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    VWVortex


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    Thread: Torch recomendations

    1. Member
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      01-10-2011 01:09 PM #1
      I was at the welding supply house getting some shielding gas and I was looking at some oxy/acetelene torches.

      I told the counter guy that I basically would be using it for heating manifolds, studs and nuts and bolts. He recommended a medium duty Weld Air (?) kit that's made by Victor for $200. It doesn't come with a swirl tip, so I'd be laying out more money for that, on top of the tanks.

      I was doing some Googling, and see some Turbotorch set ups that are for MAPP, MAPP Pro, and propane, for considerable less money.

      Can I expect the cheaper alternative to meet my expectations?

      -Todd

    2. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      01-11-2011 11:34 PM #2
      I'll put out my experience with fixing cars professionally (while still keeping in mind that it's your money.)

      First off, a swirl torch isn't what you want for rusted-fastener duty. They're great for heating a large area (for, say, bending/reshaping work), notsomuch for getting that stuck nut off (remember: the goal is to heat the hell out of the nut, getting as little heat as possible on the stud or nut.)
      A welding torch (or, preferably, a cutting torch, as it gets you more versatility and control) is what you want.
      A quick Google search find me this kit, which I think may be what you were looking at? If so, that's everything that you'd need, less tanks & cart (CART IS MANDATORY! THIS IS FOR YOUR SAFETY!)

      As to the source of the heat: nothing can match oxygen/acetylene. Nothing burns hotter.
      - Cup
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      01-13-2011 10:45 AM #3
      Thanks for the reply. You basically confirmed my original thoughts, but a cheaper option would have been nice.

      Say a stud is stuck in a cast iron exhaust manifold... I still wouldn't want to use a swirl tip? I'd be heating the metal surrounding the stud. I'm guessing if I used a welding or cutting tip, I would want to keep a safe distance or I'd risk damaging the manifold?

      -Todd

    4. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      01-13-2011 11:02 AM #4
      I still use a cutting torch for that. You just need to keep moving the torch around the area that you're working.
      And, even there, I still wouldn't want to use a swirl tip - flame's too big. Remember: the goal is to heat the manifold - a lot - while heating the stud as little as possible.
      Less spill-over from a cutting torch.

      You'd be surprised at how much you can heat a cast-iron exhaust manifold (or an engine block - ah, memories of getting broken mount bolts out of my sister's 4.0 Jeep motor...) without damaging it. Many times, I've had them glowing quite nicely to get a stud out (and, at that temperature, they do just spin right out.)
      - Cup
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      01-13-2011 11:08 AM #5
      Good stuff... thanks.

      I'll be searching around for a decent medium duty kit.

      -Todd

    6. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      01-13-2011 09:37 PM #6
      Like, perhaps, the one I posted a link to earlier?

      I'm not saying that you need to buy it from that company (I've never dealt with them - I just found that one during my earlier Googling); what I am saying is that Hobart doesn't make junk. They know gas, cutting, and welding.
      - Cup
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      01-15-2011 09:36 PM #7
      Maybe... I know the Hobart name from when I was shopping for welders, but I figure I'll do a bit of research. The Victor kits were supposed to be a big name, but I've learned most of their stuff is now made in China (big surprise), and I've read some complaints.

      I'll search around the many welding forums, for reviews. I'm sure most kits would generally be fine for what I need. I'm not an impulsive buyer, and if I can find better/same quality for less, why not?

      -Todd

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      01-15-2011 11:19 PM #8
      $80 with a coupon.... very tempting; only 3 reviews, but they're favorable. Worst case scenario would be returning it and getting something better.

      http://www.harborfreight.com/merchan...kit-98958.html

      -Todd

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      01-16-2011 10:50 AM #9
      when you can afford to step into the 21st century look into getting a magnetic induction heat generator..the safest and easiest way to heat fasteners without the risk of collateral damage or fires
      http://www.tooloutfitters.com/mini-d...eater-kit.html
      For VW TDI modification, parts, and service check out SCHNELL SNAIL TDI PERFORMANCE yes, we do gassers too!
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    10. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      01-16-2011 05:37 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by ToddA1 View Post
      $80 with a coupon.... very tempting; only 3 reviews, but they're favorable. Worst case scenario would be returning it and getting something better.

      http://www.harborfreight.com/merchan...kit-98958.html

      -Todd
      I wouldn't pass that up. That's a helluva deal. 8)
      - Cup
      '88 Scirocco 16v, 'tastefully' modified.
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      01-17-2011 10:47 AM #11
      harbor freight tools? I can't believe there is so much interest in that crap..I don't even think their zipties are worthy of a vw..you are better off buying a decent tool used than cheap chinese crap that isn't even decent when new.
      For VW TDI modification, parts, and service check out SCHNELL SNAIL TDI PERFORMANCE yes, we do gassers too!
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    12. Member vwpieces's Avatar
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      02-26-2011 11:32 PM #12
      MAPP gas is fine for heating stuck bolts. Nothing like propane... Mapp will turn castiron red hot.

      Home Depot sells a kit with rubber hose for about $50 & replacement tanks are still under $10. They do last long.

    13. 03-27-2011 10:28 AM #13
      If there's space to work, my favourite way of removing a broken stud or bolt is to weld a nut on to the broken piece, spray on a good penetrating oil while it's still hot then use an impact wrench, if the stud is broken off flush with the surface or slightly below it's difficult to accurately weld on a nut so I'll weld a fender washer on first then weld the nut to the washer

    14. 03-19-2012 10:31 PM #14
      A small welding tip is great for putting pin point heat on a fastener. There is less chance for collateral damage.

      What I do with exhaust bolts is heat the fastener red hot then quickly turn it (within 10 seconds). I repeat that if it tightens up again.

      One of the most effective methods is to heat the fastener well, then dab some wax on it to get wicked by the threads.

      ABA's suggestion of welding a nut to a fastener is also a well-known technique. Not only is there a way to turn the fastener, but the heat from the welding helps loosen the fastener.

      Turbo Torch is what the plumbers and HVAC guys love to use for soldering or brazing pipe and tube together.

      A good oxy-acetylene torch kit is very expensive, and so are extra tips.

      If the money is there, I suggest getting the biggest Harris or Victor kit you can afford, so you don't have to buy extra pieces in the future. A rosebud tip is good for a few things like installing ring gears on flywheels, or pre-heating cast iron parts before welding.

      The kits should have build-in flashback arrestors. Quality regulators and gauges is another thing that ups the cost.

      I bought a no-name cutting torch from the hardware store and had to take it back because it kept popping. Likely it had oil contamination on the inside, which is dangerous.

      The big names can be rebuilt when the seals go out, the chinese stuff is probably throwaway.
      Last edited by chickenfriend; 03-19-2012 at 10:38 PM.

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