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Discussion Starter #1
Here are some photos of welds that should illustrate the difference between the old process and the new, and the reweld recall.

Below is a photo of a 2002 weld that failed. Notice how the weld has a definite concave shape to the surface. This weld did not have enough material on it and did not get the TIG overlay.



Look below at the cross section of this failed weld and note the thickness of the weld. Also, look close at the other weld on the other side of the member and notice how flat it looks on the surface.



Below is a look at a flat weld before the recall was done.



And below is the same weld on the same bike after the recall




Below are a couple more photos of welds that have been re-welded under the recal. Notice how much more material is on the weld and how it has a nice round convex shape. They are not perfect welds, but all in all it looks pretty good. The welds are not only thicker but also are wider than the originals.








Below is a weld from the factory using the new TIG overlay. Notice the shape of the weld. It is more convex and has more material on it from the TIG overlay.



The below weld is off a brand new White 2004 taken at the Dallas motorcycle show. Notice the slightly convex shape to the back side of the weld, indicating it has the TIG overlay.

 

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Fred please check your PM's
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First of all, I am not an expert on aluminum welding. I have shown these photos to both metalurgists and aluminum welders, and they all have expressed some concerns about the overall quality of all the welds they have seen, including the re-welds.

But given the tools and techniques used, I think the dealers did a fair job for the most part. They won't pass the highest levels of scrutiny by any means, but I think they will be strong enough to hold a motorcycle frame together.

*Note* That is just my own personal opinion, which may not be worth much as I am NOT an aluminum welder.

In my opinion, the problem is that Honda does not use top notch welders and QC folks in the first place. I believe that is the ROOT CAUSE of the problem. The welding experts I have talked to have also expressed this same thing. My guess is that Honda used the same folks who used to weld their steel frames and tried to teach them how to do aluminum, instead of going out and hiring aluminum welding experts, who they would have had to pay a higher salary to.

They do however appear to be doing a much better job now than they did in 2001 and 2002. I think the welders are gaining experience and getting better. I also think the bikes that have been rewelded look far better than the original welds, just by the fact of the added thickness of the welds. This of course does not speak to root level penetration or the re-heating issues. I think the only way you could ever know for sure how good any of these welds are would be to cut them out and examine a cross section or take x-ray photos of them. I don't have the capability, expereince, or tools to do any of those tests, so all I can go on is what I can see with my eyes.
 
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