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Old 08-02-2017, 06:36 PM   #1
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Cracked mixer elbow

I have a Westerbeke WMD 7.7 with a crack in the exhaust mixer elbow . I'm guessing this is cast iron . Has anybody had any luck welding something this bad ?
I don't think I will be lucky enough to get this from tractor parts house like I got my fresh water pump from .
I know somebody that might could fab one up , but I'm betting this ain't standard pipe threads . Any suggestions other than a new one from Westerbeke distributor?
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:10 PM   #2
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Cast iron is welded all the time. It takes a welder with that experience. The best method, after grinding out the crack, is to preheat the piece, the hotter the better, but under 1200. Welding shops often have an oven for preheating. The point in preheating is if the whole part is hot, it cools more slowly after welding. Also, after welding the part is wrapped in an insulating blanket or buried in sand. In my day we used asbestos blankets or a tub filled with loose asbestos.
Welding is done in short beads, about an inch long. I usually weld an inch, skip an inch and weld the next segment in the opposite direction. The heat from welding induces stresses and long continuous welds almost always cause cracking. Skip welding keeps the temps lower.
Foundries often weld new castings to fix flaws. It really is no big deal to a professional welder.
Brazing can be done, but doesn't hold as well and on a rigid diesel exhaust would crack again.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:36 PM   #3
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Thanks Lepke . I'm not sure the guy I know could handle the welding but I know he could fab up the whole piece. Would 304 heavy wall stainless steel work ? He builds custom exhaust for hot rods all the time . I'm in fresh water.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:36 PM   #4
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I doubt if you can weld that crack and have it last any time. I would have your guy fab a new mixer out of schedule 40 SS. It isn't that difficult and you can use the existing one for a pattern.

But is it self draining and do you have enough height above the water line to limit sea water backing up. If you are going to have a new one fabricated, now is the time to address those issues.

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Old 08-02-2017, 09:16 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure this is the replacement from Westerbeke . I'm thinking I can just take off the end cap on heat exchanger and unscrew this . The internet says it's $ 220 . If that's right it's not ridiculous .
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:52 AM   #6
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Shouldn't water be shooting out of the crack when running? I'm getting plenty of water out of the exhaust . The water injection point is lower than this crack, but shouldn't there be raw water also here or is it just exhaust fumes? I was just curious.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:36 PM   #7
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If all you are getting out the crack is exhaust and not water, I might try drill stopping the crack and marine tex it or JB weld it.

Put a CO2 detector next to it after tbe repair, sniff well and see what you have...bubble test it too.

Other than that, the $200 or so replacemenrt seems fair enough.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info everyone . I've got some JB weld on my elbow on the Perkins but it's just a small hole .
I guess when I try to sell the boat again I won't be able to hide anything, all my mistakes are right here on the TF for everyone to see . It's just a boat and I'm trying to keep it running. The wife says if we ever get another one she'll be the one to pick it out
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:11 PM   #9
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Replaced my cast iron Northern Lights' cracked elbow with a new one. NL did not come through with their stainless steel replacement in time. Same cost, approx $250. Mine obviously had been leaking for quite some time but never enough to leave a puddle in the pan.

You can certainly weld a simple shape like this one, given the preheat oven, the welder and the knowledge. More complex shapes can be stitched together(!). I've welded cast iron on really simple shapes using the correct rods. I welded a new steel end on an 1840's special cast iron hinge for a folding Melodian; ground the weld metal to shape and only the lack of the sand-cast texture is the give-away.

Stick Electrodes - Welding Cast Iron
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:27 PM   #10
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I removed this today . It was worse than I thought. The inside had deteriorated to only 1/8" thick on the side that was cracked.The repairs on William are whopping my ass this year.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:32 AM   #11
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That elbow is toast, and not a good place to try and save a buck by repairing.
It's also an indication that the OEM part is not up to snuff.
I would have one fabricated of heavy wall 316 SS, regardless of the price.
Adding a support bracket might be beneficial too.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:23 AM   #12
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That elbow is toast, and not a good place to try and save a buck by repairing.
It's also an indication that the OEM part is not up to snuff.
I would have one fabricated of heavy wall 316 SS, regardless of the price.
Adding a support bracket might be beneficial too.
I busted it up getting it off . I drove a big screwdriver into the crack and split the one side off. To install the new one I'll have to dismantle more of the generator. There's not enough room for the new elbow to rotate to tighten.
I'm in fresh water and not sure I need stainless, but I'll get it priced out from the fab guy. A new OEM part will probably last longer than me .
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:25 AM   #13
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It's also an indication that the OEM part is not up to snuff.
.
I am not ready to agree on that point. I have what looks like the same elbow on my 1983 Westerbeke. That ain't bad service.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:42 PM   #14
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Ok I decided to replace the 6" nipple between exhaust box and mixer elbow. It also has some deterioration.The thing is married to the box . I can't get it to budge with the room I have , even with a long cheater pipe. You can see the pipe is starting to collapse. The motor mounts are letting the engine flex too much . What about cutting the pipe off flush with the box and maybe cutting a couple slits in the ID of the piece of pipe that's left in the box an try to collapse it to get it out . Anybody ever done this ?
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:57 PM   #15
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Yes. Room to work is desirable, though. Cut the nipple off leaving enough to swat the remains 'with authority' to peel it inwards. You may have to - may wish to - cut a slice out: two parallel cuts, then pop/peel the slice inwards. The rest should give up easily.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:14 PM   #16
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Another idea is to cut the bad end off the pipe , screw another piece of pipe in the elbow , slide a piece of
1-5/8" wet exhaust over both and clamp with two or three clamps on each end . The two pieces of pipe would be butted up to each other .
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:21 PM   #17
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Greetings,
Mr. PM. Post #16...That sounds, to me to be the easiest, most straight forward solution IF the rubber hose will not catch fire and burn...
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:33 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Mr. PM. Post #16...That sounds, to me to be the easiest, most straight forward solution IF the rubber hose will not catch fire and burn...
There is hot water and exhaust right here right? I know it's taking the easy way out and there is a better way but I'm whopped after today ,bruised and cut to pieces . If it's a bad idea please say so .
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:14 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. PM. Ahhh...So it's "downstream" of the water injection? If so, seems like a perfect solution. Simple and elegant. Now have that cold beverage you so richly deserve. Well done!
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:27 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. PM. Ahhh...So it's "downstream" of the water injection? If so, seems like a perfect solution. Simple and elegant. Now have that cold beverage you so richly deserve. Well done!
No this is right before the water injection about 3"before the elbow and water injection ,but I was thinking that there was water here also. I'm thinking now the exhaust goes through the center of the tank with coolent on each side . Is the water inecton the only water that gets in the exhaust ? If this is the case and this is just dry hot air I'm gonna go back and do post #14 .
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