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Welded flywheels or spokes?


Has anybody ever seen a welded flywheel fly apart while running, i know this topic has been talked...

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  #1  
Old 10-11-2002, 06:54 AM
Rex Pyles
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Default Welded flywheels or spokes?

Has anybody ever seen a welded flywheel fly apart while running, i know this topic has been talked about but don't remember if anybody has actually watch this happen.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2002, 08:01 AM
Joe LeBlanc
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

I have never seen or heard of it happening but wondered about it. I have a 5HP Hercules that has a flywheel with what seems to be a really good repair on it. The repair was there when I got the engine and does not appear to have the potential for being a problem. I have concerns about it especially sense it is a real slow runner, coming to a very near stop before firing again, and I would think that the strain on it would be more severe at that point than it would be at working speed.

In either case I am shopping for a new flywheel for it.
  #3  
Old 10-11-2002, 09:01 AM
smootz
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Hi Rex, We spoke some about flywheels at Greenup last week but I have a few things to add. I have not seen a flywheel break apart but I have seen the damage caused by one getting off the shaft. A shop I used to work in had a lot of "turn of the century" presses and punches in it. More than once the "Old Timers" showed me the damage to walls and other machinery caused by large flywheels working off the shaft. I would think that it would be difficult to break a PROPERLY repaired flywheel in normal operation. If the damage were in a hub and it wasn't monitored I could see terrible consequences if it came off of the engine while running. Aren't most flywheels probably damaged during transport or while trying to remove them from the shaft? Over the past 25 years I have personally made cast iron repairs to many different kinds of machines and many times casting flaws (holes, voids) are to blame. Even a piece that looks perfect from the outside may have a big void inside that no one ever knows or worries about. If only one spoke is involved I wouldn't think that the torque from normal show running (especially with no belted load) would be a concern. I would watch those hubs though! I also would be interested to hear details of any flywheel failures from the engine community because customers occasionally ask me to make such repairs. It would also be interesting to see what methods people are using to make these repairs. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks! SCOTT P.S. I got my big Stover running.
  #4  
Old 10-11-2002, 09:19 AM
Rex Pyles
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Well i would like to hear about the fixed ones because you always hear the "I would never run and engine with repaired flywheels because they would fly apart". I personally would not run an engine in public with welds on the wheels or sell it. I just want to hear if this has ever happened.
  #5  
Old 10-11-2002, 10:04 AM
Dan Crist
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

I was standing by a running 22HP Witte headless several years ago, that had welded spokes in one flywheel, when it flew apart! Several spokes were thrown up about 5 ft into the air, then the rim fell over onto the crankshaft and the throw hit it every time around. We wasted no time in pulling off the sparkplug wire. I eventually ended up with the engine and have cast a new flywheel.
  #6  
Old 10-11-2002, 04:03 PM
chase
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Rex I run my little FBM 1 1/2hp "Z" and it is welded. Befoer I start it every time I cheeck to see if the fly wheel look's like it might brake. And I ususaly don't run it very long. bout 10min

Chase
  #7  
Old 10-11-2002, 04:04 PM
D.J. Baisch
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

If folks repair them --and know what they are doing, they are fine!!!! I must have repaired, 50 or so flywheels, NONE have broken, I have been repairing cast iron for about 30 years, YOU MUST have someone who knows . d.j.
  #8  
Old 10-11-2002, 05:12 PM
Bill Decker
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Hey Dan, Got any pictures of that beast??
  #9  
Old 10-11-2002, 06:15 PM
smootz
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Was that flywheel "welded" or "brassed"? I have repaired cast iron in heavy industrial machinery that is subjected to much more stress than an engine flywheel with no problems. You just can't disqualify a process because a few unqualified people screw it up. Welding anything (cast iron, steel, aluminum) is only successful and safe if performed by a qualified, intelligent,and experienced person. There is a little more involved here than just melting some metal together. Each case should be evaluated before, during, and after a repair. If I am not confident that one of my repairs is totally safe I will destroy the part rather than risking injury to anyone. To perform a "less than perfect" repair on an engine for show purposes is dangerous. Some day, some where, someone may try to operate that machine even if it isn't you or I. SCOTT
  #10  
Old 10-11-2002, 07:42 PM
Dan Crist
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

