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Welding Cast Iron Visual Inspection and Testing

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Welding Cast Iron Visual Inspection and Testing. I recently repaired some cast iron using Muggy Weld electrodes. During that episode, some of the viewers said the part I was welding was cast steel, even though we spark tested and drill tested it. I figured this would be a great opportunity to cut open our weld and do some more testing and experiments. Welding cast iron can be tricky because it is prone to cracking. In this episode I show you a 3rd option to help determine if something is cast iron and then we weld it up again using some 6010 electrodes on the Blue Demon welder. Many inverter welders wont run a 6010 rod. We then try solid mig wire, followed by TIG welding with some mild steel filler wire, then we experiment with TIG welding some 316L stainless filler wire. The results are what you would expect from no pre and post heat with a continuous weld. I hope you enjoyed these experiments as much as I did doing them! BE SURE TO TUNE IN NEXT WEEK! WE ARE GOING TO BE DOING SOMETHING WITH CAST IRON THAT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE! THEN WE ARE DOING A COMPLETE REPAIR FROM START TO FINISH! ⇨ SUBSCRIBE to Brandon Lund DIY Builds: https://www.youtube.com/brandonlund THE TOOLS & GEAR I USE 🔴 https://www.amazon.com/shop/brandonlund Link to Blue Demon Welder https://amzn.to/2MsrEWx Lenox Metal Max Diamond Cutoff Wheel: https://amzn.to/2M6xyJ0 Any commission earned from the above Amazon affiliate links all goes towards helping to support my channel. MUSIC By: Joakim Karud http://youtube.com/joakimkarud FOLLOW ME (for behind the scenes stuff)! ⇨ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunddiybuilds ⇨ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LundDIYBuilds ⇨ Twitter: https://twitter.com/LundDIYBuilds For Business Inquiries: [email protected] Disclaimer: These videos are intended for entertainment purposes only and as such, you should not attempt to do any of the things you see me doing. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines before handling tools. Seek professional advice and training before using any welding equipment. Never operate any tool without wearing the proper personal protective equipment. Final warning, Do not attempt to do any of the things you see me doing!
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Text Comments (70)
Hardy G (10 months ago)
Loving your videos - very interesting. Your doing great - please continue :-)
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thank you very much! I appreciate your support!
t Mann (2 months ago)
Cast Cannon barrels were put in sand for a week to cool at the Ironworks in Richmond VA back in the day
Brandon Lund (2 months ago)
Interesting! Thank you! I will have to look into that :)
메롱나 (5 months ago)
very interesting. I am in charge of repairing castings in Korea. However, we are repairing the casting products that are not in use already. So I usually repair the cracks that occur during casting or where the casting sand penetrates. So I would like to see a lot of videos of this kind.
Brandon Lund (5 months ago)
Thanks! Here is a link to a bunch of my other cast iron welding repair videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNHAteo-qwg&list=PLfbf78fMz9VpweFv4IqUfrrNV6Vvro7Cd
Kirsty Santoro (6 months ago)
Great vids. What cones do you smoke?
Brandon Lund (6 months ago)
Thanks! Ive been on this earth 40 plus years and had to google what a "cone" was. Im all set with cones, but I have been known to enjoy a cold beer occasionally :)
originaLkomatoast (8 months ago)
I used the propane grill to pre and post heat marine manifolds. It worked great.
Brandon Lund (8 months ago)
originaLkomatoast it sure does! Cheers brother!
ss (9 months ago)
Brandon, what's that weird half-round crack around where you drilled? 05:49 Fascinating video.
ss (9 months ago)
Oh, OK, from here it just looked like a crack and I thought it extraordinary that a crack would do that when you deliberately broke it. But it wasn't. LOL Thanks for replying.
Brandon Lund (9 months ago)
Thanks! That area that you mentioned is a raised section within the casting. I'm not sure what it's purpose is, but I noticed that too. It is something that was manufactured in the mold.
