Frame "tearing" on early models documentation - Page 2


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Thread: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

  1. #11
    Senior Member CraigFulton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezmaass View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigFulton View Post
    Weaken the surrounding metal? Hahaha. That would mean the entire frame is weak right out of the factory. That is just people talking that have nothing better to do.
    I wouldn't discount it so quickly. I'm not a welder, but from the little I've read, it's not a simple process to weld aluminum correctly. It differs considerably from welding steel. A large part of doing it successfully seems to come down to understanding the chemistry of the alloys, and one aluminum isn't necessarily the same as the next. The process used by the welder really needs to be informed by the alloy "fillers" that are incorporated into that particular aluminum, not to mention whether heat treatment has been done. I recall the forum having this discussion a few times, and part of the missing ingredient here is that Audi isn't sharing (or hasn't in the past) this information. From Howie's thread on this (quite a long time ago), I seem to recall we couldn't locate any markings or information on the braces, themselves, and we certainly don't have any aluminum prep insights from the factory for the frame.

    Can you weaken the area you're actually trying to reinforce? Again, I'm not a welder, but the info I've read suggests it's a real risk.

    Some info on aluminum vs. steel welding and the risks, including tensile strength:

    https://www.thefabricator.com/articl...-steel-welding

    Some discussion around welding T6 aluminum and the ability to cut tensile strength as a result:

    https://weldingweb.com/showthread.ph...-Strength-Loss

    Some more discussion around aluminum car frame welding - plenty of comments around risking tensile strength:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskEngineer...hey_be_welded/

    What I've taken away from much of what I've read is that:

    (a) Aluminum welding is much, much harder to do properly than steel.

    (b) If the welder doesn't have specific information on the alloy chemistry, it's impossible to choose the correct "filler" materials for that aluminum.

    (c) If the aluminum was heat treated (part of getting something like T6 designation), it will lose a significant portion of its tensile strength if welded after the fact. The only way to recover this afterwards appears to be re-heat-treating the metal.

    Given how much forum owners love their R8s, I think the natural inclination would be to go reinforce the frames with these plates. But as I said above, historically Audi doesn't seem to have sanctioned shops doing this. Why? Maybe that policy has changed? It would be interesting to get some data points from folks making local inquiries. There was a forum member (in Michigan?) who recently had a number of shops turn him away for this job, as well, citing lack of support from Audi. I guess all I'm saying is that it appears more info/research might be warranted here.
    Everything can be fixed without overthinking it. I’ve been welding and repairing things like this for a long time. Just get over the intimidation factor and do it.
    Last edited by CraigFulton; 08-07-2019 at 09:32 PM.

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  3. #12
    Senior Member thedragonseven's Avatar
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    I did study metallurgy and alloying metals, and though I haven't had a chance to read through all of EZ's posts [which all tend to be spot on anyhow], here are some quick things to consider:

    1. Heating up any metal changes the internal structure of the metal. The exact characteristics of a metal's impact/compression/tensile strength and durability are all defined by that internal structure. How much change to the internal structure during the heating process would determine how much of the original characteristics remain.
    2. Alloys are elements added to a base metal to achieve specific requirements and results, and the percentages of the alloys is very exacting as it effects the molecular structure. Heating metals can cause alloy composition to change.
    3. 7000 series aluminum is weldable. But the temperatures required to melt the aluminum to create the fusion will also leave that melted aluminum [and an area around that melted aluminum] weaker, more brittle, and more susceptible to corrosion. Thus welding 7000 series for the majority of manufacturing purposes is unacceptable. Spot welding, on the other hand, can be used extensively with 7000 series aluminum because the heated area is quite finite and limited to the path the electrical current takes through the disparate pieces.


    From what I could find on Audi's aluminum space frames, https://www.european-aluminium.eu/me...structures.pdf
    ...no 7000-series aluminum was used at all. It appears be comprised of:

    1. EN AW-6060 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...d1=214551&db=N
    2. EN AW-6016 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...d1=231868&db=N
    3. EN AW-6181 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...&id1=7136&db=N
    4. EN AW-AiSi7.5 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...d1=234222&db=N
    5. Ecodal 608 - http://www.almetitalia.com/index.php...ica/ecodal-608

  4. #13
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by thedragonseven View Post
    I did study metallurgy and alloying metals, and though I haven't had a chance to read through all of EZ's posts [which all tend to be spot on anyhow], here are some quick things to consider:

    1. Heating up any metal changes the internal structure of the metal. The exact characteristics of a metal's impact/compression/tensile strength and durability are all defined by that internal structure. How much change to the internal structure during the heating process would determine how much of the original characteristics remain.
    2. Alloys are elements added to a base metal to achieve specific requirements and results, and the percentages of the alloys is very exacting as it effects the molecular structure. Heating metals can cause alloy composition to change.
    3. 7000 series aluminum is weldable. But the temperatures required to melt the aluminum to create the fusion will also leave that melted aluminum [and an area around that melted aluminum] weaker, more brittle, and more susceptible to corrosion. Thus welding 7000 series for the majority of manufacturing purposes is unacceptable. Spot welding, on the other hand, can be used extensively with 7000 series aluminum because the heated area is quite finite and limited to the path the electrical current takes through the disparate pieces.


