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Old 12-27-2018, 07:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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TIG welding an oil pan

Guys,

I need to mod an oil pan. Have a few questions please.

This pan mod will entail moving the drain plug to a new location, and modifying the pan's external dimensions to accommodate axle housing clearance. I will need to remove "volume" in one part of the pan, and add "volume" to another part of the pan to replace the lost volume.

I plan on tig welding.

Questions.........

Can the existing oil pan be cleaned and prepped well enough to rid it of all contaminates? Detergent wash, acetone and rubbing alcohol enough, or, has the metal been contaminated at a deep / microscopic level with oil? Do I need to buy a brand new oil pan that has never seen oil?

ER70S2 rod or 309 tig rod?

I've been reading that the 309 rod "flows" better than ER70S2 and is a good choice for reducing porosity in the weld, and less sensitive to residual contaminates [ on the mild steel ] and breeze moving the argon around when welding. Thinking porosity is likely going to be more of an issue to this new tig welder than lack of over all strength........I need all the advantages that I can get.


The negatives with 309 seem to be that the mild steel base metal will dilute the ferrite level in the weld, making it susceptible to cracking. Also not as good for thermal cycling for the same issue, cracking weld.
OK......do these factors come into play with an oil pan and it's use? Or are those concerns meant for pressure vessels and other critical welds?

Lastly.......one web site i went to used surplus ammo cans as material for modifying oil pans. Seems convenient, since they already are shaped with volume and dimensions that can be adapted onto an oil pan.

Anyone used an ammo can for this?

Thanks.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Little bit of heat will sweat out contaminates.


I'm pretty green on TIG, but we have some fancy SS312 rod that we used for some dissimilar material/ tool modification. It's supposedly the cats ass, but spendy.

If the pan is just stamped steel, i'd use the ER70 no problem
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No mig welder?

I'd just run the ER70 rod and I would use something heavier than ammo can steel to patch in with!

I have a shit ton of pickled and oiled sheet metal drops from a local place that builds lockers. Got them for next to nothing at the scrap yard. Check your local metal suppliers, I'm sure they sell a 16 gauge sheet or something like that.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis38 View Post
Little bit of heat will sweat out contaminates.


I'm pretty green on TIG, but we have some fancy SS312 rod that we used for some dissimilar material/ tool modification. It's supposedly the cats ass, but spendy.

If the pan is just stamped steel, i'd use the ER70 no problem
You get all fancy with the number. It should be referred to as the Super Missile Rod lol.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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309 is an austenitic SS that is used for welding mild steel to stainless steel, and [I] probably wouldn't use it on regular MS to MS TIG welding. As Elvis38 mentioned 312 would be a better choice, but honestly there is no reason to. ER70S2 will work just fine, but if you need for it to flow better, you can always get some ER70S6. The added silicon helps it flow better. That being said, I've used silicon bronze as well when I added additional capacity to my oil pan:










At the time, I didn't have a MIG welder, only TIG. Had I had a MIG welder, I would have MIG'd it, hands down. But since I only had TIG, and only a couple years experience with it, I went with silicon bronze because I didn't want to take a chance on warping the crap out of it, and it flows very well into crevices for a leak-proof weld seam. What ever you do, make sure you bolt down the whole oil pan either to the engine block or a dummy block if you have one. Not only will it keep the mounting flange true, it helps wick out just a little bit of heat as well, lessening the impact of too-slow travel speed should there be one.

To clean my oil pan, I used a large plastic storage bin, hot water with purple power, about a 5:1 water:degreaser ratio, then more hot water and dawn dishwashing liquid (just enough to get real sudsy, or you can also use simple green here as well). Then rinse and dry off right away with compressed air to blow out all the water.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm assuming a steel oil pan based off the "ammo can" comment. If you have mig, run it. No reason to tig unless you want to. Clean it up like any other piece of metal and run a bead. It's not as bad as you think. I've done several steel and alu pans and not had an issue yet. If you get a pin hole, drill it out and fill it in. Don't try to cover it. You will just chase it around. Get some dye check spray. Fix holes as needed.
Only other advise is to ditch the ammo can for replacement steel idea. Why use another dirty piece? For the extra work of cutting it up and prepping it, just go get a clean piece of steel and be done.