The 22HP Witte flywheel was electically welded with nickel, which is worthless on something like that. I have had several large flywheels gas welded with bronze and they were preheated in an oven. After brazing they were put back in the oven and cooled down slowly. No problems, and they have run for years.
  #11  
Old 10-11-2002, 08:28 PM
Steve Gerot
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Right after I got out of school I worked for a welding shop. We would preheat the piece and then we had a square cast rod and we would gas weld it just like any other metal. I remember when it the puddle was just right for dipping in the rod it was kinda like pudding. When we got done the repair was not real noticable unless you knew it was there. We used to cut and reweld Gm 6 cylinder exhaust manifolds to make split manifolds along with various repairs. I have no idea where one could find the cast rod these days.We also used to use big flat bars of silver solder to repair gas tanks. I remember we would put a shop vac blowing through the tank and after an hour or so the boss would hold a torch to where the air was exiting and if it didnt go WIFF it was ready. I guess the secret was as long as the air was moving it could not burn back into the tank and explode, still made me very nevous when he did it though
  #12  
Old 10-11-2002, 08:53 PM
Bill Decker
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

I've seen cast rod from time to time. The cost was usually $1 per rod which was about a foot long. Was to a fleamarket about a 1 yr. or so ago and a guy actually had a can of powder (flux) for cast iron rod. I think that stuff is harder to find the rod.
  #13  
Old 10-11-2002, 09:03 PM
Paul Hokanson
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

The square cast rod is still available along with flux at the welding supply that I go to here in Mn. The rod comes in three foot lengths and they sell it by the bundle or single piece. If you guy,s can,t find it where you are, e-mail me and I,ll ask them where they get it. They are a local compny but I,m sure they buy it from a supplier. Cheers Paul Hokanson
  #14  
Old 10-11-2002, 09:26 PM
Glenn Karch
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Several years ago I aquired an engine that had not only a broken spoke, but the part of the hub that it was attached to was also broken loose. The spoke was next to the hub split and on the other side it was next to the keyway where the other crack was. You could grab the spoke and wiggle it, but it wouldn't come out. The previous owner that used it in his antiquated shop had cut a new keyway opposite the old one, put the wheel back on and used scrap iron to make another counter balance opposite the original.

I had the spoke and the hub welded up and the hub remachined with the keyway cut back in the right place. It was done at a proffessional welding and machine shop. I discovered a friend there and it only cost $50. I have ran the engine slowly many times with no apparent problems.
  #15  
Old 10-11-2002, 09:37 PM
Al Hettich
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

NO NO NO It just is not worth the risk. Figure the rim speed (feet per minute) and then how fast a 5 or 10 pound piece will be going when it comes off. If a major league pitcher hit you with a 10 lb piece from a flywheel it would kill you. I have been welding for 35 years, and know that cast iron needs to be fully normalized after heating or welding or it will have internal stresses that can do unpredictable things. OK I may be a big chicken but my concience will be clear that I am not responsible for an avoidable catastrophe. Just ask automobile racers if flywheels can explode. Or if they can even enter a race track without an explosion proof bellhousing. Al the chicken
  #16  
Old 10-11-2002, 10:17 PM
chase
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Well come to think of it I had mine pined back togeather

Chase
  #17  
Old 10-12-2002, 11:12 PM
Steve Baldwin in NC
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

I will never ever run any engine with a broken or repaired flywheel. I have never seen one break nor do I want to. I have had a clutch and pressure plate explode on a Hi-po 289 ford. There was a hole in the hood that you could stick your fist through. Clutch, pressure plate and bell houing busted all to pieces. I have also heard and seen the rusults of a grinding wheel on a surface grinder comming apart when a magnetic vice turned loose the item being surfaced. In my opinion it is just not worth the risk. If you must run an engine with a repaired flywheel do it at home when you are by yourself. Do not put anyone else in danger.
  #18  
Old 10-15-2002, 08:46 AM
smootz
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

I don't believe a perfect flywheel from a "hit miss" engine could stand the force or rpm attained by of a 289 Hi-Po. But seriously, although I feel confident with my welding, I think that if you have a common engine you can find a replacement flywheel. If you have a rare engine you can use the damaged wheel as a pattern to re-cast it at a local foundry.
  #19  
Old 10-15-2002, 12:09 PM
Rob charles
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Default Re: Welded flywheels or spokes?

Hi All, I have a 4hp headless witte that someone must have dropped and cracked the off side flywheel in the outside rim in betwwen 2 spokes.I was thinking of milling out a dogbone shaped pocket and putting 2 round pcs with a right and left handed threaded rod in between to pull it together and let that be the repair.Anyone done anything like that?I also could bolt 4 blocks on the sides of the wheel and bolt through them too.Any Ideas Rob
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