Profile Protected (9 months ago)
The Blue Demon BLUEARC-160STI has a no-load voltage of 82v which is very good for running 6010, but then I saw the duty cycle of only 35% which sucks. Should have at least a 60% duty cycle.
Brandon Lund (9 months ago)
I agree and I was concerned at first about the duty cycle, but 3 1/2 minutes of welding is actually a lot if your not doing pipe or production work, so for me, even though it has a low duty cycle, I have yet to hit it. This is my go to rig for most stick welding stuff just because I like how how smooth the arc starts and runs.
MrYiminie (9 months ago)
ive been welding since 1958 and would never use an arc welder on cast iron because it creates stress points. I use a cobra oxy-fuel torch and my filler is always foundry rod 9cast iron ) because it matches the part being repaired better. welding with oxy-fuel leaves the part easy to file, machine, etc.
Brandon Lund (8 months ago)
That's excellent if you have the gear, but many folks watching this channel are just starting out with an old buzz box or inverter. I'd rather see those folks give it a try rather than just give up and throw it away because they dont have a torch and gas. Just my humble opinion anyways.
Welder Rick (9 months ago)
Try silica bronze and tig!
Brandon Lund (9 months ago)
Good call. I like using silicon bronze :)
Greg Beckham (10 months ago)
Looks like the weld is strong, metal probably started to break at the thinner area first. Great video, thanks for putting in the work involved.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks for your support! I was surprised at how well it held. It was stronger than I thought.
MCE Performance (10 months ago)
MIG welding cast iron rarely (if ever) works. I've never had it work. TIG Braze is the most likely to succeed. TIG Weld with Ni99 will usually work (not always). It seems like the people that don't know better get away with it more than anyone else. 8\
Brandon Lund (7 months ago)
@KingHalbatorix everything you said is 100% 👍
KingHalbatorix (7 months ago)
using 7018 on malleable cast iron is possible if your only option is stick, but it only has a good chance of working if you properly pre-heat, and peen the weld. Other types of cast iron are less receptive to stick welding and especially white cast iron is basically impossible.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Right on brother!
casy casy (10 months ago)
nice job
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks man, appreciate it! Cheers!
Jaques Daniels (10 months ago)
Thing is, parts like that are what we used to call pot metal back in nineteen hunnerd and high fat diet, they were cast with all the junk brought in from the junkyard (scrap from the scrapyard in limey language). There is no real way of guessing whats in a wummans handbag(purse to you ex colonials), and no real way of guessing whats in parts like that, might as well try to guess how much beef is in a McDos burger.That was a good experiment; interesting to see the results with different processes. The man I was apprenticed to used to say, "heat it up, braze it, then bury it-and forget where you buried it" LOL Next video sounds interesting.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
You kill me with the "wummins" hand bag! 🤣🤣🤣 you are spot on about the pot metal which makes a lot of the cast hit or miss. I had a part that I broke off an antique vehicle many years ago and it was not weldable. It was grey cast with tons of trash / pot metal. Cast can be fun...until it's not!:) cheers brother!
Ray B. (10 months ago)
I agree that is cast iron.. BTW the link is to an Ansen welder not a Blue Demon welder.. That welder does work well with 6010!
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks man! I'll fix that link. I didnt realize. That thing runs 6010 like a boss!
HkRedPill (10 months ago)
Do a hammer test. Break the cut piece with a hammer and you will see the cast iron grains.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
100% Right on! Next week we are going to talk about this as one of the 5 ways to determine if it is cast iron or not.
Dont listen to the clowns that say ir is steel. They know absolutely nothing.
Shit Box (10 months ago)
I recently MIG welded V band flanges on some LS manifolds, welded surprisingly well with regular old wire, probably ER70S2. I attempted a crack repair with my TIG machine a while back, ER70S2, it didn’t work very well...
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
It can be picky to weld. I bet these would weld good with 7018 but I haven't tried...yet :)
Rocker Pat (10 months ago)
As a mechanic, I can't confirm that this exaust manifold is cast iron. They have always been cast iron!!! If you argue this you're either ignorant or just stupid!!! Keep Rocking it out Dude!!!