Oh and use ER70s wire. That's my .02

Last edited by shaggy10000; 12-27-2018 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Home Depot has 16g sheet, scotch brite wheel on a die grinder clean up everything real good, put the pieces back together with a MIG and call it a day. Could even go up 14g if you wanted to.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Good advice guys, thank you.

I have a mig, but it's not set up for .23 or .30 wire.
I have a tig, and will use it. I need the practice.

I know I'll get pin holes, and that's the main concern, dealing with them. Good comment about using the dye to check for holes.

So, just heating up the existing weld bead [ around the pin hole location ] with the tungsten and allowing the bead to flow and fill in the hole is not advisable?
Better to drill the hole and do a small plug weld?

I also have tig brazing rod. Never tied using it before however. Would that be a better choice for tig material? Strong enough weld for an oil pan?

I have some new 16 gauge to use, will go with that. Just thot the ammo box would be easier, based upon the web site advice, that suggested using one.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokerider View Post
Good advice guys, thank you.

I have a mig, but it's not set up for .23 or .30 wire.
I have a tig, and will use it. I need the practice.

I know I'll get pin holes, and that's the main concern, dealing with them. Good comment about using the dye to check for holes.

So, just heating up the existing weld bead [ around the pin hole location ] with the tungsten and allowing the bead to flow and fill in the hole is not advisable?
Better to drill the hole and do a small plug weld?

I also have tig brazing rod. Never tied using it before however. Would that be a better choice for tig material? Strong enough weld for an oil pan?

I have some new 16 gauge to use, will go with that. Just thot the ammo box would be easier, based upon the web site advice, that suggested using one.
So i guess i'm a little confused at the comment "I know i'll get pin holes"

Clean the metal just like you would anything else, use some solvent (like acetone) to clean out the oily side and have at it.

Everything being steel, feel free to go slow and use less heat. wait at a spot until your puddle is clean, if it is still gassing out, hang out.

yes, do what you can to control warping, but it sounds like you are mostly just adding to so it shouldn't be that big of a deal. if you can, use a magnet to stick something thicker behind your joint to suck up some heat.


or i'm full of shit and totally missing the point, please let me know
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm no pro welder, so yes, I expect pin holes, lol.

I have some aluminum plate I can use as a heat sink if needed. Jody's tricks and tips.

No need to buy a brand new pan then, great. I'll clean the oil off the existing one well.

You guys have any preferred option for a new drain pan bung / plug? Reuse the existing one?

Doesn't seem to be many weld-in steel options out there?
I found this;


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Transmissio...d3w:rk:11:pf:0

Otherwise, I'll stop in at the local trans repair shop and see what they have.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Spokerider View Post
I'm no pro welder, so yes, I expect pin holes, lol.

I have some aluminum plate I can use as a heat sink if needed. Jody's tricks and tips.

No need to buy a brand new pan then, great. I'll clean the oil off the existing one well.

You guys have any preferred option for a new drain pan bung / plug? Reuse the existing one?

Doesn't seem to be many weld-in steel options out there?
I found this;


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Transmissio...d3w:rk:11:pf:0

Otherwise, I'll stop in at the local trans repair shop and see what they have.
For the drain take a hole saw close to the size of the bung, run no pilot bit, basically using the factory bung as a guide and drill it out.

Hole saw slightly smaller than the factory bung to give a little overlap wherever you want the drain.

Clean surfaces, glue together.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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bungking.com for the drain.

Edit: Bung king has some cool stuff, but actually that ebay link you posted looks good. A stepped bung is easiest. Drill a hole, slip the bung in till it bottoms, weld. A bung, plug, and washer for $15 looks good to me.

Last edited by Vintage Smoke; 12-29-2018 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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well give it a shot, when you see bubbles in your puddle, hang out and wait with the tungsten lit and see how long it takes to clean up before adding wire and moving on.

if you stuff wire and jam while the gasses are still forming and exiting then you will be more likely to get pinholes
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