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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this the crack (see image) that I've read about that results from not properly using the rotary cultivator or from freezing water, etc.? I understand that cast iron is not easily repaired, but is something like this repairable? Has anyone made a similar repair and did it last? Thanks.
 

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Old Iron Connoisseur
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I've had cast iron final drive housings for a dozer fixed. It is not easy to find someone to do it that really knows how. To be done properly the casting has to be empty and then slowly brought up to a high temperature (whole casting), welded with a nickle rod (I think that's what you use) and then slowly slowly slowly cooled back down. Mine took 3 days to warm with lamps, oven, and such and about 4 days to cool reversing oven, lamps, blanket wraps etc. All of that being said, that was fixed about 8 years ago and it's holding fine. So yes it can be done but on a Gravely cultivator, it's not real feasible.
 

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If you have an old oven that will fit that casting it's not so bad. Lay the oven on its back and Get the whole thing hot, then preheat the crack sides even more with a torch, then hit it with a nickel rod. Probably want to bevel both sides of the crack for good penetration. Probably need to reheat the crack with the torch periodically to make sure the crack edges are good and hot when you hit them with mr sparky. Then back into the oven afterwards to get everything nice and stress free again. Buy some bags of vermiculite. Turn off the oven, dump vermiculite in there until full, then close the door. Leave it alone for a day or two. Lot of work and no guarantees.
 

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And the price of 100% nickel rod makes finding another cultivator the low cost option.

Personally, I can braze CI better than weld, I have done both. The US Navy taught me how to braze. We produced "brazements" (is that a word!!??) that were stronger than the CI base metal, they tested them.
 

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I like brazing too. Not sure what sort of issues will be encountered on a piece that size. How much oil has penetrated the cast iron is also a variable. Brazed repairs can look pretty good when it is done right.
 
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