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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently in the middle of putting my dad's Triumph back together. The frame is a 71 TR6R. I love this bike, and remember riding behind him when I was little years ago. Well, I'm through with the tear down and have stripped the frame completely. Now here's my next hurdle.
The oil tank has hairline cracks near the welds where the swingarm is attached. Now this bike has been ridden for years and has a lot of miles on it. It never leaked too bad, just looks like it's seeping through a little at a time. I've cleaned up the area and I'm looking to repair the cracks or at least seal them to avoid ruining the paint.
What options would you guys recommend. I know this is a common issue, but I don't think this is really a structural problem because the frame has the stock reinforcements and has been ridden for years with no issues. I was looking at brazing or soldering the joint but will this sweat into the cracks? I'm worried that an improper weld will make the problem worse while a brazed repair will be more flexible and be less prone to crack again.
I was also considering simply sealing the cracks with epoxy paint or some other oil resistant paint and riding the wheels off it.
 

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if you cant TIG weld the cracks, then brass is a good option.
" I was looking at brazing or soldering the joint but will this sweat into the cracks?"
clean it out GOOD, then warm the area a few times to "wick" the oil out then braze it....
you`ll know when brazing it if its clean enough. [the oil will spit through the brass puddle]
 

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The oil tank (frame in that area) does not contain pressurized oil. But the inside of that area of the tank/frame is constantly filled with/submerged in oil. Sealing with some sort of sealer and paint would be a weak band aid. The greatest challenge would be finding someone to weld it, which may turn out to be a small challenge. Then just wait for the outcome. I think I paid $200 to have my hardtail welded on. Filling a few small cracks should be a small fraction of that.
 

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ive done this to several of these frames. a tig welder, some compressed air, and some soapy water in a spray bottle. block of all the ports and blow air in the front vent with soapy water around the suspicious areas to find the cracks. then clean well, weld, and repeat... until you get no more bubbles. those cracks can be a bitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How do you set up the Tig? What rods do you use? Thanks for the input, I was hoping someone would be able to speak from experience on this. I've done a lot of fabrication but I don't weld, not yet at least. I've got access to a tig and mig but I'll have to round up someone to do the welding.

I find the hardest part of dealing with welders is finding someone who actually knows what they're doing and not just blowing smoke. I've seen a lot of guys who claim to be great welders who really don't know half of what they claim.
 

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I haven't tig welded for 15 years so can't be of too much help, but one thing that still holds is this. At each end of every crack, drill a very small hole. This will keep the cracks from "running" as they're being welded. Otherwise, a guy could chase those cracks a long ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info about drilling the cracks. I've read about that before, but this is the first time I'll actually be repairing cracks. I'm usually making parts and prepping them to send to welders, so I never see something that has to be repaired.
 

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How do you set up the Tig? What rods do you use? Thanks for the input, I was hoping someone would be able to speak from experience on this. I've done a lot of fabrication but I don't weld, not yet at least. I've got access to a tig and mig but I'll have to round up someone to do the welding.

I find the hardest part of dealing with welders is finding someone who actually knows what they're doing and not just blowing smoke. I've seen a lot of guys who claim to be great welders who really don't know half of what they claim.
someone with experience should do it. the hole drilling is good info, ive chased these cracks. maybe, find the cracks, drill the holes, then take it to a local welder. shouldnt cost much.
 

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I have always steel welded them, once you use bronze for brazing it is very difficult to get rid of if you find you need to weld it properly. Ideal time to do it right while it is apart, clean it up and crack test it then get it professionally welded if you are not confident yourself.
 

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The problem is the design. When Triumph copied the TrackMaster frame, they made a few cost saving changes. The worst one being- instead of having the swing arm pivot pass thru the center of the back bone/oil tank, they just piggybacked it to the side wall. Yes, you need to have the crack repaired properly(on a hard tail application, you'd be done) but for anyone out there who's still running the swing arm- the pivot should be braced.like so;


 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I believe there are some factory gussets on this frame. From what I know the thing was probably leaking back in the day when it was put together. Cleaning the thing out is going to be a priority to ensure that the old oil is gone regardless of the crack repair. I've still got a lot of work to do on other parts, so this frame will wait to get repaired properly. There's still some polishing and paint to get done, and a gas tank to be acquired. I've been slowly getting this thing together, but I want to hit it hard and get it ready to ride this year. It's not going to be as nice as I want, but a lot of the shiny bits will wait until later. It's time to get this thing back on the road.
 
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