To weld, or not to weld?

Unexpected water in the cooling jacket of my 90HP outboard motor froze and cracked the aluminum casting.  Leakage was objectionable when the motor was running.  My first reaction was to clean, cut a weld groove into the crack with a rotary file, then weld up using GTAW.  However, measures to assure that a proper welding ground would protect the onboard computer were not foolproof and removal of electronic hardware would have been a significant operation.  

Since the crack was in a portion of the casting that was not really load-bearing or required high-pressure integrity, an alternate means was sought.

After thorough cleaning, the “groove” was filled with an industrial two-part epoxy compound and permitted to cure.  All electronic hardware remained installed.  The repair has been performing in a satisfactory manner for over ten years!  Sometimes, welding is not the best option.

Bill Newell Vice President - Engineering Euroweld, Ltd.