Welding pan ears

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John E. Guitar
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Welding pan ears

Post by John E. Guitar » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:44 am

I've got a crack on one of the pan ears on my 26 Tourer.

How do people normally fix these?

I was planning to drill out the point where the crack stops and fill in the hole with weld, and then run a weave along the crack (topside and underneath).

The other way I thought to do it is to tack the end and then open up short sections of the crack with a pointed burr and weld them up one by one.

I will be using a MIG welder.


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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by Allan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:03 am

I have repaired the same breaks as you describe. Then I have reinforced the repair by bending a piece of 5/16" rod and laying it in the underside of the pan ear and welding it in place. This reinforcement cannot be seen when installed.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:41 pm

Personally, I would not recommend welding those unless it is done by a top level welder. Even then, the nature of the steel Ford used is such that almost any "welding" will create hard and soft spots that the flexing nature of the pan in use are quite likely to cause new breaks where none existed before. Tig/Mig and other inert gasses welding can help reduce that problem, but not likely eliminate it.
Brazing is not as strong, however the lower temperatures also reduce (not eliminate) the hard spots issue. Whether welded using inert gasses, or brazed on the upper surfaces? I would braze a bent piece of steel rod into the channel on the underside to spread the stresses away from the more vulnerable corner. The steel rod should extend about an inch from the crack in both directions. I would also recommend brazing a similar piece of rod on the unbroken side because it has probably already flexed enough to have "crystallized" the metal in that area ("crystallized" is not technically the correct word, but it is the word most people will recognize for that).
Corners in the arm are where they most like to fracture and break. Carefully check the corners next to the top edge of the pan where the block and hogshead attach. That is the other area that likes to break, and if it has been flexed enough to crack near the top? It may be ready to begin in that lower area as well.

That is my "farmer's engineering" opinion. I know some learned people disagree. I have also seen some of their repairs fail after several years, and I have yet to see a well brazed gusset like that fail. (Use a good fitting piece of steel rod, and fill the brass in heavily. By the time you have filled between the arm and the rod, the entire area will be hot enough to basically anneal the major stress area.)

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by Retro54 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:47 pm

You could remove the cracked ears and then find some accessory repair brackets. My 1922 engine pan came with these. Pretty neat accessories that work well.

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by CudaMan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:21 pm

After I purchased Betsy, I noticed that the pan ear on the driver's side had a significant weld repair, so I purchased and installed a pan truss as extra insurance. :)
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1924 Cut-off Touring (now a pickup)

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by Chad_Marcheese » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:46 pm

I'd V out that crack and weld it shut. Unless it has to be show quality, don't grind the excess weld off. It appears the pan is off, it's the perfect time to fix it. I did mine in car, its had no problems since.

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by Billdizer,Spencer In » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:59 pm

To help prevent new cracking after you weld it with the mig, you need to heat normalize the area. You do this by heating the new weld and the surrounding area to a dull red with a torch, and then let it cool gradually without doing any forced cooling. This takes the brittleness out, takes the temper out to soften the steel so it can bend and wiggle without breaking.

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by modeltbarn » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:26 pm

Is your MIG 110 or 220? Either will work but the 220 is hotter and you will get better penetration. The thing about home MIG welding is it is basically a 'cold' weld process known as 'short circuit', so it's difficult to get a good structural weld. It's easy to make it look good it takes skill to make a good MIG weld; this is why many MIG welds break. If you don't have the skills yourself then have someone do it that knows what they are doing. After you weld it don't dress it down so you can't see it, that weakens the weld.

I would 'V' it a little, and make sure the metal is clean on both the visible side and the backside. Bend some rod, maybe 5/16" diameter, and put it inside of the ear where it's bent (the backside of where you are welding). Take the time to fit it as best as you can. Make it long enough to run along the inside of the bent area from the end of the ear and part way down the side, maybe 2". Run stringers, this is a narrow crack and there is no need for a weave. After you weld the top flip the pan over and weld the rod in place. Someone that is really good with MIG welding can do this 'overhead', but that's difficult to do right.

If done correctly this will give plenty of support for the weld and it should last many years.

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Re: Welding pan ears

Post by John E. Guitar » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:20 pm

Thank you all for your replies.

A customer dropped by on Wednesday who is a welder by profession. He gave me some good advice and I'll weld it up on the weekend.

The MIG welder I have is a 240 volt machine.

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