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Discussion Starter #1
I removed my headlights, because i am about to start prepping for paint, and decided to give my headlights a freshening up. finished the driver side, but when i got to the pass. side, where my car had been involved in a minor fender bender on that side, i noticed that the bracket that the headlight swivels on, was cracked at the corner, my dad was messing around with it, an accidentally broke the whole thing off(see picture below) anyway, i just wanted to know what the best way to repair this is, if there is a way. Will fiberglass work? can it be welded? let me know what you guys think. I can provide more pictures if needed.

 

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fiberglass won't do it.
It's metal so you could weld it. It's the easiest route to try.
They're pricey to replace.

Corvette Central:
68-74 Item# 443085L or 443085R $234.00
75-82 Item# 443086L or 443086R $175.00
 

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If you have both pieces, a competent welder can weld it. These are pot metal, not aluminum, so your welder will have to know what he/she is doing.

:thumbsup:
 

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If you have both pieces, a competent welder can weld it. These are pot metal, not aluminum, so your welder will have to know what he/she is doing.

:thumbsup:
:agree: It is basically a brazed repair and likely to break again. Wonder why no one has though to cast a good aluminum replacement...
 

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I wouldn't mess around with trying to weld it. There's gotta be somewhere cheaper than $175 if you look around, those pieces don't rust out or wear out so there should be good availability. Pot metal is a seriously sketchy thing to weld, and repairing a component like this has a slight risk of affecting how the headlight door fit.

Dad's not really to blame, pot metal shatters with impact and the pieces are jagged enough they sort of hold together with mechanical grip even though they're now seperate pieces. What looks like a little crack is usually about 95% busted. In reality, he saved you the trouble of breaking it yourself during re-installation and then having to find a replacement at the last minute :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks, i kow a guy who has been welding for a verry very long time. so ill talk to him and see what he thinks. i might try to weld it firts, cuz really i have nothing to lose. And then if that doesnt work out, il try to find a replacement.
 

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A little MIG welder should do the job just fine.
 

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Umm, no. Mig will just blow holes in it. The two acceptable repair methods are to either braze/solder, or to TIG it with a zinc rod. An alternative to zinc rod is slicing off a stick of the same part (if you have two) and so the filler rod is the exact same composition since pot metal varies.

The problem with pot metal is oxide, the heat of welding will actually cause clean areas to oxidize, and the oxide has a much higher melt point Get a smidge too much heat transfer and the oxide prevents you from detecting internal melting. Next thing you know the part is a saggy bag of liquid metal.

Trying to repair pot metal will make you loco :crazy:
 

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Yes, MIG will do just fine with some patience and understanding. You can't run long beads, and use the lowest setting. Tacking small spots and building up your weld is key. I did just fine welding 1/16in thick steel, using flux core wire. Not saying you will get the best weld, but it's better than a broken assembly. If you really worry about holes, get a C-Clamp and hold a strip of steel on the backside. It's a LOT easier to weld two thin pieces to a thick piece than it is to weld two thin pieces together.

You're probably better off getting a replacement though.
 

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Just from experience, trying to have pot metal pieces welded by a professional...they kept breaking. We had the same 'hard to find' pieces repaired 3 times. They kept failing. He used only a MIG. We couldn't afford to have him TIG it.

What turned out to be easier was to find a new part that wasn't broken. Just saying. Yes, you can weld pot metal. Will it hold and be as strong as it was before? Most likely not.
 

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Yes, MIG will do just fine with some patience and understanding. You can't run long beads, and use the lowest setting. Tacking small spots and building up your weld is key. I did just fine welding 1/16in thick steel, using flux core wire. Not saying you will get the best weld, but it's better than a broken assembly. If you really worry about holes, get a C-Clamp and hold a strip of steel on the backside. It's a LOT easier to weld two thin pieces to a thick piece than it is to weld two thin pieces together.

You're probably better off getting a replacement though.

Pot metal is zinc and tin and other stuff mixed together, it's designed to have an even lower melt point than aluminum and elements of it will be vaporizing at the temp required to melt steel. So if you can somehow manage to stick the two pieces together with a steel-wire mig, the repair will be so sketchy that adhesives would probably work just as well (or better)

happy weldin!
 

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Pot metal is zinc and tin and other stuff mixed together, it's designed to have an even lower melt point than aluminum and elements of it will be vaporizing at the temp required to melt steel. So if you can somehow manage to stick the two pieces together with a steel-wire mig, the repair will be so sketchy that adhesives would probably work just as well (or better)

happy weldin!

:agree: Epoxy would hold better than MIG welds.
 

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Pot metal is zinc and tin and other stuff mixed together, it's designed to have an even lower melt point than aluminum and elements of it will be vaporizing at the temp required to melt steel. So if you can somehow manage to stick the two pieces together with a steel-wire mig, the repair will be so sketchy that adhesives would probably work just as well (or better)

happy weldin!
That's what pot metal is? I heard it was just lower grade steel. I completely agree with you then. I tried to weld a bracket on my motorcycle made of that stuff, it didn't turn out well at all. I didn't know what that composite was called, but now I do, thanks! :thumbsup:
 
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