Seat tube crack repair. Aluminum frame welding

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Seat tube crack repair. Aluminum frame welding
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Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 8:02 Quote
Hey folks,

Found a crack on my seat tube. Frame - Mondraker Dune XR 2013. Snapped above the main pivot. Seems like a common issue with this frame...

Can it be fixed by welding? Any recommendations who could do it in UK? Ideally near London.

Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 8:06 Quote
—duplicate message deleted—

Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 8:49 Quote
I wouldn’t. Not worth the hassle or risk for me. I’d get a new frame.

Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 11:52 Quote
It can be done. I had my old spesh enduro welded by a mate at an aviation engineering factory. It needs to be done by a professional who can also heat treat (temper) the frame to original specs after as welding heat weakens the metal in that area. I wouldn't know a price as mine only cost me a pack of biscuits and was a long time ago. Worth calling up a few companies.

Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 12:27 Quote
Yes, doing it right is the key. I emailed to few companies I could find with Google. Already got one no...

Any recommendations welcome.

Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 12:41 Quote
Pasho wrote:
Yes, doing it right is the key. I emailed to few companies I could find with Google. Already got one no...

Any recommendations welcome.

It's going to be extremely hard to find a shop willing to take this project on. Lots of liability involved let alone the nuances of welding aluminum (it's not fun, and likely will damage the rest of the frame)
Your best bet is aviation repairmen. Experts in welding highend aluminum and heat treating. It'll be expensive though. You'd probably save money just buying a different frame alltogether.

Carbon and steel frames can be repaired without damage and may end up being a bit stronger. Aluminum not so much. Especially with modern hydroformed frames being as thin as humanly possible.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 at 12:55 Quote
I've recently had a frame crack TIG welded by a proffesional welder,
who mostly works with Stainless steel and Aluminium welding on
motorbike frames.
wall thickness was around 2mm and 26mm crack length, the guy
explained the process whereby he would minimise the heat build up in the weld,
he also said the onus was on me with the risk, as with not being able to
heat treat he could not guarantee that it would not crack again, I fully
excepted that risk and gave him the go ahead, it cost me £50 for what was around
an hours labour.

A crack is not always repairable due to location on the frame, as the TIG welding head
cannot always be manouvered evenly through out the welding,
then there's the wall thickness, the thicker the better but as is the way with frames
this luxury tends to be on the gravity bikes.

I aproached a few engineering companies that undertake welding for offshore
industries, on showing them the frame, all could tell what was machine and hand welded
just from looking at the welds, three of the companies declined from doing the job due to
not being able to guarantee it holding up, though one did recommend a guy best qualified
and this is who finally did my frame repair.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 at 2:30 Quote
I've found an experienced specialist who's willing to fix it - £100. Indeed, they can't guaranty the strength. In my case this area of the frame should not be super stressed, unless the suspension bottoms out, which can be avoided with spacers in the shock.

At the same time, I received some great news from the frame manufacturer/dealer. Mondraker's lifetime warranty is indeed a lifetime warranty even after 5+ years. They are sending me a new frame.

I'll still go ahead and weld the crack, even though the frame is likely to go on the wall. Will post the results.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 at 2:38 Quote
Post a photo of the crack

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 at 8:01 Quote
Pasho wrote:
I've found an experienced specialist who's willing to fix it - £100. Indeed, they can't guaranty the strength. In my case this area of the frame should not be super stressed, unless the suspension bottoms out, which can be avoided with spacers in the shock.

At the same time, I received some great news from the frame manufacturer/dealer. Mondraker's lifetime warranty is indeed a lifetime warranty even after 5+ years. They are sending me a new frame.

I'll still go ahead and weld the crack, even though the frame is likely to go on the wall. Will post the results.

So mondraker is sending you a new frame and letting you keep the old frame? Usually a manufacturer wants the warrantied part back for failure analysis. I remember I had a frame from santa cruz that had a warranty issue - and they had me send back just the bottom bracket. That was fun cutting it apart lol.

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