my patio.

It ain't rocket science; That's why the inspection procedure is in the Shop Manual!
But it does take patience, observation, and a little resourcefulness.

Frankly,
I believe that you can probably do better than a certain "expert" with a national reputation for the service!

....Cotten

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Re: Frame welding

#8

Post by john HD » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:29 am

you guys might get a kick out of this document. although dated, it makes no mention of heat when working on frames or forks.

the images alone are worth the download.

john

http://www.hydra-glide.com/joomla/index ... d-aligning

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Re: Frame welding

#9

Post by Panshovevo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:10 am

DON'T YA JUST LOVE IT? ..."ben(sic) OKed by competent authorities".
They just don't write manuals like that anymore.

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Re: Frame welding

#10

Post by john HD » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:11 am

wonder what osha would have thought back in the day?

john
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Re: Frame welding

#11

Post by Panshovevo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:18 am

Had OSHA been in existence all along, the industrial revolution never would have revolved.

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Re: Frame welding

#12

Post by Panshovevo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:25 am

Cotten, remember that I'm dealing with an area that has been distorted by previous crappy welding by someone who tried to make up for his lack of skill by piling on more and more crappy weld.

John

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Re: Frame welding

#13

Post by Cotten » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:26 pm

John!

I thought that we had already assumed that you would remove the diseased section,
and slug in a new one.

My contention was that it should be merely TIG'd in, and not soaked with heat during that process.
(Simple peening goes a long way to stress-relieve a weld.)
And then the frame can be massaged back to straight cold.
In all honesty, I have soaked great heat into the frame when restoring ground off welds with no problem,
but it was always after the frame had been straightened.

If I can do it, any of us can!

Here is some of the exotic equipment that can be applied:
FRAMTOOL.jpg
The section of I-beam turned out to be the same width as the bottom runners of the frame. It is relieved at spots for the welds and brackets.
Below it is a pile of Harbor Freight McPherson strut clamps that have been carved to secure the runners to the beam.
Often merely straightening the bottom runners of a frame pulls it close to true.

Some of the other straight sections can be tweak'd back to straight with the section of storm grating at the bottom.
The small pieces of beam bolt to the larger to give something to press sideways or vertically.
The piece on the right fits the headstock for applying forces there.
(I admit that I have gotten frames into a large press for that....)

Other super-sophisticated tooling not shown are chains, turnbuckles, crowbars, wood blocks, C-clamps, "come-alongs", "all-thread" and nuts, etc.
And a "Porta-Power" is the ultimate convenience, of course.
You are only limited by your imagination, or elite schooling.

The bottom line is inspection, of course.
and for that, we turn to the Service Manual:
framejig.jpg
The dimensions of inspection rods in the Manual are unusual, but with a little arithmatic you can apply common conduit or even a fluorescent light bulb.

The whole notion for inspecting the headstock is to "sweep" the bar extending from it with a straight-edge held square to the seatpost and the vertical bar anchored to the tranny mount.

Everything else is a matter of a measuring to the centerline (beware the left rear 'truss' is off-set for the brake), and attaching straightedges to visually inspect everything horizontal, such as motormounts, axle slots, etc.

Visual inspection demands standing back a LONG distance. A small room is a serious compromise.
If you just gotta go high-tech to feel better about it, get a lazer transit.

You have little to fear but fear itself.

....Cotten
Please note that we are dealing with a frame that was completely arc-welded to begin with...
Earlier speltered frames have their own issues when it comes to heat.
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Panshovevo
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Re: Frame welding

#14

Post by Panshovevo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:59 pm

Thanks for all the information, Cotten. It is appreciated.

If, by your mention of elite schooling, you are referring to my mention of Embry-Riddle, I attended back in the days when a regular guy could afford it with some help from the GI Bill,a job, and student loans. I'm still paying for it, though.

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Re: Frame welding

#15

Post by Cotten » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:40 pm

Panshovevo!

I am really not familiar at all with Embry-Riddle, so don't take it personal.
I was trying to refer to how modern schools focus entirely upon high-tech, and dismiss the low-tech essentials.

Although I jumped upon a cafeteria table once and renounced all of my formal education, my few years as administrative staff in the engineering college of a major university taught me that academia lost the forest somewhere in the trees.

Please have faith in your own instincts and skills within your own fingertips.
I have faith in them, and I don't even know you.

After all, H-D frames were phenomenally forgiving. How else could so many barnyard chops have survived to become the icons that they remain to this day.

Ever see many surviving chopped Indians?

There's serious reasons for that!

....Cotten

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