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jniolon 12-19-2018 05:23 PM

welding aluminum to steel
here's a question for your metal masters...

I have some steel fittings for my heater lines in my truck project. I need to use them because they are short drop 90s. (I can't find aluminum 90s with less than a 2" drop, and these are 1.5").

I planned on using 5/8" aluminum tubing for the lines with a short hose at the water pump and manifold for vibration.

My question is... can 5/8 aluminum tubing be welded/brazed/soldered to these steel fittings and provide a sturdy , leak proof connection ??

best procedure ?? material to use ?? etc..

thanks, John

RED caddy 12-19-2018 05:34 PM

AFAIK, only with 3/32 nds unobtanium rod, long out of stock at my FLWS.

Have you considered belzonia or other such adhesives?

(OK, I'll take my silly old ass back to the cave...)


milomilo 12-19-2018 05:47 PM

Short answer is no. Expensive answer is yes. Explosion welding.

GWIZ 12-19-2018 05:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Welding aluminum to steel no.

I made this out of 304 stainless, silver soldered brass fittings on each end for heater hoses, stick welded SS bracket.

terry lingle 12-19-2018 07:50 PM

I had a buddy that built offshore commercial fishing boats in the 1970 -80 era.
The used explosion welded strips to attach the aluminium superstructure to the steel hull.
This construction method resulted in a much lower center of gravity along with a significant increase in catch tonnage for a given size of hull.

Walker 12-19-2018 09:29 PM

Why not use something like a swage lok 90?

bunkclimber 12-20-2018 07:12 AM

aluminum to steel
my answer is no,you can't weld it with any kind of reliability or economy.You can use adhesives to make the bond,(there's some super duty adhesives out there now)-but in a vehicular environment with vibration and the temperature swings I wouldnt recommend it. If you have even a partial failure you'd never know it and risk coolant loss to the point of destroying your engine with little notice going down the road. I think I would go the route of brazed copper or stainless fittings if you must have the tight radius.There's even the option of tight radius molded hose,Ive crossed over some tight radius hose bends for an ATV cooling modification..I wound up using a SAAB moulded heater hose to reroute engine coolant on a Suzuki..take a look at the Gates pre-moulded hose catalog,there's a lot of hoses out there right now that you could cross-apply to your project.FWIW

MetalWolf 12-21-2018 07:26 PM

Bubble gum, duct tape and bailing wire are usually everyone's fix friend....;)

JIMO... Being I'm not climb out on a limb here as I see that Bunkclimber's and Walker's suggestions are prolly you best option to resolve the issue you are trying to fix...

jniolon 12-21-2018 09:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I looked at the Swagloc stuff and couldn't find a fitting that ended in a -10 o-ring female... and anything exotic is silly.

I ordered the -10 ends both barbed and -10 o ring/nut yesterday. Picked up some 1/2" and 5/8" ss tubing today at the shop and am waiting on the fittings to see what works best.

Got my ss welder guy lined up for an after Christmas welding job. Gonna get the tubes bent and cut to length then polished before I take him the pieces to weld up. I'm scouring the net now looking for tubing separators to make everything be still and stay together... then on to the a/c part of the plumbing

it will go low and follow frame rail to the front

mccutter 12-22-2018 09:42 AM

At one time someone here posted a link for a free catalog from a company that supplied "brazing" rods. That was their specialty. I put quotes on because the melty filler metal is not always brass. Do a search here or on the web...

Short answer to your question is NO.

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