Monday, January 18, 2021

Brazing aluminum in order to modify the firewall.

Since the fuel tank I will be using for the build is not the tank Factory Five supplies with the kit, I am going to have to make some modifications to the supplied firewall. It comes in two portions. One of them, shown here, will want to be stretched a bit in the horizontal leg; the other one will need to have some material removed.
Since I'm not set up for welding aluminum, I have been doing some tinkering with brazing. I bought some test pieces, and I cut them into chunks. This is 1/8" aluminum flat bar, cut into nonspecific lengths - but these are maybe 3 1/2" long.

Using a flap wheel on my grinder, I beveled the edges where they will be joined, and also went over the margin to remove the normal oxidation.

Then I clamped them to a piece of steel scrap and sprayed them with non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner to remove any traces of grinding dust or oil or other contaminants.
Then I heated them with a MAP torch and filled the groove with brazing material.
Here's a previous piece I did - after this one was cool, I used a flap wheel again to smooth out the braze a little bit. It's bent into that S shape because I tested its strength by beating it with a hammer. The aluminum bent, but the brazed area did not bend or crack at all.

Seems like this just might work out.
 

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