Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For all you welders out there. I’ve noticed that the welds on the swing arm of my 900 look like crap. I’m considering smoothing them out. Do you think Kawasaki left the welds like that to save money or is it a structural thing?
 

·
900 LT
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
For all you welders out there. I’ve noticed that the welds on the swing arm of my 900 look like crap. I’m considering smoothing them out. Do you think Kawasaki left the welds like that to save money or is it a structural thing?
I wouldn't consider doing this unless i removed the swing arm, ground the welds flush.

then take a cutoff wheel and grind along the center of the weld at least 1/4 in deep and refill with weld, then grind that flush.

i am not a structural engineer but i have done my share of welding.
 

·
2008 Nomad
Joined
·
37 Posts
No way don't grind them off unless you reweld them. The build up of weld is reinforcement. If I ground them off I would bevel the joint and reweld them with a TIG. I have ben a welder for over 30 years. Have someone do it that is skilled so it is done right.
 

·
nu2kawi
Joined
·
2,707 Posts
companies push their employees to hurry then they get bad quality work. usually a bad looking weld is a poor quality weld. I wouldn't touch it or it becomes your fault if it does fail. The welds were probably just left that way to push the bike through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
You may try to smooth them over with body filler and sand smooth, but I wouldn't go grinding the welds themselves.
 

·
Giant Biker
Joined
·
2,323 Posts
Ditto with the rest.........unless you know the base metal was properly grooved and that the weld is full penetration----don't mess with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Do not grind it off. You will weaken the joint. If it is a matter of looks, do like was said above, do body work on it: putty, and smooth it out and sand it it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I was going to remove the swing arm to grind off the tabs that use hold that plastic belt guard and I figured that I could clean up the welds while I was at it. I guess if the welds look as bad as they do, there’s probably a chance that it’s not fully penetrated in spots.
 

·
You hate me, & I hate you
Joined
·
615 Posts
DO NOT GRIND THESE WELDS... unless you have a structural welding cert. I wouldnt even consider attempting it. Just cause you dont like how they look does not mean it is a sub standard weld or that its not penetrating properly. Ive also been a welder through my trade for a while (not 30 years though) and Im still taking my classes for L.A. city structural cert (a standard used across the united states) and theres alot to understand, but if you grind and reweld the weld may come out looking better and even stronger but the base metal around the area will become weaker from heating and reheating. Also I would not recommend tig as it is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys and will not hold your frame together if you ever decide to ride it. I would recommend using shielded metal arc (stick) welding with a 7018 rod, but than again I would just recommend not doing it.
 

·
My hat is made of tinfoil
Joined
·
20,826 Posts
Do not grind it off. You will weaken the joint. If it is a matter of looks, do like was said above, do body work on it: putty, and smooth it out and sand it it.
Ditto what he said.

Or if you do decide to go ahead, have a welder that knows his/her stuff weld it for you.
Many amateurs out there that don't know squat about doing it right, and can be fatal for you if they screw up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
filler only, do not grind.

I am not a professional welder, but have been offered professional welding jobs several times, I have been welding off & on for over 30 years. I have never "covered up my welds", I usually like showing them off, I have lengthened, & chopped & stretched many custom frames, I know the stretching, lengthening, of frames covers my welds to do it right, but I mean as a rule I do not gring down my welds, so what ever you do do not grind a stock weld to "clean it up".

Randy
 

·
2008 Nomad
Joined
·
37 Posts
The reason I recommend TIG is because the frame of your bike is most likely a Chrome-Molly material that is the same used for roll bars in race cars. These are mostly welded together using the tig process. I also have a structural AWS qualification for MiG & Stick for over 30 years. ASME qualifications mig, stick, and tig all 6-G pipe also stainless steel including RA-85H and Inconel qualifications for over 30 years. All I can say is the TIG welding process when the proper procedure is used is the best of all the processes that we have tested. Such as yield,X-ray,bend,tensel and ultrasound testing. I run a crew of 25 men in a manufacturing plant and help my brother-in -law building hot rods in my spare time. I would not mess with it if I didn't know what I was doing, Could be bad news.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top