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Budget Parts-Bin Bultaco

This is a discussion on Budget Parts-Bin Bultaco within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; The tank is off a German Rex 50 from the early '60s; should I be worried about substandard metallurgy? Fortunately, it's pretty much corrosion free ...

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Thread: Budget Parts-Bin Bultaco

  1. #191
    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    The tank is off a German Rex 50 from the early '60s; should I be worried about substandard metallurgy? Fortunately, it's pretty much corrosion free inside.
    "With idiotic intentions come idiotic victories" – Salvage Bultaco franken-bike build log

  2. #192
    Senior Member Ravivos's Avatar
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    dont think so, i found that the old German metal is better than today's standard...
    if there is no rust on the inside, and you keep the metal clean, you should be golden (pun intended, once you weld with Si-Bronze, you'll now :-) )

  3. #193
    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    I went back and crunched some numbers, and here's an interesting tidbit: 46% of the cost of this project so far has been new wear items: bearings & bushings, seals, bolts, nuts, tires, tubes, sprockets, paint, shop chemicals — the kind of stuff you'd have to refurbish and replace on any old, used up motorcycle. Imagine somebody gave me a motorcycle for free that was complete but in worn-out, rusty shape. Fully refurbishing it would have cost me around half of what I've spent so far. Sure, in reality some of the existing wear items might have been re-useable, but on the other hand I would not have had so much flexibility to choose components based on what I could acquire cheaply. So the custom/scratch-built aspect of this project is a lot less than I thought, even counting the parts I purchased and discovered/decided I could not use. Comparatively speaking, those dead-end purchases turned out to be cheaper mistakes than I realized.
    "With idiotic intentions come idiotic victories" – Salvage Bultaco franken-bike build log

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  5. #194
    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    I'd been putting off working on the bike for a while now, because the next logical step was welding the suspension mounts into the frame, and I've found that very intimidating. I have exactly one week of welding training, a noncredit continuing education class at the local community college. It taught mo only that welding is hard to do well, and I'm lousy at it. I'd seen plenty of horrible amateur welding disasters posted on the web. Then there is my equipment: a few years back when Clarke went out of business, I bought one of their "SG135" (in reality, only 85 amp) 110v spool gun MIG welders on clearance. I've previously used it exactly once, to repair a broken handle on our walk-behind mower. That repair has held up okay, but ensuring I got decent fusion meant I turned it into a boogery, blobby mess. So I knew what I should expect from my welding skills. I was also worried about trying to weld two pieces that had such different thicknesses.

    I did a bunch of test beads on scrap metal, but they were horrible and they weren't getting any better. I didn't know enough about what I was doing wrong to get better, so I gave up that idea.

    So I put it off, and put it off some more. I made the excuse that I should wait until I could spring for a bottle of welding gas and do "real" GMAW. I have a regulator, but haven't gotten around to anteing up for a tank of welding gas; I still have the flux-core wire that came with the unit in it. However, from what I've read, flux-core wire actually provides a bit better penetration per amp — with only 85 amps max available, there was a defensible reason to go with that.

    The more I procrastinated, the more I hated the fact that I was unwilling to even try. So, last night after work, my wife had to leave for the evening. It was raining, so I couldn't mow the yard as I had planned. It was time: if I screwed it up, at least I would screw up today and not leave things for "someday" that might never come. I psyched myself up; I just needed to do two dozen little tack welds...how tough could it be? I burned the paint off the frame backbone with a MAPP torch, scrubbed it with a stainless-steel brush, plugged in my welder, and—

    The result was a heartbreaking disaster. I can barely bring myself add these photos photos to the long list of mock-worthy welding fails, but if I am serious about this being the true, unvarnished account of my journey through this project, it's only fair I be as honest about my mistakes as my successes.





    My heart sinks every time I look at these, and these were taken after I've knocked off the little slaggy bits, filed the blobs down (mostly) flat with the bung faces, and put a shot of primer over the whole thing. I don't know if my wire feed was too fast, or my amperage was too low or too high or what, but the gun would jump around uncontrollably as soon as I pulled the trigger; that's why there are some welding blobs on the frame tubes that don't even touch the bungs. I couldn't figure out what to do differently, and everything I tried just made things worse in one way or another. In the end, I believe I got enough fusion to hold the bungs in place adequately. I can proceed to the next step of the process. Once I reattach the shock mounting plates, even without the fuel tank in place, these won't even be visible. But I'll know what a sorry mess is under there.

    So, I can say I did it. But this may prove the point where this project went from something with great potential to something that will never be worth the effort that went into it. I feel a little better for overcoming my fears and making the attempt, and a whole lot worse over the outcome.
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    Last edited by Tanshanomi; 10-10-2014 at 03:40 PM.
    "With idiotic intentions come idiotic victories" – Salvage Bultaco franken-bike build log

  6. #195
    Senior Member CaTacL1sm's Avatar
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    Don't be so hard on yourself. You should see the welds on the frame braces of my CX500 circa 2008.

    The question you should ask yourself is: is it safe? and does it work? if those two are yes, then in this case the appearance really doesn't matter.

    its a really creative project so far, you should see it through to the end!
    Quote Originally Posted by alwhite00 View Post
    Fuck all of you guys. Get into your little circle jerk and have fun. Thought this may be a pretty cool message board but damn, you guys are assholes.

  7. #196
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    Grind or file off the shitty welds, and do it again. Even pro welders mess up and start the job again. I'm a pro welder, so I know.

    These sleeves would be far better brazed in with a bronze rod and torch.

    The first big lesson in welding is, welds don't have to look great. It's like being a pimp, it's all about penetration, and the quality of the fillet.

    Danger, is my business.

  8. #197
    Member Dave M's Avatar
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    I am enjoying reading about this build Tanshanomi, I used to race a Bultaco in Moto Cross in the 70s, they are good bikes with very good handling.

  9. #198
    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    I think it's acceptably safe and functional as it is. I'm going to move on for now and perhaps clean up the welds later on, whenever it gets torn down for paint.
    "With idiotic intentions come idiotic victories" – Salvage Bultaco franken-bike build log

  10. #199
    Banned Witworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanshanomi View Post
    I think it's acceptably safe and functional as it is. I'm going to move on for now and perhaps clean up the welds later on, whenever it gets torn down for paint.
    There is no need to clean up those welds, they are under the gas tank. They could look like bird shit, it doesn't matter any.

    If you think Jap factories have done much better at times, you should see some old Suzuki frames from the sixties. How a little guy held a seagull, and squeezed it gently for hours beats me.

    Danger, is my business.

  11. #200
    Senior Member kerosene's Avatar
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    spool gun mig is as easy as it gets. If it doesn't go ok I would say 90% the feed speed is wrong. Once you are in the the right neighborhood its pretty forgiving if we are talking about stock thicker than sheetmetal. Quality gas, no wind and somewhat clean surfaces are expected.

    practice on junk and play with the settings.
    -

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