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Fixing pot metal items instead of trying to find that impossible part.


GraniteBayBob
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Hello, I've been trying to find some door handles for my 27 Chrysler and have not found a match yet. My handle broke while trying to remove from lock mechanism. It is pot metal and everyone knows you can't fix pot metal, at least not until now. I found a site that has good videos and a product that takes no special tools to use. Should be the answer for us classic car restorers.

http://muggyweld.com/pot-metal-buick-repair

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Actually, that is a nice thread, but Inco 82 weld rod will repair pot metal and I have had very good luck with many repairs over the last 30 years. I'm not sure who told you it couldn't be fixed, but it can, you just have to have the right tools and weld rod.

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Hello, I've been trying to find some door handles for my 27 Chrysler and have not found a match yet. My handle broke while trying to remove from lock mechanism. It is pot metal and everyone knows you can't fix pot metal, at least not until now. I found a site that has good videos and a product that takes no special tools to use. Should be the answer for us classic car restorers.

http://muggyweld.com/pot-metal-buick-repair

Muggyweld has been around for years - it isn't new. It's also a low-temperature solder, not a welding rod, so don't expect the fix to have anywhere near the strength of the original metal. It's likely fine for unstressed parts like grilles and emblems; less so for parts that get leaned on like door handles.

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Petersen's "Auto Restoration Tips and Techniques", 1976 has a chapter on die cast repair.

First, strip off the plating. Then practice on scrap parts, lots of them! You need very good control of temperature. You are welding with zinc rod. The article follows a woman at a platers in California. She makes her own zinc rods by pouring molten zinc from a moving ladle onto a cool steel plate.

To work the part, you need to keep it at about 350F to prevent cracking. To weld you need 750F and you have to take great care to keep the temperature localised else it spreads and the part melts.

The chapter is only 3 pages long but it would be an infringement of copyright to put it up here.

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Not sure what a Muggy Weld is, but there are several alloy welding rods you can weld at low temperature and have high strength. Buildup of cams, and cranks are within the parameters and they take alot of wear.

Muggyweld is NOT a welding rod, it's a form of solder. The Muggyweld melts at half the temperature of the pot metal. If you aren't melting the parent metal, it isn't welding. Welding cast iron like cams is VERY different from repairing pot metal.

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Years ago we had Carlisle spaces next to one of those fellows who sold "miracle" pot metal repair supplies. If you watched him carefully while he demonstrated his products you noticed that he would astound folks by "welding" aluminum beer cans or large die cast pieces. His product and techniques worked well on thin new aluminum or heavy old die cast. Never would you see him attempt to repair thin old die cast. And oh yes, he was a retired welding instructor with 30 years experience. Your chance of repairing a die cast door handle so that it stays fixed is slim indeed. It's easy to stick die cast together. Actually welding it is a different problem.

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  • 4 years later...
On 2/12/2015 at 10:55 PM, GraniteBayBob said:

Hello, I've been trying to find some door handles for my 27 Chrysler and have not found a match yet. My handle broke while trying to remove from lock mechanism. It is pot metal and everyone knows you can't fix pot metal, at least not until now. I found a site that has good videos and a product that takes no special tools to use. Should be the answer for us classic car restorers.

http://muggyweld.com/pot-metal-buick-repair

I realize this is an old post, but some pot Metal parts are impossible to find or retrofit for that matter. That said, my name is James Ruther and pot Metal repair is my expertise. Unfortunately not all pot Metal parts can be welded due to contamination, however there is, depending on the part can be soldered back together to create a new casting. But before recasting is recommended, I make every attempt to rejoin/fabricate and replace missing or rotted pieces to restore pot Metal part(s) back to its pre-damaged state. Here are a couple photos of a gettleman's 1932 Dodge headlamp switch that unfortunately was not weldible due to a high percentage of contaminance in the casting. It was agreed to recast a new piece. The third photo shows the newly casted piece reinstalled on the wire housing and the steering wheel center cap installed. Anyhow, I am didn't want to make a novel out of this one pot Metal repair, (and I could go on lol but...) I'm sure ya'll understand the point. If you've got a broken, non-replaceable pot Metal part, chances are I can weld and reshape it back to pre-damaged condition. Here are a few more of my pot Metal repairs:

https://Instagram.com/potmetalrepair/

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This has to be one of the most informative and interesting posts on restoration that can apply to so many cars for many decades that has ever been seen on the AACA forums. Thank you to all who with accurate and sound knowledge ( first hand , not just guessing based upon what you may find on the internet which is the way a lot of the history comments here are answered - especially by one person) .

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48 minutes ago, Walt G said:

This has to be one of the most informative and interesting posts on restoration that can apply to so many cars for many decades that has ever been seen on the AACA forums. Thank you to all who with accurate and sound knowledge ( first hand , not just guessing based upon what you may find on the internet which is the way a lot of the history comments here are answered - especially by one person) .

Hey Walt. 

The pot Metal problem has been a century old problem that has caused so many darned problems for people and has siest many restorations that otherwise would have been completed much earlier. But this I can say with all sincerity that damaged, rotted and or broken "non-repairable" pot metal parts is 100% a problem of the past. 👍😊

 

Edited by Potmetalwelder (see edit history)
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On 2/13/2015 at 11:01 AM, Roj said:

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Not sure what a Muggy Weld is, but there are several alloy welding rods you can weld at low temperature and have high strength. Buildup of cams, and cranks are within the parameters and they take alot of wear.

Muggyweld is a very low temperature solder and is typically used for rejoining broken pot metal parts - and works great for some ornamental parts. Not so much for mechanical parts or under plating. One of the most common problems with pot metal is that (without a trained eye) it's hard to spot "dead metal"... You see, dead pot Metal on the surface looks fine, but is a slightly darker shade of gray however if it's cleaned or lightly sanded it seems to disappear, but has only ducked out of sight. A person can easily and unknowingly solder good pot metal to dead metal and attempt to relate it only to have blow up in their face - not literally, but you know what I mean. And many times, this will frustrate most chrome shops and chances are your bill will go through the roof for a "proper" repair. Apologies for the tangant.. 

 

Anyhow, if welding to dead pot metal is attempted you will know right away! Dead pot Metal doesn't like heat and seriously misbehaves with temperatures over 400+ degrees and it'll punsh you for attempting so.  However welding pot metal is for superior to soldering and it allows the absolute manipulation of it as well.👍

 

Edited by Potmetalwelder (see edit history)
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Forty years ago my old neighbor forever solved all my pot metal problems when he turned me onto the adult education powder metal classes at the local vocational school. Everything you need to make what you need for the cost of the class. Take the class often enough and you get to start working on your part when you step through the door.

 

Adult education also solved my 3D imaging problem and printing a part is a heck of a lot faster than making a mold. 

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