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks man! I appreciate your support!
Bruce D (10 months ago)
good video on cast iron. I have used Arctec cast 80 and cast 90 which have worked with no preheat. some have used 7018 with success. I wonder if you tried some 8018 or 9018 and see how that goes. I believe they have a higher nickel content.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thank man! I have tried 7018 with success but it is often hit or miss. I have not tried 8018 or 9018 but I cant imagine by the designation that it would weld much different than 7018. I'm thinking the 7018 would probably work better if you were using it on cast just because of the lower tensile strength, but that's just an assumption.
Toby Wise (10 months ago)
Great video! Something I've found: Cast steel or cast iron, does not matter. But 6010 is not a good choice of rod. Too "brittle". I've had good luck using 7018. A groove would have helped too.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Right on brother! Spot on with the groove weld also.
Ronald Parady (10 months ago)
There’s always gonna be one but I guess that could be a good thing helps people learn stuff every day. Like ur videos and think ur a good dude and I don’t leave message to very many people’s videos just cause I’m more of a observer
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thank you very much! I appreciate your support and encouraging words!
Ronald Parady (10 months ago)
That’s wicked crazy that people would say that it’s obvious that it’s cast iron and that 308 is what we used a lot doing expansion joints at the mill. But another good one
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks man! I think because people have had some luck with mig that they just assume its steel.
Tank Soldier (10 months ago)
You did a great job using Muggy weld you got my vote . I have a 73 Chevy crew cab 1 ton 350 auto trans ,the right side manifold broke three times didn't know about muggy weld until your video I went with Hooker headers and haven't had any more problems in the last 25 years .
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
I like the old square bodies too!
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks man! I appreciate your support!
dhc4ever (10 months ago)
Very restrained Brandon. It usually goes, prep, clean, weld, TINK, F***!!!!!! Good demonstration. Thanks
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Hahaha! You got that SPOT ON!
Carl Jorgensen (10 months ago)
Nice job
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thank you very much
Richard Valcourt (10 months ago)
Agree with you 100% Brandon. Just the fact that the piece Is an exhaust manifold almost guarantees that the material is cast iron, no doubt about it. Cast steel is utilized in parts that require a certain amount of structural integrity where the only structural strength That an exhaust manifold needs is to hold on to the exhaust pipe. In my experience I can say that certain types of cast iron are almost impossible to weld no matter what method or rod you use. I think that if you check your old saw blade I believe you will notice that it is very dull, some cast iron gets as hard as a file after being welded.
pandorafalters (1 month ago)
One potential source of confusion is the sheer variety of iron alloys. Nissan cast their blocks and exhaust manifolds with iron back in the '70s and '80s that was *very* strange. It was definitely not steel, but it cut bright with fairly long chips instead of the short, dull ones you usually get from grey iron. Whole lot of nickel in it. Still cracked like CGI, though.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Spot on brother! Plus it does not make sense from a financial standpoint to manufacture a part from steel when it can be manufactured in iron (steel being much more costly to produce) and you are absolutely right about the saw blade. The metal in the area of the weld completely dulled the saw blade and rounded the teeth right over. I was originally going to attempt to etch and polish the edge just to see how it would look, but it was just too hard and I don't have any "junk" files that I was willing to ruin. Thanks for the great comment!
Jerome Malinois (10 months ago)
Never see cast iron repair with a semi automatic, I'm going to do an internship with you 😂. Thank you for this new video
Jerome Malinois (10 months ago)
@Brandon Lund with pleasure Brandon, yes there is France postcard, but everything is not rose here especially with what impose politicians. I talk and I learn a lot with 3 American friends because here the old cars, the repairs are not in our culture but I love it. This week end I prepare two velosolex that I will repaint and restore, sandblasting, epoxy primer and paint
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
@Jerome Malinois thank you very much! You are very kind! I have never been to France but its very beautiful.
