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Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

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Adrian.chalmers
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:23 pm
Location: Stratford Upon Avon

Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by Adrian.chalmers »

I have (sadly) a few cracks in the cylinder head of my LA14/2 Roadrider head and am planning a repair in the new year. I have looked into traditional cast iron welding and laser welding but wondered if anyone has experience of or opinions on the merits or benefits of either approach. Obviously I want a good and long lasting repair. Any thoughts or experience would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

frenchy
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by frenchy »

Cylinder head repairs, try Slinden Services , Derbyshire, DE12 7DS, tel 01530 274646. www.slinden.co.uk

Repaired the cylinder head on my 1936 LA10, cracks,splits and corrosion. Superb job ten years ago and all is well.
Cheers Frenchy

Adrian.chalmers
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:23 pm
Location: Stratford Upon Avon

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by Adrian.chalmers »

Thank you Frenchy, they are one of the options I have been considering so good to hear they did a good job for you. Appreciate the feedback, that is very helpful.
Adrian

alex_gray255
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:17 pm
Location: Nr. Cambridge, UK

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by alex_gray255 »

I'm restoring exactly the same type of car as you are, but fortunately, I do not have any issues with my engine that I have found yet.

Will be interesting to see what other challenges you run into as I've not had that many of the mechanical side yet. Fingers-crossed. :)

Most of my challenges have been restoring the body shell & interior

Adrian.chalmers
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:23 pm
Location: Stratford Upon Avon

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by Adrian.chalmers »

Hi Alex, did I meet you at the NEC by any chance? If not, there are three of us doing the same car! Fortunately the bodywork is all good on mine and apart from a bit of work on the headlining nothing is in real need of doing. The engine is all good other than the head and should all go back together well once it is repaired (fingers crossed). Keep me posted on how you get on, it will be good to hear about progress.
Adrian

alex_gray255
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:17 pm
Location: Nr. Cambridge, UK

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by alex_gray255 »

Hi mate!

No, I gave the NEC show a miss this year - assuming you mean the Nov one, not the March one :)

If there are 3 restorations going on at the same time, then that is a good thing. I have been rummaging
around in the dark with some of this car, but fortunately, not got lost so far.

Apart from the roof and interior - which are shot - most of my one seems to be happy. Interior will be done
by end of Feb. Not attempting that myself, needs a professional as the roof, headlining, carpets... All need
doing.

Hey-ho... A

Rolf B.
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:07 pm
Location: 68309 Mannheim, Germany

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by Rolf B. »

Hello Adrian,

the engine block of my 1933 Daimler 15 Sports Coupé had had several cracks due to frost damage. One of the former keepers had "repaired" the state of things by drilling 58 holes into the block, drilling threads into all of the holes and covered the area of the cracks with an aluminium sheet, sealed by gasket paper and sealant, all that fixed with 58 countersunk srcews.

As this was not a "repairing" in my understanding, the engine was completely dismanteled and all the cracks and holes were laser welded. Laser welding is a cold welding and there's no risk of distorting the shape of the engine block, which could be possible when heat welding. The photo shows the situation after laser welding, before grinding the weldseams.

It is advisable to check the cylinder head for more cracks than just the visibles by dye coupling developer. This allows you to inspect even the smallest cracks as you can see at the second photo, which was made after laser welding. There had been still two more cracks which hasn't been visible befor. A smaller at the finger tip and a third large one horizotal parallel below the already welded ones. (Purple tracks)

Rolf B.
Attachments
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Adrian.chalmers
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:23 pm
Location: Stratford Upon Avon

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by Adrian.chalmers »

Thank you Rolf, that is a really helpful reply and that is quite a repair you had done there! I can’t believe your description of the previous “repair”, nor that it would have even vaguely worked. I managed to speak to a professional yesterday who does vintage Bentley racing engine rebuilds and he was very much in favour of laser welding. He says after a few experiences of it he would not consider any other approach now, so I am inclined to think that is the route to go. I see you are in Mannheim so I assume you had the repair done in Germany? If it was the UK, who did you use? Thanks again for the reply.
Adrian

Rolf B.
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:07 pm
Location: 68309 Mannheim, Germany

Re: Cylinder head repair - laser or traditional welding?

Post by Rolf B. »

Good morning Adrian,

indeed, the laser welding was done in Germany. There's a small company 5 miles away from where I live, which is specialised in laser welding. They are permanentely working on cracked engine blocks and other engine parts but also on many other different projects.

My son and I have been very astonished when we found this adventurous "repair" construction while dismanteling the engine block. When you haven't seen it you wouldn't believe it. So have a look at the following photo!

There was just a small spot where a little bit engine coolant was droping out of the engine block. My son has inspected this spot with a scribing iron because he suspected capillary corrosion at the water jacket of the engine block. After scraping a little bit he found a thick layer of body filler. And this thick layer covered generously the right side of the engine block not just the patched surface. So the raised repair section was not visible.

Rolf B.
Attachments
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