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Heat cyl. with arc welder?


I know about thawing water pipes with a welder,could I use the same application to heat my stuck...

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2001, 10:23 PM
Wayne Z.
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Default Heat cyl. with arc welder?

I know about thawing water pipes with a welder,could I use the same application to heat my stuck 4hp Novo cylinder/piston? Thanks,Wayne Z.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2001, 11:31 PM
Dave Valentine
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

Wayne, I don't think the welder will do it for you. It thaws the pipes more with a pulsing set up by the current rather than heat. About all you would do is kill your welder. I thawed pipes for about 15 years when I had my portable welding service. Dave
  #3  
Old 12-31-2001, 12:51 AM
Justin
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

One time at a show I saw a guy working working on an engine it was also stuck. What he was doing sounds alittle crazy but it might work. What he did, he took the head off and sood it upright and put coal in the cylinder and got it going just like a blacksmith forge. I don't know how much of the cylinder sticks in the water jacket. You could heat right around it. The benefit to this would be you could heat and keep a larger area hot for longer. Good luck to you!
  #4  
Old 12-31-2001, 01:23 AM
Franz
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

40 years ago Lincoln advocated using an AC machine to heat frozen wheel nuts, and it did work well. I've done it by applying both carbons from an arc torch to opposite flats on a nut, and having a helper switch the machine on. You definitely don't want to strike an arc. According to Lincoln, this method sets up a vibration in addition to causing the stuck item to heat up. As far as doing it to a cylinder, it seems like it would take a long time to heat that amount of cast iron. I think I'd try electrolytic derusting before going the heat route, not anything to loose by trying it, and it might work.
  #5  
Old 12-31-2001, 01:31 AM
Steve Gerot
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

You could leave permanent marks where the electrodes touch the cast if you are not very careful. I think I would not try it, like those guy's said thats a lot of metal to heat.
  #6  
Old 12-31-2001, 11:15 AM
Kevin A. Behnke
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

It takes a welder with a high duty cycle to heat up parts. Most welders will not take this kind of use or abuse.
  #7  
Old 12-31-2001, 11:25 AM
Wayne Z.
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

How about a Linclon Idealarc 250amp? Wayne Z.
  #8  
Old 12-31-2001, 11:40 AM
jim ison
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

I have had good luck with US army rifle bore cleaner. The problem with the welder is that the piston is not what is stuck,it is the rings. The large mass of metal will expand,you can put water or ice on piston,the rings are still expaned with the mass.If you go to the welder method, you might try soda pop,seems that it has just the right amount of acid to help break the rings loose.The point being,the method of heat or expanion is not what they were intended for, these are drastic fixes,the rifle bore cleaner was designed for cleaning up metal,breaking loose rust,lubing,prnitrating,and it seems that these are the desired efects that you are seeking,just my 2 cents worth.Jim
  #9  
Old 12-31-2001, 06:24 PM
Russ Hughes
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

There have been a number of comments regarding this question and here are mine. The idea, as I understand it, is to use an electrical current from an electric welding machine to heat an engine block to assist in removing a stuck piston/rings from the cylinder.

Any time an electric current, be it AC, or DC, flows through a resistance, such as a piece of metal like a water pipe, or the heating element in an electric room heater, it generates heat. As far as using a welder to provide the source of current, it all depends on how much you can load the welder, that is, how much current can you derive from it without damaging the welder itself.

If I were to attempt to heat an engine block for whatever reason, I would attach the two welding cables from the welder directly to the engine block, preferably with bolts into threaded holes, or bosses in the block. The attachment points should preferably be attached on opposite sides, or ends of the block. The idea is to generate the heat within the engine block itself, not just at the electrical contact points, like as in arc welding.

Because of the effective large cross section of the block, as compared to the relatively small cross section of a length of pipe, the resistance of the block will be very low. The idea is to apply only as much current as the welder is capable of supplying, without burning it up. Covering the block with an insulating material will assist in heating the block. This will be a relatively slow process, but this will be an advantage when working with cast iron

An advantage of electrically heating the block, versus building a fire in the cylinder, or using an acetelene torch, is that there will be less chance of concentrating the heat in a small area thus creating a large localized stress and damaging something. If the piston in the cylinder is aluminum, it is not as likely to be melted as by the direct application of fire. By firmly attaching the welding cables to the block using nuts and bolts as needed, you avoid the possibility of creating an electrical arc at the connection point and burning a hole in the block.

Because of the uncertainties of how much of the available current will be passing through any particular part of the engine block, it would pay to constantly monitor the block for hot spots.

As for AC, or DC, it doesn't make any real difference, but if the welder uses solid state diodes to make DC from AC, you must be particularly careful to not overload the diodes.

Always apply the current in small increasing increments, or steps, starting from zero current until you are comfortable that everything is working all right and that nothing is overloaded. I would be carefull that there are no flamable materials, or liquids in the block assembly before starting the heating process to avoid having an unexpected fire on your hands. Maintain a constant watch on the process while it is in operation.

In any case, if I were to attempt to heat an engine block using an electric welder, these are some of the things I would be doing, and also the things that I would keep in mind while doing it.

Good Luck......
  #10  
Old 12-31-2001, 10:58 PM
Charlie
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

Hi, My 2 bits worth! I agree with Russ. Just look on the plate on your welder that shows the duty cycle & don't exceed the amps for 100% Good Luck & "HAPPY NEW YEAR"
  #11  
Old 12-31-2001, 11:31 PM
Kevin A. Behnke
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Default Re: Heat cyl. with arc welder?

Your 250 amp welder most likely dose not have the capacity for the job. Working for a water utility thawing pipes we monitor the current and voltage, we run about 200 to 250 amps at 15 to 25 volts DC.
  #12  
Old 01-01-2002, 11:00 PM
Wayne Z.
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Default welder heating revisited

Thanke to every one who responded to my questions about using an arc welder for heat. Now my curiosity is realy piqued and I have to try it on my 4 hp Novo. The piston is stuck at almost bottom dead center,Mostly out of the water jacket. I plan on chasing the threads & imstalling fresh pipe plugs in the oiler hole & the hopper drain hole and using them for lead connection.My welder has 100%duty cycle at 140 amps. If that isn't enough, I will find a larger one or mabey try a few inches of hot coals in the hopper.I'll keep y'all posted. Wayne Z.
  #13  
Old 01-02-2002, 01:59 AM
Franz
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Default Re: welder heating revisited

Have you considered first doing a test run on a hunk of cast iron, like a window weight, or an old cast iron radiator, before experimenting on the engine?
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