Jerome Malinois (10 months ago)
@Brandon Lund you was lucky to have a lot of good friends. I learned alone and I try to do almost everything alone. If one day you come in France you are welcome
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
I have been very fortunate to work around a bunch of folks that are very knowledgeable and passed on their trade to me.
Jerome Malinois (10 months ago)
@Brandon Lund tell me where did you learn all this? I repair a lot too, old objects, motorcycles. . . tell me, I use por 15 with metal ready, I know you use chassis saver, rust oleum and the I will repair a trailer all rusty for an old motor bike
Chase Lentz (10 months ago)
These may be cast iron instead of steel. I thought they were steel. All I know for sure is you can find a shit-ton of people who have welded them up for their turbo builds using MIG and no special procedures, myself included. I have been running these manifolds that I MIG welded for quite a while now on my turbo 6.0 with no issues. There are a LOT of posts on LS1tech about MIG welding these which is where I got the idea to try it. If they are cast iron, they're much better cast iron than that which you'd find on a set of manifolds from 40 years ago. I also cleaned my weld areas back at least an inch beyond the actual weld seam itself to avoid burning in contaminants during the welding process. That may have something to do with why I didn't have any cracks. I cut the EGR and heat shielf bosses off entirely and filled them with weld. Also cut the collector flange completely off of one manifold to change the angle at which it exited. Mine were also pretty clean and rust free, that one you got there is super rusty in comparison lol.
Chase Lentz (10 months ago)
Interesting, thanks for sharing. I don't know how I haven't found that thread on LS1tech before as I'm on there pretty regularly myself. It's interesting about 3/4 of the way down a guy with the handle oscs says "As stated earlier in the thread "on paper" these should not be welding well at all, But they do. It could be the higher amount of silicon or another material that is helping. The real test would be to try an older set (70/80's) cast iron manifold and see the difference. "
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Here are 4 methods. Examine the grain structure of the broken piece, cast and steel grain structures are very different. spark test it, drill test it, and finally do a hardness test. Run a file on the corner and see if it cuts. Then blast tack the same area with TIG. If the area becomes hard like a BB and wont file, it's cast iron. You can not purchase this as a cast steel exhaust manifold. It doesn't exist. They are marketed and sold as cast iron. Lastly, a member on the LS forums paid for independent testing and he posted the results. Google "what truck manifolds are really made of" They are upwards of 3.6% carbon and high in silicone.
Chase Lentz (10 months ago)
The only question I have at this point is how would we determine EXACTLY what these LS manifolds are, iron or steel? We can make educated guesses, and a preliminary internet search reveals different rule of thumb methods used in the field like the spark test you used. I guess it really doesn't matter I'm just always curious? I agree with you about the difference in "weld-ability" of iron having a lot to do with what other stuff they mix into the molten mix to make their supply go farther. I will also add, you mentioned in the other video that you could hear the MIG weld cracking when cooling. While that may be true and you certainly showed evidence of the welds cracked, I don't think that sound can be attributed 100% to cracking. When I park any of my cars/trucks/motorcycles after running for a good while and heat-soaking, you can hear them make all kinds of metallic tinny sounds as the metal is cooling. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are cracking but just cooling and contracting back down.
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thanks for watching and commenting! It's somewhat of a misconception that cast iron is nearly impossible to weld, so when someone comes along and successfully welds a cast iron part using mig, it's automatically assumed that it must NOT be cast iron and it must be cast steel. I have successfully welded cast iron using various methods, including mig and some have worked better than others. Some failed immediately and some I though would give me trouble welded up like butter. There are just so many factors that go into cast iron. I personally think it's the extra trash they put in the mix that floats to the top that has a lot to do with how it welds up, which is why many of the old schoolers swear by torch brazing because they are not "wetting in" the parent metal and stirring up the garbage inside. The cast from the early 1900's is probably some of the more difficult stuff to weld in my opinion. Thanks for watching and commenting!
icecoalman smith (10 months ago)
Great video thanks for posting
Brandon Lund (10 months ago)
Thank you very much! Stay tuned, next weeks video should be very interesting!

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