    From what I could find on Audi's aluminum space frames, https://www.european-aluminium.eu/me...structures.pdf
    ...no 7000-series aluminum was used at all. It appears be comprised of:

    1. EN AW-6060 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...d1=214551&db=N
    2. EN AW-6016 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...d1=231868&db=N
    3. EN AW-6181 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...&id1=7136&db=N
    4. EN AW-AiSi7.5 - https://www.totalmateria.com/subgrou...d1=234222&db=N
    5. Ecodal 608 - http://www.almetitalia.com/index.php...ica/ecodal-608
    Thanks for the info you attached a lot of good info on how the r8 is built.

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  6. #14
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
    Audi Beverly Hills is who I went to.
    Curious as to how much it set you back? I've had a couple quotes in Houston that were wildly disappointing for the amount of work that has to be done (and have held off as a result).

  7. #15
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by ezmaass View Post
    The fact that Audi won't stand behind a shop doing this work is a bit concerning, because it also means they're not sharing potentially critical information such as the alloy mix, which would help inform a welder on their approach.
    EZ, this will sound abrasive, but it's not meant to ... but where are you getting that Audi won't allow (paraphrasing) Audi shops to do these repairs? I've been on haitus for a few months ... is this a new development that just cropped up? Before my haitus, it was understood that the only places that could buy and weld these brackets were Audi certified aluminum repair centers. I've personally gotten two quotes from Audi certified collision centers for the work in the last year. With that, isn't Audi implicitly standing behind the work?

    For clarity, your quote above doesn't explicitly say that Audi does not allow shops to do these repairs, but I have read that explicitly in other recent posts on this topic, and you seem to be championing that idea pretty strongly in your comments on the topic. Thanks!

  8. #16
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    So for the previous questions about removing dash etc. No they did not remove the dash at all. Only the plastics from the bottom of the windshield and everything in the front.


    Quote Originally Posted by gallag4 View Post
    Curious as to how much it set you back? I've had a couple quotes in Houston that were wildly disappointing for the amount of work that has to be done (and have held off as a result).
    About $5,500.
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  9. #17
    Senior Member mngolfer's Avatar
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    Yikes. I paid $1100 to have mine done. Audi would not allow their certified aluminum welding shop do my car. Audi told them they would lose their certification if they welded the brackets on my car. That was three years ago.
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  10. #18
    Senior Member Trev450's Avatar
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by mngolfer View Post
    Yikes. I paid $1100 to have mine done. Audi would not allow their certified aluminum welding shop do my car. Audi told them they would lose their certification if they welded the brackets on my car. That was three years ago.
    I would love to know why Audi imposed that condition on the repairer.
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  11. #19
    Senior Member ThunderDent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev450 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mngolfer View Post
    Yikes. I paid $1100 to have mine done. Audi would not allow their certified aluminum welding shop do my car. Audi told them they would lose their certification if they welded the brackets on my car. That was three years ago.
    I would love to know why Audi imposed that condition on the repairer.
    I would as well. It makes no sense, unless they feel it’s dangerous to the structure. But then why would they allow it if they approve it if so. Or, they’re just ignoring the problem, and not wanting “their” certified people to do work that admits fault or negligence.

    My brackets arrive Wednesday from the UK. $52.44 shipped. I’ll actively be forming an opinion on here as to what to do before I strip the car next spring and get these on. Be it welded or epoxied.

  12. #20
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by mngolfer View Post
    Yikes. I paid $1100 to have mine done. Audi would not allow their certified aluminum welding shop do my car. Audi told them they would lose their certification if they welded the brackets on my car. That was three years ago.
    MNGolfer,

    Did you see any documentation from Audi corporate that said they wouldn't allow the repairs, or was that just the collision center saying that Audi told them that? My jaded opinion with the two quotes I got were that (A) the shops, even though they were certified, had no clue what this repair was and decided to act like I was a know-nothing for asking for it, and (B) it's a low dollar repair for them even if they gouge you, so they don't really care to do it. With the latter, the skeptic in me is saying that maybe they just told you that because they didn't feel like doing the work?

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